There is a lot of promise in the upcoming list of MMOs

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

There is a
lot of promise in the upcoming list of MMOs

By Michael Lafferty

World’s Rift: Planes of Telara offers core MMO gaming and innovative ideas

So little
known, so much promised and even more hoped for – that perhaps sums up the
thoughts surrounding the next generation of MMOs, and certainly pertains to
Trion Worlds’ title Rift: Planes of Telara (formerly known as Heroes of Telara).

Trion Worlds
hosted an event in San Francisco recently and the games featured were certainly
compelling – in concept. But so many MMOs have promised a lot and delivered a
little – which can lead to a bit of skepticism creeping in.

With Rift,
which is in Alpha testing now, it seems the dev team is on the right track, and
the game is certainly visually compelling. No hands-on, but guided tours and a
lot of talk about the game.

So here is
what is known so far:

The game
will feature six races and eight starter classes, but players will have the
flexibility to create the classes they wish because the class system is robust
and diverse. There are two main factions – the Guardians (chosen of the gods and
steadfast defenders) and the Defiants (more of an arcane power group that has
embraced the power of the Rifts but still don’t want them open).

The Rifts,
in case you missed the previous story, are the key to the game and because of a
tear in the protective ward, the Rifts open and let in monsters from different
planes as invasion forces into the world of Telara. It is a dynamic
content-driven game. And there will be a level cap of 50.

The world
promises to be fully streaming and the instances are all handcrafted. The one
instance shown in the demo boasted four distinctive looks. There are group and
private instances and they have been created for players of all levels, so from
the beginning players will feel involved with the game.

people expect from a core MMO is here,” a developer stated, adding that there
were other elements that would come as a pleasant surprise and go beyond the
common ground tread by most games.

What was not
discussed involved mounts, housing, the crafting system and death penalties.

Still the
game seems centered on the social dynamic and players can join forces with
others easily to dispel invading armies that will come through the rifts in
stages (some of the events will have up to 10 stages).

Oh, and the
death animations on the NPCs were really quite clever.

Most of the
time spent watching the living, breathing world was as a third party in a
carefully guided tour of one area. But if the developers live up to what was
promised, then Rift is going to herald in a new age of MMOs and take players on
a socially dynamic adventure.

It was a
brief visit with the title, but Trion Worlds promised that many more details
would be revealed in a couple of months in Los Angeles during E3.