Rifts and invasions are the best part of the game and a natural evolution of the public quests that Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning delivered. The key difference is that you don't go to the quest--the quest descends upon the land, bringing local players together long enough to foster a sense of community that even most solitary questers can appreciate. When you come near players and groups in battle, you are automatically prompted to join them. When the job is complete, you can go your separate ways or stick together to take on quests meant for small parties, such as taking down the lumbering giants that meander about the local mountain ridges. In any case, the large-scale skirmishes against the most colossal bosses are dazzling to watch and fun to participate in, even when the game's normally solid frame rate drops as a result of all this spellcasting and swordfighting.
Underneath all of this "rifting" is a fairly standard online RPG in which you take quests from non-player characters, kill and collect things on their behalf, and return for a reward. All the while, you gain experience that boosts you ever onward to the level cap of 50. This aspect of the game is solid but unexciting, throwing plenty of talk about planes and evil gods at you but rarely giving you a sense of the bigger picture. It would have been easier to invest in all of this unfamiliar lore if the Rift Gold game spent some time developing it, but when you first begin, the game drops a whole lot in your lap at once. The Cheap Rift Gold opening tutorial has you hitting the ground running, which makes for an exciting introduction, but it comes at the expense of allowing you to wallow in this new virtual world. You're more likely to see quests as a reason to go do battle and explore Telara than as a way to learn more about the events that caused this world to be torn apart. There is comfort in questing, as most MMOG players understand, but a little oomph to the writing and a little time spent acclimating players could have elevated Rift even further.