Rifts Gets Six Day Open Beta From Feb 15th

You know what they say about men with big swords. Big scabbards.
That is the most short words we have ever had in the headline bar. Thanks, Rift! Also: yes, there’s a 6-day open beta, which you can secure a place for by signing up in advance at this internet web address link. Trion Worlds say of the event: “A tireless and unending horde, invaders from the planes continue their assault on Telara. The final (beta) battle is at hand and the fate of the planet depends on the courage and strength of Telara’s champions. Become one of the Ascended and fight for a world that’s on the brink of losing all hope.” There are also NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 video cards to be won by defeating dungeon bosses. Details here.


  1. mkultra says:

    I don’t know about all of you, but it takes me at least an extra 24 hours to realize I’m playing a WoW clone.

    • mrjackspade says:

      Yes it is, but it’s mutated into something with extra horns and chainsaws growing out of its tail.

  2. trjp says:

    Played this over the w/e and was pretty unimpressed. It’s not in ANY way a ‘next gen MMO’, it’s just WoW with a nicer (actually really nice) UI and tutorial.

    The intro CGI is hilariously badly written – it sounds like a 13-year-old with an obsession for crap fantasy novels did it in one take! The combat is the same GCD-based shin-kicking nonsense we’ve played 20 times before, the environments are uninspiring and enemies are boringly predictable (ghosts, skeletons etc.)

    The class/job system is just another way of selling WoW’s talent system (it’s even on the same button!!). Instead of 3 talent trees you get upto 3 jobs. You can change these – which is a nice idea – but it’s nothing ‘next gen’ or revolutionary and even the game admits only certain combinations will work.

    New spells are released by spending ‘talent’ points – upgrades to spells come from trainers – any of this sounding familiar???

    After a few hours I couldn’t fathom why anyone would pay full-price for this – let alone a subs. It’s better than most made-for-F2P games but arguably no better than recent subs-based games which have converted to the F2P model (CO and LOTRO for example).

    • bob_d says:

      I don’t envy any company trying to sell subscriptions for a generic fantasy MMO right now. They’ve got a hard job ahead of them, being stuck between the 800-pound gorilla that is WoW and all the formerly-subscription-based but now free-to-play fantasy MMOs out there.

    • Hallgrim says:

      It’s not bad in any particular way, just abysmally derivative (like every quest-driven leveling MMO these days).

  3. Colthor says:

    Six days doesn’t seem a very long time to gather bug reports or stress-test servers.

    Oh wait, they mean demo, don’t they?

    • trjp says:

      Yes, they do. It’s been in some form of Beta for a few months now tho – that said I don’t think ANY Beta can simulate what happens on Day 1 for any MMO…

    • Gaff says:

      I don’t remember exactly when “demo” starting being a dirty word, but everyone and their dogs are getting in on this “open beta” bandwagon now.

      Six days does not a beta make. Call it what it is, Trion; a demo period to try and entice people to buy the game shortly before its release. There’s nothing wrong with that, but don’t piss on me and tell me it’s raining.

    • The Great Wayne says:

      That’s one of the rule in the little world of the mmos. There’s no demo, there’s open beta. There’s no innovation, there’s next gen.

      Also, there’s no inspiration, there’s copying and it’s therefore bad everytime a new iteration of the same genre comes out. God help the offline players with their crates of FPS and RTS.

      The issue isn’t with companies using buzzwords and spreading marketing shenanigans, it’s with the majority of player community not taking a step back and putting those in perspective.

    • John P says:

      Actually this will be the 6th beta event for Rift. The beta events have been running since late last year, and the developers have released many patches and some new features in that time. Patches are even released in the middle of the beta events.

      So this upcoming (and last, I believe) beta event may be more of a demo, but the beta program as a whole is not just advertising. And data gathered during this beta will probably result in patches post-release too.

  4. ScubaMonster says:

    Definitely don’t buy MMO’s at all without trying them first. There’s been waaay too much garbage released. So at least I can beta this to find out for myself. Though I don’t have high hopes, especially after comments here.

    I predict this might go free to play pretty quick. They probably should be doing that right out of the gate. Charging to buy a game, then a monthly sub is quite a tall order in this day and age unless you have a spectacular product. Even then, there’s some pretty great free to play MMO’s already. And Guild Wars 2 will have a one time purchase price. I don’t believe for a minute this would be as innovative or good as Guild Wars 2.

