Catching up on some Rift info

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Since I’ve been away from the gaming scene for a while I’m probably late to the party.  I’ve been browsing through the K&G community forums’ thread about Rift: Planes of Telara and I wanted to share a video that showcases the talent tree (or Soul class system) as well as a glimpse at an instance and some of the world.

What made me want to share the video with you guys is mostly the class system.  I really like how players get to customize their ideal class by pulling in a little bit from here and there.  I’m not sure to what extent it will work out in the end and just how customizable it will be before the cookie cutter sets in, but it at least looks nice and not entirely like anything done before.

Anyway, check it out.  The game clearly isn’t redefining the wheel.  The biggest criticism about the game thus far that I have seen is that it’s not much different from the regular MMO’s of the pre-wow era (EQ2 appearing to have a lot of similarities) — I’m also seeing some odd WAR similarities too.  That doesn’t bug me much.  You guys know that about me though; I’m okay with the more traditional style of games.  I enjoy traditional MMO combat, worlds that have a ‘virtual world’ feel to them, and other traditional mechanics like grouping.

Thoughts on Rift so far?  Anyone have any further insights into the game that I may not have yet?

  • The game definitely seems to be favoring iteration over innovation. I’m like you when it comes to that, though. I don’t need the game to innovate my brains out if the game play is fun and refined. The little bits of innovation their working in (like the soul system) just add icing to the cake.

    Interestingly enough, I thought parts were very similar to WAR too. The rift system very much seems like Public Quests 2.0. Honestly, though, that’s awesome. PQs were fun, different, and a great way to bring people together. If they can rework it enough to make the system viable, it could turn out to be a great success.

    I drew that comparison on my blog a while back and, surprisingly, Scott Hartsman popped in to assure that it’s not simply “PQs 2.0” and to look forward to an announcement. Since I’ve been looking into this game, I’ve started to get a little excited for its potential. I hope people don’t pass it up just because it’s not padding its feature list with a bunch of shinies that really amount to very little in the end. We’ve had enough of that, I think.

    It seems to me that the biggest fault most people are finding with the game is that they’re being honest in setting people’s expectations. No one’s saying Rift is going to redefine the MMO. Personally, I think it’s a little refreshing to see a company *not* over hype themselves.

  • Looks like another WOW clone with focus on a non-immersive world with many instances and mini games. The make-your-own-class system will be unbalanceable or create cookie cutter speccs.

    Graphics are nice.

  • Rifts seems to be getting plenty of space on the MMO news sites, but in the blogosphere it’s almost invisible. No-one seems to be talking about it much, which isn’t that surprising given that

    a) it’s not even in beta yet
    b) there are a lot of really big MMOs on the horizon.
    c) the conversion of established titles to new payment models

  • Grr! Apparently pressing the tab key submits the comment. As I was saying…

    Despite all that, Rifts is second in my list of upcoming MMOs, behind only Guild Wars 2. Also there is a bit of a buzz about Rifts within the EQ2 community, based not only on Scott Hartsman’s involvement but on the several other ex-EQ2 devs now working on Rifts and the very obvious synergies between the lore of both games.

    I just wish all these games would get on with making the games, get them into beta and launch them. I don’t really have any patience with the 2-3 year publicity build-up and with the number of potentially great MMOs currently in development the teasers and trailers can become more frustrating than inviting.

  • the create a class will be way too unbalanced for any type of PVP, one build will be far superior to another, unbeatable to some.

    But this game does look pretty awesome for a social/guild/raiding focus.

  • It’s a WoW clone pure and simple. Watch the video and look at the different classes/talent trees.

    WoW = 10 classes, 30 separate trees.
    Rift = 32 classes, 32 separate trees.

    Although there are more NAMED classes, it works virtually the same. There is definitely a difference though so they are not completely copying but in essence very similar.

