What makes RIFT’s housing an underappreciated joy

I’m still not going full-bore into RIFT, mostly due to time and other priorities, but I have enjoyed dinking around in this former MMO love of mine. The other day, I set apart some time just to set up a new home and start placing all of the dimension items that I’ve been getting through the minions system.

By the way, can we just point out how much RIFT loves to give a conveyor belt’s worth of free housing stuff to players? I’ve never been in an MMO that keeps feeding me so much housing stuff on a regular basis as I do with RIFT’s minions. There are plenty of other ways to get housing decor in the game, of course, but this is the method that I primarily use.

So I opened up one of my free dimensions, Faen’s Retreat, and went to work. I like Faen’s Retreat because it’s got a little of everything that I want in a housing space: a pre-built abode, enough space for other houses, a small snowy area, a beach, and a nice-sized pond for water decorations. But as I’m doing this, I was drafting up a list of why I feel that RIFT’s housing is such an underappreciated system in the MMORPG genre — one of the absolute best, I’d even say.

For starters, there’s the freedom to be as normal or creative or crazy as you like. RIFT doesn’t hem players in with strict pre-set housing that can only be decorated, but neither does it only present a blank slate, Sims-style, and make everyone work from the ground-up. There’s options for both. There are blank dimensions that offer the tabula rasa experience, and dimensions where the structure or land is re-built and ready for a personal touch.

Likewise, there are housing items that are actually structures — taverns, huts, and the like — that players can plop down if they like pre-built stuff. And there are building blocks that can be fashioned into just about anything you imagine. Some of the dimension efforts of the community are flat-out astounding and far outside of my ability. It’s why the game’s always had this dedicated housing sub-community running.

I also appreciate that there is the ability to alter the time of day and environment with placement tools. Personally, I like a nighttime vista to make lighting effects pop, so plopping down a 9:00 pm item to make it always night in my dimension is welcome.

RIFT’s placement tools are also a delight to work with. They aren’t perfect, and I would have appreciated pieces that could lock or click together, but they’re about as good as I’ve seen in an MMO. They’re better tools than WildStar had, and I adored WildStar’s housing. In RIFT, you can resize items, rotate them, and move them effortlessly to get the right look. Decking out a home is very stress-free, and the item allowance is usually pretty generous.

So yeah, it’s a fun system to return to in 2020, and I’m going to make a note to do some dimension-hopping and go on a tour in the future.

One thought on “What makes RIFT’s housing an underappreciated joy

  1. Brian M Kulesza July 3, 2020 / 10:06 am

    I’m glad you posted this. I had completely forgotten Rift even still existed, and your description of the housing management has me intrigued in making a return to check it out.

    Much thanks!

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