Rifts allow members of the planes to spill into Telara, but even more importantly, they draw the plane itself closer to Telara. This is what is known as a convergence; Telara is flooded with too much elemental energy, shattering the homeostasis of elemental energy responsible for the world's bounty.
 Formation and Evolution
Rift events begin with tears, which can open to form rifts, which can spawn invasions. The invasion can then set up a foothold. The locations of tears, rifts, footholds and invasions in areas the player has explored are visible on their map and minimap. Rifts can also occasionally go straight to a rift stage, skipping the tear stage, this happens in zone-wide invasions and occasionally just in the field.
Rift events begin as tears, areas where the ward between Telara and the planes is weakening. If left alone, tears will open into rifts on their own, but they can be opened by players using a Planar Lure, this will net the player who used the lure 2000 contribution points towards rift rewards. Each zone has several rift types that will always open there, but the exact nature of each tear can't be ascertained until after the rift is open.
Once the tear is opened, the energies from the otherworldly plane begin to transform the area around the rift, including both flora and fauna. Rifts are accompanied by many environmental effects: changes in flora and fauna, different music, and alterations to the sky, air, and earth.
Rifts spawn creatures which players have to combat in order to seal the rift. The creatures come out in waves, growing stronger and stronger, and sometimes appearing with certain conditions like requiring players to meet a certain quota of kills or doing it under a time limit. Sometimes challenges other than killing enemies must be completed, such as 'tapping a cask of mead' in one of the life rift scenarios. Upon completing the challenges (see: Heroic Quests), players are rewarded for their participation. The more you participate, the better your reward, and some rewards may be rift-specific.
A rift that is not sealed will start to spawn groups of 4-5 mobs rushing to nearby settlements, rifts and footholds and assault them. If invasion forces manage to destroy the wardstone of a settlement, vendors and questgivers disappear and the settlement becomes occupied by invaders. Invasion forces not attacked by players create foothold.
In the future, players may be able to invade rifts and go into them.
 Types of Rifts
There are different types of rifts corresponding to the different planes; none of the rift types is necessarily any stronger than another.
 Life Rifts
- Main article: Life Rift
A Life Rift manifests as a mass of vines and roots spilling into Telara, and is surrounded by a "lush oasis" of thickly-growing alien plants and new species of creatures.
 Fire Rifts
- Main article: Fire Rift
A fire rift causes small volcanoes to emerge from the ground and burns grass and soil to leave ashen bedrock in the areas around the rift. Known monsters include Flamewrought Invaders, Fiery Invaders, and Unmerciful Embers.
 Earth Rifts
- Main article: Earth Rift
An earth rift turns the surrounding lands arid and barren, and the monsters in the area are transformed, for example to golems. Known monsters include Crumblers and Shambling Zoisites.
 Water Rift
- Main article: Water Rift
A Water Rift floods the area around the rift and affects the surrounding monsters with a blue aura. It spawns fish type humanoids and water elemental monsters.
 Death Rift
- Main article: Death Rift
A Death Rift forms dark tentacles in the air and corrupts the surrounding area with death. It gives surrounding monsters a purple aura. It spawns skeletons and other type of dark monsters.
 Air Rift
- Main article: Air Rift
An Air Rift forms a hurricane with giant stones whirling around it in the air and surrounds nearby area with fog. It gives surrounding monsters a white aura. It spawns airborne creatures such as harpies, carnivorous birds.
 Raid Rift
- Main article: Raid Rift
A Raid Rift is one of the end-game options available in Rift. Players require appropriate notoriety with rift factions in order to purchase the lures to open these rifts. Raid Rifts are limited to 10-players only.
 Player Rewards
Players receive rewards directly for combating rifts, so there will be no "random rolling" for rewards. Players earn contribution via effort for "doing stuff to help win the rift", including healing, buffing, holding aggro, and dealing damage; effort will be adjusted by a player's level so a higher level player will not always contribute more than a lower-level player.
The more contribution a player has, the better his rewards will be; the level of rewards are scaled to the level of the rift. The best rewards are obtained from the unstable stages of a rift, which get players "into higher contribution categories"; more players are needed to "finish all the unstable stages". Major rifts, which spawn naturally as opposed to being opened by players, offer better rewards. Rewards obtained from rift events include equipment so a player who only plays rift content "won't fall behind"; some equipment are unique to rift events.
Group effort is encouraged in dealing with rifts, for example not completing stages fast enough can decrease the rewards obtained from the rift. However, while there is no limit to the number of players taking part in a rift event, there is a limit to the number of high-quality rewards players can obtain from the event It also appears that contributing to sealing a rift gives players faction reputation: Guardians earn reputation with the Mendicant Order.
Sealing the rift proceeds in multiple stages. Players can join the event in any stage. Upon entering the rift area, players automatically enter a rift event with the conditions to advance to next stage, usually to kill certain number of planar creatures in the rift area, sometimes the stage is timed. As soon as the conditions are fulfilled, rift advances to next stage: new creatures are spawned and players receive new set of conditions. If the conditions are not fulfiled, for example if players don't manage to kill creatures in time, rift disappears but it is not considered as sealed. If all stages have been completed, players enter bonus stage or several stages, if they fail in this part, rift disappears and it is considered as sealed. Players can enter bonus stage only if they are in a group.
 Rift events and scalability
A rift event is designed to be scaled to the number of players taking part in the event: rifts scale from being soloable to being balanced for a raid force. Additionally, a rift that opens on its own is more difficult than one opened by a player. The level of a rift also scales with the level of the mobs in the area in which the rift appears.
These mechanics, however, does not preclude rifts becoming a much more difficult threat due to its dynamic nature. For example, a player may see four different invasions aiming for the same target, and invasions may spread across wider level ranges over time.
 Other Mechanics
- There are non-combat elements that appear near a rift such as items that harm invading monsters and others that heal players. For example, some death rifts spawn tombstones, upon clicking it player receives a help of an ally for certain amount of time. Another form of help are crystals in rift area, they boost player's stats or restore player's health and mana.
- Rifts may have upwards of ten stages.
- Rift events are tied in with the stories of the zones they are in, including storylines involving an "extraplanar threat". An example are Jakub's invasions in Freemarch, related to main villain of the zone, Jakub.
 Behind the Scenes
The scale and development of rifts can be controlled directly by the developers. For example, the frequency of the rifts will be based on both population and level of participation in dynamic content, and while a "placematting and highway system" to determine the path of an invasion, the developers can also run handcrafted rift events.
Other features of the technology behind rift are as follows:
- The assets that spawn with rifts will have collision detection.
- There are mechanics preventing multiple rifts from opening on top of each other.
- The technology can be used for dynamic content other than rifts.
 Rift Quests
- An Aquamenace
- Jakub's First Battalion
- Raiders of the Summer Swarm
- Maelow's Horde
- Otherwordly Onslaught
- Defeat the Aelfwar Chosen
- Reapers of the Shade (Major)
 Concept Art of Rifts
|Sealing Rifts by TGN on YouTube|
- Gametrailers Video 2 
- Gameinformer article on Rift from E3 2010 - Gameinformer.com
- Massively's 26 April 2010 hands-on look at Rift
- Tweet from Simon Ffinch
- Tentonhammer - Rift first look
- Trion Worlds - Plane of Life 
- Trion Worlds - Plane of Fire 
- YouTube video featuring a Fire Rift 
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- Gamestar German Preview of Rift: Planes of Telara