I am a bit late to the party with this, as I had to work all day today, but Syp (of the Biobreak Blog) has posted his hands-on impressions from Pax. Before I start to analyze it, let me say that I have always loved Syp’s writing and I respect his opinion immensely. He was one of the first Warhammer Online bloggers I read and paid attention to and he has always written very concise and informative impressions. That trend continues with his Massively article.
From the very first, you get the feeling Syp has not paid a whole heck of a lot of attention to Rift in the past and he confirms that early in the article when he states:
Up to this point, Rift had been clocking pretty low on my interest radar. It took just one interview and a hands-on demo to change all that.
I am extremely happy to hear that. The fact that Rift seems to have grabbed him from the beginning is very encouraging news indeed. I have noticed that Rift, in general, has been flying under the radar to a great extent. Many have never heard of it and many have heard of it passingly but really know little about it. Currently, it seems, Guild Wars 2 and SW:ToR have stolen all the limelight and the majority of the gaming press. With this article on Massively I think all of that is about to change.
Syp goes into detail about his experience in his first dungeon instance (Darkening Deeps) up to and including their wipe on the first boss. I found his comment on the fluidity of game play the most encouraging:
I found myself pleasantly surprised at how fluid the gameplay was; everything felt polished, looked terrific, and performed spot-on. In fact, it all flowed together so well that I simply concentrated on the dungeon run like I was sitting at home instead of having my every healing flaw pointed out on the jumbotron with color commentary.
That’s some pretty high praise. I am extremely happy to read this from Syp. The high amount of polish seems to be a constantly mentioned positive from everyone I have read who has played the game thus far. I find that phenomenal after going through the WAR release. It is about time that we see a truly polished, content rich MMO at release and it looks like Rift could finally be it.
Syp goes on to talk about the Soul system and, of course, the Rift system. For the most part, this is nothing we diehard Rift fans have not heard before but it is nice to read it from Syp’s point of view. Syp finishes up with the following:
I declined to stay past the hour it took to reach the first boss of the dungeon, although it certainly wasn’t for a lack of fun. If anything, I came away from PAX this year with a newfound respect for Rift — its creative concepts, its attractive art design, and one of the coolest mounts I’ve ever seen (the Yarnosaur, a rhino/camel beast). I can’t vouch for the rest of the game, but Trion Worlds certainly appears to have a serious contender in the works.
Syp has also written a bit about Rift on his personal blog Biobreak. Here he awards Rift with his “Surprise of the Convention” award. Just awesome.
Looks like we may have a new Rift convert on our hands. We may be seeing him in Telara in the not to distant future. Rift is winning players over, one player at a time!