I found a thought-provoking article on LitRPG sub-genres (more and more LitRPG is being called GameLit due to reader/writer lash back at one particular author who’s trying to trademark LitRPG, which can’t really work and strikes me mostly as an act of hubris. But that’s a different post and a public debate I’ve been staying out of).
One first distinction is between “crunchy” and “creamy” (Yes, peanut butter reference) as how much the story involves the number crunching aspect of the game dynamics. I’m still deciding where RiftWorlds Online falls on that spectrum, although the article suggests it should be on the crunchy side if it’s “Standard American Adventure GameLit,” although apparently the sci-fi subset is more creamy.
Either way, elements of grittiness will definitely come into play, as there is no respawning in RiftWorlds Online.