Rift Is Looking Pretty Classy

Lightning is the best of all lights, and second best of all nings.

How classy? Well, each of the upcoming MMORPG’s four classes, Warrior, Rogue, Cleric and Mage, has eight sub-classes called “Souls”, from which you pick three. So you won’t just be a Warrior, but a Reaver-Beastmaster-Warlord, capable of switching your powers out for that of a Riftblade-Void Knight-Beastmaster (or anything else) at the touch of a button. With hundreds and hundreds of different class combinations, Rift is most definitely a classy creation. Look, there’s a new video proving as much after the jump.

This makes the real question whether Rift will have style. We have yet to hear any news about fighting styles, but there’s a possibility that you guys will be the first to hear when we do.


  1. RedViv says:

    Classiest WoW clone until now, I’d say.
    Now if it would only play on my machine for more than five minutes before it choked on a ping spike and made the whole system freeze up…

  2. DSR says:

    So far it looks like generic will-kill-WoW-for-sure-this-time-100-% clone with generic “Next Gen” korean graphics. Like Aion.
    I’d buy it for dollar. But not 50. Sorry.

  3. Bungle says:

    I”ve heard good things about it, but I don’t see how an upstart can succeed on the heels of a much more mainstream DCUO release. Which seems to be going pretty well so far.

  4. Davie says:

    Honestly, I’d love it if some MMO developer would come forward and say, “This time, we tried to do everything WoW didn’t.” And then, for the first time in seven years, we would have a truly unique MMORPG.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      Where’s Wulf? Pretty sure Guild Wars 2 has taken an approach similar to this.

      I agree. Though I’d like to see an MMORPG go even further afield the even GW2 perhaps but I don’t really know HOW different GW2 will be. I have massively high hopes for it based on what has been revealed thus far but there’s so much scope for MMOGs that it seems odd that all the games being produced follow the same basic formula, no matter how far cosmetic changes go.

      Perhaps it’s because the aim of the developer is always the same? Even WoW isn’t that structually different from the MMORPGs that came before. The aim is seemingly infinite overlapping unclosed loops for players to close.

    • RedViv says:

      Thing is, people don’t want that. At least not “people”, as in “the guys who will make us rich”.
      WoW had an ideal starting point, Blizz used their expertise in picking up the popular aspects from their target genre (social ties, comfort, level and item flow, balance…) and they improved upon that ever since. So it’s getting “worse” with every minute of lifetime of its players the game sucks out of them.
      The only thing you can really do is learn from them, and be happy with less customers or a different business model. Like Guild Wars, for example, which doesn’t even aim to kill WoW in its second incarnation, which wants to further blend typical solo and MMO role-playing. Unlike that Old Republic game, which still looks just like “Bioware game XIV”, subscription-based with optional MP.

    • Catastrophe says:

      I feel DC Universe Online has done this- I’m currently thoroughly enjoying it :)

    • malkav11 says:

      Doing everything WoW didn’t would produce an unplayable mess.

    • Dominic White says:

      Guild Wars 1 was pretty much the anti-WoW, and it did great. GW2 seems to be taking a few of the more standard MMO design features, but also going in a completely new direction with a lot of the actual in-world mechanics.

      I really do find it hard to be excited about yet another full-price + subscription MMO when there’s one on the horizon that looks to do far more and ask less money in return.

    • Sarkhan Lol says:

      “You can’t jump, the level cap is 20, you can only have 8 usable skills at a time and everything’s instanced. This game SUCKS!” — a typical spugwit at the time

  5. ker0ton says:

    I played beta…the game at least the PvE part is very generic, wow clone all the way…but the design is something best i ever seen in my life…im not saying graphics im saying design, you are going to see some really fantastic weapons, npc-s, enemies, places itd. Rifts world is so awesome with that whole fantasy steam cyberpunk mix.

    • zergrush says:

      Yea, it looks very cool, but the standard wow questing / progression bores me to death.

