Rift vs. TERA: They’re Different Games!

MMORPG gamers have two important four letter words that they’re becoming intimately familiar with. No, STFU, it’s not those. The two “words” are Rift and TERA, fantasy MMORPGs set for release during 2011. Same genre, business model (subscription) and release year are bad enough, but when you add in the fact that both titles are coming from little-known publishers/developers with their own intellectual properties, the confusion enters another level. To confound us one step further, each title started beta invitations around the same time.

But we’re humans, easily defeated by Jeopardy machines. These baffling similarities have even stupefied the infallible Amazon. The seller of anything and everything is returning Rift: Collector’s Edition as the top hit for a search of TERA. Or chips.

As we continue to cover these titles to their impeding launch you’ll learn the nitty gritty of each. Until then, here’s a cheat sheet.


  • Both games will be released in 2011, using the standard subscription model.
  • Fantasy settings with your typical WoW/EverQuest UI but in original universes.
  • Scantily clad, really hot female characters in “armor.”
  • Gorgeous graphics, architecture and landscapes.
  • Telara, the land in which you play Rift, is sounds a bit like TERA. Especially when you can’t speak.


  • Rift (formerly Rift: Planes of Telara) is being developed and published by Trion Worlds.
  • TERA (an acronym for The Exiled Realm of Arborea) is being developed by Bluehole Studios and localized to North America by En Masse Entertainment.
  • Rift is often compared to World of Warcraft, for its level of polish and playstyle.
  • TERA embraces its eastern roots, mirroring the action of Aion and universe of Final Fantasy.
  • Rift innovates by featuring loads of dynamic content and a pseudo-classless system.
  • TERA harkens back to the old-school hardcore days featuring defined classes and races and strategic fast-paced combat (twitch gaming).
  • Rift features numerous instanced dungeons.
  • TERA is mainly an open-world game, with some instances.
  • Rift’s fodder mobs are annoyances, rather than forces to be reckoned with.
  • TERA players will routinely encounter mobs many times their size, even if they’re the gargantuan Baraka race.
  • Rift contains two distinct factions, the Guardians and Defiant, that are at odds with each other over how to tackle the Rift issue.
  • TERA will conduct its PvP mainly through guild vs. guild warfare. Open-world PvP is available on select servers.
  • Rift is available for pre-order now and is scheduled for a March 1, 2011 release.
  • TERA remains in early closed beta, invite-only testing. No North American or European release date has been discussed beyond 2011.

And before you ask, no, I don’t have a favorite. I’m very interested in both titles.

For more information on Rift and TERA click those links you just read past. <—– That way.


  1. I’ve been playing the Rift beta, and been having loads of fun doing so. But will have to wait for the TERA open beta in order to decide.

    As it stands now, I already have two subs going (WoW and DCUo), so I’m going to have to really weigh things up once I have played both.
    It’s looking extremley likely that WoW will be unsubbed if either of these titles tickle my fancy, five years subbed to one game is more than long enough I think.

  2. this article is misrepresentative of the aspects of RIFT in many ways…

    “…a classless system.” , Very wrong here. there is a class system it is simply extremely dynamic. 4 major classes, 8 pve souls (or talent trees) 4 different combinations per spec leaves alot of room for personalization.

    “Rift features numerous instanced dungeons.” – they left out that these instances ALL change as you go up in level so they too are dynamic as opposed to the stagnant instances we’ve all run before in certain games. these other sections unlock according to level.

    “Rift’s fodder mobs are annoyances, rather than forces to be reckoned with.” – they obviously never played the game because even in the beta’s (i played 4 and 5) had rift raiding parties with commander elites and 4 elite guards each to recon with, these raiding parties could come in randomly and totally destroy towns and npcs and players if there were not enough around to handle them. Definitely not a minor annoyance and took skill to solo.

    “Fantasy settings with your typical WoW/EverQuest UI but in original universes.” – this one is not right for TERA its definitely not the typical interface as there is not single target system everything is a direction system. you point your camera at the mobs.

  3. @Mike
    I don’t see how anything is WRONG, so much as they just gave a general idea of the two games and a general comparison. I could rebuttal all of your arguments but pretty much every one of them is super specific, when the post is just making light comparisons.

    “They obviously never played the game” <– LOL.

  4. @mike
    I’ve update the classless bit to reflect the fact that it’s not completely classless, as you suggest. Rift is just kinda classless, but not completely. The point I was making is that you shouldn’t expect Class X to always have Ability Y. For that you need to dropdown to subclass designations, which can (and I assume will) confuse a lot of people (until they learn all the MANY differences).

    It gets hairy.

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