There are two factions in RIFT: The Guardians and the Defiant. You can not be in a group nor a guild with a member of the opposite faction. There is no means to change faction, no “betrayal” quest or similar. You must choose your faction at character creation and there is no way to change faction once you have chosen. The races are limited by faction. All the callings and souls are available regardless of the faction chosen.
Both the Guardians and the Defiant are focused on protecting Telara from the death god Regulos. However, both factions fear that the other faction is making things worse and so they war upon each other as a necessary part of saving the world.
On PvP servers, the conflict between the factions are a free-for-all, although the capital cities and key areas are defended by guards who will kill the opposing factions on sight. On PvE servers, the primary meeting point for factions is in instanced areas, Warfronts, which are similar to the battlegrounds in World of Warcraft. The Warfronts have a specific objective, for example holding possession of an item over time or capturing and holding a specific area from the opposition. Each faction gains points as they accomplish specific goals.
- Races: Dwarves, High Elves and Mathosian
- Starting Area: Mathosia (North)
- Capital City: Sanctum
Guardians are the chosen of Telara’s gods, the Vigil. They are traditionalists, focused on rescuing Telara through the power of the gods. They believe that the Defiant have caused the convergence of the planes.
From the official site: RIFT – The Guardians
“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 Vigil dictates no single path to salvation, so the Guardians seek their own place in the holy litany by ending the threat of the dragons and the blasphemy of the Defiant.”
- Races: Bahhi, Eth and Kelari
- Starting Area: Freemarch (South)
- Capital City: Meridian
The Defiant believe that the gods have abandoned Telara and that the old technologies are the only way to save Telara. They have resurrected the old technology and are using it to try to save Telara.
From the official site: RIFT – The Defiant
“The Defiant do not care whether the gods abandoned the world or not.
“So while the Guardians run around Telara building temples, sticking their noses in everyone’s business, and desperately praying for a miracle, the Defiant plan on actually delivering one”
Next: The Classes and Souls