Gamers without Remorse
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.