After spending ample time with the developers of End of Nations at the recent Trion Worlds event in San Francisco, I made my way over to one of the kiosks featuring Trion’s own self-developed MMORPG Rift: Planes of Telara. Scott Hartsman had just presented us with the game’s premier trailer and told us a bit about the rift sytem and the look and feel of the game, but it was Simon Finch (Design Director) and Morgan Lockhart (Lore Lead) that took control of one of the game’s Clerics to show me around the world of Telara. What I came away with that evening is that Rift may be a very traditional MMORPG at its core, but the innovations the game is attempting to present should be more than enough to differentiate this fantasy title from the rest of the pack when it hits store shelves in 2011.

First and foremost Simon and Morgan treated us to a brief explanation about the game’s two factions. If you didn’t read our previous article on the game with a new name, it goes something like this: The Guardians are the people of Telara who want to uphold the Vigil (a collection of five gods of Telara) and believe that the gods have not abandoned the world but instead are busy planning for the final battle of good versus evil. In their absence the Guardians seek to uphold all that is sacred and right and true in Telara. Meanwhile the Defiant are sort of the rebels and agnostics of the world. They don’t care whether the Vigil even actually exists. They see the world being torn asunder by the Rifts and instead of praying for a miracle are bent on actually making one happen through force and the use of the powers available to them. It takes cracking a few eggs to make an omelet and all that. Neither side is “Good” or “Bad”, and while the Defiant certainly look darker in tone, both have noble intentions.

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