Tobold's Blog
Thursday, September 01, 2011
 
What's your verdict on Rift?

Exactly 6 months ago I wrote on this blog: "So let's reconvene here on September 1st and discuss whether Rift was the game of 2011, or whether it tragically petered out after a few months." The moment has come, and I'd like to hear your verdict on Rift.

Personally I haven't played Rift in the last 6 months, having only played it before release in the beta. I do read various MMORPG blogs in which Rift is mentioned from time to time, so I do have a general impression of the hype having disappeared. A recurring theme is that the rifts of Rift are less fun now that the zones are less full of players. And of course I know Syncaine thinks that Rift went from the best game evah to totally unplayable with a single patch that nerfed dungeons. I am also aware that Rift claims to have 1 million "customers", without giving a definition of what a "customer" is. Everybody who bought a box? How many active subscribers does Rift have?

So what do you think of Rift now, 6 months after release? Has it lived up to all the expectations? Would you still recommend it to friends? Where would you say the strong points and weaknesses of Rift are now?
Comments:
RIFT is the example MMO - it's like a summary of what MMOs have generally been like over the past five years or so.

I recently picked it up, but I don't think I'll play out my first month. The early levelling game isn't as fun as WoW's, the lore is not engaging, the cities are not impressive. Having one starting zone per faction makes alting/trying different servers a bit tedious.

Overall it's just not charming, outside a few neat builds. There's nothing I particularly dislike about the game, but nothing that excites me either.
 
I haven't played it since beta either - it was sufficiently uninteresting then that I had no interest whatsoever in buying it.

It certainly seems to have petered out - only a small minority of the bloggers I read that were enthusiastic about it at release time seem to still be playing. Obviously you can't extrapolate from blogger enthusiasm to success or failure of a game, but I would say that even if Rift does have healthy subscriber numbers, the caravan of excitement certainly seems to have moved on.
 
I've been playing since launch. It has kept my interest pretty well. There are always lots of players on and fun new stuff to do, and the class system remains amazing. I mostly craft and do PvP.
 
I agree with Jye. There's nothing glaringly wrong with it, but nothing that would make it stand out positively either. I never finished my trial, nor have I used the recent free days, so the rumored flexibility of the soul system never really became relevant.
 
So I am still playing rift after picking it up at release.

For me the most notable thing about Rift is the way it is updated. There is something new added almost every 2 weeks to try. However this has had an ever increasing effect on how poorly bugs are handled. Read: (http://forums.riftgame.com/rift-general-discussions/general-discussion/248431-letter-ernizzle-maximation.html#post3043821) to find a raider's perspective on the bugs.

The rifts themselves are working well as an alternative to dungeons and pvp. There are expert rifts to do at 50 and pvp rifts also. PvP rifts have balancing issues that have not been addressed due to server populations. However in balanced setting my experience with pvp rifts has been my favourite experience pvping in a themepark MMO.

Zone events however need to be reworked. Zone events are triggered by rifts closing. Over time a zone event will eventually occur or a player can speed it up by closing rifts. In lvling zones this is a problem because when only 1 person is actually closing rifts it will trigger a zone event that will wipe out questing for 30 mins without the player having much chance of getting a group together. Also at level 50 alot of invasions are simply ignored because they don't have the rewards that the Rifts themselves do. Often this leads to uncompleted zone events.

On the warfronts there has been really only one change and that is a system called escalation. Bascially on weekends Whitefall Steppes gets its objectives reworked to offer an different style to the same map. There is talk of this system moving into the other 3 warfronts in the near future. Also Trion is planning on releasing the first new wf since release in the next patch.

On the lvling through questing front it is unchanged except for streamlining and bug fixes. There are however the introduction of epic story quests at lvl 50.

