It’s been another week submerged in the roleplaying game genre for me.
Two of my favorite games were updated recently, in fact one of them just dropped on October 27th. Let me unpack for you Rift 3.4: Into The Wilds and Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition.
Rift is an MMORPG from Trion Worlds, which means it’s a roleplaying game where you connect to online worlds that exist even when you’re not there. These worlds will be filled with hundreds, sometimes thousands of other people playing the game at the same time. If you don’t like socializing, the MMO game genre is definitely not for you.
Rift is a fantasy roleplaying game, which means it’s a lot like World of Warcraft, the 900 pound gorilla in the corner of the room whenever you’re talking about MMORPGs. Rift doesn’t require a monthly subscription, though, and it doesn’t even require you to buy an initial copy of the game. You can just create an account on their website, download the game, and play as much as you’d like.
There are premium features in the cash shop. Certain archetypes and classes must be purchased. You can buy potions that make your leveling up faster and easier. You can even buy mounts and gear. However, there is very little in the cash shop that you cannot also get just by playing the game, and you can get credits by purchasing them with in game currency as well as real world cash. It’ll take a LOT of in game currency to buy credits, mind you, so your level two cleric isn’t going to be rolling gangster style right out of the gate, but you can honestly play Rift cradle to grave without ever spending a dime if that’s what you want to do.
They just released update 3.4 of the game, called Into The Wilds. This update introduces a new zone called the Planetouched Wilds filled with new stories and quests, a new character archetype called the Primalist, and a new dungeon, as well as a raft of smaller changes throughout the game. The new zone focuses on the story of the Bahmi, one of the playable races in Rift, and my personal favorite, so I’m excited right from the start.
You don’t have to pay anything for the the update, but if you want to create a Primalist character you will need to purchase that from the cash store for credits. After playing a Primalist for a few weeks now, I will tell you that I still prefer Clerics and Mages to all other callings. Your mileage, of course, may vary.
If you have been wanting to try an online fantasy roleplaying game without the upfront cost of some or the monthly subscription of others, give Rift a try. It remains my favorite free to play MMORPG and update 3.4 only makes it better.
Next is Divinity: Original Sin from Larian. This is an old school turn based roleplaying game where you control your characters by telling them what you want them to do and then watching them do it. When it comes to combat that means you square off against your opponents and then you have a chance to think as each character under your control and in the game will take turns attacking or using skills. It’s how RPGs always used to be but somewhere along the way everyone fell in love with real time combat and gameplay where you frantically click your mouse and pound your keyboard. To say that Divinity: Original Sin feels elegant, if a bit stodgy, is probably about right.
When I reviewed the original game, I said that it nailed the old school RPG feel and strongly recommended it to you. Larian has been working on a second generation game but at the same time they polished and upgraded the original game. As a result we have the Enhanced Edition of Divinity: Original Sin now available in your Steam library.
If you purchased the original game, this updated version will be free, which is a nice touch. The graphics are vastly improved as is camera control. You now have a free look mode with your mouse, so you can examine a battle from all sides. They hired some professional voice actors to give life to the game’s dialog, and it’s first rate stuff now. Combat animations are also a hundred times better.
The actual list of changes to the game is stunningly huge, it would take me half an hour to read them all to you. I’ll just say this, the Enhanced Edition of Divinity: Original Sin takes everything that was good about the original game and keeps it, while fixing or improving just about everything else. Since it’s a free update, there’s nothing not to like about it.
Well, there is one thing. You can’t use save game files from the original version, so you’ll be starting over with an entirely new character. That’s okay, though, because you’re going to want to experience the entire game again. If you haven’t purchased the first edition of the game, this one will cost you $60, but if you DID buy Divinity: Original Sin back when I told you to, this new version is free.
Yes indeed, it’s been a good gaming week around here. That’s Into Gaming, I’m Mark Lautenschlager.