One of the most disappointing things for me is to find out that my carefully considered opinion is suddenly shared by many other people. I guess I prefer to think of myself as unique.
I bought into the hype a little bit and started playing Rift during the “head-start” release, the second of three house-mates to begin playing. Congratulations Trion, on the 100% market-penetration of your title in my house, only the second MMO to do so.
It’s been a long time since WoW was a big, scary, incomprehensible world to me, with 12 million players now exploring every crevasse and theorycrafting as much of the fun out as possible, and class designs which have had six years of “balance” patches sucking all the flavour out of them. This is what I was hoping to recapture with Rift; the flavour of a brand new world, with new and unique class mechanics and [hopefully] players which are not either jaded elitists or idiot socials.
But of course Rift lacks the six years of polish that WoW has, not to mention six years of my own polish in terms of a carefully crafted custom UI presenting me with information in the way that best suits me.
There is also the lack of any significant challenge. This can be easy to forgive given I’m at an early stage of the game, and few modern MMOs are challenging in solo play. But then when I reach anything which is challenging, I’m suddenly in a situation where I feel like I’m struggling with managing my UI as much as the mob my character is fighting. It doesn’t help that the ability buttons themselves feel incredibly muddy and unresponsive. The ability queue is nice, but let me feel like I’m pressing the buttons when I press the buttons, please.
The significant other brought home the new Pokémon games last week and between that, WoW raiding four days a week and the sudden burst of enthusiasm I’ve found for my Outland-level Hunter alt I suddenly don’t feel a lot of compulsion to play Rift.
What I see in Rift is potential. I have high expectations for the future of that game and and sincerely hope that it does well over the next few months as the developers refine it into something which can be a serious competitor with WoW, maybe not in terms of playerbase, but just in terms of competing with it for my own spare time.