Further Rift Impressions

I went home and started playing Rift again. This time I chose a Guardian and part of the Cleric healing class instead of a Defiant Mage. The starting zone was incredibly boring with lackluster quests. My toon is a Druid who is about as far away from the nature loving Night Elves of WoW as you can possibly get. She’s human and has a goofy looking fairy for a pet. She walks softly and melees things with a very big two handed “mace” that is more along the lines of a staff. It looks completely ridiculous to me.

After the first day I honestly thought I would buy this game to keep me busy for when WoW gets boring. Truth be told, I honestly enjoy my time in Minecraft way more than I do in Rift. I’m not saying that some people won’t enjoy Rift immensely but I’m pretty burned out on RPG MMOs right now. I’ve been playing WoW for very nearly 2 years straight and I’m just plain tired of all the grinding and questing.

Rift does get some stuff right:

* Public raid groups is an amazing idea. WoW only has an event that would need a public raid once in a blue moon like the Elemental Invasions of the capital cities before Cataclysm. Having an automatic public raid during these events would make a lot of people’s lives easier and trade chat wouldn’t be constant spam of PST for invite SW Invasion.

* The map system is really nice and pleasant to look at.

* The “clothing” looks more like what someone would actually wear. I’ve only found one example of a female character that was clothed like a typical MMO female – showing more flesh than practical or even comfortable looking. No metal bikinis in sight here.

* The females have reasonable body types and reasonable sized breasts. They look like “real” people, well as real as an “elf” could possibly look. The NPCs aren’t all cookie cutter models of player characters – there are some that are fat and some that are skinny just like real people. WoW has the problem of every NPC looking like they just walked out of Victoria’s Secret or GQ. (With the noted exception of Therazane.)

And the stuff they didn’t get quite right:

* The starting zones are polar opposites. The Defiant zone is much more intense and story driven then the Guardian one. When I was a Defiant, I felt as if I was a valued member of a team that was out to change the world. As a Guardian, not so much – I was given menial tasks. A Guardian was supposed to be chosen by the gods for some great purpose but here I am killing 8 mobs and praying – meh!

* The Rift event itself was fun the first 2 or so times it happened. Then it kept happening and happening and happening – all right on top of the quest mobs that I was already competing heavily for. This got to be so annoying that I actually logged out for the night after the 7th or 8th one spawned because I got so frustrated.

* While absorbing different souls with different abilities is very cool it makes the talent trees too cumbersome. I have a few points that I have been granted that I can’t even spend until I make another level when I’ll be granted even more talent points. This makes for too much of a good thing.

* The races are far too limited. It appears you have 6 races to choose from when in actuality it’s more like 4 because you have a human and elf Defiants and you have human and elf Guardians with very similar racial abilities.

* On each side of the conflict you have the “Ascended” or player characters. Both sides have come up with the amazing idea of bringing people back from the dead to solve their conflicts. It’s lazy storytelling to say the least. I could understand the scrappy Defiants using this method of warfare but it doesn’t seem like something the more pure Guardians would do.

* The way the characters move is clunky. While WoW does have an extremely dated graphics engine, the characters and everything in it move smoothly. The mounts of Rift suffer this worst of all. It’s like the animals are missing the muscle structure to make their legs move in a proper motion instead preferring to hop-skip their way everywhere.

In closing, I am glad I didn’t pre-order that really nice collector’s edition of Rift because I don’t think I have the patience to play it in the long term. I am much more happy in my purchase of Minecraft – the real WoW Killer.

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