Update: Scott Hartsman has clarified Rift’s soul/class and Rift systems in a comment below.
I spent nearly an hour during one of my lunch breaks this past week browsing the official Rift: Planes of Telara website and watching videos of gameplay, interviews from conventions, and production video pieces done by Trion Devs.
The game actually looks good.Â I think the only thing I’ve ever written about the game on the blog was a piece about MMO worlds where I simply referenced a screenshot.Â The world itself, from what I’ve seen in videos, screenshots, and explanations looks filled with lush forests — we need more real forests in MMO’s — and many settings which simply have a lot of detail.Â My first impressions of the game were directed straight at how great the world looks in a sort of stylized realism.
I hope that I’m not reading too much into the Planes.Â I’m reminded of EQ’s planes here.Â Are they raids?Â Just another zone?Â I’m also eying the instance system where players can solo them but the more people you bring in the harder it gets + better loot and exp.
Rift’s class system was explained in a recent video.Â First thing I have to point out is Adam Gershowitz is working on the game.Â I feel bad for saying this but I had to chuckle when seeing him in multiple videos and talking about classes.Â I remember the WAR production podcasts…. oh how embarrassing those must be for those guys.Â Well, he’s back and he’s talking about the class system.
Their “soul” terminology in ‘The Ascended Class System’ could really be simplified to the word ‘talents’ and suddenly it doesn’t sound so convoluted.Â Basically it looks like you pick a basic class and then as you spend your points (perhaps how you spend them) you get access to different trees or “branches” that unlock the root abilities.Â I’m still not sure if I have it right, but it sounds like perhaps how you play determines the types of souls you get… ?
Fewer starting classes that branch off into many subclasses reminds me a bit of EQ2.Â I’m crossing my fingers that it works out a bit better for these guys and doesn’t turn into something that they end up simplifying in the future.Â Some multi-classing going on here which looks cool and makes it hopefully work better than EQ2.
There’s a lot to talk about and it really won’t read well if I try to regurgitate all the things I’ve read.Â I’ll simply wrap up by saying that I’m happy to see a game being made by a Western studio, that isn’t going to be microtransactions, and appears to be all about a big beautiful and diverse world and traditional MMO gameplay.Â I’m also interested in some of the talent they’ve brought in to work on the game and hoping that it all comes together.
Rift has moved up on my list of anticipated games.Â I want to see and learn more before I get excited about the title, but I have a good feeling about this one so far.
My main questions that I’d love to have answered by Trion Devs:
1. Is the world open/contiguous or chopped up into lobbies?
2. Are there non-instanced dungeons?
3. Is the combat more traditional (like WoW or EQ) or more action like Age of Conan?
4. Can we expect to level via quests or will dungeon crawling and other methods just as viable?
5. If you had to pick ONE game that Rift: Planes of Telara most closely resembled, which would it be?