The dungeon scene however has some notable improvements over the wow system. The first major one is stacking of the daily reward for successful dungeon completion. You can stack up to 7 rewards meaning you can do 7 dungeons in one day or do 1 dungeon each day of the week and get the same rewards. There is also a working LFG that will make you pass a basic gear check on certain stats. Imagine WoW forcing dps to stack hit before they could que. Most groups have successful dungeon runs because of how easy the content is coupled with the flexibility of the soul system. While the easy content does leave a bit of annoyance over time with the average player Trion is currently addressing this in the next patch. In patch 1.5 they plan to introduce master dungeons that will be of the same difficulty as raids. These master dungeons are expected have new bosses and make the existing ones tougher. This will mean you won't have to raid to find raid difficulty fights.

If you can take the boring questing, the lore is well done. Personally I've enjoyed reading the quests more then doing them which is saying something I suppose. Trion also plans to release in 1.5 a solo to small group content that will be able to access the Raid zones in such a way to fill in players with the lore without having to clear the raid to learn the story.

Overall Trion needs to get on top of their bugs in a major way. They need to redo their questing completely so that it is 50 lvls of spamming your same abilities. Different ways to kill 10 mobs need to be introduced. Essentially in pvp they just need to get more content out and some sort of a rating system. Rifts themselves are fine as is imo but zone events need to be tuned better and made into actual zone events, not just 10 opened rifts + invasions. Basically the ball is still in Trion's court as the whether Rift will become the game of 2011.

PS. Though I would give it the game of 2011 just for the aoe looting,...
 
As someone else said once, If you like themepark MMOs but are bored of WoW give it a try. If you are bored of themepark MMOs don't bother playing it. If you were to ask me the best thing about Rift it is not the rifts, the pvp or the raids/dungeons. It is the Ascended Soul System and how it dramatically affects how you play the game on all levels.
 
It's pretty enjoyable. The class system is extremely well designed, definitely worth a study. Having nine different souls per class allows for a lot of interesting build variety as well as an excellent escape hatch if you decide you don't like how your character plays. Instead of rerolling you can just swap souls to be something completely different.

Warriors and clerics in particular have a lot of synergy between the different subclasses. Rogues have less synergy because their souls have a lot more variety - tank, melee dps, sneaky dps, ranged dps, bard. Mages suffer because too many of their talents boost only that one soul's abilities.

My server seems to have lost a lot of its population lately, though I can't tell if that's people quitting, playing less, or just transferring to other servers (transfers are free and instant)
 
I only ever played the beta, my fiance didn't like it so, since we play together, we abandoned it democratically. The single most annoying thing in my eyes were all the people saying stuff like "I played WoW for 5 years, but it is crap and everyone should play Rift instead, which is incredibly much better" on global chat. I so dislike it when people are not true to what they did for such a long time..
 
Rift? Same old, done anew.

Lots of content, lots of classes/roles, dynamic content and it's quite interesting to play with it, PvP system both instanced and open world. What else could you want?

Well...To me, Rift is one of the most generic and meaningless MMORPG ever published so far, a logical continuation of what came before it. Community doesn't mean anything and the entire game is more like a chat lobby where nobody gives a damn and where players are pushed into ultra-communautarism where everything is instanced to make sure that everything a player will do is under total control and nother makes waves.

You remember the old MMORPGs? You had heroes on every servers, you had villains that everyone knew and loathed. Early UO, DAoC, EQ, early WoW, all these MMOs were defined by their servers' communities first and everyone talked to each other, even if it was just to insult one another. There was life on these servers, there was exchange between everyone, both positive and negative.

Today, well...no more heroes, no more waves, everything streamlined. You cannot be offended, you cannot shine, you're just a random human bot.
I always get the chills whenever I enter a random group/instanced PvP on these games. Nobody talks, nobody cares and what you can do is so diluted that it doesn't really matter anyway. I find it really scary, especially since so many just jump into it without thinking.
 
I haven't played it since beta - I thought it was a solid but unspectacular WoW clone. I played WoW for several years and Rift was just too similar for me personally. I'd probably have played it more if I wasn't so burned out on the traditional PVE theme park.

I have to give props to the developers though, since Rift is just about the only major MMO in the last ~5 years that released in a working, completed state without any major issues. I understand from news sites that the developers still communicate fairly well with the players and new content is being added regularly. I hope other developers take example from their mentality, if nothing else.
 
