Trion Worlds are going to follow in the footsteps of many MMO's of this generation, moving to a Free To Play model on the 12th of June. We've been told that there won't be any pay to win, and all the content will be accessible.
As this game will soon be accessible to a much broader audience, I decided to try it out and give my opinion, to let all the Game-Debater's know if this game is worth your time and internet to download.
Something that instantly comes to mind if you start up Rift, is that it looks obviously similar to World of Warcraft. Hence we cannot avoid a comparison of the two throughout the review. A big benefit to Rift however, is that it will cost absolutely nothing to play, whereas World of Warcraft will require you to purchase the game with all it's expansions, and on top of that a monthly subscription payment. Whilst on the topic; Rift will have a coin shop where you can get various vanity items as well as some decent gear, though end-game gear will be excluded from the shop.
So when you advance to the character creation menu, you will have the ability to choose between the classical races present in any fantasy MMO or movie. Now what is interesting though is the class-system. There are four available classes, being the Cleric, Rogue, Warrior and Mage. There may be only four classes, but Rift will let you personalize and customize your class endlessly, with a stripped Path of Exile style talent tree. If you want to be a rogue with a bow or a healing mage, you can.
As you enter the world, you will instantly see the ancient WoW-like UI, with a skill bar, health bar and beneath that a energy/mana bar. And let's not forget the quest log. Speaking of which, quests are absolutely the same as in World of Warcraft, in a new world of course with a new story. This new world does look a lot better than Azeroth (of WoW) however, though it doesn't exceed the graphical potential of more recent MMO's. The story evolves around a Dragon, a dragon of extinction, who has gained entry to the world of Telara by means of rifts. Rifts are more or less portals, which transport all kind of bad creatures.
These Rifts are more or less comparable with Guild Wars 2's dynamic events, as they randomly appear and groups of players are attracted. However, these rifts have no further impact on the world, so perhaps the word 'dynamic' could be shaded out. Once the rifts appear, players can easily join a public group with the push of a button.
This button was requested by the community, and Trion Worlds stepped up and made the request a reality. Trion Worlds is known for having a huge ear for the community, and really putting their requests and criticism in to practice. This results in to a game made for, and also slightly made by the community.And this community is, like in many MMO's, present within guilds and split by factions. Guilds play quite a big role, as you obviously need them for dungeons (teams of 5) and raids(10-20 players). Both are also similar to WoW's dungeons and raids. An interesting feature are the 'Guild Halls', the massively customizable home of a guild. Trion Worlds is actively giving away prizes to the best or best-looking guilds, to stimulate the guild-process.
I also touched on the end-game quickly. The end-game is, as I stated, very similar to WoW. Not only that, but acquiring gear and stats on gear are very comparable to the currently dominant MMO. Even the play-style is the same, with an auto attack and various other abilities on your hotbar. The combat is not dynamic as seen in various other recent MMO's, but rather like the style of WoW, including designated roles. Mounts are also available, in various sizes and shapes. They are acquired through drops or reputation, and fulfil no other purpose than giving a speed-boost and increasing your ego.
Finally, Rift also has a broad community, that will most likely only expand due to the free-to-play model. This community is also delivering various helpful add-ons, including the (in)famous 'dps add-ons'. Trion Worlds is once again supporting the add-ons, and making sure they won't break them with updates.
It is always hard to give a brief indication of what an MMO offers, as it always offers more. Though the bottom line is, that Rift took over the core of World of Warcraft, and painted it into their own favourite colours.
However, the big difference between Rift and World of Warcraft is that Rift will save you a lot of pennies. On top of that, Trion Worlds is doing everything they can and beyond what they can do to satisfy the community, by using their feedback.