Sanchez, Trion VP of Digital, came out swinging during the
Trion panel at New York Comic Con 2010. “What we’re
creating is the most polished and complete MMO released since
2004… Basically, it’s pick whatever you want from
an MMO and we’re going to give it to you.”

As fans know, Rift:
Planes of Telara

is an 8 sided battle royale between two human factions (Guardian
& Defiant) and six Planar NPC factions (life, death, and fire,
plus the previously undiscussed water, air, and earth planes). The NPC
factions, Ricardo noted, take advantage of the “extensive
highway system” to spread as rifts progress and span out,
creating new footholds in player-held objectives.

style="border: 0px solid ; width: 580px; height: 363px;"
alt="rift: planes of telara screenshot"

While Trion has suggested that planar invasions could be used and
guided as part of player vs. player tactics, Ricardo noted that
Guardians and Defiants could actually team up to defeat invasions
without a loss of reward. Since players must be flagged to directly
participate in PvP, it’s possible to work alongside with
players of an opposing faction if not to directly group with them.

The Rift progression concept has changed slightly since we last spoke
with Trion. Highlighting how Rift battles grow and change as more
players become involved, Ricardo introduced us to the series of timed
“bonus rounds” that players will experience after
successfully sealing a rift. At least two bonus rounds are available
when rifts reach a certain level of interaction, which become
progressively more difficult with shorter timers. If players succeed,
they’ll be rewarded with incredible levels of loot and
experience. If they fail, the Rift will close and players will be
rewarded richly anyway.

In past coverage, we’ve gone into great detail on
Rift’s class and callings system, but Ricardo put a new spin
on the system for PvP players, emphasizing all the permutations that
characters can go through. And while the extensive hybridization
offered by Rift
allows PvE players form an attachment to their character (since one
character can perform a number of different and interchangeable roles),
the system also makes competitive players much more unpredictable.
“It’s really a new level of variability for PvP
players,” Ricardo noted.

style="border: 0px solid ; width: 580px; height: 363px;"
alt="rift: planes of telara screenshot"

The videos released this week show some of what Ricardo called the
“loving detail” poured into the game, right down to
hand-drawn stained glass in href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/videos/meridian">Meridian
and individually crafted snow drifts. You’d think that level
of detail comes at a price in performance, but Ricardo insisted that style="font-style: italic;">Rift’s
minspec is more than reasonable.

Finally, Ricardo fielded a number of questions about what’s
being done to make the Guardian faction more desirable over the
steampunkish Defiants. Players were concerned about potential player
imbalances between the two player factions, and Ricardo noted that
despite efforts made to show off some of the rougher edged Book of
Eli-ness of Guardians (including a purpose-built href="http://www.riftgame.com/en/media/videos.php">Guardian
trailer), it is a bit of a
struggle to increase the inherent coolness of the Guardian faction.
While he gave no details, Ricardo noted that Trion hopes to
differentiate Guardians on gameplay – a distinction that will
be easier to prove as the game moves deeper into beta over the winter
leading up to a planned 2011 release.

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our RIFT Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

About The Author

Jeff joined the Ten Ton Hammer team in 2004 covering EverQuest II, and he's had his hands on just about every PC online and multiplayer game he could since.