    For something different look at DAoC, EQ or AC or UO. The first 4 MMORPG’s all had different class/skill systems. Yes I know that there are only so many ways one can do something but again Rift is templating from WoW and every WoW clone that has followed.

    But wait, there’s more. Rift is going to have 5 man instance and 20 man instance raids. I think most old school MMORPG players despise instances, I know I do. It’s also going to have mailboxes and the dreaded AH. Not to mention green, blue and purple items that are BoE and BoP.

    WHY WHY WHY do developers have to freakin do this? Seriously are they all completely clueless how to develop an MMORPG or do they just want to keep trying to suck on the WoW teet?

  • The game looks nice on paper, but we’ve seen nice on paper many times in the last few years. It seems like the old school MMO blogopshere is convinced that Rifts and/or EQ Next will be the new EQ1. I’ll consider being impressed when the NDA is down.

  • @Damage

    Instanced dungeons are far better than people camping in an open dungeon and killing only the boss mobs. The key is having fun dungeons that are interesting, which is what Rift is trying to do from what I’ve been seeing.

    Also, the Rift events are open world, so there’s plenty of opportunity for group combat there.

  • While I understand that people are labeling this a “WoW Clone,” I think that’s a little short sighted. It’s totally possible for the game to share similarities and still be very good.

    As far as the talent specs making PvP unbalanced, you’re probably right. Except, this isn’t a PvP game. After all the hype we’ve seen for failed PvP titles in the past two years, I’m glad to see someone coming out with a game that’s just about polished PvE. That’s what it’s trying to shine at, so criticizing as “unbalanceable” is a bit silly. Yeah, you’re right, but it doesn’t matter in Rift.

    If Rift can come out and provide a reliable, fun, experience, I couldn’t care less that they seem cookie cutter. All they need to do is deliver on what they’re promising and they’ll be ahead of most other AAA releases in the last two years. That’s the starting point they should be shooting for. If they can meet that by launch, it will be a good basis for expanding and further individualizing their game.

    I can see where people would write this off as more of the same. I’m hoping that it can be more than that.

  • Chris: If they can devliver on what they promise – that is if they can beat WoW at being WoW, they will be successful.

    About the balancing: That’s also important in PvE. It will most probably be solved via cookie cutter speccs.

  • @nybliing – That is just your opinion. I prefer open dungeons.

    Here’s what I don’t want to be in the next MMORPG I play.

    Instances both PvE and PvP.
    BoP and BoE items.
    Green, Blue, Purple and whatever color floats your boat items.
    Mailboxes and an Auction House.
    Quests or should I say tasks using some form of symbol over an npc’s head.
    Class homoginization

    Everyone thinks that WoW is the holy grail of MMORPG’s, that you have to raid for gear that you have to have instanced dungeons for people to be happy and that you have to have nice shiny purples.

    What’s funny is that of the first 3 big MMORPG’s only EQ had any kind of raiding and that was never the major emphasis of the game back in 1999. Now it’s all about getting to max level ASAP because that’s when your game starts. Hell in AC max level of 126 wasn’t even reached the first year of the game. I played there for almost two years and my main only got to level 79.

    I’m tired of today’s MMO’s where I play a game and I would much prefer yesterday’s MMORPG’s where I played in a world.

  • @Nils, nobody is going to beat WoW at being WoW. I don’t think even Blizzard with their next MMO will be able to top WoW.

    Everone that has tried has failed miserably as we all know. Dev’s need to understand, there isn’t going to be another WoW. Try shooting for 250k subs and then move up from there instead of getting trying to bet 1m+ ASAP.

  • @Chris, i think it´s not only short sighted but more like completely silly. And not only because it would imply that WoW would have invented these various systems what ever people are refering to when they say “wow clone”.

    But the argument about classes has to be most funny i have seen so far. It has classes and trees, it has to be a WoW clone. God damn. And how do they dare to have dungeons! Something the majority of mmo´s have…*sigh*

    Oh well anyway, there is no telling now about balance and pvp/pve and how it will affect these different gameplay styles. The game isn´t even in beta yet.