@Kelindia: daily dungeon rewards work the same way in WoW - you get 7 rewards each week and you can get them all in a single day if you want.

Actually, it has been like that since patch 4.1, several months before Rift even got LFD tool.
 
some old, some new, good execution and nice polish. nothing too outrageous in the long run, however. certainly an alternative to WoW, but not more.
 
Well, I admit that after having read about Rift and how it was similar to WoW, I didn't even bother trying it.... I already play WoW, if I add another game I'd like it to be completely different (like World of Tanks).
 
i'm enjoying it, and i didn't think i'd start to play it; my wife is loving it and it will be her main game for a long time.

it's a well-made MMO: it's got bugs, of course - but i recall the war WoW launched; it's not like that. the bugs are on par with, say, any given LOTRO update: so present, but not game breaking. no really.

like any good MMO, it has a lot to do; and having finally run out of things to do in LOTRO, it has been fun to be able to step back into the progression path. RIFT also rewards explorers, which is something that i find very attractive.

is it the best-game ever? nope. is it fun? yep. it's got a nice mix of attractive art + story + humour + things to do; enough that both daughters, 1 boyfriend, me and my wife now play: which is more than have played any other MMO in our family, LOTRO included.

i'm still undecided if i'll go back to LOTRO when the next update hits there (i haven't pre-ordered): that's both a reflection on LOTRo *and* on RIFT :)

i never understood ppl claiming RIFT would be a the-best-game-ever; i don't understand ppl now saying pile-of-steaming-poo. it is what it is: a full-featured fantasy-based progression MMO with PvE, PvP and raiding.

tl;dr: i'm enjoying it a lot more than i expected.
 
Sad to say I will not be renewing my 6-month sub to the game. It's really not the game's fault. There is nothing to complain about except maybe the graphics cause my aged computer to come to a standstill after a while. It's just that, as in WoW, I have moved beyond the raiding/PVP grind gameplay they offer as endgame. I do wist Trion the very best success with their game as they are some of the hardest working developers I have ever seen (and yes I'm including Wargaming.net as well).

With the time I have left, I am leveling up my Rogue (currently 38) and then I will have 4 level 50's (one of each class natch).
 
The game play was fun. The rifts worked good even with reduced population. But what turned me off was the lack of a real world. It felt to me as a real themepark. With the small zones each representing a ride. I left the because it all felt meaningless to me. They over optimized the game play aspects. Maybe the hit the uncanny valley of a virtual world.
 
I wrote mine last night:
http://stabbedup.blogspot.com/2011/09/rift-back-for-5-days.html
 
I enjoyed Rift a lot, it's well made and well put together. Maybe it's just me though, but I can't seem to stick with a new MMO longer than about 3 months these days.

I'd definitely recommend it to people. And the pace at which they put new stuff in is mindblowing. I do find their events a bit sameish though.
 
Overall the game seem to hold it's own. It may not be the wow killer some people dreamt it to be (I don't think that was the games goal regardless) But I do think it has plateaued around the same size as lorto (for example). Looking at sites like http://www.riftjunkies.com/ I would venture that there are enough fans of the game to merit some solid fan-sites too.
 
I played for about a month and the thing that turned me off from continuing was that there seemed to be far too many spells or abilities and I didn't develop any system of when they need to be used except to use them as much as possible. I could have just been a bad player but it seemed like button mashing, the same was Everquest 2 has been the times I have played (I don't know what EQ2 is like now).
 
At my place of work, of the original half-a-dozen people who played RIFT, only one still has a sub (and that in part seems to be because Blizzard won't give that guy his old WoW account back after a hacking incident years ago).

Three things that led to me stop playing:
(1) unable to find an NZ timezone guild, so I was playing a fairly dull solot game
(2) L32 rogue not being able to buy water in the only zone that had quests in it that I could do ... it was taking me around 20-30 minutes to complete a standard kill 10 mobs quest given the mobs were L36+
(3) the Rifts failed to provide interesting gameplay, they epitomised zerg.
 
Rift is the first game that I beta tested but didn't play live. Nothing about the game grabbed me.
 
