Rift (previously known as Rift: Planes of Telara) is a 3D fantasy-themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) from Trion Worlds Network, that was released March 1, 2011 in the United States, March 2, 2011 in Australia, March 3, 2011 in pan-European countries, and March 4, 2011 in the United Kingdom.
Rift is an MMORPG set in the fantasy world of Telara, which is the focal point of different planes (worlds). Through the actions of the death god Regulos, these worlds have now invaded Telara, causing rifts to open. Opposing Regulos are two factions: the Guardians and the Defiants. The conflict between these two factions serves as another source of tension and gameplay. Players have the role of Ascended: resurrected soldiers whose task is to defeat the forces of Regulos and cleanse Telara forever of his threat.
Guardians are those who follow the way of the Vigil, the gods of Telara. They include the high elves, the Mathosians (a race of humanoids), and dwarves. Guardian ascended were resurrected by the Vigil after dying during one of the earlier conflicts with Regulos. Players who choose Guardian fight and die against one of Regulos’ commanders, only to be brought back at the beginning of Rift.
Defiants are those who put their trust in technology as a way to conquer the forces of Regulos. They include the Eth (a race of humanoids), the Bahmi (resembling giants), and the Kelari (resembling dark elves). Defiant ascended were resurrected after a cataclysmic battle that has all but decimated Telara. At the beginning of the game, players who choose Defiant are sent back in time from this point to the beginning of Rift, allowing them to fight alongside the Guardians.
Rifts are areas of elemental instability that represent the intrusion of elemental planes into the land of Telara. Once opened, these rifts begin to spawn monsters that proceed to march towards important points on the map. It is then up to players to defeat these monsters and to close the rift. If rifts are left unchecked, the invading monsters will eventually conquer large portions of the map, killing and significantly impairing the players in that area. Entering the area surrounding the rift will trigger a prompt that allows the player to join a public group, rather than forcing the player to manually create a group. Players sealing the rift are rewarded for many things including healing, attacking and buffing. The severity and locations of the rifts are entirely dynamic. Rifts of six different types (earth, fire, air, water, life, and death) are possible, and rifts of different types will oppose each other. In addition, Non-player characters hostile to the player may engage rift invaders.