      Am looking forward to Guild Wars 2 to bring some quest design / structure that doesn’t feel like a chore.

    • Grot_Punter says:

      If that bores you, then just go find a rift and punch the skeletons and/or liches it poops out, yelling angrily at them for wanting to conquer the poor peasant town down the road, and slaughtering poor little Timmy’s puppy, Fluffers. Or, if you’re a Defiant, do that, but add steampunk magitech and robo-horses to the mix.

      On a more serious note, yes, my impression from the Rift beta as well showed that, while low on the innovation front (there’s some there, but either I’m blind/forgetful, or I haven’t it yet), the game has a rather absurd amount of spit shine polish to it that I’ve rarely found in modern mmos, one of the most “complete” (well, as complete as a beta can feel) in a long time. Everything it does is readily understandable, and even when I skipped tips or tutorials on things, I was still more than able to learn what said widget did after some hoopajoobing with the UI/said feature.

  6. Navagon says:

    World of Riftcraft. I haven’t even played WoW, yet this is a very obvious clone.

    • The Great Wayne says:

      No, it is RiftQuest. Much alike World of Evercraft.

  7. Diziet Sma says:

    It’s actually a very good game. The design is solid, especially as mentioned above with the fusion of the technical and the fantastical. The class combinations are sublime and well realised. The rifts, although essential the same as the err… zone thingies in warhammer online, and a good addition and make for a more dynamic battlefield.
    In reply to @DSR it’s nothing like korean and it’s nothing like Aion. Where on earth did you get that impression? Unless you mean the classic MMO mechanic is ‘Aion’.
    My only complaint with the game is that somehow combat sounds feel a bit wishy washy? It all looks OK but the combat sounds don’t do it for me. I have however only played magic users so far, in several combos of necromancer/warlock/classic type mage… so maybe it’s just the spellcasting sounds.

    • Chalky says:

      I tried beta. “Kill 10 undead” “collect 5 shiny things” “kill 12 different undead” “collect 6 different shiny things” “kill 14 ghosts” “collect 7 shiny things” “kill 16 ghosts WITH CHAINS THIS TIME!!!” “collect 8 shiny things”

      And they want me to pay a subscription fee for this? If you’re going to be trying to squeeze £10 per month out of me at least make it look like you paid someone more than £10 total to come up with the quests.

    • zergrush says:

      I played melee and ranged rogue types and melee oriented priests, and tbh the combat feels even worse. The character swinging a huge mace around without actually hitting the monsters looks really weird, like those giant cotton bud fights.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      @Chalky: How dare you say that about a game that has effects so nice when you click the little buttons? Could do that for ages.

    • Grot_Punter says:

      Rift is the first game to ever make me want to play a backstabbing, conniving rogue……then again, I play a magical, teleporting, ninja tank who makes things explode by stabbing them.

      Also, I think any complaints about the combat are both justified and pointless at this point, considering its only 4 beta phases in.

      @Chalky, sounds like you didn’t even finish the Defiant intro zone. Once you start messing with the rifts in the real game world, I feel that’s when the game truly opens up, especially when a zone-wide invasion happens.

  8. DeepSleeper says:

    It’s amazing how many people go “Pfft. WoW.”

    Most of the features WoW had? Everquest 2. Horizons. Dark Age of Camelot.

    Sometimes you want a game that gets everything right the first time, because it’s been done before, but is set in a new world with a few new things. Every news story I see on Rift has “Hurr WoW” comments on it in moments, and yes it is similar. Does that really mean there’s nothing to like there?

    As usual, Penny Arcade has the right idea.

    • The Great Wayne says:

      Anyway, MMO sucks. I’m going back to playing the latest Wolfenstein 3D clone.