@Jason: Sorry about my oversight. Stopped playing WoW in 4.0 and most of the non headlining updates have been lost on me.

Some of the commenters have been having immersion problems that I would say are also quite an issue leveling. The majority of the people who try Rift do not reach level cap even though it takes about 4 days /played. However of the ones reaching level cap I have seen very little drop off as of late. Playing on a low pop server I have literally met every level 50 on the server. I would know if people left.

Alot of people seem to claim that Rift is dieing because of the loss of population but really that is just the wave of people who joined because it was the flavor of the month. On my low pop server I can say that the overall population is increasing.

As for the comment on no server community that is at best server to server. I find it hard to imagine there being no community when there are tens of thousands of threads. There are even server specific forums and Trion hosts various poll and forum events to win prizes. On my server in particular there is cooperation between all the major guilds to complete content. We also gather to complete and target enemy pvp rifts. Personally I can say I've made friends and enemies.
 
I've played Rift for five months and to be honest, I had fun. I participated in countless rifts and zone-wide invasions and dynamic events were the main reason I played. Not the for the average leveling experience or the typical level cap grind.

As one of the posters before me, I too belive I have moved beyond raiding/PVP grind gameplay as endgame. I've had enough of that in my "MMO career". If Trion expanded the concept of dynamic events and included it as a meaningful part of end game experience, I'd continue playing. Unfortunately, this is not the focus of the game.
 
I've been playing since opening. Servers don't seem to be declining, although there isn't rampant growth. It seems to have reached a workable steady state. They are starting to encounter scaling issues in the endgame.

I expect the game will go into decline when SWTOR comes out, assuming that game doesn't flame out horribly. In any case, Trion will have made a nice return on their investment.
 
I've been slowly leveling up 3 characters, playing whichever I feel in the mood for (mostly my rogue, bards rule!). The class system is very interesting. You get real hybrid builds, with the ability to focus on soloing rifts, or soloing quests, dungeons, PvP with some overlap of course.

I like the crafting dailies available at all levels. Gives me something to do if I don't have time to quest. A good balance of gear: crafted, quest, planar (bought with currency that drops from rift), and dungeon.

I haven't played guardian much, but I'm enjoying the defiant zones.

Because the questing isn't quite as linear as the new WoW quests, the story telling a little more disjoint, but not as bad as old WoW.

The one thing they did "wrong" but I like: a steeper new character experience. You learn new souls and new abilities so fast. Its a firehose. As an experienced MMO user, its interesting. For newer players it might be overwhleming.
 
I went to Rift hoping for an alternative to WoW. I was very enthusiastic as Scott Hartsman's work with EQ2 in the EOF to Kunark era was exceptional. Unfortunately, I found very little innovative. There are WoW clones and then there are WoW clones. This one took everything from WoW and offered almost nothing new or from anyone else and the main focus of patching seemed to be to fix any tidbits that might be unique to be more WoW-like.

On the other hand, it does seem to be doing pretty well and I wish its players good luck. And it did get me back to playing EQ2 (a far better game than either WoW or Rift), so I guess I owe it a debt of gratitude.
 
Rift is exactly the game I said I wanted.... 2 years ago. Problem is, there are a lot of things that have changed about me in that time.

Namely I have changed my play style from a serious raider.... to that of a flower smelling casual. So what happened for me, and most of my guild is that we enjoyed the hell out of leveling to 50... then got there and decided there was really no point to grind out the gear since none of us actually wanted to raid.

The game seriously lacks fluff content, the stuff that is there but has no real purpose for being there. The fun stuff that keeps you piddling around in a haze of directionless play.

The rifts are amazingly fun, but eventually you reach a point where you know every single possible rift by heart and you have zero use for any more Planarite. So in the end, I started logging in, running laps around Meridian trying to figure out what I was going to do and eventually logging out. There honestly was nothing I cared to do.

Two things kill the re-playability factor. Firstly, the realization that you will only ever need 4 characters is a blow to the altaholics like myself. Secondly, and the big one, having only one leveling path per faction makes that second and god forbid third time through freemarch seem like a complete grind.
 
