RIFT launch-day roundup

The day many MMO gamers have been waiting for is here -- it's time for the official launch of Trion Worlds' epic fantasy MMO, RIFT! For those of you who decided not to take the pre-order plunge and will instead be starting with the second wave of players, we've assembled a pile of posts to help speed you on your way. From some of our spotlight columns and impression postings on the game to exclusive soul reveals and more, there's a little something for everyone.

So grab your favorite beverage, fire up your installer or downloader, and settle in for some of the highlights of our RIFT coverage. Of course, if you manage to make it through all of these posts before you're able to log in and play, there are tons of other great information in our RIFT archives to check out as well!

Enter At Your Own Rift: The first day FAQ
For this week's Enter At Your Own Rift, we'll take a look at a few common questions that players might have. Are you wondering about how to form a guild? Have you already made a soul build that you regret and want to reset? Are you lost trying to find an auctioneer or a mount merchant? Read on for some answers!
Ten levels of RIFT: A guide to your first day in Telara
With two RIFT beta events under my belt, I was given the supreme honor of creating a guide to the first 10 levels of the game. Naturally, I fell apart under the stress, assumed the fetal position for a couple days while whimpering about "frame rates," and then was prodded into action by our editors. That's quite literally "prodded," mind you -- Massively purchased a pair of cattle prods last year at a police auction. It's going to be years until the scorch marks fade from my spine.
Enter At Your Own Rift: Dispelling the WoWhammer myth
If you've participated in RIFT's beta events at all, you're probably wishing you had a nickel for every time you heard a player claim that RIFT is just like World of Warcraft or Warhammer Online -- WAR because of the comparison of rifts to public quests, and WoW mainly because it's the gold standard of MMOs today. Last week, my colleague Justin gave a great argument as to why the familiar isn't necessarily a bad thing. But while RIFT does have several familiar features, it manages in several ways to set itself apart from the pack.
Enter at Your Own Rift: Pre-launch checklist
Since I can't whip out my magic remote control and fast-forward to April, I propose we do the next best thing. Let's open up our imaginary quest logs and run down a checklist of seven "To Dos" and a few "To Don'ts" to help us prepare for RIFT's release. Planning can be fun! Shut up, it can be!
Exclusive: RIFT details Cabalist soul
All aboard the soul train! It's time for another information smorgasbord courtesy of the folks at Trion Worlds. Today the devs bring us a closer look at RIFT's Cabalist, a practitioner of ancient rituals and arcane magic who decimates hordes of foes with a tremendous outflow of dark energy.
Exclusive: RIFT details Chloromancer soul
There's something about the suffix -mancer that fires the imagination of creative types everywhere. We've seen Neuromancers, Pyromancers, Aeromancers, and now, thanks to Trion, the Chloromancer. Taking its name from chlorophyl (the green pigment found in plant life), RIFT's Chloromancer is a healing soul that draws energy from the natural world.
Exclusive: RIFT details Bard soul
Trion is back with a new reveal for RIFT, and even though it's technically only a "reveal" to the three of you who haven't been swept along in the beta hype of the last few months, we'll play along and pretend it's all new info. The game's last four souls/classes are due to be officially made public this week, and the first up is the Bard.
Exclusive: RIFT details Beastmaster soul
Welcome to another installment in Massively's exclusive RIFT soul series. For the final update, the folks at Trion have graced us with an explanation of the Beastmaster. Unsurprisingly, Beastmasters are RIFT's answer to traditional pet-handling classes. In addition to being one half of a fearsome fighting duo, the Beastmaster soul also functions as a buffer for allies but is rendered weaker than his companions if the spirit-bond that binds him to his pet is severed.
Exclusive: A look at RIFT's Saboteur
You can call them rogues, thieves, scoundrels, but by any name they're stealthy little bastards. RIFT's Rogues are no exception, with the difference being that the soul system allows them access to several unique flavors of sneaky little bastard. There are the backstabbing Assassins, the sniping Marksmen, and the defensive Riftstalker all under the same overarching aegis, allowing players a wide variety of different options. But none of them yet has been the truly annoying sort, the one who looks to be finally caught flat-footed just as you realize he's been playing you the whole time.
Exclusive: A look at RIFT's Dominator
Mages in RIFT are not particularly nice people. Admittedly, that's not speaking to their character so much as the souls available to them, but between the corpse-raising Necromancers, entropy-spreading Warlocks, and strength-leeching Archons, the precedent has been set. And today's reveal of the Dominator isn't going to change that image, even though it's a soul quite likely to make a number of new friends. But those friends may or may not be willing companions.
Exclusive: A look at RIFT's Void Knight
Magic is a fact of life in any sort of fantasy setting, and RIFT is no exception to this. The Warrior, of course, is the last class you'd expect to be dabbling heavily in magic, an assumption that would be largely correct. But with the plethora of souls available to characters in the game, it seems nigh-on inevitable that a Warrior would have at least one option if he wanted to ensure his opponent was just as bereft of magic, to even the footing down to a contest of arms. And the Void Knight is precisely that.
Exclusive: A look at RIFT's Druid
Within RIFT's soul system, there's room for a wide variety of different classes within the four core options -- two different Clerics might have very different sets of souls equipped and play like two completely different classes. Trion Worlds has been slowly providing information to players about what they can expect from the various souls, but every time a new soul is revealed, it's something completely different from what's come before. The Druid is one of the souls available to Clerics, for instance, but it couldn't be more different than options such as the Purifier or Sentinel.
RIFT beta: Massively's first impressions
When it comes to RIFT, Massively readers have been patiently watching this game for a while. You've seen the trailers of the rift invasions and in-game cinematics, checked out our hands-on coverage, and gobbled up 500 VIP keys in less than 20 minutes. But does the game live up to the hype? We know you have lots of questions, and thankfully, the NDA is officially over, so it's time to talk about our first impressions of RIFT.
This article was originally published on Massively.