I guess I might as well get this out of the way.
Rift is an MMORPG created by TRION.
MMORPG stands for Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game. World of Warcraft is probably the most famous of such games.
My first MMORPG was Everquest. I played Everquest from about April 1999 until around April of 2001. I was thoroughly addicted to it, but like all good addictions, I finally gave it up.
I played Dark Age of Camelot for a spell and then, like all good addicts, I played World of Warcraft. After WoW I played Age of Conan and even blogged about it somewhere. That's just to name of few.
With every MMO I've played, I've always stopped playing because I run out of things to do by myself. They generally have all these fantastic dungeons to go through, but you can't go through them alone. It always requires a team. Sometimes a team of 5 and some of the more intricate ones require a team of 20 or more.
My socially inadequate self is not geared up for the kind of hobnobbing required to gel with a team of 20 so I quit playing.
Rift has somehow managed to fix this. I'll attempt to explain how it works. In Rift, you have callings, souls and roles. A calling is one of four broad categories: warrior, mage, cleric or rogue. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about you should probably have quit reading 3 paragraphs ago.
Each calling has a set of souls to choose from. A rogue, for example, can be an assassin, bard, ranger, bladedancer, marksman, riftstalker, saboteur, or nightblade. But, then it gets tricky. Your character starts with 1 role, but can purchase additional roles and each role is a combination of 3 souls.
One of my rogue's roles, for example, is an assassin, bard, and nightblade. This combination of souls gives you grouping possibilities because a soul combination gives you a role in a group. The general roles are healer, tank, damage, and support.
Groups of five contain two damage, a tank, a healer and support. When I need to throw caution to the wind and get into a dungeon where I need a group of 5, I simply toss my hat into the ring and check which roles I can perform.
My rogue, again, can be support or damage. If I check those two roles and click join dungeon, the Rift system will look at all the groups currently in development and find a group which needs support or damage and throw me into the group as either support or damage (depending on which role is needed). Generally tanks and healers are the most rare. If I want to get into a group quick I'll choose one of those roles.
Anyway, it's a beautiful thing. It makes it easy as pie to get into groups so the entire Rift universe is yours to explore regardless of your social ineptitude. Trust me.