RIFT developers talk about new PvP mode: Conquest
Rift is set on Telara, a fantasy world which lies alarmingly close to a variety of other planes of existence In the final days of the Mathosian civil war, the Ward that protected Telara from planar convergence with these other worlds was severely weakened by a disaster known as the Shade. Since that time, rifts between Telara and other planes have been increasingly devastating the land, and old enemies in the form of monsters, held at bay by elemental prisons have begun actively clawing their way out. Telara's greatest enemy, the god Regulos, pounds against the outside of the Ward, seeking reentry into Telara to finish the job he once started. Meanwhile, Telara's own pantheon of gods has suddenly grown silent, and the world is descending into total chaos.
The people of Telara are now convinced that the end of the world is at hand. In these desperate final days, two major factions have arisen to battle the coming apocalypse: the Guardians and the Defiant. Though each faction wants to save the world, their beliefs and methods differ, and they war upon each other as often as they do other enemies of Telara.
Factions and Souls
Rift contains two main factions, the Guardians and the Defiant. Within either of these factions players can choose from four character callings, Warrior, Cleric, Rogue, Mage. Further, within these players gain access to a variety of different character possibilities known as "souls" - each soul granting players access to a unique "Soul Tree," which contains all of the traits and abilities that a soul had mastered during its life. As your character levels up, you earn soul points that can be used to improve that tree's soul level, granting players access to even more powerful traits and abilities. As a player's character grows in power, so does his or her ability to take on, or "attune" souls. A maximum-level player will be able to attune up to three souls of their choosing each with their own attributes. Souls grow in power as they become more specialized, and have well-rounded abilities that make them great for both solo and group play. The result is the ability to create your own class for virtually any situation.
Although it can be played on its own, Rift like all MMORPGs is designed to be played with others online. Players assume the role of an "Ascended Soul" - a Telaran slain during the great Shade War and resurrected to combat the forces of Regulos, the dragon god of extinction. Once a character's calling and initial soul(s) are selected players can take on quests alone or join together in loose confederations or more organized guilds to seek to defeat creatures that are spawned from rifts dynamically. Close the openings, and gain rewards to progress and level up. Rewards are given for all sorts of actions, including attacks, healing and more. Of course different guilds will also seek to undermine each other as well, leading to substantial player vs. player combat opportunities.