Well for me Rift was a disappointment I'm sad to say. I liked the leveling, the rifts, the dynamic events and the soul system. But the gameplay at max level was way too similar to WoW for me to like it. But that was also basically one of the few concerns I had before buying it.
 
I picked it up and played for a few weeks. It feels very WoW like and I liked the feel of the melee combat. Rifts are fun too.

However, it all feels to much like WoW. It's the same as with Warhammer or Conan: I've done it all before. Please someone give me a totally new game!
 
I'm still enjoying it quite a lot, even though friends joining have made me "start over" twice.

It does mean that I'm a bit tired of the leveling grind, but on the other hand, I do have 2 level 50 characters that can both do expert dungeons so I have a large variety of activities I can do each day. I'm also in an excellent guild that runs a ton of scheduled events and actually talks to each other and all that as well, so the social aspect is nice. And a couple of my IRL friends play and are in the same guild, which is also nice.

I especially love the soul system and the ability to change spec on the fly, so if that boss is a bit too much I can swap to full heals instead of off-heals (though tbh, my off-heals spec sometimes heals more than the MH. . . . ) or to full ranged damage for those melee unfriendly fights. And I can tank too. Not bad for a single character.

My warrior can only tank or do dps, but it's a lot of fun in both those roles as well, and the ability to switch from an AE focused trash-clearing build to a single-target high mitigation build for the bosses is quite invaluable.

I never really played WoW so I have no comparison for reference there, but from what little WoW I did do, I'd say it does play more like WoW than EQ2 (which I'm a launch day vet and still love to death) and I'll admit to griping at a few features that I think it should have "borrowed" from EQ2, but overall Rift has been an extremely fun and positive experience for me.

With that said, it is a fairly shallow experience, and when SWTOR comes out I do plan of dropping Rift in favor of that game. If I like SWTOR, I'll continue playing it, and if not, I'll probably go back to EQ2 at that point. So, yes, I like Rift, but I don't feel terribly invested in it either.
 
I have been playing Rift since release.
Now I am raiding in the latest raid instance Hammerknell as a Rogue. My only main as I want to keep my time spent in game to a minimum.

Leveling Alts are boring because the quest system is linear. You would only level alts for the professions so you can make more "gold" in game. As the highest tier crafting item requires each profession to use a skill that has a 20 hour cooldown.

The soul system, although vast and opions various is pretty damn broken. Trion keeps showing off how many different style you can use to play the game. However to be a competent raider you only have 1 main dps spec as a Rogue, and that is the cookie cutter saboteur dancer. Forgot melee, forget ranger, forget marksman. None of those various soul option will get you the best dps as saboteur dancer.

The end game is full of straight forward cookie cutter build for specific task that it gets really boring....

I wish Trion would make the different soul combination as competent as saboteur dancer.
 
@Texarkana23 --

"(2) L32 rogue not being able to buy water in the only zone that had quests in it that I could do ... it was taking me around 20-30 minutes to complete a standard kill 10 mobs quest given the mobs were L36+"

I gotta call BS on this. Go explore some more. In my leveling path I skip entire zones so that I don't have to sit around doing grays that I've long outleveled. At level 32 you have Scarlet Gorge and Scarwood Reach both available to you, as well as the higher end areas of Gloamwood and Stonefield. There's no reason to be doing level 36 quests in Droughtlands or Moonshade Highlands at that level.

And if you tell me you did everything in SG or MSH and are only level 32, then you're just trolling.
 
I've been playing Rift for about 4 months now, and will probably play it until SWTOR comes out. So obviously I like the game - a lot. Rift is a lot less ambitious than WoW, both in terms of the size of the world and what you can do. However, what it does it does very well. Rifts are still working well, and zone events are still a blast. I certainly haven't experienced the so called de-population of the earlier areas. Maybe that’s one benefit of a smaller world – it funnels players and their alts through the same areas. I also love the soul system, and trying different combinations play a big role in keeping the game fresh for me. I realize not all builds are very effective, but some of the least effective ones can be extremely fun! Finally, the biggest reason I keep returning to Rift is the community. I like running dungeons, but in WoW it often became such an unpleasant experience that I stopped doing it completely. In Rift I’ve done many, many dungeons and the anti-social behaviour I came to dread in WoW is a lot less prevalent. The bottom line is that I prefer a good social experience in a functioning online world to a unpleasant social experience in a great online world.
 