    • trjp says:

      THAT ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

      I missed the DCU ‘Beta’/’Demo’ and whilst I’m sort-of interested, I’m not paying full-price to try it…

  5. oceanclub says:

    I played a little of it, and while it’s slick, I found it to be an pretty unintelligible WOW clone. A few hours in, I had no idea of the plot and – more importantly – had no inclination to care. Nothing here to tempt me to play a new MMO.


  6. Acosta says:

    I had a lot of fun with it this weekend, the rifts are a great mechanic, especially when you have these huge events with several rifts opened and a very angry big boss in the center of it. In the closed beta it worked very well and it was much more interesting than the public quest system of Warhammer, it felt dynamic and interesting, it has a lot of potential.

    Technically, the beta was very solid and stable, a bit uninspired art wise and with some rough animations, but the visuals were pleasing enough. But the thing I loved the most was the class system, having so many combinations and being able to experiment was refreshing after the butchering Blizzard did with WoW talent system. I am not sure how it will do, but I had a nice experience with it and I will probably be in for the open beta.

  7. bonjovi says:

    played in second beta(i think)
    very decent clone. they set out to do a very good one and they did.
    the problem is to me that I’m bored of wow, so providing more of the same doesn’t appeal to me.
    I liked the developers interaction during beta, seems like friendly bunch, which kinda created good community feel. I didn’t like the setting, but I guess it’s personal. Also the beginners area is filled with monsters and quests. I don’t like that. Thing about wow I liked was the space around you. the world seemed huge. this, however feels small and crowded.

    so pretty much good wow clone. at least they not trying a risky stuff.

    • Atomosk says:

      Did you even get out of the noob zone? The world is HUGE…. and It really reminds me more of highly polished DAoC or Warhammer online then that damn Blizzard MMO.

    • Koozer says:

      YES. I was getting ready to scream this at the bottom of the page, but yes it’s much, much closer to Warhammer than to WoW. I’ve only got to level 11 so far but If the PvP is decent I’m sold.

    • Athair says:

      Jeez im getting really tired of people calling new mmorpgs “WoW clones”. If you haven’t noticed World of Warcraft copyed alot of mmorpgs before its time. World of Warcraft has the same concept of older mmorpgs, but it added its own flavor. You see how all the fps have the same concept? What about sport games? If you ask me they do, and same goes for mmorpgs. So please get over this “WoW clone” phase it’s really annoying.

  8. WildcardUK says:

    I haven’t played an MMO seriously since Dark Age of Camelot and Shadowbane but I have beta tested many as I have long history with the genre. That said this is the first of those many I am tempted to purchase.

    I have played WoW in beta but not subbed and I think this may be why I enjoyed Rift so much. It could well just be more of the same but taken in its own right it’s a very slick, accessible and just plain fun MMO. Once I’d figured out the Soul (job/sub class or whatever) system I had a great time playing with different combos. I was definitely the only Saboteur/Bard I saw running around.

    The world events were a ton of fun and the rift monster spawn was just overwhelming enough to make the battles pitched without being a wholesale slaughter.

    I can’t say how all this translates into the long game but, on the strength of what I saw it shows a lot of promise. Maybe it is a WoW clone but if so it’s a very capable one. At the end of the day WoW is widely regarded as an an excellent game and I felt this was too.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      How are things like crafting? Or are you bound by NDA to not say anything?

    • Ignorant Texan says:


      While I haven’t tried crafting, guildmates who love to craft are all really impressed by the crafting system. High level crafted items look as if they are the equal of epics from dungeons/PvP rewards.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      That’s good to hear. WoW’s crafting was about as lame as you can get. They even started removing certain components for crafting to make it more streamlined/faster. Plus, 99.9% of what you made was garbage.

    • Atomosk says:

      You can choose 3 crafting or gathering skills. I only had time to do the foraging and mining, which I found pretty fun. The location of the resources appear on your map so while doing quests you can easily see where the stuff is and the resource placement is really nice so far. e.g. for tin look in the valley, copper’s on that hill, ashwood is only in that forest…etc.

