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Final Fantasy XI
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Beginner's Guide

StarCraft 2

A Beginner's Guide
After installing Rift, you have several choices ahead of you.

First you have to pick a Shard (server). Shards are divided into PvE, PvP, PvE-RP, and PvP-RP.

Next, you have to pick a faction. There are two factions in Rift. Guardians and Defiants. Unlike other games, they're not so easily split into "good guys / bad guys." Both sides ultimately have the same goal, but they differ in ideology. Each faction has three races to choose from with different racial bonuses.
The Guardians are the chosen of Telara’s gods, the Vigil. After the tyrant Aedraxis called forth power from the Plane of Death and devastated Telara, the Vigil chose the greatest souls who fell that day to be harbingers of the next era. A golden age awaits, but Telara must first be saved — by deed, by example, and by the sword. Its people must be redeemed, its corruptors purged, before the world can truly be safe.
The Defiant do not care whether the gods abandoned the world or not. To them, this entire planar convergence disaster is the gods' fault in the first place. Indeed, as soon as things went from bad to worse, the gods suddenly and inexplicably disappeared.
While the Guardians were brought back to life by the gods, the Defiants used technology to send reborn souls back in time to save the world. It's up to you to decide which side you will fight for.

Racial stats help that decision, too.

The Guardians have Mathosians (humans), Dwarves, and High Elves. The Defiants have Bahmi, Eth (humans), and Kelari (Elvish).

Guardian Mathosian * Motivational Roar: Instant. Cooldown 2 minutes. Increases the movement speed of the Mathosian and nearby group members by 30% for 10 seconds. This ability cannot be used in combat.
* Thedeor's Will: Dexterity increased by 10.
* Legacy of the Shade: Death resistance increased by 20.
Dwarf * Density – Dwarves can fall twice the distance of other races
* Bahlralt’s Mettle – +10 strength
* Miracle of Hammerknell – +20 water resistance
High Elf * Angelic Flight: Instant. Cooldown 15 seconds. Fly toward the selected area. Cannot be used in combat.
* Tavril's Grace: Wisdom increased by 10.
* Grace of the Forest: Life resistance increased by 20.
Defiant Bahmi * Mighty Leap: Instant. Cooldown 15 seconds. Leaps at the selected area. Cannot be used in combat.
* Sefir of Strength: Strength increased by 10.
* Shalastir Heritage: Air resistance increased by 20.
Eth * Agility: Instant. Cooldown 2 minutes. Increases movement speed by 70% for 15 seconds. This ability cannot be used in combat.
* Sun's Fortune: Intelligence increased by 10.
* Desert Dweller's Birthright: Earth resistance increased by 20.
Kelari * Camouflage: Instant. Cooldown 2 minutes. The Kelari transforms into a fox for up to 30 seconds, decreasing the range at which enemies aggro them and despawning any pets the Kelari may have. This ability cannot be used in combat.
* Flame's Ferocity: Dexterity increased by 10.
* Legacy of the Fire Islands: Fire resistance increased by 20.

After you think you've decided on a race, you'll probably re-evaluate your decision once you choose a calling. There are four callings: Warrior, Cleric, Mage, Rogue. Each calling then has 8 classes (plus one for PvP) you can choose from. You can have 3 classes active at a time. You can also have three "roles" to switch between outside of combat.

This is where things get extremely complicated. I'm not going to go into the classes at this time, but I will give a brief overview of the callings.

Warrior (Melee DPS and Tanking): The primary tank of Rift. Wearers of plate armour and wielders of massive weapons.
Cleric (Melee / Ranged DPS, Tanking, and Healing): Clerics are deceptive in that, not only can they heal, they can tank. Very good at both DPS and healing.
Mage (Ranged DPS / Healing / Crowd Control): Strong magic user with a side of healing capabilities.
Rogue (Melee / Ranged DPS, Tanking, Healing, and Buffing): Rogues are the epitome of "Jack of all trades." If you want to do it, they probably have a class for it.

This is it for Part 1 of my Beginner's Guide to Rift. Hopefully this will help you with your decision on where to begin with the release of Rift.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of this. Downloading a copy of a game you do not own is illegal. Any game downloads are intended for backup purposes. SE is so awesome and really doesn't want to send me a C&D letter.