In 2005, I was a dedicated console player at the time and the mere concept of hooking my console up online was, to be honest rather scary. Then a friend started babbling on about this game he played, an MMORPG, where he paid not just once but multiple times, I really could not see why people played it and paid a fee monthly for the privilege, especially as the software itself was not free.
Being a tight ass bugger, I had already decided that it was gonna be rubbish but as a he had given me a free trial, I decided to install the game just to prove him wrong and me right. 6 years on I’m still playing the World of Warcraft, and ironically he isn’t.
However, I have dabbled with other similar games. the first was Warhammer Online, it launched at a point where I was not enjoying the social side of my warcrafting and I thought I’d give it a bash. It was OK but it just lacked something for me which Warcraft didn’t. The gameplay was a bit jerky and worst of all my friends were not there but in Azeroth. The came Conan, Dungeons and Dragons Online and Lord of the Rings. All those games were good too but never appealled enough to me to either remove me from Warcraft completely or in part, again mainly the people but also the gameplay wasn’t as polished or as smooth were my main reasons for consigning it to the back burner.
Next up was Star Trek: Online, I had high hopes for this but after seeing movies from the beta and reading reviews it didn’t seem to be what I wanted and I never even bothered with the trying it out. Then all the hype started building around Star Wars: The Old Republic and it is something I will buy but with no confirmed dates I consider this a future project. Then a guild mate started talking about, Rift a game he was playing during its beta weekends. I chatted with him about it and did some research online and it looked good and sounded even better. I signed up for the beta and waited, I missed the next beta weekend but then got an invite before the next one.
However, I was unable to ever play the beta because the client always seemed to die at 99% and being on a relatively slow 2meg Internet connection with a 40 gig monthly download it took a few hours and ate away at my time and bandwidth and after 3 tries I gave up hope. However, I did still want to play the game and decided that I would buy it.
|Devoid of all imagination I made Evlyxx my Rift character too|
So it launched, I bought and I have played. My impressions? It is a very good game. The graphical detail is way better than Warcraft, this is particularly evident in the character models, whcih are infinitely customisable on creation, which is a million miles away from the 8 or so variations on facial options, skin colour that Warcraft has. This combined with the ability to change your character height means that your character will already look unique which is one of the common criticisms of WoW. The gameplay is pretty standard stuff, almost all the key binds are the same as WoW. No matter how you look at Rift it IS a WoW clone; it looks like WoW, feels like Wow and problably if you were to eat it, it would taste like WoW too. But it is a damned good clone and with the non-WoW features like the public grouping, the ability to merge groups and the actual Rift events it could be a huge success.
For me the only thing working against it is that I don’t want to stop playing Warcraft and leave my friends in Warcraft behind there and I am not willing to pay a subscription to 2 MMOs. I am certain that this will be an issue for many other Warcrafters and this is the biggest risk to Trion’s wonderful game. So Rift leaves me in the horrible situation of hoping it fails but only enough to make it go free-to-play and until it does (or I decide I hate Warcraft enough to leave my friends behind there) I shall keep Warcraft as my MMORPG of choice and may occassionally reactivate my Rift subscription on major patches and expansion.
Have you tried Rift? What are your views on maintaining 2 subscription fees?