    The Rift system looks nice, similar to PQ´s as it seems now but also effecting the world. Sounds interesting at last. Could be a fun game.

    But i agree, it probably will me “more of the same” but that´s the general direction mmo´s go, unfortunaly. That´s why i´m more interested in Guild Wars 2, but i will sure give Rift a chance before dooming it as another “wow clone”.

  • @cirdanx – I’m not saying just because it has classes and trees it’s a WoW clone. WoW took the whole class/tree concept from DAoC where each class had three diferent spec lines they could put points into.

    The difference between DAoC and WoW though was in DAoC you had 30 different classes each with 3 spec lines. Yes some classes were very similar from one realm to the next but Mythic tried to make sure that each was somewhat different than the other.

    WoW comes along and makes it simple for people by giving them initially only 8 classes to choose from. Yes I know there were 9 initial classes but Horde couldn’t be Paladins and Alliance couldn’t be Shaman. Then they gave each class three trees to spec in.

    Now we have Rifts and Rifts is giving us 30 different classes. Ah but here’s the thing, each character can have something like 3 souls attached to it which means characters can have three trees to spec in. So similar to WoW but more diversity.

    Still there have been other MMO’s out there and no one seems to be using their idea of class skills etc. Good games like Ultima Online, Asheron’s Call or Shadowbane, even Everquest. All of these games actually had very good class/skill advancement other than the tree/spec system yet no one uses them. They just go back to the character has three trees to spec in.

    This is only one of the reasons why I think Rifts appears to be the next WoW clone. If you disagree with me, which apparently you do, give evidence that I am wrong.

  • Instanced dungeons aren’t ideal, but I’ve yet to see anyone present a workable alternative that lets you experience that “dungeon crawl” style game-play in an MMO world. It’s been 4 years or so since Brad and co promised us their “advanced encounter system” that would supposedly do it, but they never even got that into testing. And since thenr no-one else appears to have really tried.

    Fairly sure instanced dungeons are going to be with us for a while yet.

  • I am tired of hearing about the “glory” days of open world dungeons. I played AC and Daoc when they launched and sure it was great because it was all new and unknown. However people forget all the bad that happened with those types of setups. There were a lot of assholes who camped certain spots, stole kills, blocked entrances, trained tons of mobs to an entrance etc. Guilds that “claimed” areas and gave you a ton of verbal abuse if you came near.

    I dont mind instanced dungeons. I think a variety of both is fine. I dont like instanced worlds like GW or AOC instancing towns/zones etc. Personally the way WoW made their world is the way to go, its not perfect but nothing ever is.

  • I hate the way WoW’s world is at the moment.

    Trapped in Dalaran, warping from one instance to the next in a mind numbing attempt to collect tokens and marks so that you can warp into the next set of instances.

    The world has so many awesome, well designed zones with sites to see and places to explore but it’s all meaningless now. Players don’t are to ever leave Dalaran and their awesome world sits dusty and unused.

    The answer isn’t more instances.

    I’m sort of with Damage on this. I don’t think people should be afraid to innovate.

    Rift and their Public Quest system (errr…i mean Encounter System) certainly look pretty. We all know how that story ends though.

  • They actually have 2 sided realm pvp system and they add Knockback AND Charge to 1 class.. /doublefacepalm

    This looks like a true WoW clone, instanced dungeons, instanced raids etc. Yet another 2-3month then fail MMO

  • I really can’t think of anything that’s been revealed so far that indicates this is a 2-3 month fail MMO.

    1. It’s not F2P
    2. It’s not a game based on some known IP.
    3. It’s not an Eastern game being Westernized.
    4. It’s not being published by a company with a bad -or- good rep (really no rep at all).

    I haven’t heard enough yet to call it a WoW clone. Instances do not make it a WoW clone.

