Rift: Planes of Telara - Hands On

| 16 Nov 2010 05:21

imageI'm usually a dps kind of guy; I like the thrill of killing things and topping meters. Once in a while, I'll heal something for a change of pace, but it's never really been something that has called to me. I like playing the game; I don't like playing bars. On the occasion that I meet a braggart healer (especially one that has seen further content than I have), my favorite game is to ask them what the boss looked like. Being tied to their health bars, rare is the day that they can describe an endgame boss from anything but the memory of a screenshot they saw elsewhere.

I like to feel involved in the fight; I like to be right in the thick of it. As a result, I gravitate toward stuff that stabs, shoots, and kills. The Chloromancer gives me the best of both worlds. In order to be effective as a healer, not only did I need to be on the ball as far as the health bars of my party, but I also had to be doing damage to the enemies; I had to play both a healer and a dps at the same time. I'm hard-pressed to consider a time when I had a more engaging dungeon run in any game. Truly a top-notch experience.

The fights throughout the run required more attention than I generally expect from a run-of-the-mill dungeon, and all required attentiveness and quick reactions else the party would perish. While I'm sure part of that came from getting used to our new characters and their abilities, the multiple ways to handle a given situation due to the complexity of the Soul Tree options were a pleasant surprise.

All told, the entire experience was eye-opening, to say the least. I went into this event knowing virtually nothing about this game, and came out fiending for more. A solid MMORPG that recognizes what staples to keep and what concepts to change. The brilliance of this game isn't where it astounds, but rather where it knows to innovate and where it draws the line. Obviously, Rift: Planes of Telara is still in alpha (moving into beta shortly; keep your eyes here for beta keys!), so there's a lot that's left to be sorted out, decided, and polished. Even still, here is a game that in alpha has piqued my interest and made me yearn for it again while playing other games. Not a bad start, I'd say. Keep a close eye on this game; I know I will.

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