Played since pre-launch. Started with a guild of 5, went down to 4...and now have 20+.

Still playing, and my renewal is coming, and will continue to play.

It is all about a company who finally gives a crap about their game, and are making every move to get content out quickly. Bugs are squashed fast, and I can focus less on reporting in game issues and more on the fun.

And believe me...anyone who knows me, knows what a huge critic I am. The fact that even though many think it is the same thing as WoW, are just trying to play it like WoW...and that's where it fails.

Here until GW2 or TSW...and may even stay if Trion continues to patch this bad boy with new stuff like it is.
 
Like just about everybody else has said, Rift isn't a bad game it's just not anything special to me. Nothing in the game makes me want to log in and play even though most of my friends are playing it.

I am definitely burned out on MMO's right now so I am going to take a break and hope SWTOR is different enough that I won't burn out on it a month after it comes out.
 
I played RIFT pretty casually for the first month it was out, and then stopped playing MMOs in general for a while. I've been back in RIFT for about six weeks now, and it's definitely my main game.

I love RIFT! I mean no, it's not the "next generation" of MMOs, but it has a nice community, good gameplay, and developers who care. My guild used to be fairly hardcore in WoW, but we are definitely casual in RIFT and I feel it's an incredibly casual-friendly game. There are so many things I can log on and do in an hour or two, and even more coming in 1.5 with the RIFT version of AAs and instances for 1 or 2 people. Although it's not as complicated as it could be, I do enjoy the crafting system and its daily/weekly quests and the crafting rifts AND the fact that some of the best gear in the game is craftable.

Basically there is just a lot for me to do every time I log on. I was extremely excited about SWTOR earlier this year, but the more I read about that game and the more I play RIFT, the less inclined I am to move.
 
The general consensus seems to be that it's currently the most successful sub based MMO in Europe/ NA behind WoW. While their "we have 1 million customers" statement doesn't really do much to support that, I have also seen no evidence to the contrary.

As to whether it petered out after a few months like WAR and AoC did, I think it should absolutely obvious to even the most casual observer that it hasn't. It still has a ton of servers, and updates are still frequent.
 
My experience can be summed up as "meh."

I did the beta and signed up for the 6 month sub so technically I am still counted as a subscriber even though I quit playing 4 months ago.

The levelling was ok. The world is ok but not as charming as wow.

All the post-release content has been focused on end-game stuff which I have no interest in. I would rather go fishing in Azeroth than grind item-levels. Blech.

My view is they copied wow very well, even the bad stuff like the end-game snore, class-imbalance, scripted boss-fights, trinity combat, quickly obsolete content, impersonal cross-realm grouping, and useless crafting.
 
I quit at about 3 months in -- it seemed to be the perfect game for me, but while everything was good, nothing was great.

Ultimately, the game seemed shallow and perhaps Exeter already said it best: It lacked "fun stuff that keeps you piddling around in a haze of directionless play"
 
"Maybe it's just me though, but I can't seem to stick with a new MMO longer than about 3 months these days."

I am in the same boat. 3 months seems to be the point at which I have played out an MMO. Or when I hit the level cap which is my endgame. I don't want to run dungeons over and over. Give me quests out in the sunshine of the world and I am happier.

As for Rift my guild when through a rough patch about two months in where we went from pretty big to tiny to big again. Then I missed a couple of weeks and when I went to get back into Rift I realized I couldn't get into playing again.
 
Still playing every day. Resubbed for another 6 months. Been writing about Rift on my own blog, but you won't have read that - no-one does :P

Rift has it's longueurs but I've played a lot of MMOs over more than a decade and I'd put it in the top half-dozen, easily. It's joined the small group of MMOs that I can't imagine ever *not* wanting to play.

