I was telling myself that I was going to have a different kind of blog post next – one that didn’t talk about Rift. However, since the open beta has ended, I thought I’d post some more screenshots and share my experiences as the open beta draws to a close. I’ve been trying to get all sorts of people to play the game with me – to show them that even though it is very similar to WoW, it has certain things that make it special. Some declined, some tried it, and some even bought it. A good friend of mine, Shane [Stardragon], who I have been playing MMOs with for a good 5 years or so, tried the game out. Though he enjoyed his time playing rift, he thought that it didn’t offer enough new stuff to justify purchasing it and leaving WoW behind.

I appreciate Star for trying the game out, I had a lot of fun playing it with him. We even rocked some “Warfronts” [battlegrounds] However, I think that playing the game for ten levels doesn’t really show you how the game will play out, which is very sad. I think that because of how big World of Warcraft is, MMOs these days should be trying to capture and amaze people from the very beginning. While the game looks great, has very dynamic events such as Rifts and invasions from the different elemental planes [Life, Death, Fire, Water, Earth, ect], and a unique class system that is worth drooling over for people who love making unique specs in talent trees, I can’t say that the first few levels really grabs your attention.

When you start playing, the starting zone [from lvl 1-6] isn’t very exciting in terms of quest mechanics. Kill X this, collect this, destroy that, go here. People see the same UI with different tweaks, they see the class combination system, but only have their low level spells, and they lean back and go, “Wow, this is a WoW Clone, and its not different at all.” I sadly made that judgement when I first started playing. But after getting up there in the levels, and leaving the starting zones, did I see the Rifts and the NPC invasions in action, and tried out some pvp, as well as a few different classes.

the nice thing about Rift, though, is that, even though the quests are a bit weak in terms of quest mechanics and such, you can always do something else. Rifts, defending quest hubs from invasions, and pvp, actually give really great experience, which is very nice.

Thats enough ranting, screenshot time!

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For pre orderings the game, I was given a special gift of a non combat pet of my choosing. I quickly traveled to the capital city of the Defiant, Meridian, to select my pet. I forget the two other choices, but Hellhound sounded cool enough, so I picked him! He casts off some light, so maybe bringing him would not be a good idea for a stealth operation.

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Seems like a safe enough place to go questing… [it wasn’t :(]

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One of the cool things they have is that any “Lorelol” books you find around the world are automatically added to a collection in a tab called books, which you can then left click them and read at anytime. I found several more a few seconds after taking this screenshot. A small feature I wish they had in WoW.

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A “Death” rift from afar.

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My first mount! I was lvl 19 by then. I had to sell a few pieces of my gear to get it… but I really wanted that speed increase 😦 I might be making it a little top heavy by riding it.

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Fighting inside a Water Rift. A lot of people died… but I didn’t! With my healing spell, I was able to keep Mr. Pebbles alive as a sort of mini tank. Yay for his auto taunt ability. I had the wait for the DPSers to kill the adds off him.

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An invasion from the plane of Water.. moments before, they had killed everyone [including me] within this quest hub, and put down a “Water Invasion Foothold” Well, we didn’t like that, so we fought back.

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And won.

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Last but not least, a picture of Shane and I, right before I had to log off. I thoroughly enjoyed playing as a Bard… and Star kicked some ass, too.

Playing Rift these past few days provided me with hours of entertainment, and I’m looking forward to it releasing for people who pre ordered Feb 24th.

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