  • I don’t think that we’ve had another highly polished PVE-centric fantasy MMO come out since WoW. EQ2 became that, but it took a long time and missed its window. Vanguard and WAR were both extremely unpolished. It should be interesting for that reason alone. I am assuming here that the tales of how polished the game already is are true.

    I am not saying that it’s going to be a ‘WoW-killer’. I think WoW will die a slow death, like we are seeing eq1 go through. I am curious, though, to see how many people like me there are. People who like WoW, but are ready for a new world rather than going back to eq2 (or whatever) for the fifth time. I have been on this WoW, eq2, CO, new mmo wheel for a while and would like to have a new world to take me away from that…at least for a while.

  • I’m with the instance crowd. If it was one thing WoW did right, it was the instanced dungeons.

    The only good memory i have of a no- instanced dungeon was Darkness Falls, but i think it’s almost safe to say it was a zone rather than a dungeon, per se.

  • @Keen

    Just a feeling I got from this particular video. The class system is basically WoW talent tree renamed. Nothing wrong with it but thats what it is.

    He advertised both instances for 5 man (re-playable at 50) and 20 man instanced raids.

    On pvp side, just seeing the skills that his character had.. it is clear they are not designing it with with any pvp in mind. So it is really a question is these “rifts” or 20 man raids will be the real game and honestly I think we all know the answer.

  • @smthin: The part about the “talent trees” (which is what they are, you’re right) is that you can multiclass. There seems to be a bit more customization and “i’ll do it my way” than WoW. That said, there’s still a chance it’ll be cookiecutter.

  • I think people get hung up on phrases like cookie-cutter, clone, etc.

    If it’s a fun game in the end, who cares if it’s derivative. It’s all the same formula, more or less, that was used for DikuMuds.

  • oh btw

    Project1999 – Everquest Emulator Server.

    About the server:

    Welcome to Project1999. An EQ Emulator striving to recreate Everquest as it was in 1999. To obtain a client visit Amazon or Ebay to purchase a Titanium Client. We are LIVE! If you encounter a bug post it on the forums or /petition in game. This is a legit server, no special GM commands are available to anyone. Classic XP rates with XP class/race XP Penalties are enforced as is a naming policy to encourage the fantasy feel. We only allow a single client per player at this time, but may change in the future. To play you will need to visit the files section and obtain a current set of spell files.

    Server population is in the 800-900s on any given night.

    Brief description of highlights:

    -Progressive through Velious –

    – 100% Static Zones – You won’t be able to repop an empty zone by zoning.

    -Upon release, each RL player is allowed to play 1 client until it is deemed in need of change by the community.

    -Classic Timeline – Prenerfs, nerfs, most zone unlocks will be based on an approximated time being expansion unlocking versus original patch notes. (example: box of abu-kar will drop from *any* lvl 35+ npcs until marfen binkdurple is added to sell bag of the tinkerers, then it will be removed)

    -Classic Loot – DB completely redone to ensure proper drop rates from common, uncommon, and rare NPCs. Items you forgot about or never knew existed. You shouldn’t find empty loot tables.

    -Classic Quests – From the useless to the useful, I think all prekunark quests have been researched, fabricated and implemented. Enjoy

    -Classic Spells – Spell levels and effects based on original data. Kunark and Velious spells will appear on the correct vendors when the time comes. Classic particle effects, with optional casting graphics.

    -Classic Faction – Base factions recreated and populated throughout mobs; creatures and NPCs alike.

    -Classic NPCs – Rarity of spawns ensured. Mob HP and level populated from classic spawnlogs. Missing mobs created, huge amounts of pathing work. Scripted NPCs available from scripts only. Dragons, Gods, and unique encounters are scripted events.

    -Classic zones recreated – Cazic Thule, Runnyeye, Kerra Ridge with original spawns, quests, and loot.