  9. Ignorant Texan says:

    TRION has stated they aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel, so, yes, RIFT should feel familiar to anyone who has played a MMO. And, the intro video is very, very terribad, cheesy and amateurish. That said, the game works, and the devs have been very responsive to the community, fixing things very quickly(unlike an unnamed MMO that uses the same engine that bugs reported from BETA are still unfixed, more than two years AFTER launch). If all you’ve played is the tutorial and the starter area, the game continues to open up with each and every new zone. And, like a good web-surfing experience, you start doing one thing, and 3 hours later, you done 5 different things instead. The ‘soul trees/roles’ allow one to switch builds on the fly, allowing a player to go from a tank to DPS to Healer, without having to respec. And, leaked ALPHA reports state that the endgame is something really special. All in all, I easily see 7 months of gaming from RIFT, long enough to fill the void until GW2 is released.

  10. Jumwa says:

    I played the Beta briefly. I treated it like I do the countless F2P MMOs I download: a momentary distraction and a chance to mess with character creation.

    It was a fine game, for what it was. I can’t really knock it at all. Though it is a WoW-clone, and I am just sick to death of that genre. I’ve played WoW itself for five years, played LotRO a while before it went F2P (a bit after), Aion for a few months, and that style of gameplay has just lost its appeal to me.

    So while I sit around waiting for that “next gen MMO” to come along (I’m hoping Guild Wars 2 proves to be it) I was tempted to give Rift a spin to fill the void, however I barely made it out of the starter zone before my desire to play waned.

    The graphics were nice, albeit dim and a bit bland, perhaps. The talent system seemed interesting though after years of WoW all I can foresee is a butchering of it over time to condense it down to easily “balanced” systems. The rifts themselves never grabbed me like it did others, however.

    All in all, if you’re still not tired of WoW-clones, it seems a top notch production. If, like me, you are tired of them, there’s not enough here to justify the expense.

    • Hallgrim says:

      I wholeheartedly agree with all of this.

    • Sarkhan Lol says:

      Yeah, it’s perfectly great, if you’re into that sort of thing. And if you’re not, then there’s nothing here worth making an exception for.

    • crooon says:

      I concur. On the surface it’s really a decent MMO, but nothing that grabs you… at all.

      The engine is nice, which doesn’t matter because all the assets, textures and models are uninspired and simply bad. Lotro looks way better and that’s almost 4 years old.

      The combat system is fairly good, close to WoW, but the skills are, again, uninspired, and not engaging whatsoever, I didn’t care about winning or losing at all, and I didn’t feel like it mattered what skill I used (I know that a few of them relied on eachother, but 1) the multipliers were low, and 2) I obviously didn’t bother to calculate it, but it didn’t feel worth the effort as it was too easy regardless).

      The rift events as ‘epic everyone-can-join raids’ was a good idea, but very poorly executed, and they all ended up with 40 people randomly running around wailing on mobs, with complete lack of coordination and teamwork, because it simply wasn’t needed.

      And then there was the immersion. There was none. I didn’t care at all about the world, any of its characters nor quests. It simply made me miss Lotro, which I already had mixed feelings about, and probably wont return to either way because of the problems it had. Lotro had great characters who felt alive, and great quests (for the genre), and absolutely amazing world design, where you felt like taking screenshots for photos. I obviously haven’t played it in a while, but I felt nothing like that in Rift, I just didn’t care. WoW of course did a lot of things well, combat being one of them, but personally I could never get behind the art direction. Rift looks good on paper, but excels in nothing, and I won’t be playing it again.

  11. Astatine says:

    Adding my voice to those who’ve been playing the betas and really enjoying this game.

    It’s WoW-like, but in a positive way, like the developers took a whole lot of good things about WoW and ran with them, and added lots more cool stuff. The tech behind it is very impressive — the massive, zone-wide invasions involving hundreds of players and creatures are epic things to be involved in. It really puts the open world to the centre of things again (where WoW has been spending the last few years making it irrelevant) and I think it’ll build that sense of server community that has been lacking in That Other Game. And the class system is great of course. Don’t have a particular role? It’s just a respec away, for almost anyone. You Can Play With Your Friends rather than going “lf1m priest” for ages!

    I’m expecting lots of excellent fun from this when it goes live.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      Those invasions are what has me most interested in checking this out.