    • bob_d says:

      Yeah, that’s all true; fantasy MMOs have essentially followed the same formula, with WoW putting a degree of refinement on the formula that’s only possible when you have years and hundreds of millions of dollars worth of development money. So that’s the problem – any new game that follows that formula will by necessity be pretty familiar, but lacking in features and polish.
      Rifts has explicitly positioned itself as a WoW-killer, which means it’s similar enough to appeal to the WoW audience but somehow does something “better” than WoW (with that something not being features, quest variety, world size or accessibility, things that WoW has spent a lot of resources developing). People who have played WoW and aren’t sick of it have invested a great deal of time into it; they have no reason to start anew with something similar even if it is “better.” Those who are sick of WoW aren’t going to want to start a new MMO that plays more or less the same way. Anyone who hasn’t played WoW, well, they’re hardly going to start now, are they?
      Unfortunately WoW has pretty well cornered the fantasy MMO market, and not left much space for competitors, even those built on well-known IPs.

    • Arathain says:

      I think there are a few things to like. However, having played the beta, Rift is a game that holds rigidly close to the WoW formula, even going so far as to replicate specific class design features (Rogue combo and finishing moves are a straight port, for example). Sadly, in reproducing the formula, it’s also replicating many of WoW’s faults that have been there from day 1, such as weightless melee combat, and fields full of aimlessly wandering respawning monsters.

      I think it’ll end up being a worthy enough game that some will really enjoy, but I’m afraid the accusations of WoW clone are quite justified.

  9. Arbodnangle Scrulp says:

    I’m bored with the whole ‘Tank/DPS/Healer’ model of combat MMO. Perhaps there shouldn’t be classes at all, just a continually evolving indication of your personal playing style. Nobody’s born a hunter after all, they grow into it depending on their circumstance and their preference. In WoW I liked paladins best because I could tank, heal AND dps, but I would tend towards dps with a bit of healing. I found this style through experimentation, working out which bits I enjoy most. How am I supposed to know that before I’ve played the game, being forced to choose right from the start? Even WoW’s dungeon finder is unrealistically restrictive, forcing a choice of roles that you might not conform to.

    • qeloqoo says:

      You might want to read this article link to gamasutra.com

    • RedViv says:

      DC Universe does that, actually. Apart from combat based more on the likes of Prototype and inFamous, most abilities have special properties that change when you adjust your role set. Some power sets are naturally fit for a certain job – like fire for damage -, but every single one of them can do each job.
      Basically, everyone is a druid or paladin.

    • The Great Wayne says:

      There are a lot of mmos which actually did or do that. You might want to widen your horizon a little bit.

    • Arathain says:

      Insert generic Arathain City of Heroes rant here.

  10. tomeoftom says:

    What’s the best ning?

  11. Starayo says:

    There’s nothing classy about a game where every piece of female clothing is a bikini.

    Oh, wait, I get it.

    • RedViv says:

      You’re sure you are not confusing this with Tera?

    • Grot_Punter says:

      I’ve yet to see a bikini, though there’s still a bit of midriff-age.

  12. Joe Maley says:

    The engine itself is garbage and doesn’t support anti-aliasing.
    Not buying another wow-clone.

  13. Chunga says:

    When anti-grinding becomes a major feature, I’ll get back again to the MMOs.

  14. Arathain says:

    I think the whole design-your-own-class thing is the most interesting part of the game and might make a game that I’ve been quite critical of elsewhere worthwhile. It seems like it has the potential to be very flexible. Of course, we’ll have to see how it shakes down after a few months. Depending on how well the content is designed, interesting hybrid classes risk turning out to be weaker than single-focus specialists (hello, tank/healer/DPS), and thus shunned on teams looking to run difficult dungeons.

  15. ScubaMonster says:

    I completely lost interest as soon as they showed the 3 talent tree set up ala WoW. Come on guys, be a bit more creative. There’s some decent skill systems out there. I’m tired of talent trees (which always come in threes, no pun intended). I miss games that have a real skill based system.