    -Original Plane of Hate/Fear/Sky.. mobs, pathing, loots, difficulty.

    -Classic spawn times of mobs.

    -Classic class/race combinations only – Halfling rangers, paladins. Gnome Shadowknights and paladins.. are off the menu.

    -Classic spell gems and Velious UI are available –

    -Classic merchants populated with traditional wares.

    -Aesthetics – Faces, textures, clothing, weapon graphics, flavor text, proximity emotes.. fixed

    -Classic Tradeskills –

    – Norrath purged of frg/bst/ber/vahshir clutter.

    – Kunark and Velious npcs removed from classic, until they are needed.

    – Dungeon node pathing – Mobs should no longer have phasing ability, and have lost the ability to travel through walls.

    – We will be doing GM Events! Minor ones and larger ones.. but definitely the Best of the Best

    – Kunark and Velious, when open, will also be classic material. Look forward to original VP 1.0, Sleeper’s 1.0, and Plane of Mischief 1.0

    A few random features of interest :

    – Food/water = mana/endurance effects-
    – Eye of Zomm works –
    – Blind works –
    – Classic Feign Death mechanics –
    – Mob run speed corrected – getting away will not be so easy
    – Skills – class skills nerfed back into line.
    – Pets – poof when you invis/hide/die/or zone.
    – Pets – window works, (backoff, etc)
    – Classic Alchemy pricing and recipes
    – Classic Forage table created –
    – Classic spawn points/bind points
    – Invisibility spells have random duration timers.
    – + hit by non-melee.
    – PC pets operate from owner’s faction
    – Halflings can sneak
    – Magical NPCs are immune to non magical weapons
    – Endurance bar = Stamina bar, bring your invigor. (WIP)
    – Boats

    For any questions, comments, suggestions, and a full list of Rules, please visit the forums located at

  • @St. Pierre – Most of the Keen and Graev community knows about P99. A number of them actually played it for a weekend. Myself, it’s the MMORPG I’m actually playing. I have a level 46 Necro – Blackyce and a 29 Druid – Ursus.

    @Romble – As I just stated, I’m playing P99 and you know what. I’ll take those dungeons with possible griefers any day of the week over instanced dungeons and the connect the dot task hubs of WoW.

  • Rift is going to be AWESOME. Dynamic Content and the first almost classless AAA MMO since Asherons Call.

  • I’m having serious doubts about their classless, create your own class thing.

    I believe you will choose a specialization of some sort and then be able to further focus into certain other talent trees.

    Example: I want to make a melee combat character. I’ll choose that during creation or in the newbie levels of the game. Then i’ll have several different talent trees, or classes as they call it, to choose from and mix/match.

    Total free form picking and taking any class, skill and talent combo you want isn’t going to happen. You’ve got to look through their doublespeak.

    If not, people will be making totally broken combinations. A healing class, a DPS class and a tank class.

  • @Damage

    that surprises me actually, with all the pining for the days of yore, why don’t you just go play p99 instead of bagging on “wow clones”? o wait it’s the internet.

  • @St.Pierre

    You must of not read his response.

    He IS playing P99. He’s been playing it for months. That’s exactly why he wants those days back.

    Reread it.

    “Myself, it’s the MMORPG I’m actually playing. I have a level 46 Necro – Blackyce and a 29 Druid – Ursus.”

  • zzzzzzz………zzzzzzzz…………mumble, mumble…../em rolls over…..goes back to bed……zzzzzzz…..

  • @Bartlebe

    basically you have 4 classes.
    Warrior (plate, tank or dps with a 2H)
    Mage (cloth magic spell user)
    Cleric (healer *unsure on their armor*)
    Rogue (light armor, DPS)

    In aeach of those classes you can cherry pick what skills you want basically, it is balanced around that you can only have so many points to spend total which prohibits you from picking up all the best skills from each class inside that calling.

    It gives you the freedom to design how you want to play the class.

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