Why you should give RIFT a spin when it goes F2P

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Over at GFN, I talked about the ins and outs of F2P games. After finishing the piece, I was far too eager to dive back into RIFT . I just couldn’t wait until June 12, so one thing lead to another and before I knew it, I was knee-deep in Telara and all its wonders. From day one, RIFT always felt like a pretty polished game to me. Though it follows many of the genre’s tropes, it’s a lot of fun to play. I hadn’t touched it in a while, so I was surprised by all the neat little additions. Trust me, there’s A LOT in RIFT these days, and soon, you can get it all for free. Free! Still not hyped? Alright, let me help you out!

A gigantic world…for free!
RIFT’s first expansion, Storm Legion, added two new continents and a truckload of new dungeons to the game. When the F2P conversion hits, you can discover all of that entirely for free. Telara is huge now, and you will not get bored exploring every corner of the world for a while.

A slew of fascinating features…for free!
Where other F2P conversions hide their cool features behind a wall of microtransactions (looking at you, SWTOR), Trion will offer all of RIFT’s features entirely for free. So, what do you get then? Well, at first look, you get your typical fantasy MMORPG gameplay, with dungeons, PvP and what have you. Of course, there’s also Rifts and invasions, but that isn’t all that special, right? Well, if you look a bit closer, there’s a lot more to gain. Let me sum it up for you:

  • Next to dungeons, there’s all kind of other neat instanced content. There’s ad-hoc raids for all levels in the form of Instant Adventures, which are a list of tasks that scale to the size of the party and go from typical “fetch X” items to “kill that gigantic monster over there while you watch most of your raid suffer from his badassery”. You also get Chronicles, two-player short instances which put you into different heroic situations.
  • Reached the level cap already? There’s more! Through Planar Attunement, you can customize your character even more, turning him into the planar hero you want to play.
  • Need a place to call home, or maybe some location where you can RP with your guildies? Dimensions give you your own piece of Telara, which you can customize with hundreds of items. You can even show your Dimension to strangers, earning their respect and rising in the scoreboards.
  • You can even get married in-game. I don’t know why, but…you can!

This is just a fragment of all you can do in RIFT. If you’re new to the game, it will give you enough to do for a few months.

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The coolest class system…for free!
Let me be clear here: RIFT does nothing to break the holy trinity of MMORPG classes. You still have tanks, healers and DPS, and I bet you have seen that a million times before. What RIFT does have, though, is the Soul system, which lets you essentially build your own class.

Say what? Well, let me explain it to you through an example I used to explain it to an old friend from WoW. Imagine Blizzard would reduce the amount of classes in WoW to four (let’s say Warrior, Mage, Priest and Rogue), but would give every class 9 different talent trees. Players could then pick three of those, and create their own unique mix. Even better, players can have multiple set-ups ready, able to switch between talent tree combinations whenever necessary.

That’s the Soul system in a nutshell. Each of RIFT’s classes (Warrior, Mage, Cleric and Rogue) have access to 9 different Souls, which support different kinds of gameplay. This means that all classes can cover different roles. Really, name one game in which the Rogue can be a support character! In RIFT, you just pick the Bard Soul as one of your three Souls, and off you are helping your friends with your music. You’re able to switch Souls more-or-less on the fly, giving you a large amount of flexibility.

It’s free…for free…wait, that doesn’t make sense
Really, you can already get a taste of the game through RIFT Lite, and in a few weeks, you get all of this for free! Where’s the harm in that?

Of course, I understand that not everything about this conversion is perfect. Many long-time subscribers feel betrayed, and the benefits to keep paying $15 a month are very limited. Time will tell how awesome RIFT remains after the leap, but I’m confident that new and returning players can have a fantastic time in Telara!

If you’re as hyped as I am about this, leave a comment and share your enthusiasm. If you think I’m a raging fanboy, leave your comment as well. I like myself a good discussion!

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