Warning: There are some early Rift story spoilers in this post.
I mentioned last night that I had selected the Defiant faction in Rift, and that the opening story line painted the Defiant as the put upon in the Rift universe. I also mentioned that there were two sides to every story, and so I decided to put that to the test and created a Guardian Cleric called Majikthise.
Having just played through the starting zone I didn’t see anything to change my view that the Defiant are the good guys.
In the Defiant story, many of the NPCs had suffered great personal losses to the Guardians, and indeed, it was the Guardian faction that opened the rift that let loose Regulos.
In the Guardian story, the Defiants were simply the bad guys and had to be stopped at all costs. Their crime? Attempting to replicate Ascension using technology. Something the Guardian faction took as a great afront to themselves and their gods.
So. In essence the Guardians started the war in an attempt to crush what they saw as heresy.
I was kind of expecting some kind of reasoning by the Guardians to justify that position, but it simply seemed to be simple zealotry.
Not that that’s bad. I find it refreshing that the bright and shiny guys are cast as the villains. Too often we see stories (and real life) where awful acts are justified by the excuse that it’s the ‘good guys’ doing the acts.
I also found interesting the two elements of the time travel aspects of the Defiant/Guardian story.
The Defiant story started at the end of the world. Regulos had effectively won and had destroyed everything, conforming all souls to his purpose. The goal of the player in that story was to fix the machine that would send him back in time to the current game time period.
The Guardian story was more like a prologue. It starts twenty years before the events of the main game story where the Guardian king has just done the dirty and has released Regulos using Defiant technology. The player in this quest chain effectively puts paid to the plans of Regulos and smacks him with a dirty great hammer, shattering him and putting him into statis for a time. The player is then sent forward in time twenty years by the gods of the Guardians.
I’m sure that I’ll end up playing more Guardian at some point, but for now I’m happy to have picked the good guys.