  12. DSR says:

    I’ve played beta of it and so far got mixed fellings…

    +Okay graphics
    -Horrible art direction. Looks incredibly “Korean” if you understand me. I press Print Screen, send it and that person thinks its another F2P Korean MMO.
    -Awfull engine. Bad optimisation(Just read their tech support forums).
    -Broken UI. They’ve tried to copy WoW and “fix” it, but instead it looks like oversized childish mmo UI(Huge icons for me and my target. WHY???) Unefficent combat log and tricky quest log. Ugly map(I cant move and zoom map while running ingame. WHY???)
    Here is one of my screenshots(Ultra settings) – link to img9.imageshack.us

    +Somewhat fun character development and skills. Shield wielding palading jumping around like Barbarian in Diablo? Hell yes!
    -Boring to non existing quests and story with ZERO motivation. Kill X kill y kill z. Oh and bring A then b then c.
    -Horribly unbalanced “classes”. Some talent trees excel at killing stuff and can basically take packs of mobs and kill then while other get the short end of a stick and stuck with mano o mano action(No I’m not comparing healers to tanks here).

    My verdict:
    Will be dead soon after release. Some sick-of-WoW vagabonds will struggle with it out of boredom, but people looking for fun and lasting MMO will be forced to wait once again… GW2? StarWars?

    One word about endgame:
    Do you think its funny how they DONT allow testers to reach level cap(50)?
    Same happened with Age Of Conan. People bought full game, but as soon as they reached max level, they found that endgame is void like its developer’s soul.

    P.S. If you have spare minute, dont hesitate to visit their forums:
    link to forums.riftgame.com
    EVERY topic what is not full of cheerish excitement and joy(But instead contains some kind of critique) is greet with… well… lets just say people really like that game and dont like other people saying anything but good things about it.

    Great reading before bed time!

    • Hallgrim says:

      Regarding the level cap:

      Is that really a fair comparison? Age of Conan had 80 levels at release IIRC, and the NDA was never lifted for any content past level 20. Which, by pure chance I am sure, just happened to mark a huge change in the leveling content. Sounds to me like they are just holding back the “raid” content. Didn’t WoW do exactly the same?

    • Schaulustiger says:

      Alpha testers *do* play the endgame content but they’re NDA-bound. From what they are indirectly telling, Rift has some pretty solid content when you hit the level cap. Some of the merchants in the capital cities already hint at that, too.

    • Acosta says:

      I played 10 hours on ultra settings and it never dropped from 50 fps, even with dozens of players hitting a giant golem in a non instanced setting. And it never crashed, so I didn’t experience the “awful engine” part, it ran better than many non MMO final games.

    • John P says:

      I think it’ll attract enough WoW players, and players from other games, to do fairly well. Who knows if it’ll last for long. I tried Defiant and Guardian characters, and whenever I reached level 12-15 I got very bored and stopped playing. I can see the attraction if people put a lot of effort in, but it’s not for me.

      What I really disliked about it, though, was the combat. It feels like the animations don’t match up with your skills, so I always had to watch the shortcut bars to keep an eye on cooldowns instead of watching my character. It makes combat tedious and unresponsive.

  13. Ignorant Texan says:

    Two more comments –

    1) Mr Rossignol, I believe the Video Card give-away is only valid in North America.

    2) There may still be some uses for the VIP keys posted in this thread: link to rockpapershotgun.com

  14. Kits says:

    Not a bad game, but nothing special. Rift invasions keep you busy though. And yep, theirs a sneaky line in the giveaway’s rules that only yanks are valid for it. A bit silly, really.

    • Kits says:

      …and coming back and re-reading this 15 minutes after posting, I notice bad english in there *shakes head* I blame being rushed to go do a dungeon in DDO at the time of writing.

  15. TariqOne says:

    Solid, solid, solid. Easily a month or more of social RPG gaming to be had here. Dynamic world, deep crafting, and, most importantly, excellent class system with endless awesome permutations a la D&D. Fully customizable UI, no performance issues, polished and responsive feel. Solid.

    Yes, it’s not dissimilar to World of Warcraft, but I really see more Everquest and Warhammer in it than WoW.


  16. TechnoByrd says:

    No, it’s not revolutionary and awe inspiring.

