It’s rare for a mass-market MMOG from this generation to feature two (or more) factions that truly loath each other. Warhammer Online had it, but Mythic made PvP that title’s claim to fame, so it fit perfectly. Rift isn’t a PvE-centric title with opposing player-played factions that truly despise one another, detest each other’s existence and hope to dash their foe’s brains all over the countryside. It is the closest title we have showcase the dark, propaganda-fueled hatred of war.
Trion Worlds did a superb job of describing both factions in an indifferent way in the pre-launch literature. The Guardians aren’t bad guys, just pushy old grouches. Neither the Defiant, they just need to get off the lawn and turn the music down. The factions have drastically different worldviews. That’s it. Plan, simple, yeah, but once you actually load Rift the propaganda starts.
The opening video for my faction, the Defiant, has the dastardly Guardians destroying our machines for “blasphemy.” Machines that provided for us, our way of life, a defense from extraterrestrial incursions. Without them we were left helpless against the encroaching enemies of parallel planes. For all their collective godliness, the Vigil of the Guardians did nothing to save them. Now that’s motivation for hatred. Wrong, and nearly destroyed Telara in the process.
“So while the Guardians run around Telara building temples, sticking their noses in everyone’s business, and desperately praying for a miracle, the Defiant plan on actually delivering one, even if it means being branded as heretics and operating outside the laws of the land.”
Sounds like the writer spent too long in Catholic school. Just forgot the personal shame bit (raised Irish Catholic). By the by, the members of the Defiant get Shit DONE.
Don’t get me wrong, “misunderstood” factions and tentative peace agreements aren’t bad. That tangent actually makes for superb character development. I’ve just been looking for a PvE title with more grit, more edge, more medieval tendencies. One indoctrinates its heroes at an “early age.” Tossing you in to the thick of war and destruction early, and often. A setup that has you foaming at the mouth when a red nameplate finally appears on your screen. Completing your zealot transformation as that first edge of steel tastes unsuspecting flesh. The universe of Rift has been catering that black-and-white dish.
And it’s tasty.