While many have been pronouncing Rift
dead for months, an interesting
trend is emerging on most of the post-consolidation shards – style="font-style: italic;">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 style="font-style: italic;">Mist of Pandaria,
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.



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alt="Rift lore"

No one in the history of major MMOGs has cultivated, developed and
released as much quality content as quickly as style="font-style: italic;">Rift has, and all of it to date has been free - some games would call these additions an expansion. With a
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 style="font-style: italic;">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


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alt="Rift PvP"

PvP, like most MMOGs with PvP systems, is constantly
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


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alt="Rift Calling Purposes"

One of the most powerful features in style="font-style: italic;">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 


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alt="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 style="font-style: italic;">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


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alt="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 style="font-style: italic;">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

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

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016