    Yes, it’s a great deal of fun, and a solid game of the genre.

    I disagree with some who would say that the ‘soul’ or ‘class’ system is comparable to WoW’s talent system. While points are gained as one levels and attributed into a tree, that is where the similarity stops. By level ten you’ve selected three trees, each belongs to a class, and it is from these trees that *all* of your abilities, spells, and bonuses come. The trees are broad and allow for rather different characters individually, but what three trees (from a rogue, warrior, cleric, or mage pool) you select and how you balance your points among them really define what kind of character you end up being.

    Despite this very broad (and potentially scary to balance) ability/class customization, there’s very little actual character customization.

    The part of the game that is truly unique and makes it worthwhile though, are the Rift invasions. They are massive, rewarding, and do a great job of pulling together most or all of the players in a ‘zone’ to combat the threat. And there’s negative as well as reward incentive to do so, for if the players fail, entire towns may be lost or unavailable until the planar invaders can be driven back.

    For you PvPers, though, don’t expect any innovation. Apparently the ‘contested/shared’ zones on PvP servers offer no particular motivation to engage in PvP, except for a love of ganking/being ganked.

    • trjp says:

      I don’t think it’s as different from talents as you make you – WOW Talents permit some WILDLY different builds too.

      I’d agree that there’s a balance issue ‘par excellance’ in there as well. One part of me is wanting to choose an odd combo which might off some IMBA capabilities whilst the other part is just saying “they’ll just nerf anything like that anyway” and “even if they don’t, everyone will play that build to death”…

      Says he who built a char in AO which was ‘unusual’ and loads of fun until they changed the game to COMPLETELY RUIN that character – all time wasted, unplayable – thanks guys…

    • Acosta says:

      “WILDLY?” There are exactly three builds for class since they implemented the talent change, maybe more if you consider variations for PVP, but there is nothing wild there, the free points once the main tree is “unlocked” doesn’t make a difference at all. The old system allowed for customization and experiments, until Blizzard decided they can’t be bothered to balance a game that makes mountains of money each month, too much work for poor Ghostclawler.

      In Rift a rogue can be a tank, a support character, an aoe DPS, or a single target DPS character, only going for the single, most obvious paths, and that without adding the PVP focused soul. In WoW, a Rogue can DPS and that’s it, are you bored of DPSing and want to tank? roll another character. I prefer Rift system by far.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      @trjp – WoW does NOT have wildly different builds. Unless you count DPS/Tank/Heal as wildly different. But in each of those trees, there’s pretty much only one good way to spec. You might have a few talent points that can be shifted around, but by and large you spec one way and one way only for that talent tree. Anything else and you’re making a totally gimped and worthless build. I COULD dump talent points all over into all the different trees, but that would be completely worthless.

    • The Great Wayne says:

      Seems like here we’re talking about 80 different soul combos. Not counting point distribution in the various soul talent trees. That’s a lot, and even if it’ll inevitably fall into the cookie cutter syndrome, there’ll statiscally be much more viable template than in any other themepark.

  17. Schaulustiger says:

    I had a surprising amount of fun with the last beta events and finally pre-ordered it. And there are several good reasons.

    Let me first say that this *is* a WoW clone. Starting with the quests (“fetch me ten of that”, “kill five of those”) to the UI, you feel like coming home if you played WoW or one its countless other clones afterwards (Warhammer, Aion, etc.). That said, it does a few things differently and that is where it really shines.

    First, the soul system. During character creation, you choose one of four archetypes (mage, warrior, rogue, cleric). Each one of these archetypes has eight sub-classes, of which you can choose up to three. Evry sub-class comes with a skill tree and accompanying class skills, so you can truly tailor your character to your needs and your play style. Want a ranged marksman that can stealth or a stealthy assassin with an animal companion? No problem.

    Second, the rifts. Now I don’t know how they’ll keep them exciting after a few months, but they already stated that they intend to focus on that. Basically, you have random “rift” invasions in each zone. They’ll spawn monsters until you seal them through multiple combat stages. But every once in a while, a massive invasion starts throughout the whole zone, and you can join an epic, multi-stage public quest to defeat the invaders. If you fail, your quest hubs will be overrun and friendly NPCs will be slaughtered. This is a simple, but truly entertaining mechanic. If you get bored from the generic quests, just do some rifting. Or som ePvP, if you like that, because it’s also a valid method to level.