As for how successful it is, I play on three U.S. servers and they are all busy, every day, even though I never play during peak U.S. hours. I'd say it's holding its audience better than pretty much any MMO I've played for many years.
 
Its a game, not a world. The same thing that has been wrong with pretty much every MMO since Everquest. Once the mindless hamsters hopped on the Warcraft wheel and companies realised they could cater to the easy-win crowd and make tons of money doing it, why should they bother making anything else?
 
I'm currently playing, and will likely continue to play for at least a few more months. The game is pretty good for what it is, and has hints of things that could be much better if Trion focused on them. Trion's rate of content addition is quite simply astounding - so fast, as noted above, that bugs have become an issue. It's really hard to overstate the fantastic level of change the game has gone through in the six months since release.

Leveling was the usual grind. I started about two months after release, so my leveling was largely solo on a low-pop server. I never bothered to read quests unless I couldn't figure out what to do (I didn't in WoW either). The hub-and-spoke quest system was well executed and things moved along quickly, with plenty of content to enjoy if you were interested and a clear path forward if you weren't.

The end game is very similar to WoW, especially the high-end raiding. There are significantly more things to do, but this narrows as your gear improves, giving you fewer and fewer things to do to keep progressing your character. Fortunately Trion has not made the mistake of trivializing content via levels; though I never played the T2 dungeons before they were nerfed, I'm looking forward to the higher difficulty levels.

One area that really shines is the Soul character design system - contrary to assertions above, I find that there is a lot of room for customization and variations in gameplay, and the rate of change in the game means that it's difficult for people to settle into a FOTM build. I've been constantly updating and improving my Mage builds since release, and currently have three viable builds that I use in raids (51 Chloro/Warlock, 51 Archon/Chloro, and 31/35 Ele/Pyro).

The other area that shines is the semi-dynamic content. When you're out there in a zone event, you're actually considering where to go, which mobs to take out first, and how to win the event. They've repeatedly introduced more rifts and more zone events, making things much less repetitive.

The biggest issue that I have is that they've been so busy shoring up weak points and expanding existing content that they haven't begun to exploit the possibilities of the dynamic framework they've created. There's a lot more they could do with Rifts that is apparently on the drawing board, but is not yet implemented. I'll probably peter out if they continue to implement only static raiding content and improving existing systems.
 
The environment graphics in Rift are stunning. The best I've ever seen. From the lush greenery of Silverwood to the high desert of Shimmersand.

It's worth playing through once just to experience the environment.
 
I only played it while ffxi was down (japan tsunami). First month. If I had to play something else I'd go back to it. However it was beginning to annoy me that the rift events had no bigger picture connected to them.

I like campaign battle in ffxi where the combined efforts of players over the course of a week affect the state of the zones the following week. Sure you get xp and items but there's also the sense of contributing to a bigger picture. I liked that.

Rifts are perfect for that kind of thing. But they didn't do it. They have no meaning beyond what you get from zone events.
 
I've left WoW after playing Rift in beta.

Still playing rift today. Doing AH'in, some PvP, some dungeons, questing, lots of crafting.

The ascended soul system allows a lot of flexibility. Within the same class.

Rift is in my opinion the MMO of 2011.
 
After Beta, Rift's Developers were constantly shifting the balance of power between classes, wildly changing some abilities while destroying others. Classes like the Saboteur, Riftblade, and Paragon saw their uniqueness castrated and replaced with bland commonality. The Bard became ever weaker with successive patches with the same goal: Make them extremely boring and unfun to play.

As the nerfs came not only to classes but also to the spawn rate of invasions and rifts, Rift's Devs managed to marginalize every redeeming aspect of the game until most people would rather let an angry doberman gobble up their genitals than continue to pay the Devs to destroy what was in Beta a beautiful, clever, and addictive game.

Worst of all, I purchased 3 Collector's Editions for me and my friends.

I'm over it like a bad Ex. I can't see any way TRION can get me to return unless a patch comes out that says "We decided everything we did since final beta was retarded, so we rolled everything back". Hell, they can delete all my old characters. Just delete it all and go back to stress test. Then I'd come back.
 
