Rifts of Rift

April 11, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Posted in mmorpg, Rift | 6 Comments
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All this time playing Rift and I haven’t really shared my experiences or thoughts on rifts specifically. I like rifts, they’re pretty fun. One of the major things that causes Rift to be fun are rifts. I am going to be saying rift so much that it will hurt your eyeballs. If this actually happens please see a doctor.

A brief overview of rifts. Rifts come in 6 variations from the planes. They spawn overhead and after a moment, enemies begin to appear below it. When defeated, wave after wave of enemies appears, interspersed with lieutenants, elite mobs, and finally some kind of boss. At first it is very basic, with very little you need to know beyond Kill, Crush, Destroy. Eventually other mechanics begin to appear with bosses that have mechanics, rifts with alternate goals, and other variations. Added to this are invasions, which fill the zone with rifts from one particular plane. If left unchecked, a rift will send groups of a half dozen enemies out to roam the countryside or establish foothold stones.

A fire invasion in Silverwood threatens to destroy elven society!

I think one of the best things about rifts are their random appearance. They divide up play sessions. If you’re slogging through a particularly boring quest and a rift pops up nearby, it is a welcome diversion. If you’re on a road headed somewhere and run head first into an invasion party, either engaging them or running away can add a moment of excitement. Finding an outpost under attack or a foothold already set up adds to the diverse ways rifts interact with the player. There are a lot of scenarios to keep you busy.

They’re not some push over either. You can’t just wander into any rift. You have to make sure you’re of appropriate level, or you’ll just get steam rolled. Even rifts that are near your level can be too much if you don’t have anyone helping to close the rift.

In fact I’d go as far as to say that the level of challenge varies wildly. In a large group, no rift is unsealable. By yourself you will likely be squashed. That can be a bit deterring while roaming around. Much of the time I come across a rift, I’ll be the only one there and end up skipping it. If this happens enough you’ll likely end up skipping any rift in the distance you might see. Riding all the way out to a rift that is too dangerous to take on alone while there is no one else around becomes a waste of time.

Still if there are a couple of other people, a good rift will be a challenge with good rewards.

They can also be a nuisance however. If I’ve spent all day rifting and end up wanting to finish some other task, navigating around a rift can be bothersome. Quite often they can form directly above you as you try to work on a quest. Lengthening out the time it takes to finish off an already tedious task sometimes gets to me.

In the case of invasions it is sometimes worse. Dozens of invasion parties roaming the countryside as you try travel to one place from another without aggro can make things difficult. Not to mention trying to hand in a quest while an outpost is occupied or under attack. It kind of necessitates your joining in. Sometimes this is painful, but I admit the majority of the time it isn’t.

Invasions are usually quite fun. It makes the whole zone a battlefield that you and dozens of other players can take advantage of. Rushing around in huge zerg parties, crushing foes, and taking on huge bosses is one of the best parts of the game. The scale of some creatures, huge giant trees for instance, gives a sense of epic adventure.

Kind of a small zerg, but the only screenshot I have

Even if you’re not in the mood to participate in the invasion, there are ways to enjoy it. The zone becomes an obstacle course of avoiding enemy rifts and groups. Rift as a game is set up so that not everything is a 100% predictable script, and this leads to ways to have your own fun. Not a sandbox game at all, but at least interesting.

I have a few other minor notes, likes and dislikes.

I’ve noted before that while the sound is well done, I hate having to hear rifts everywhere I go. The sight of them on the other hand is always welcome. The animation is superbly done as it would have to be. A minor quibble might be that they should be a little more random looking, as each rift of the same type seems to be an exact clone.

The rewards are fair and I like the system. Every rift hands out planarite, but each zone hands out some kind of rare planar currency. This zone specific currency can only be traded for goods in that zone.

I wish the rifts could be more random. Spend enough time in a zone and you will know where the rifts spawn. Sure there is a great number of places they might do so, but still, I think a random mechanic would have pleased me more. The random timing is well enough of course.

For the most part, that is my general impression of rifts. A boon to the gaming world, and while kind of repetitive and at times a bit of hindrance to fun, they certainly make playing Rift worth while.


  1. Perhaps they need to add some difficulty scaling system, so that rifts adjust to the amount and/or level of players in the area? Similar to what GW2 will be doing perhaps?

    As the majority of the player base reaches higher levels, will lower level areas become a total pain to play as apparently happened to PQs in WAR?

    • scaling would be nice, i did forget to mention that some rifts have these little buff objects that spawn. you use them and receive a temporary buff, but i don’t think they’re all that great.

      have to wait and see on the other point, although high level players come down to low level rifts for achievements a lot.

    • I was under the impression that rifts do scale based on the number and level of players in a zone…. and that this sometimes results in reinforcements having to be called in due to higher level roars wiping lower level hubs, since not everyone is actively participating.

      Eyes are on GW2 to see how they handle scaling up and down based on participation, not presence.

      • they do but if its by zone, its too random to help really. zones are too big a place to scale by to help out the individual in the context i present.

  2. have you tried the pvp yet?
    its growing on me.. i think i just need more guildies to join me (but they’re all too high lvl :P)

    • nah i’m not a pvp person, but i hear its a nice experience for those interested.

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