World of Warcraft players, Rift isn’t made for you.
Now that you know that, you can stop telling me how much Rift is like WoW. Maybe that it’s an inferior copy. That if you compare it to WoW, Rift comes off really, really crappy. It fills you with ‘meh’. 7/10.
I get it. But you’re off the hook; just log in to Azeroth and forget Rift exists. PLEASE.
Rift, at this stage, is more or less a blank slate. We know the general brushstrokes — each zone gets an instance that you can run at level, or an epic version of it when you’re at max level. Extraplanar rifts provide random content and commensurate rewards. Quests for people who like doing quests. Solo rifts for people who like grinding stuff alone. Zone-wide raid events which provide even better rewards. An extensible talent system that allows any of the four classes to take on different party roles — tanking, healing, dps or support — effectively making every class a hybrid class. (Rogues have no healing role, but everyone expects action on this front). World PvP, including the invasion and capture of enemy outposts on their own turf. Planar raiding through the other side of a rift.
Clearly the game is NOT a copy of WoW. But that’s fine. You hear the hype, and all you’re hearing is “not as good as WoW.”
It’s been two years since I suggested people who complain how modern MMOs don’t stack up to the first MMO they played decide to just pick a new MMO — ANY MMO — and just PLAY it. Play it as their number one game. Be there every night as the game finds its groove and just be part of something new.
Taking my own advice, I dived into Dream of Mirror Online, Star Trek Online, Wizard101, EVE Online and others, and every single time, I eventually “got it”, became part of the community, and made some great friends and good memories.
I plan on doing the same thing with Rift. There’s going to be a few months before the min-maxers tell me how crappy I play, before websites spoil every quest and dungeon, before add-ons tell me the best way to do absolutely everything, before gearscore let the world know how gimp I am. It’s going to be a time when everything is a new experience. It’ll be a hell of a lot of fun.
And clogging the newbie zones will be a crowd of World of Warcraft tourists who are just checking out the game and validating their preconception that Rift is just a poor clone of their game. And each one will drift back to WoW.
That’s fine. That’s what I WANT you to do.
*I* want to play with the people who go ALL IN. I know no better way to enjoy a game.
So come March 1, it’s just going to be Rift for awhile. You’ll read about it here. I’ll read about all your WoW adventures, if you write about them. We’ll each be able to enjoy our games.
Just one favor: If you don’t play the game, don’t expect me to think much of your opinions regarding the game.
(I expect Trion Worlds really DOES want WoW players to play Rift. Clearly, they will not approve this message!)