In Rift: Planes of Telara, your world is under invasion by dimensional invaders who are systematically ripping holes in the space-time fabric around your planet. Not good, but it gets worse. If you and the other players don't push in and close the rift (via a slick and co-op-able party quest), the interlopers will establish a foothold in the region, erect structures, terraform the land to resemble their plane, and send war parties at nearby towns that battle with local guards. If left to their own devices, the invaders will bring in a huge monster boss that marches toward the town, crushing everything in its wake (but offering incredible rewards for players that band together to defeat it).
Contest: Fifty beta keys are up for grabs; details at the end of the post.
On the flip side, if players are efficient at ripping through rifts, they'll incur the wrath of that dimension, which will launch a massive invasion in that region (rewarding players with additional drops from the dimension they're hunting most).
On this constantly-changing battlefield, you won't want to rely on set-in-stone strategies. Luckily, Rift has a tremendous class system that allows you to constantly change your character's abilities. At creation, characters choose between Warrior, Cleric, Rogue and Mage, which are divided further into eight souls (talent trees) each. As characters gain more experience, they will be able to add on additional souls to a maximum of three.
These "soul" talent trees provide all of your abilities and talents—there are no innate archetype abilities—and often play very differently. For example, the ranged-weapon specialist and the stealthy assassin both fall under Rogue. Mixing and matching between your archetype's souls to create new hybrid classes is incredibly empowering and offers more replayability than my math-lazy brain cares to calculate.
Contest Details: We're giving away fifty VIP beta keys to the Rift. How VI do they make your P? Well, while most beta keys only give testers a chance to be selected for any given beta test event, these VIP keys will give you guaranteed access to every single beta event that Trion hosts before the game launches.
To enter, create your own dimensional plane that would invade Telera and tell us about it in the comments below: how your plane will alter the landscape and what monsters will be your foot soldiers once the invasion begins. The official Rift website has a list of currently available planes and a description of how each plane affects the world.
The best comments will be selected on Monday, November 29th, 2010 12pm PST.