Welcome, Ascended, to the world of RIFT: Planes of Telara.

If you are new to RIFT, it is very likely that if you aren't feeling a little overwhelmed, you will be soon enough. But do not fear. As a Messenger of the Vigil, I am here to help you as you embark on your journey. So, let us begin, shall we?

Where am I?[]

The first thing you must choose when you start playing RIFT is what shard you will join. Each shard is a separate but parallel universe with different guilds and other players, but the same quests. There are 4 types of shards that you can choose from:

PVE: "Player versus Environment". The PVE shards are where you can pit your character against the powers of Regulos. You do not run the risk of being attacked by fellow players from the opposite faction (see below) unless you attack an opposing guard or voluntarily flag yourself for PVP. Even PVE servers have options to join warfronts, where you will fight against the other faction for various objectives.

PVP: "Player versus Player". When you join a PVP shard, you join a constant struggle between factions. Once you leave the starting zones, you will find yourself pitted constantly against other players even as you strive to fight back Regulos' invasion. If you enjoy the competitive nature of PVP, try out one of these shards.

PVE-RP: "Roleplay - Player versus Environment". Among the Ascended of Telara, there are some who wish to immerse themselves completely in the culture and story of this world. If this is you, then consider a roleplay server, but be warned that there are often extra restrictions that the communities in these shards will have. Roleplayers are expected to have realistic names, so naming your character "Superbob" for example, will likely find you shunned if you play on an RP shard. In addition, there are often channels for in character interactions, and in those situations, you are expected to avoid saying things like "BRB, Pizza's ready" or other out of character statements.

PVP-RP: "Roleplay - Player versus Player". The final shard type is the Roleplay shard that is also a PVP shard. This type takes its characteristics from both types, so if you want to roleplay your character while still being able to PVP with the other faction, this may be the place for you.

Who am I?[]

The Chosen versus the Ingenious[]

As a new Ascended, the second choice you must make is what faction you will pledge your loyalties to. This choice will affect your race and your starting zone, but not your choice of class or role. The two options are the Guardians and the Defiant.

Guardians: Chosen of the Gods[]

The Guardians are an alliance of three races: the Mathosians, the High Elves, and the Dwarves. These races place their hope for the world in the Vigil, their gods. As an Ascended of the Guardians, you have been chosen by the Vigil to defend your world against Regulos and the Blood Storm. Don't mistake, however: the Vigil chooses its champions not for their faith, but for their might.

Defiant: Masters of the Machine[]

The Defiant are also made up of three races: the Bahmi, the Eth and the Kelari. Having seen what can happen when the blindly faithful do not succeed in the fight against Regulos, the Defiant have placed their hope in the machines of their own creation. As an Ascended of the Defiant, you have been brought back to life with the power of the gods through the machines of your people. Your goals: protect your people from the superstitious Guardians and save the world from Regulos' destruction.

Beyond Alliance - Race[]

Once you have chosen your faction, you must next choose your character's race. Each race will have minor bonuses that may affect what kind of Calling you decide to follow, so read each description carefully. The possible races are:

Guardian Defiant
Methosian Eth
High Elf Kelari
Dwarf Bahmi

What am I?[]

The Calling of the Ascended[]

Now that you have placed your loyalties in a faction and have chosen a race for your character, it's time to choose a Calling. There are four possible callings that you can pick from in RIFT, and each one will use a different source of power as well as will wear a different type of armor and wield different types of weapons.

Warrior Cleric Rogue Mage
Power Source Power, Action Points Mana Energy, Combo Points Mana, Charge
Armor Plate Chain Leather Cloth
Roles Tank*, Melee DPS,
Ranged DPS, Support
Tank, Healer*,
Melee DPS, Ranged DPS
Tank, Melee DPS*,
Ranged DPS, Support
Healer, Ranged DPS*,

Note that each calling can fill multiple different roles, but the roles emphasized (with an asterisk) are the most common for each calling. Roles can be described as follows:

Tank: Defense specialists that focus on maintaining the enemies attention and being able to take (or avoid taking) large amounts of damage.

