Why I’m not playing RIFT

Wilhelm over at TAGN wrote today about how RIFT is definitely in the post-boom period from its switch to free-to-play. I was surprised to hear that Trion is cutting the number of servers by half, but it made me realize that although I once considered RIFT to be my one true MMO love I haven’t logged on in.. months? Huh. How did that happen?

(By the way, mad props to the PR team over at Trion for writing a real doozy of a post about the shard mergers. It’s not low populations and server closures, it’s advanced technology bringing players closer together! You asked for it, and now you get it! I have serious professional respect for that level of spin.)

So why am I not playing RIFT right now? I did for years leading up to the F2P announcement, and to be fair I played quite a bit afterwards, too. Then I just.. kind of wandered off.

Certainly as someone who dislikes F2P models on principle I found myself clashing with the new system while enjoying the game. I was really extremely super bummed when it turned out that the new outfits associated with Summerfest were all only available through the cash shop, and on top of that were quite expensive compared to everything else. (If a bikini costs more than a space pony mount, the pricing is wrong.)

Then in September patch 2.4 came out and promised new hairstyles. I logged on that night, excited to play Pretty Princess, only to discover that there were a couple of new hairstyles but most were only available though, yes, the cash shop. You could only buy the hairstyles as one big purchase, and they were also quite expensive. I know that a F2P game must make money from the cash shop to survive, but continually having to shell out for fun new casual fluff that I once could play the game to get became too much of a bummer for me.

I admit that I’m also not immune to that standard MMO player fear of failure. When your genre of choice relies on a critical mass of players to be playable, much less exist at all, it’s hard to resist jumping ship at the slightest sign of instability. RIFT (and Trion Worlds in general) has definitely been giving off signs of trouble for a while now, what with the closure of the San Diego office, their non-presence at PAX Prime this year, and the fact that one of the long time and much loved Community Managers, Elrar, was let go.

I still really like Trion, I’m just not sure I’d heavily invest time or money in their MMOs right now.

Of course neither the cash shop nor the feeling of producer instability truly affect gameplay. I could still be running around doing events and warfronts with almost no change from two years ago. But I’m not, and … I don’t really know why. I just got bored, I guess, which I suppose is as legitimate a reason to stop playing as anything other.

Author: Jessica Cook

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14 Comments

  1. I enjoyed my time in Telara, but after the switch to F2P I just found myself playing less and less ’til I had no desire to go back. One annoyance I remember was how all the vendor windows switched to the giant, bulky, non-user friendly cash shop interface. Just one of the many small factors that made it easy to jump ship.
    seth´s last post: TSW: Hunting Rares in October

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    • Yes! I like the unified vendor system, but that window is totally the worst.

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  2. I think on some level, the core community sees these events (the layoffs, the conventions) and shares your doubts and lack of enthusiasm.

    Compare the spin machine at Rift with the hype machine at Blizzard. What WoW really has going for it is that it’s become a staple in the MMO genre, that reliable old game which is the default when new games fail to attract. I believe most players aren’t ecstatic about WoW, but rather it’s just that its old and reliable (and of course fun for those who play). Blizzard is the best lesson in the industry on how polish and shine impacts the success of your MMO community.
    Doone (@trredskies)´s last post: PAX 2013 and Tomorrow

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  3. I haven’t played Rift since before it went F2P, mostly because I got bored. Rift just doesn’t feel like a game I’m always going to come back to, like City of Heroes was (gods, I miss that game!), so I cancelled my subscription now that the year I got with Storm Legion is up.

    I feel an overwhelming sense of “meh” that makes me think I made the right call. Too bad; I thought Rift had tons of potential.

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    • Yeah, it’s strange. I think I just haven’t played an MMO before to the point where I got bored. Usually something more fun pops up, or in the case of WoW I just got sick of guild/raid leading. I feel pretty “meh” about RIFT right now though!

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  4. I’m not a fan of Rift… but I never have been. I just don’t get it. But yes, being generalized bored of a game is a perfectly good reason to leave a game. We don’t always need GOOD reasons. Sometimes any reason, no matter how small, when another game is giving us multiple reasons to play it is totally valid. :)
    Ocho´s last post: Awesome Screenshot: The Island in a Sea of Electricity #TSW

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    • Very true! I feel guilty sometimes about playing X or not playing Y, which is sort of a silly way to approach GAMES.

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  5. ” I have serious professional respect for that level of spin.”

    DCUO made the same claim over a year ago – they weren’t merging servers when they went down to the bare minimum their PC/console/region split would allow, they were creating new “Super Servers”. I have very little respect for this type of spin because it demonstrates very little respect for the company’s paying customers. Cuts of these magnitude are going to impact what customers can expect going forward, and I would have respect for a company that was honest about what I can expect in exchange for my continuing support.
    Green Armadillo´s last post: Hearthstone Constructed Match-Making: Profiting From the Stomping of Newbies

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    • Well yes, it’s a very silly post with a lot of spin and anyone who knows games in the slightest will see it for exactly what it is. Honesty is often the better policy.

      That being said I’m a marketing copywriter by day, and I have to admire the gumption! :)

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  6. I managed to get myself quite invested in Rift for a while, and worked a character up to level cap in each of the four classes. That says something, since I never play mage types.

    But since the expansion I have found it hard to keep myself interested. Storm Legion just did not light any sort of fire for me. And the game was quiet after Storm Legion because they were working on the F2P transition, which was nice for some but which added nothing new to actually playing the game.

    Of course, I have found every expansion since Ruins of Kunark to be problematic in some way. But Storm Legion really did not grab me.
    Wilhelm Arcturus´s last post: Rift and the End of the Happy Time

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    • I think I’ve posted this before in your comment section in the past, but I totally agree. I was *really* excited for Storm Legion, and the lead-up to it was some of my busiest time in the game. Once it hit, though, I barely made it to the new level cap.

      Maybe it was too big? Things felt kind of empty, and all the carnage grind quests were uninspiring.

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      • I think Storm Legion did it for my enthusiasm for Rift as well. The game worked in a small world even if I *thought* I wanted a bigger one. Suddenly the world is 3 times bigger but the new zones are full of generic content and the playerbase is way too spread out and I just felt the game lost its magic very quickly as a result.
        Telwyn´s last post: Back to (gaming) normality

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  7. i dont understand why your complaining. its not like its p2w like other f2p titles. so u have to pay for some cosmetic stuff. big deal. everything u NEED is earn able. it dosent stop ppl from enjoying content or give anyone an advantage over another. complaining u have to pay for cosmetic items is just trying to find a reason to complain.

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    • “It doesn’t stop people from enjoying content or give anyone an advantage over another.”

      That all depends on what content you enjoy, doesn’t it? Getting an advantage sounds like you’re just thinking of PvP or maybe raiding, but what if your preferred content is Dimensons? What if you thinking “winning” is creating awesome outfits, or collecting all the mounts?

      One of the things I loved about RIFT was doing all the holidays and events, and now half of the activites are just more cash-only items in the shop. That stops me from enjoying content.

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