    Overall, I’m a bit excited for Rift. I thought I’d never come back to such a fairly generic MMO, but Rift is just good, polished fun. And with ‘polished’ I mean: This is the most bug-free, feature/complete MMO beta I have ever played and I did play nearly every single post-WoW MMO beta.

    TLDR: If you liked WoW and want something similar with a few interesting twists, give it a try, you might actually like it. If you despise the WoW concept, stay away from it, you’ll hate it.

    • Schaulustiger says:

      Oh, one last thing: If you try it, at least play until you’re out of the starting area. It is pretty uninteresting, but the game opens up afterwards and rifts only appear outside the tutorial zone. And while you’re at it, try the first dungeon, it’s beautiful, season-themed eye-opener with a great last section.

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      I agree with Schaulustiger. The higher level dungeons have their charms, too.

  18. Flimgoblin says:

    WoW, with WAR’s scenarios and an improvement on the Public Quest mechanic from WAR. Crafting seems a bit more solid but I’ve only made a couple of pairs of boots so far.

    Also it seems like a lot more possible variation in character specs than the usual – which I like. Rather than choosing where in a single tree you put your points you get to choose 3 separate trees from 9 for your class.

    I’m sure there’ll be “killer” combination/specs that people will flock to each month and decry anyone specced elsewise.

    It feels fairly accomplished so far. I’ve played 10 levels – which are going to be the “this is an MMO, this is how it works” levels, and are slightly more interesting due to the number of abilities I’ve got so far…

    But it’s not drawing me in – it feels like I’ve played this game before just a few too many times – I may just be inured to the current generation of MMOs…

  19. geldonyetich says:

    I’ll do my best to stave off the riftdrawls for a week until open beta begins. I’ve played it pretty extensively, me, a repeat MMORPG burnout who really couldn’t get into WoW, and I realize I’m going to end up buying Rift.

    So is a significant amount of MMORPG players into this genre of game, methinks. Why wouldn’t they? Trion did the exact same thing Blizzard did with WoW: they disseminated what all the good features were in the greater bulk of MMORPGs that came before it and captured these features in one, well-polished game. To be clear, Rift didn’t borrow features from EVE Online or Quel Solaar, it borrowed its features from the kind of game Rift is: the graphical fantasy dikumud in the lineage of Merdian 59/EverQuest/WoW.

    But Trion didn’t stop at taking all that’s good from what came before it and putting it one well-polished game. They added dynamic content in the forms of rift invasions, which are a whole lot more than Warhammer Online public quests, and I think add a much-needed sense of context beyond quest grinding. They added a character generation system that retains the appeal of a more structured system while still being exceedingly flexible to customization.

    Basically, the whole game exudes a highly unusual level of MMORPG craftsmanship. Scott Hartsman (formerly of Gemstone, EverQuest 2) really knows his stuff. To see Rift as it is, the whole Trion office must be filled with these kinds of MMORPG luminaries.

    Why did Trion drop the NDA so soon? Because WoW would have to burn down half its walls and alienate its existing playerbase to patch in the things that make Rift awesome. I’m not going to say Blizzard fans will defect en masse to Rift, there’s something to be said for brand appeal, but if Rift is anything less than very big then it will be proof positive that technical prowess means nothing in terms of popularity.

    • malkav11 says:

      What makes the rifts more than just Warhammer PQs? Because they seemed identical at first blush, except there was less variety.

    • Ignorant Texan says:


      1)They aren’t static(they scale to the amount of players in a zone) and have a much larger variety of mobs, bosses, rewards, etc….

      2)Grouping is encouraged. You actually gain bonus xp for running in a group.

  20. My2CENTS says:

    Tried the closed one bloody awful game, don’t recommend to anyone.

  21. AJ says:

    Tried many times in the past .. and all i was confronted with was –
    “The beta sign up is currently unavailable at this time. Please try again later.” ..

    Fingers crossed for the 15th.

    After years playing WoW and its other various clones. I cant see myself going anywhere near this without a beta account :(


  22. Dusk777 says:

    Ooooh win a 460GTX!!!

    If you live in america, way to get my hopes up RPS.