Well, its been a big week of news so far! Starting with the confirmation of the release date of March 1st, the details of the pre-order program and details of the subscription prices. If that is not enough, Trion also decided to stir the pot a bit with a little commercial:
Yep, we certainly aren’t in Kansas anymore….or, rather, Azeroth.
So, why should WoW player’s even think of making the move to Rift? What will they see in Rift that they don’t see in WoW? I’ve seen this question asked a million times, from a million different blogs, forum posts and articles. For me, it comes down to one question:
Do you prefer Vanilla WoW over Current WoW?
If your answer is yes, then Rift may just be the game for you. Of course, its not quite as simple as that but that is a good starting point. Let’s take a look at what Rift offers over Blizzard‘s behemoth!
How do you like your world?
Gone are the days in which Azeroth was a busy world, filled with players running to and fro, completing quests and making the world alive. Now, most players sit in Iron Forge or Orgrimmar and wait for their next queue to pop. Rarely do player’s venture out into the world and when they do it is only to do very specific things. Gathering crafting mats and finishing a few daily quests are about the extent of player’s adventures into the outside world of Azeroth. Cataclysm has seen an upturn in open-world content because everyone wants to see the new areas but once that newness fades, rest assured that players will head back into the comfy confines of their capitol cities and wait for the next battleground or Random Dungeon Finder pop.
By contrast, Rift is full of life in the outside world. Players are running around everywhere. Completing quests, doing Rifts, fighting off invasions. The world of Telara is a busy place. Yes, it is less convenient than the WoW Dungeon Finder but it is certainly more full of life. Instances are still done but they are done the old-fashioned way and because so much of the content of Telara is found in the open-world, it is a much busier place. If you miss that from WoW, Rift is your game.
How do you like your server community?
I remember the old days of WoW. I knew everyone on the server. I fought with them in instances, I fought against them in battlegrounds and I ganked them in the open-world. It was a fun time. Rivalries and alliances were built on the backs of our community. I knew what players were good when I needed a tank in Upper Blackrock Spire, I knew what player not to invite when I needed a healer for Stratholme. I came across a Horde player in my grinding spot and I knew immediately whether he was going to be a tough fight or not. Those days are gone. The server community in WoW is almost non-existent. The cross-server Dungeon Finder was the final nail in that coffin. Now, you are typically matched up with four people you don’t even know for an instance. Compared to yesteryear the server community is a fractured mess of what it used to be.
There are cross-server PvP Warfronts in Rift (which I could do without!) but no cross-server Dungeon Finder. By its very nature, Rift promotes a server community. The Rift invasions require the server to work together to hold them back. In many cases, an entire zone can be over-run without the server working together. Over time, alliances will form, rivalries will be fought. Its just the way Rift works. If you miss that from WoW, Rift is your game.
How do you like your PvP?
I remember the days of Goon Squad taking over the boat from Menethil Harbor to Theramore Isles. I remember the insane fights in Blackrock Mountain. I remember trying to kill Azuregos while Horde streamed into the area to prevent the kill. Those days are gone as well. World PvP in Azeroth is dead. Blizzard has done everything they can to insure that. Guards are everywhere. Flying mounts insure that you don’t have to fight unless you have the advantage. Phasing insures that even when there are players out in the open-world, they may not even be able to see each other. The Random Dungeon Finder insures that no one is fighting outside of instances. World PvP has degenerated into the occasional gank while you are finishing up dailies or gathering crafting mats.
Oh, but in Rift the chance to World PvP is abundant. Because more players are running around, more opportunity exists for PvP fights. PvP happens constantly. Players who were attempting to close a Rift, break off to engage the opposing faction. Raid Rifts are a good source of loot and players will come from all over to get their share….and make sure you don’t get yours! World PvP is alive and well in Rift. If you miss that from WoW, Rift is your game.
What else do you like?
There are many other reasons to play Rift over WoW. Do you want to see a game in which Dynamic content can expand and take over a zone. In which you have to fight off massive bosses to gain back control of your zone? Rift has that. WoW does not.
Do you want to see a game in which you can be almost anything you can think of? A tank one second, a healer the next and DPS after that. WoW has that in Druid and Paladins. Rift has that everywhere. Do you want a game in which you can pick from multiple talent trees and build a character to your strengths? Rift has that and with a lot more control than WoW.
Do you want a game in which the graphics don’t look like they were made on Fisher Price computers? A game that not only has nice graphics but, in most cases, can support 150+ players and multiple mobs fighting at once? If you think WoW has that, I encourage you to jump into a Tol Barad or Wintergrasp (edited: I originally typed Winterspring, talking about Vanilla WoW dredged up some memories!!) fight sometime! Rift does have that and the performance is getting better with each patch.
So, what does Rift have that WoW does not? A lot, my friend. A lot.
Nope, we aren’t in Azeroth anymore!