Well, despite being horribly busy at work (I swear Christmas was sooo much better when I had no responsibilities!), I did not miss the NDA drop yesterday. I have read quite a few of the impressions in various blogs (yes, all the links are separate blogs, so click away!) and most are pretty positive. Most everyone has been blown away by the polish of the game, which is a nice change from most soon-to-be-released MMOs. If there is one thing to take away from all these impressions, it is that if you are tired of WoW/EQ2-style questing and combat, do not expect to enjoy Rift. It does nothing to change combat nor does it do away with questing. It is a highly polished MMO in the WoW-style, albeit it with very nice customization options, great graphics and a twist in the form of Rifts and Invasions.
Speaking of Rifts and Invasions, the Rifts and Invasions that beta players have seen in Beta so far is only the tip of the iceberg. I can not say much but I will say that you will probably be seeing Group only Rifts and Raid Rifts in the final game. Not only that but there are also other types of Rifts than what is currently in beta. Rifts that tell stories, Rifts that build “villages” or encampments. We have only seen the bare minimum of what the Rift system has to offer. As Trion comes to grips with the complete tool set and sees what players like and don’t like, we will start to see the full gamut of what the system has to offer.
As far as my impressions are concerned, I am pretty damn happy with the way Rift is turning out. Do I think it is the perfect game? No, but then again, what game is? It is very solid, polished and it is a lot of fun. My only major complaints is world-size and the linearity of leveling. I love the Soul system, I am excited about the Rift system and I find the instances at least as good as anything WoW has to offer. It reminds me a whole lot of “Vanilla” WoW and that is a good thing, in my opinion.
Rift is also blessed with the singular most responsive development team I have ever seen in the MMORPG genre. Scott and Trion respond to feedback quickly and with emphasis. I have already seen more changes in class balance, quest tuning, instance tuning and mechanics in Rift than I ever did in the Warhammer Online, Aion or WoW betas. Trion is quick and they very obviously care. This can only bode well for the future.
I want to apologize for the lack of updates here in recent weeks, working retail during the holidays is no fun and leaves me with precious little time to do anything other than work and spend a scant few hours with my family. Rest assured that I am still excited about Rift and this little blog of mine. I want to wish every one of you a Merry Christmas and happy holiday! I hope everyone is able to spend the holiday with their family and surrounded by loved ones. I will talk to you all after the holidays!
P.S. This video is epic and, yes, that is a ROGUE tanking! Soul system FTW!