Rift Resurgence - 5 Reasons WoW Players Should Try Rift

With Mists of Pandaria months away and no other content planned for Cataclysm, there is no better time for WoW players to try out Rift.
While many have been pronouncing Rift dead for months, an interesting trend is emerging on most of the post-consolidation shards – Rift is thriving. The most obvious reason is of course the migration of players onto new shards from those that were shuttered into Trial shards, but even that doesn’t explain the resurgence completely. Many players who viewed Rift as a placeholder of sorts, while waiting for SWTOR to launch, have come back to Telara as they find their expectations didn’t match the reality of the new title.

But like ice cream on top of pie, a game with returning players can always use new players to be even better. And what better time than now for WoW players to check out Rift as Blizzard has announced  that there will be no more content updates before Mist of Pandaria, and that is months away. With so many quality of life and accessibility changes being made to Rift recently, there is no time like the present to come check out the dynamic world of Telara.


Rift lore

No one in the history of major MMOGs has cultivated, developed and released as much quality content as quickly as Rift has, and all of it to date has been free - some games would call these additions an expansion. With a quick leveling process, most players will be able to experience the lion’s share of Rift’s content fairly quickly. Planar Invasions, rifts and zone events are exciting open world content that WoW players should enjoy as there is nothing comparable on Azeroth. Dungeon runs start at an early level and with a cross-shard LFG tool, WoW players will have no trouble assimilating to Rift dungeons. In fact, it isn’t just dungeons that the LFG tool works for in Rift, it can also get you into the thick of the action of zone events as well. At later levels the amount of content grows exponentially as Instant Adventures, Chronicles, Expert and Master Mode Dungeons, Slivers, Raids and Ember Isle become available.

PvP Improvements

Rift PvP

Rift PvP, like most MMOGs with PvP systems, is constantly evolving. Update 1.7 upped the ante with several improvements; PvP ranks were increased from 8 to 40, many restrictions were lifted from gear, PvP souls were removed and a new stat was added to gear to help improve the combat experience. Hardcore PvP players are enjoying the population increase and the added opportunities it presents for open-world PvP on PvP shards (although room exists for greater upgrades to non-warzone PvP). WoW players will enjoy a certain amount of familiarity in PvP warzones with many sharing similar goals and mechanics to those they are used to, along with a couple of new twists.

Calling Purposes

Rift Calling Purposes

One of the most powerful features in Rift, the soul system, was also one of its most frustrating at times for new players. Presenting players with an almost overwhelming number of choices and builds, many players simply stuck with one role and never ventured out of their comfort zone. The new Calling Purposes introduced in Update 1.7 will help WoW players easily navigate the many available souls by giving them 4 premade templates that will allow them to play the style of character they enjoy. As players become more invested in the game and more comfortable with how the souls work, they will be able to venture out to experiment and create their own powerful builds.

New Player Experience 

Rift lore

In conjunction with Calling Purposes, the new player experience was upgraded as well in Update 1.7. Now new players will be able to preview how their characters will look through early, mid and end game gear progressions as well as being given a more clear definition of their callings roles right off the bat.  Players will be able to initially pick a template before they set foot into Telara, and they can stick with that template as they level or build their toon on their own as they progress. WoW players may appreciate this low-risk bit of hand holding as they learn the ins and outs of Rift. Another quality of life improvement that was made was in regards to mob agro radius and mob density. Prior to recent updates there was little room for error when moving through the world, and even higher level players weren’t immune from drawing the ire of even the most trivial foes. While some purists may claim this cheapens their accomplishments, it’s a moot point because these changes weren’t designed with them in mind, but geared towards new players. WoW players will now notice little difference in mob density and agro radius from those in Azeroth.

Rift Lite

Rift Lite

Perhaps the single most important reason that WoW players should give Rift a try is the new Rift Lite feature that allows unlimited gameplay until level 20. Taking a book from Blizzard’s page here with an unlimited trial, Rift gives WoW players a completely risk-free method of determining if this is a game they would enjoy. While many of the best parts of Rift don’t kick in until end-game, the first 20 levels are a good indicator if the overall feel of the game is one they would enjoy.  Another stellar component at play here is that of free shard transfers. If WoW players do catch Rift fever, they can quickly move their character to any available shard for free.

There has never been a better time to try Rift, and if you are a former player who is thinking about coming back, you should check out this awesome post from Seebs on the Rift forums

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