    • Grot_Punter says:

      Bah! Surely you know your basic gaming tenants Scuba? All the best things in gaming come in 3s! In fact, MMO boss fights should be modeled as giant puzzle fights where the players must do something 3 times to kill the boss, such as dropping 3 flaming crystal monkeys on the boss’s big toe! And players would have 3 talent trees, each with 3 tiers, with 3 abilities, all with 3 point limits! THREEEEEEEEEEEE!

  16. shagen454 says:

    I think this would be a good time for developers to focus on the idea that was presented to us in Ultima Online. The game was so ambitious it was an inevitable fail but when it came out it seemed so astonishing. It was everything I wanted at the time, it gave so much control to the player and felt enormous.

    If you wanted (which I did) you could participate in ship battles, set up shops with vendors, open permanent portals – the players were able to change their environment. I really do like WoW for what it is… it is what it is and it does it very well, but it is a lively yet stagnant world, there are no trash heaps on the ground in the cities, there are no bulletin boards – it’s not as community based as it should be and maybe for WoW that is a good thing.

    Minecraft is proof that people want a sandbox environment, UO was a sandbox as well – but just imagine a massively multiplayer game where the ambitions of Ultima Online were implemented with destructible/built environments like Minecraft. I remember mining a shit-ton in UO, just imagine mining implemented in a realistic way like Minecraft, but as a robust MMO. Add a nice 3D engine and a developer that has a team that cares enough to be constantly unfolding realtime in-game events and we’ll have us a blockbuster ; a Second Life for non-burners. Remember the time Lord British was assassinated while giving a speech?

    Bioware might be able to get somewhere with a story-driven MMO, only time will tell – but, Guild Wars for me felt hollow, the forced scripted events felt too shallow. I want a world where people are actually sort of living in and creating, want to and have an ability to while questing/adventuring – the only way to do this is to create the world with all of it’s possibilities ; Minecraft is a perfect roughdraft that people will gravitate to it. I will not play a WoW clone – my money has been spent up on that endeavor (I have spent a little over $1,000 on WoW) I believe Blizzard perfected it – so developers might as well try something not necessarily new but at least not WoWesque, if it’s the money they’re after then this idea is a sure shot at not creating the next F2P MMO.

    • The Great Wayne says:

      Ultima Online a failure ? Lord, I don’t know what you’re smoking, but I want some.

  17. shagen454 says:

    Ok, well fail might be a bit harsh – I played UO for about two years but it became somewhat boring and monotonous for me and the only times I went back were to play on free shards that empowered the player from the get-go. It inevitably failed because Origin was unable to change – all of the poorly implemented design decisions stayed on while they tried to bring failed 3D models into the game. It was the pinnacle at the time (what was it 1998?) but it’s lasting appeal was fleeting, Minecraft for me, now is as well a fleeting endeavor but who knows Notch might implement a new layer of complexity – hopefully he can add on that Dungeon Keeper or Dwarf Fortress direction that I believe he wants to exert.

  18. Polysynchronicity says:

    I’m waiting for someone to develop the tech that can run a EVE-style open, player-driven world, but have more interesting methods of interacting with it than “lock target, turn on weapons, wait for it to die” and “nested submenus”

  19. FluffyM says:

    Hating on RIFT? Really? It has a level of “quality” that only WoW has had before. You know, when you sit down and play and notice all the little things that would have gone unchecked in WAR, Aion, CO (add more garbage MMOs here). The engine handles multiple dozens of players in the same area very well, and it does support AA, unlike what someone said further up. Complaining about skilltrees when you can freely switch between 9 of them, people here are funny. I’ve played well over 40 MMOs over the past 7 years, this is easily in the top 3, despite being a casual rollercoaster.

    • trjp says:

      Bit late here but at least AION and WAR tried a few different things – Rift appears to be WoW with a polished-up UI – it’s claims to be ‘next generation’ are entirely without basis (Aion looks better, WAR has more varied combat etc. etc.)

      How they think this will sell as a full-price game+subs I’ve no idea – there’s nothing here you’ve not done in half-a-dozen games before – if you’re even remotely curious for GODS sake try the Beta, it will save you a fortune.