I sat down, relaxed, curious, calm. The time was six in the evening, I was prepared for a light gaming session, after a little bit of time I’d go back to dying continuously in Eve. I went through the pretty and interesting introduction video and found myself a little more interested. I came to the character creation screen. I was given choices, I chose the Defiants, the Guardians came off as just a little too hoity toity for me. When given my class choices I was a little surprised by the lack of choices but my mage was there so I wasn’t terribly miffed. After a few sliders of customization I was ready to go. Maythorn was born into Necropolis and I found myself drawn inexorably into the world of Rift.
I awoke from my death, risen through a mixture of magic and technology, defying the power of the gods simply by my existence. My past was of no importance, I found myself at the end of a war. A war we had lost. Around me were the screams of the dying and the killing, screams of pain and battle. My nose filled with the scent of burning and fear, permeating the air like the perfume of the apocalypse. An industrious looking man looked at me with pride and resignation, quickly explaining that he had brought me back from the beyond, informing of the death of Telara. He sent me swiftly to Asha Catari, explaining that she had a quest for me. A quest to go back through the sands of time itself and steal victory from the grasp of Regulos the Destructor, who had deceived the Mathosian king into releasing him from his banishment and tearing the first Rift that began the destruction of our realm. As I arrived at Asha, the Devouring Snake himself appeared, battling to keep me from making my way through the portal. Despite having been a powerful mage in life, I was all but powerless to stop him. Asha Catari battled him to give me an opening, sending me through to abandon this failed time line and hopefully forge a new, more victorious branch. As I felt the pull I heard the crackle of sinister magic and the faint sound of metal upon cobblestones. Then without warning I found myself in a stone crypt. Once again, an industrious man was looking upon me with pride, this time, the resignation wasn’t there. I was in the vault of the ascended.
I stopped long enough for directions, for though this was not the world blasted by dread magic and torn apart by war, it was far from peaceful. Looking into the distance I saw a spire of blue light coming from the sky, it looked as if reality itself tore at the edges. I made my way to it only to find that the land changed around it and fell creatures made their way from this Rift. I looked upon the horrors escaping into my realm and saw the wrongness about them. I readied my spells, preparing to erase these blights from existence. My fellows joined all around me, drawn by the light in the sky and we laid waste to anything that moved. Eventually, a great horror drew itself out of the rift. Terrible was his visage, great was his power, but greater by several magnitudes was ours. I found that I had to throw only the fastest cast of my spells in order to even have them land before the great beast fell before us.
I looked up from my laptop at this point, it was dark around me, night had fallen without my even realizing it. I got up, turning the lights on in my house as I came back down to earth. So distracting, so engaging was Rift in all its complexity that I genuinely lost track of time. The whole game played smoothly and was really nonstop action. There were certainly points where I was grinding for quests or doing your generic ‘Gather me 5 rat tails’ style quests. But they are entirely option, and honestly, I’d find myself in the middle of a quest and then run straight into a Rift or an outpost of one of the factions and either destroy it or spend the next twenty minutes trying a few combinations of tactics to destroy it. For the most part, if I was in the correct area for my level I could usually solo exceptionally well, the only times I die is when I grab a huge mob without my buffs active and I’ve never once ran out of mana. The feeling of being this bad ass hero of old is very prevalent in this game. The nonstop action and destruction is only enhanced when you start getting into the dungeons, there’s some fairly unique mechanics even early into the game. As I got back down to play it just got more and more involved.
I made my way to the capital city of Meridian, my skills much enhanced by the experiences of my travels, my purse deeply filled from the spoils of battle. I’d had many close calls but each had simply further whet my appetite for victory. I had progressed further into the filth of Regulos, seeing first hand the depth of corruption within the land. Often I’d had to change tactics as the foes I assaulted changed. Though I often wished to rain down fire and death upon my opponents, either incinerating them upfront or sickening and poxxing them til they expired, I found more often that I had to channel the magic of life itself in order to survive long enough to see my opponents crumble, siphoning their life essence in order to heal myself. I met with Asha Catari, the leader of the Defiants, I was glad to see her, a reminder of the importance of my success. It was my reprehensibility to ensure that this time line never see her death.
I traveled west, heading to the rocky cliffs of Stonefield, the residents of Freemarch quite grateful to me, their gratitude showing in my heavier coin purse and much improved equipment. I quickly found that the planes of air and earth dominated this storm torn landscape to the west. The rolling plains interrupted suddenly by stony hills as if the bones of the land were being thrust, broken, into the air. There the monsters were more powerful, being further from civilization they were given time and space to grow in power, though I found that even our most traditional enemies would turn to destroy the perversities of the rift, often they were over matched but I used their numbers to shield myself from harm as I threw my most potent spells at the creatures. It was almost sad when the rift closed, for as soon as it did so, the trolls of Stonefield would immediately turn on me, returning to our ancient hostilities. They seldom proved a challenge before me, however, as after their struggles with the monsters of the rift they were often severely weakened and I could often finish them off in droves with a storm of fire.
I fought my way through the outposts, learning of the titans and the ancient Eth, whose technology the Defiants rediscovered in order to bring me back from beyond death. As I delved further I kept coming across a name, this name belonged to an obstacle, a roadblock in my path that attempted to foil me at every crossing. This name was Alsbeth the Discordant, a powerful lieutenant of Regulos. Her shade had directly threatened me as I destroyed her thralls and my research had brought me across her actions in Telara as I sought to correct them. More and more I found myself realizing I would have to destroy this ally of the Devouring Snake, but as yet, my power is still insufficient. It would take time for me to build up the strength necessary, but I found it a worthy quest.
I got up from my chair that morning as the sun rose. I was stiff but I would have continued playing if it hadn’t been for the fact that I was beginning to nod off even as I continued. Rift is an amazing game, the lore is rich, the strategy is deep. The more I play, the better it gets. In the meantime, should you find yourself in Necropolis and come across a Pyromancer by the name of Maythorn, come join me some time.