Healer: Spellcasters that focus on restoring health to their allies or keeping allies from taking damage.

DPS: Damage-per-second. Damage-dealers and offensive specialists that focus on dealing damage to their enemies, either in melee or at ranged.

Support: Support specialists focus on penalizing their enemies with debuffs and aiding their allies with buffs, often while healing or dealing damage.

Once you have chosen a Calling, you will be able to customize your appearance. Then you will take your first steps as an Ascended. Your adventures have just begun!

The Soul of the Ascended[]

Your first charge as an Ascended is to pick a soul. This concept will likely be confusing, so here is a basic explanation.

As an Ascended, you gain the ability to manifest 3 souls at a time. These souls appear as trees, with branches and roots, and are grown by putting points into them. You will get a point with every level that you gain, and will also get some additional points during your adventures, such as when you reach specific levels or gain new souls. To gain power as an ascended, you must utilize the abilities that you gain by placing points into your soul trees.

Party Responsibilities
Offensive Healer Defensive Support
Clerics Cabalist Purifier Justicar
Druid Sentinel
Inquisitor Warden
Mages Elementalist Chloromancer Archon
Necromancer Dominator
Rogues Assassin Riftstalker Bard
Warriors Beastmaster Paladin Warlord
Champion Reaver
Paragon Void Knight

Each calling has a total of 9 souls that can be learned, including one soul that specializes in PVP abilities. Each soul has a primary role that it fulfills. For example, the rogue calling includes souls that specialize in melee dps, ranged dps, support and tanking. When you begin your walk as an Ascended, you will be given the chance to choose your first soul. Shortly after, you will be allowed to choose your second and third souls. Those three souls will remain with you until you reach level 13, at which time you get the option of completing quests and gaining additional souls.

For more information, check out our souls page.

If you are hoping to tank or heal in dungeons, don't worry, because the first dungeons have a suggested character level of 17, at which time you will easily be able to get all the healing and tanking souls that you might want and design a role combination for your first dungeon delving experience.

Once you've chosen your souls, it's time to begin putting points into them. Each soul tree will have branches that grow up as well as roots that grow down. The way to level a soul tree is to place points in the branch abilities. Every 5 points spent in the soul will open up a new tier of abilities on its branches.

In addition, as you place points in the soul tree, you will open up the roots of the tree. These roots are most often basic spells and abilities that you will use often in your adventures. As you look at your soul, each root ability that you have not yet unlocked will have a number over it, indicating how many total soul points you must spend in that soul to gain that ability. When you do unlock a new root ability, you gain its 1st rank and can find it in your spell book. As you level, be sure to check with your calling trainer to purchase more powerful ranks of the abilities that you have unlocked.

I've got skillz![]

The last major decision you will need to make in the creation of your Ascended is what kind of professions you will learn. Every character can learn 3 professions at a time, and there are a total of 9 professions that you can choose from. Professions are categorized as gathering or crafting. Gathering professions involve collecting the raw materials that are needed by the crafting professions to craft goods that players can use.

See our main article about professions for more information.

As a new Ascended, you will not come across any profession trainers until you leave the starting quest zones. Once you arrive at the Ark of the Ascended (for Defiant) or Divine Landing (for Guardians), you'll get the chance to learn each of the three gathering professions. You won't meet profession trainers for any of the crafting professions until later, so go ahead and pick up butchery, foraging and mining. Once you do, you'll find abilities in your spellbook to track herbs and track ore, and you can track both at once, so be sure to make sure they are active!

What does my future hold?[]

Now that you've got the basics down, you are all set for a great future as an Ascended of Telara. If this is your first time playing, I strongly encourage you to read the help windows as they pop up for further guidance. Familiarize yourself with various websites and forums for additional tools and advice. But my most important piece of advice is one that should be given no matter what game you are playing, especially if it's an MMO: