MMORPG Info Logo The Guardians and the Defiant

For groups and guilds looking to play RIFT, a key question is now taking precedence: which side?

You must choose your faction at character creation and there is no way to change faction once you have chosen. You can not join a group nor a guild with members of the opposite faction. There was no cross-faction communication possible in the beta but it’s not clear whether that limitation will remain. Also, I’m not sure whether we will be able to have characters of both factions on the same server or we will have to choose a faction per server.

The Factions

RIFT – Factions

The people of Telara are now convinced that the end of the world is at hand. In these desperate final days, two major factions have arisen to battle the coming apocalypse: the Guardians and the Defiant. Though each faction wants to save the world, their beliefs and methods differ, and they war upon each other as often as they do other enemies of Telara.

The Callings (archetypes) are the same per faction but there are faction and race-specific souls. There’s mention of some of the starting souls being limited by faction.

The factions meet in instanced areas referred to as Warfronts, similar to the battlegrounds in World of Warcraft. The Warfronts have a specific objective, for example the possession of an item over time or capture the flag. Each faction gains points as they accomplish specific goals.

The RIFT forums includes a poll for the registered members: The Faction Divide, Round Two!. At time of writing, 32% have selected Guardians, 47% have selected Defiants and 20% remain undecided.

Generally speaking, the Guardians represent order while the Defiant represent chaos.

The Guardians

Races: Dwarves, High Elves and Mathosian
Starting Area: Mathosia (North)
Capital City: Sanctum

RIFT – The Guardians

Guardians are the chosen of Telara’s gods, the Vigil. When the tyrant Aedraxis called forth the power of the Plane of Death and devastated Telara, the Vigil chose the most powerful souls taken by the Shade to be the archons of the next age. A golden age awaits, but Telara must first be saved — by deed, by example, or by the sword. Its people must be redeemed, its corruptors cleansed. Only then will the Guardians be imbued with the divine and ascend to a higher level.

Scott Hartsman speaks to Ten Ton Hammer

The Guardians, on the one hand, are very spiritual. You could call them traditionalists. They have a relationship with the old gods of Telara and they draw their power from that relationship to the gods.

The Guardians – Rift: Planes of Telara Wiki

The Guardians believe that a convergence of all the planes is coming and will destroy the world. It is their holy mission to prevent this catastrophe by restoring the Ward of Telara, and sealing off the planes forever. To this crusade they have sworn themselves — even if it means destroying the reckless Defiant faction before their foolishness ends the world before Regulos does.

A Player Description

In the most unbiased and unprejudiced description of a Guardian, is a person who was reborn by the gods to save the world. No extra power, no strict lifestyle, no Sunday church session, no praying before bed, nothing more. I might be wrong cuz I never played the game yet. Also they have an old crust guy as a leader.

The Defiant

Races: Bahhi, Eth and Kelari
Starting Area: Freemarch (South)
Capital City: Meridian

RIFT – The Defiant

The Defiant do not care whether the gods abandoned the world or not. To them, this entire planar convergence disaster is the gods’ fault in the first place. Indeed, as soon as things went from bad to worse, the gods suddenly and inexplicably disappeared.

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, even if it means being branded as heretics and operating outside the laws of the land.

Rift: Planes of Telara Intro Q&A with Trion’s Scott Hartsman | Ten Ton Hammer

The Defiants are more technology-driven, and one of the things that separates these two factions so thoroughly is that the Defiants are resurrecting old, abandoned technologies that the traditionalists long since outlawed as offensive to the gods.

A Player Description

In the most unbiased and unprejudiced description of a Defiant, is a person who is reborn from the soul stream by a machine, and wants to advance (or in Eth terms, recover) their civilization with or without the help of the gods. The gods abandoned them for using magical stuff and they are a bit annoyed by that. Also they have an attractive yet harsh ice-queen like woman leading them. Kinda like Miranda in Mass Effect 2 but without the accent and you can’t bang her.


The short version:

Game Guardians Defiant
Everquest 2 Good Evil
Star Wars Galaxy Imperial Rebels
World of Warcraft Alliance Horde
Warhammer Order Chaos


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  • MMORPG Info » Rifts of Telara wrote:

    […] I’ve not truly been immersed in a strong MMO over the past year and I’m somewhat reluctant to get my hopes up too high. But RIFT sounds like a strong mix of tried-and-true MMO gameplay with new ideas and dynamic worlds to be appealing. The images I’ve seen look gorgeous and the class system sounds like it will allow me to create a strong character based on my interests rather than following a standard template. The key question in my mind is whether it offers enough original content to get me hooked. Would you like to know more? Read about the factions: The Guardians and the Defiant […]

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