I Don’t Think the Rift Community Wants That….

So, in recent days I have seen an explosion of forum threads where people are making suggestions for Rift.  Some are very good.  While others are very, very bad.  Hey, I like suggestions.  Anything that gets the community talking and the developers listening is a good thing.  But, sometimes people just don’t get it.  There have been a few suggestions made over the last few beta events that are consistently ranked down by the Rift community.  Things that people seem to be overwhelmingly against.  Yet, the same people continue making the same threads.  Over and over again.  It gets maddening when you look on the forums and find the exact same suggestions, posted by the exact same people.  Time and time again.

Let’s take a look at some of these suggestions.

  • Flying Mounts. This one has exploded in recent days, with no less than four separate threads on the subject, most posted by one single individual.  Each thread has been shot down and all went to one-star.  The majority of the Rift community just does not want flying mounts.  At least in the way that WoW implements them.  Arguments against flying mounts include: makes the world too small, takes away from the feeling of a “living world” and deters World PvP.  I agree with all of those arguments.  Flying mounts are not only not wanted but they are not needed.  Telara is not a particularly big world, there is simply no need for flying Mounts.
  • Arenas. I have seen this one pop up a couple of times.  The good ‘ole WoW arenas.  People shot this one down with a frenzy.  Reasons include: don’t want another gear grind, they are too unbalanced, they are just another deterrent to World PvP and they are inherently unbalanced.  Again, I agree with all of these things.  If you want to duel, then duel.  There is no need for an arena system.  Go fight some Defiant (or Guardian, if you happen to be Defiant!).
  • Auto-Face/Stick. This one always seems to come up during the betas.  There always seems to be one or two folks who just have to have auto-face and/or /stick.  Fortunately, the rest of the people shoot the idea down as fast as it can be posted.  In a game in which so much is already pre-determined, by gear, level and spec, do you want the computer controlling one other facet of PvP?  I simply can not understand this at all.  Movement should be an inherent part of PvP and the ability to move better than your opponent should help determine a winner or loser.  Want it in PvE?  Fine.  Keep it out of my PvP.
  • Random Dungeon Finder. This one irritates me to no end.  Fortunately, it seems to irritate the rest of the community just as much.  The Random Dungeon Finder was instrumental in destroying the server community and the open world in WoW.  It completely ripped it apart and what is left is a dead world, with no world PvP and very few players leveling outside of instances.  Rift does not deserve that.  In Rift, the open world is the game. Sure, you have instanced dungeons and instanced raids but the Rifts in the open world are what sits Rift apart from WoW, LotRO and the like.  Why in god’s name would you want to destroy that with a Random Dungeon Finder?

As you can see, most of these ideas are ripped straight out of WoW.  With the exception of auto-face, every single one of them come from WoW as a matter of fact.  I just don’t get it.  I hear Rift called a ‘WoW-clone” on one hand and then, not two seconds later, people make suggestions to make it even more like WoW.  It makes no sense to me.

I just have to be glad that the majority of the Rift community does not want to see any of the above ever implemented.  I also have to be glad that Trion seems to be listening to their players.  Because, if they are, we will never, ever see this stuff in Rift.  Thank God.

In Rift, the Rides Come to YOU!

The coast under attack from a Foothold on the small island.

“Help!  My God, we need Help!  Help NOW!!!”

Those were the exact words I was greeted with upon logging in to Rift Beta Three today.  Typed in General Chat no less.

Now, stop for a minute and think about that.  Just think about it for a minute.  How many themepark MMOs can you imagine that being said in?  Not many I would bet.  Now how many of those could you imagine that being said when it does not involve PvP and when the person saying it is level 12?

I bet there is not one.  WoW certainly never has any real danger at that level.  Ditto for LotRO, Aion, Age of Conan or any other themepark MMO I can think of currently.  Yet, you see it all the time in Rift.  Constantly.

The world of Rift is a dangerous place.  Much more so than any other MMO I can think of that is not named Darkfall or, perhaps, Everquest.  There are constantly invasions happening and an invasion will wipe the floor with a solo player of the same level.  It is really a whole new experience.

Syncaine, of Hardcore Casual, got into the Rift beta this go around and I really look forward to what he has to say about it.  I know that he will say that it is a themepark MMO because it very much is one.  However, this one is a bit different.  You see, in Rift the rides sometimes come to you. Quite often, in point of fact.

Imagine walking around Disney World with your family, merrily eating your cotton candy and talking about what ride you want to hit up next.  When, suddenly, a trap-door opens underneath you and whisks you off to some random roller coaster.

That’s Rift in a nutshell.  Its a themepark but one so different from the norm.

 

In Rift, the rides come to you!

 

 

One second you can be merrily going about your questing business and the next you are smacked upside the head by a Fire General and his elite minions.  It is really a unique experience that I have not seen in any MMO to date.  Guild Wars 2 might have this feeling but we don’t really know yet and its a long while until its out.  Right now, Rift is it.  It is the only MMO that encourages grouping this way.  It is the only MMO in which you could be crafting one second and fighting elite mobs the next.

I have heard many complaints about quests in Rift and I agree; they aren’t anything special.  They are your normal “kill x of these” and “take this to that bridge” type quests.  But on top of that is a layer of dynamic content that can make you forget all about questing.

I spent the majority of my night fighting off invasions, destroying footholds and closing Rifts.  Questing was reserved for the “in-between” times.  I still leveled fast and I still got loot but I did not feel a slave to the quests.  That is a nice feeling.

The footholds and invasions are such a unique feature and they react in such interesting ways, that I soon forget about questing.  When two Invasions come together some really cool things happen.

 

My Bard, Bragi, jamming his lute while defending Argent Glade.

 

 

Tonight I found myself unable to turn in a quest due to an elite Fire Invasion taking over my quest hub and my little Guardian Bard was stuck.  Unfortunately, there was no one around at the time to help, so I stayed at the periphery and attempted to pick off the elites one by one.  Suddenly a Defiant NPC  Invasions attacked the Fire Rift from the side and the battle was on!  I stayed back and helped the Defiants by picking off the Fire minions in the back.  After the fight was over, the Defiants stood victorious but seriously wounded and weak.  I was able to finish them off and destroy their foothold, thus freeing my quest hub.

There is nothing else like this out there.  Nothing.  The fight was amazing to watch and a far cry from any other MMO experience I have really had before.  The fights can get really chaotic.  Just wait until you find yourself in the middle of a fight between Life, Fire and Defiant forces!  It can not be described.  It is so chaotic and dangerous and all around fun that I can not help but love it.

Yes, Rift has its problems.  I still have a few issues with the Global Cooldown.  I still think that the world suffers from a distinct lack of “fluff” and could use some farms, village and signs of every day life to spice things up.  I still believe it is too linear and could use some racial starting areas.  I still have my problems.

But, in the end, none of that really matters because what Rift does well, it does really, really well.  It creates a very unique, dangerous world to level in, with constant activity and real reasons to group.  What other theme park MMO gives you that?

None, I tell you.  None.

To end this post, I leave you with some video I shot outside Sanctum.  I arrived to Sanctum to find the small encampment right outside destroyed by a Fire invasion.  I was invited to a group and we began valiantly defending our City.  Everything was going well, when a Life Invasion attacked our flank.   Take a look and see if we survive!

A little warning though, I am terrible with video editing.  Thus the video is pretty much raw footage, with no music and no real edits.  Still, I hope you enjoy!