Rift Guide + Gameplay

Published on: Sep 8, 2015 @ 23:08

As part of Destiny’s week-long PvP Preview event, Bungie has released two new game modes for all to play for free: Mayhem (delayed until 9/11/15) and Rift. The former has a relatively simple premise: abilities recharge at extraordinary rates, resulting in absolute chaos within the Crucible. The latter, however, is a bit more complicated.

What is It?

Rift is essentially Destiny’s version of Neutral Bomb— with a few key differences. For example, points are awarded as Spark runners make their way to the Rift, which happens to be on the opposing team’s side rather than the runner’s. Spark runners can also shoot freely, but aren’t able to use their Super.

The goal is to carry the Spark into the enemies’ Rift and score massive points for your team.

Scoring

Now, how does one go about accumulating points in Rift? Here’s how:

  • Regular kills will net you 100 points. Variations such as +10 for headshots will still be in play.
  • Kills as the Spark Runner will net you 150 points
  • Kills on the Spark Runner will net you 300 points
  • Picking up the Spark will net you 300 points
  • Passing each checkpoint (there are 5) will net you 100 points per checkpoint
  • Igniting the Rift with the Spark will net you 1500 points!
  • Igniting the Rift backwards will net you 1650 points and a sick backflip animation

Based on the numbers alone, it becomes rather apparent that playing the objective in Rift is much more important than in other Destiny PvP modes. Slaying in this game mode will only get you so far, so if you and your team choose to completely neglect the objective, expect a bitter defeat at the hands of your foes.

Strategy

Although slaying is an important aspect of the Crucible, in terms of points acquired in Rift, it is overshadowed by the main objective of igniting a Spark in the enemies’ Rift. Therefore, when thinking strategy for this game mode, we must first consider how to best take advantage of the mechanics surrounding the objective.

For example, a solid tactic would be to always pick up the Spark, granted you have a safe opportunity to do so. Even if you only make it to the first checkpoint, you will have earned your team 300 points for picking it up and 100 for running a part of the way. Sure, you will lose 300 points or so for dying with the Spark, but the net gain of 100 points makes it worthwhile. Furthermore, by denying the enemy team the opportunity to pick up the Spark, you are also denying them the chance to score major points until the Spark is charged once again (about 15 seconds after it is lost/ignited)

In line with this thinking, it would be totally within reason to take the Spark every single time and try to make it as far as you can with it; one of these runs may eventually pay off, netting your team a massive amount of points. However, it would not be wise to simply rush blindly into enemy territory. Careful positioning and radar-reading are crucial aspects of being a proficient Spark runner; a runner who is prone to dying quickly may eventually become a detriment to the team.

Teamwork and coordination are going to be very important in Rift. Fellow teammates are going to have to do everything they can to protect their runner, even if it means taking a bullet – or fifty – for them. Teams should stick close together, and utilize focused team-firing on enemies. Grenades and supers should be used properly to not only slay enemies, but zone them off as well. Many of the new grenades (e.g. Sunbreaker’s Thermite) as well as some of the old ones (e.g. Striker’s Lightning) are great for this.

Speaking of abilities, mobility perks such as Blink will be invaluable to use as a Spark Runner, especially since the runner does not have access to his Super. A proper succession of Blinks will grant the runner enough mobility to reach at least a checkpoint or two, if not the Rift itself. Titan skating is a little less versatile, as Blink allows for a greater chance of evasion, but it should prove to be invaluable for covering long distances over a short period of time. Warlocks can also skate to an extent with their Focused Burst double jump perk, or, alternatively, pop Radiance and draw a good amount of fire away from the runner and other teammates.

As far as Supers go, the Defender Titan bubble will prove to be a concrete defense for the runner and his team. It will allow for the team to regenerate their health and ready themselves for the coming rush, as well as provide them with buffs such as Weapons of Light or Blessing of Light to carry them through the fray. The other support Super, the Nightstalker’s Shadowshot, will also help to render enemies immobile or at least zone off certain regions of the map, ultimately providing ample breathing room for the Spark runner to make it that much more safely to the Rift.

Of course, there may be situations in which the enemy team takes the Spark before yours, forcing you and your team to switch to a more defensive stance. Defense can take on two main paths in this scenario: pressure the runner or guard the Rift.

In the former, by surrounding the enemy runner with a large amount of players, your team can force the runner into a corner or into a blind rush, especially if he is distanced from his teammates. The high traffic in the runner’s radar may also cause him to panic and make rash decisions, which may end up proving beneficial for your team. Furthermore, by encircling the Spark runner, you leave him with fewer available routes, allowing your team to more easily predict his course of action.

The latter option rewards more patient players. Essentially, the idea is to gather all of your team’s firepower near your Rift and deliver devastating focus fire on the incoming enemy runner. Good gun choices for this strategy include sniper rifles, scout rifles, and pulse rifles as they will allow for your team to begin attacking the runner from an extended distance. Additionally, saving your Supers for when the Spark runner arrives may also be a wise decision, as a well-timed Nova Bomb or Shadowshot could prevent the enemy team from winning 1500 extra points. The downside of this strategy, however, is that your team would be allowing the enemy runner to speed through a fair number of checkpoints and earn a large amount of points. I advise that you only opt for this strategy as a last-ditch effort to keep the other team from winning that game winning Ignite.

In the end, however, whatever gets you to the Rift or stops your enemy from reaching yours is more or less a great strategy. The best tip I can give you is this: try not to die. If you fall, you leave your team a player short, leaving both your team’s offense and defense significantly lacking.

Conclusion

Ultimately, being that Rift is brand new, there are still tons of unique strategies and approaches to be discovered, plays begging to be made, victories yearning to be won. Be sure to share any feedback you’ve got for this new mode, and let us know if it’s everything you hoped it would be!

Jay
Crucible lover, lore fanatic, & proud member of the Savory Yams on PSN.

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