A Six Month RIFT Review

I played RIFT when it first launched in March, getting Accolade the rogue to the mid-30s in levels. I was still raiding (and running a raiding guild) in WoW, though, and I didn’t really have the time and mental energy to be seriously playing two MMOs at the same time. Thusly, I came back to RIFT “full time” about six weeks ago.

Let me just get my fangirling out of the way now: I love this game! I mean, it’s not revolutionary. It’s a solid game that expands on a lot of WoW’s ideas. At the end of the day, RIFT has a good community, developers who seem to care, and fun casual gameplay, and I’m not sure what more I could ask for than that.

I have become distinctly casual (non-raider) lately, and RIFT has a variety of activities that I can do in an hour or two of time with a small group or pug. I can log on and join in on crafting rifts, or the daily raid and epic rifts, and can keep an eye out for PVP rifts. I can run around the world fighting off invasions and protecting caravans. Daily quests themselves are not exactly an exciting dynamic, but there are so many to choose from that I never get bored, whether it’s for the world event, various reputations, or the crafting and pvp dailies. I haven’t finished even a single zone puzzle, or gotten my epic questline past the level 30s. And, oh right, there’s the usual instanced content too, like T1 and T2 dungeons and warfronts.

My sense is that players who want to be the best at one thing — a world-first raider, say, or a PvP demon — will not enjoy RIFT. It seems to me to be more of a game for folks who want to dabble in a little of everything. Heck, the next patch will have 1-2 person dungeons and an alternative-advancement-like system, adding to the possibilities.

RIFT, of course, is not perfect. The graphics are beautiful but they do terrible things to my not-that-old computer and at least once a night I disconnect while trying to zone into the main city. Like WoW, RIFT also operates under the general assumption that “gear = progression”, although I would argue that there are more fun ways to obtain upgrades in RIFT. The quests are pretty linear, and leveling up alts seems like it would be a little boring.

RIFT is new. My characters are new. I am, probably, easily amused for this reason. The game is well-made and frequently updated, but in a year or two from now when I have slowly accomplished most goals on Accolade, will I still be having fun? It’s hard to say, but probably not. I guess after WoW I just don’t think of a single MMO as “forever” anymore. If I get a good year or two out of RIFT.. well heck, that’s worth my time and money.

So, the final analysis: If you are looking for a casual-friendly MMO that is not too dissimilar to the current offerings, I would highly recommend RIFT. It combines WoW mechanics with the mellow feel of LotRO, and adds new content at an amazing pace. (And if you are looking for a guild, I highly recommend the Catari Honour Guard on Byriel Defiant, cough cough.)

PS: On the list for this long weekend is finally trying League of Legends. Full report next week!

Author: Jessica Cook

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5 Comments

  1. Good luck with LoL. Its fun, fairly balanced PvP although only having one map (currently) means it gets dull a bit faster than it should. Having said that i’m still playing it from time to time.

    Gobble gobble.

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  2. Thanks Bob! I am a little nervous — it seems pretty complicated at first, and I hear the community is notoriously mean to people who screw up. I suspect I’m just going to be playing against bots this weekend. :)

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  3. LoL has at least two maps.

    Sure, start with bots, but I am not awesome at that type of game and was topping the scoreboard in PvP within a week of casual play.

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  4. As a level 30 LoLer who plays with some ex-WoW raiding friends (and a couple that DO still play WoW with me), I find LoL VERY amusing. Perhaps it’s because the learning curve isn’t retardedly steep. I was never amazing in arenas in WoW, but it seems team comp had 65% to do with it and skill the other 35%. In LoL, you ARE penalized for having a bad team comp (fairly often you’ll end up on a 5 man team where no one’s willing to be the tank), it seems less certain that you’ll have a bad outcome.

    My advice is to start with one character and just play them. Comps are a good place to go to get an idea of your character skillsets – or to even try a few characters to figure out what you feel comfortable with – but I would HIGHLY recommend playing people the moment you like a character and get the basic idea of what they do. Yes, you WILL meet trolls, ragers, and their ilk; I still do! But you’ll find out playing computers will give you very little practice into really PLAYING the game. Computers are retarded and are easily pushed back, killed, kited, etc. Even on medium the computers aren’t great; they’re just nigh impossible to kill once all of them are sporting their ressurection armor and banshee veils. ;p

    Hope you enjoy!

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  5. Oh nice, thanks Chuk and Falrei! You have both boosted my confidence considerably.

    I installed the game last night and played through the battle tutorial — and had a great time once I got the hang of not rushing into the front lines. (I played Ashe.. ranged seems a good bet for me right now.) Based on what y’all have been saying, I am going to throw myself into some fights with real people today!

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