?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Previous Entry Share Flag Next Entry
RIFT, or the grass is not always greener
me drawing
tww1fa
I have a friend that has switched from playing World of Warcraft to RIFT, and this last weekend there was an event where current players could invite friends to play with a free trial account. So my wife and I ended up installing RIFT and played it for a bit (up to about level 10.)

The good:
  • The graphics are quite a bit better than WoW - more polygons and smoother textures. Spell effects are specially nice.
  • The talent soul system is interesting. Although there are only four classes available (warrior, cleric, rougerogue and mage) each has around a dozen souls (talent trees) of which you can select three to put points into. Not only that, you can only have as many points in a soul as you have levels, and you get on average more than one point per level, so you level up at least two souls (or all three) as you level up your character (unlike WoW where you can't even start putting points into a second tree until you've maxed the first tree.) Some combinations are quite interesting, like a warrior that steals magical energy from mana users and can use it to cast spells.
  • You can adjust the position of all UI elements without need of addons - just drag when in a special "layout" mode.
  • Rifts - these are essentially public raids. When a rift opens and you walk into the rift area, you are given the option to join the group that is already doing the rift and help out to get the rift quest rewards.

The neutral:
  • Definitely a lot was stolenborrowed from WoW, including most keybindings, map/minimap, quest interface, UI layout, etc. WoW has done a lot to polish this, so it makes sense to follow their lead.
  • No addon API. This is both good and bad. On the good column, there's nothing like Gearscore, and encounters/bosses are designed without addons in mind. On the bad column, it limits what you can do in some ways.

Bad:
  • Although the graphics are very nice, the artwork leaves me cold. Instead of the cartoonish WoW art design, RIFT goes for a more realistic approach. Unfortunately the real world in most fantasy genres is composed of greys, browns and some green. So you end up with a lot of highly detailed drabness.
  • The game attempts to make up for the aforementioned drabness by adding as much UI bling as it can. Every time you give in a quest, you get a flying banner above your character saying "QUEST COMPLETED" and your toon does a fist pump. Same for leveling. It gets annoying fast.
  • This is going to be very subjective, but for me the world was just not somewhere I wanted to spend a lot of time on. I didn't feel any connection to any of the characters, the questlines were bog-standard fantasy fare and I didn't feel the need to keep playing to see what was going to happen. Added to this is the fact that you're not starting as a plain Jane/Joe - even your level 1 character has NPCs toadying up to him/her.
  • Another subjective opinion: RIFT has absolutely no sense of humor. None of the quests I did made me crack a smile. No pop culture references, no silly quest dialog, nothing. Maybe WoW takes the humor a bit too far, but RIFT takes itself way too seriously.
My wife and I played RIFT for a few hours before having to stop to do something else. When we could play again, we asked each other whether we wanted to play again - both of us pretty much said "nah." It just didn't grab us.

I'd rather be in Azeroth.
Tags: