To Rift or Not To Rift…

It finally happened. I logged in to Rift and I had no desire to do anything, even daily quests. I started thinking about emptying my character’s mailboxes, the same thing I did when I was ready to mothball my WoW account. I still have the possibility of doing some raiding with my guild, so I’m not packing up quite yet, but this does not bode well.

Rift is one of those games that I really WANT to like. I respect their community, I respect their developers, I support a lot of their decisions about the game. I don’t want to feel the Meh! factor about this game, they deserve better. I hope that other people who are fresh to MMOs really give them a shot and explore every nook and corner of the game.

I tried to remind myself of the many things that made it stand out from my last MMO, WoW:

  1. Developer attitudes and enthusiam are genuine and very customer oriented.
  2. Built in UI customization and the ability to easily transfer UI settings between characters is solid.
  3. Guilds are player friendly, not exclusionary and cut throat, and spontaneous guild wide-events are easy to arrange with the use of banners and summons. I’m looking forward to the upcoming addition of guild banks.
  4. There are a variety of ways to gain XP. You can level without doing quests if you want.
  5. While the economy is still a mess, there are no artificial barriers to levelling crafting on any level of character. Turning in daily quests in high level zones on low level characters gets to be a bit hairy, but I’ve managed to make my way to portals despite many nasty unfriendlies about. It was even kind of fun to find a safe path or get an escort.
  6. In game titles are fun, plentiful, and don’t come across as some kind of snobbish exclusionary thing, but just a bit of in game spice and flare.
  7. I didn’t think I’d care, but I have filled my wardrobe slots and dyed my armor with glee.
  8. The silly dances finally grew on me. At first I thought they were terrible, but as I watched my arms flapping and my ankles kicking up, I realized that they were just as they should be.
  9. AOE Looting shows respect for my time.
  10. The artifacts scattered around are pretty fun to collect, although I do wish there were fewer repeats and fewer sets of them, or maybe that they had a few “wild cards” that you could put into any set. They are a fun thing to do without feeling mandatory in any way.

The game has a lot going for it, but in the end it is another fantasy based MMO with similar quest, dungeon, and raid structure to my last MMO. There are things that make it stand out, Rift content being one of the largest, but Rift content hasn’t kept me engaged. I’ve played and enjoyed it, but it isn’t the kind of game play that really grabs me.

I still plan to try raiding with my guild. I was heavily into raiding in WoW, so this will probably make or break the game for me. A part of me wishes the game were more compelling. The other part of me is glad that I won’t feel too much regret when I leave to play Star Wars: The Old Republic later this year. I am really looking forward to a non-fantasy based MMO.

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