A Rift is a place where the veil between Telara and the other planes has gone weak. These holes in the fabric of reality allow the destructive influence of otherworldy planes to invade Telara, threatening the area and people surrounding it.
Before a rift is formed and its twisted energies can seep into Telara, a tear appears. Tears appear randomly and can become rifts automatically or with the aid of players. Once open, the energies from the otherworldy plane begin to transform the area around the rift, including both flora and fauna. Bizarre effects begin swirling around, the color of the air and earth change, the area sounds different, and new objects (or changed existing ones),such as alien flora, appear scattered about. 
In addition to the physical changes, creatures begin coming forth from the rift. Players than have to combat these invaders 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. 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.
- In the future, players may be able to invade rifts and go into them.
- The basic-type of rift is soloable but scales to the number of players.
- If a rift opens on its own it will be more difficult than one opened by a player.
- If a rift is not closed, attackers may mount an attack on a target such as a town.
- There will be non-combat elements that appear near a rift such as items that harm invading monsters and others that heal players.
- Rifts are dyamic and not a static occurrence - any number of factors can influence the opening of a rift and its location.
- Rifts may have upwards of ten 'stages'.
- When a rift is left open, incursions may spread across the land and even attack other rifts.
- Minor rifts are for solo players or small groups, and there is a benefit to grouping with others
- There are both quests related to rifts and quests automatically given when participating in a rift event.
- There will be raid rifts.
- None of the rift types is necessarily any stronger than another
- Compared to Warhammer Online public quests, rift events are not static in location and not necessarily restricted to a set group size
- Raiders of the Summer Swarm
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beOIm7YmVt4
- ↑ Gameinformer article on Rift from E3 2010 - Gameinformer.com
- ↑ Massively's 26 April 2010 hands-on look at Rift
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j68253f4wbE
- ↑ Tweet from Simon Ffinch
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Tentonhammer - Rift first look
- ↑ Post by Abigale on the official rift forums - Riftgame.com
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 Podcast discussion with Larry Boles, a content designer for the rifts- www.riftpodcast.com
- ↑ Tentonhammer April 2010 Rift Q&A with Scott Hartsman
- ↑ Gamespot spotlight on Rift: Planes of Telara - April 2010
- ↑ MMORPG.com April 2010 hands-on demo of Rift: Planes of Telara
- ↑ Gamestar German Preview of Rift: Planes of Telara
- ↑ IRC chat with Brian Clarke, Lead Environment Artist - Portal:News/IRC_Transcripts/16_July_2010