Relentless Gamers

Gamers without Remorse

WoW vs. RIFT

At the time of this writing, I play both WoW and Rift and enjoy them both quite a bit. I am in my first week in Rift, however, so it’s still quite the honeymoon period for me.

A lot of people are talking about Rift being the WoW killer (as was so many games before it). I don’t think that will be the case, as I think there’s enough of a market for both games to thrive. However, for Rift to be a continued success outside of it’s initial launch it will have to address some issues.

 

Quality of Life improvements:

While Rift is not WoW, it has taken a lot of it’s design from WoW (and other games like WAR and EQ) but it is obvious that it’s initial design was largely based after early Wrath of the Lich King design or late Burning Crusades. Lack of a Flight Point Mechanic makes traveling from the Capitol City for your faction to where you are leveling very difficult. While you can teleport from zone to zone, most of the teleport hubs aren’t easy to find or aren’t available until later into the zone.

Additionally, there’s a lot of “go here, collect 12 of this item and return” quests, which WoW did a very good job making far less of in Cata.

There are other things that could make things easier in the game that likely wouldn’t be hard to implement, and I’m sure they’re working on things right now after the initial release.

Game Polish:

Let me start with this: Rifts graphics are impressive and can run on a large number of system builds. However, there’s a noticeable lack of polish in some areas. The one place I notice this the most is jumping. It just looks funny. Almost like you jump into the air, float there a fraction of a second then are pushed downward onto the ground. Not a very natural animation.

PVP Balance:

PVP is one of the things in this game that really shines. The Warfronts are very fun and the utility in every class makes the game fun. However, there are some Callings that need some help and others that need to be nerfed a bit.

  • Mages right now are in a bad place from the sounds of it. I haven’t played one yet (and I will, the Chloro/Lock seems popular and fun) but from the general QQ on the forums mages generally don’t survive most attacks by a warrior or rogue, sometimes getting one-shot. While Pyro mages are likely a little OP in their damage output, they tend to get gibbed by a melee class.
  • Warriors are too good right now. They’re one-shotting people with 3 attack points at level 50 when they crit. While I’m having fun with my Champion/Paragon for PVP, I understand that what I’m doing is likely going to get nerfed and I’d have to agree. Just too much damage going out compared to everyone else.

One last thing for PVP they need to fix is people AFKing. There’s people who are botting or just sitting at the spawn point not doing anything at all, raking in the XP. There’s no way to report them AFK right now, and it’s really throwing off balance.

Things WoW could learn from Rift

WoW is a very polished game. The game looks and feels great even today. While the sprites are very cartoon-like, they still look very good. The look and feel of the game is very responsive and it’s easy to tell what’s going on and what you should and should not be doing just by paying attention. However, there’s some things that WoW could take from Rift and be better for it.

  • AoE Looting. Seriously, steal this. This is a no-brainer and needs to be brought into WoW.
  • PVP specs/abilities. This is something that is just amazing in Rift. Rift has 4 role slots and a tree JUST for PVP. This could open up a new level of play in WoW that has been missing. Plus it could help make nerfing something for PVP to have it worthless now in PVE a thing of the past.
  • More World Events. The Invasion mechanics of public events are just fun. WoW could do something like this, and does from time to time, but normally only at the end of an expansion right before the new one comes out. This should be more often and help drive a storyline of some kind.

Conclusion

As I said before, I think there’s enough of a market for both to be successful. WoW may lose some of it’s 12 million subscribers, but is that really such a bad thing? I think that both games are rich and offer some unique qualities that should remain unique to their respective games, but there’s some general MMO lessons from both games that they could benefit from. If you haven’t tried Rift, I’d highly suggest it.

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