Still subscribed. On break from it.

No real fault of Rift. I went into it expecting the WoW formula with the twist of the soul system and rifts, enjoyed it, hit max level and promptly ground to a halt.

Grinding dungeons only works if you are driven to upgrading your bits of gear fast so that you can raid, are within the critical mass of people looking to dungeon within that particular tier, or enjoy the social aspect of spending an hour or three with other people. I fulfill none of those criteria very well, so it only holds my attention for so long.

Ditto PvPing and repetitive solo daily quests.

The updates are quick though, so I'm happy to support them as they put out more spins on rifts and more solo chronicle content. I'll play it again when my tolerance meter for WoW-like gameplay has recharged.
 
So far so good. I'm still playing casually and have a couple of alts to mix things up.

So many little things are tweaked for the better, it adds up to a pleasant gaming experience. Going back to WoW, LoTRO or whatever feels like a definite step backwards now.

Sure more content is needed, but to be honest I'm much happier now treat MMOs as just another game and not some kind of "must provide 5 years of content at launch" monolithic experience, so I'm enjoying the ride while it lasts.
 
I played Rift with a static group every night for 2 1/2 months. I then went to the field for a month (military) and when I came back only one person still played from my static. We tried running some more heroics with pugs but couldn't stand it... so we quit and started playing LoL.

I liked Rift and would have kept playing if my friends did... but the game wasn't engaging enough for me to try to make it work. I think that's the problem with all MMO's now days is that there are so many other options we don't have to endure those lulls in fun, we can just go somewhere else. EQ and WoW didn't have as many options during their growing stages.
 
To be honest I find it quite funny when folks refer to newer games as "WoW" clones when WoW was quite obviously derivative of any number of previous fantasy MMOs.

As far as RIFT goes, I joined late (June/July) when the game was heavily discounted for the summer, and have been sub'd and enjoying it ever since. The PvP warfronts are much more dynamic and engaging than in other recent games, they add new content with alarming regularity, and patch 1.5 looks like it will include many enhancements to address both casual gamer and level 50s who need some sort of additional/alternate advancement mechanic. Additionally, the 5 roles and 3 soul combinations add an amazing amount of customizability to gameplay. I think that's what I'm enjoying the most so far - I can make one character class yet effectively get dozens of different combinations of play types out of it.

I'm in the beta for that other Biow*re game that shall remain nameless, and as of today I'd say RIFT is significantly more polished, leading me to reconsider my pre-order of said sci-fi MMO... very surprising to me as I was not expecting this at all.

All in all, I'm pretty impressed with the way Trion had handled things. Sure, there are some balance issues in high-prestige PvP, and they don't quite have the same amount of high-end PvE content as WoW yet (which is an unfair comparison, as WoW has had 6-7 years to build up), but they've done a great job in a short timespan and at the game seems as lively and active as ever.
 
I only managed to play in the first month because I have a lot of stuff to do in rel life (long work hours coupled with gym 3 to 5 times a week makes it complicated to sustain an MMO).

I love the game and I would keep playing if I had time. This next patch has me interested since it seems I'll be able to do stuff in the game even playing solo which is great and wasn't the case when I left.

I think the game has been very successful. Not as successful as WoW obviously but successful by MMO standards. They managed to grab a big chunk of subscribers and they seem to have maintained a stable and sustainable population that allowed the devs to expand their team and continue to pump-out updates at an incredible pace.

The amount of content they are releasing is a solid indicator of the health of the game.

I don't believe they have a growing subscriber base but I do believe they don't have a declining one.

The subscription-based model was in dire need of a game like Rift to prove that it still is a viable model in a market where free-to-play seems to be gaining more traction every day.
 
I am currently still enjoying it.
 
Took part in the open Beta, then played for under a month before dropping my subscription. I hated the cartoony graphics, the plot is simply inane, and I really loathed the extra bling that seems an inherent part of the game: all mobs are giant-sized, everything sparkles and glitters, no opportunity is missed to make things as big and vulgar as possible.

Visually nasty, and the gameplay is inane and repetitive.
 
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