The blogosphere around which I orbit has been a'buzz with Rift information for the past few weeks and I can't help but feel like I'm missing out on something new and exciting. Unfortunately, for every good review I get, there is a bad one. Now, I'm a fairly level headed guy and I know that I should take most reviews with a pinch of salt, but when the evidence is so conflicting it's difficult for me to make up my own mind.
I was speaking with TashaDarke earlier today and she explained it thus:
Tasha's assertion is supported by other reviews:
Think the Guild Wars profession system (you get 3 which you can change at will) and Guild Wars 2′s dynamic events & grouping (has a few issues but that’s another blog post), with Aion’s looks and WoW-post-Cataclysm feel & crafting. Its not better than other MMOs, its just a less broken system than the others.
Generally speaking this game plays virtually identically to warcraft, even to things like the menu options to switch on extra bottom and right hand menu bars!
I tried the game because I dont like where warcraft has ended up, I prefer a more perenial immersive sandbox experience, rather than spoon fed button mashing repetition experience. But this game is so similar to wow its ridiculous. (Unfortunately all developers seem to be desperate to emulate warcraft and so are all of this ilk).It's inevitable that most popular P2P MMOs (and MMOs in general) will be compared with the big Daddy of them all. WoW has taken the MMO genre to its highest level yet and many a game designer could learn a lot from the tomes in Blizzard's dusty halls. I also understand that a lot of the old school WoWers are looking to Rift to be a replacement to what they view to be a severely broken game. Consequently, if Rift is going to be trying to tap into the disillusioned WoW player demographic (a big one, I'm sure) then I'm confident that it will flourish at first - although I don't have much faith that it'll nab many real loyal fans.
And so if you love warcraft, you will like this.... but erm hey warcraft has years of content under its belt so erm.... just play warcraft instead.
I think my main concern about Rift is that it doesn't appear to be adding anything new to the MMO genre, and I'm not sure I should reward this cowardice with my playtime and my hard earned moolah. I'll probably give it a few months for the dust to settle and to find out what the players think about the game in it's entirety.