It's hard to understand why MMOG players are so fiercely territorial
when it comes to their current game of choice. In fact you would have
to look at religion or political parties to find another group of
people that are as brand loyal, even Coke drinkers will sip a Pepsi now
and again. Since World
of Warcraft launched there have been several quality
titles that have never reached the level of success that they probably
deserved due to the cult like adherance of WoW players, and while Rift has fared
better than most Â it still could use an infusion of fresh players.
Maybe it's an economic issue that keeps people from playing more than one game, but there are two distinct camps in the MMOG community, the single minded and the open minded. I don't mean to say that folks who only have eyes for one game are inferior or less intelligent, not at all. But the ability to see games and characters as a means of entertainment instead of as a virtual extension of ones ego is definitely a skill that takes time to master. In hopes of nudging more folks along this path of enlightenment, I present the top 3 reasons WoW players should give Rift a try.
#3) A Brave New World
I know many folks who are more than happy to stay firmly rooted in their parents basement as the pizza boxes with the coagulating cheese and the empty mountain dew code red 2 liter bottles pile up around them, but not me. In real life and in game I love to explore new places and relish the journey as much as the destination. While Rift certainly isn't the largest piece of virtual real estate out there, it is widely varied and semi-dangerous. From the white capped mountains of Iron Pine Peak to the desert oasis's of Shimmersand there are environs both stark and beautiful alike throughout Telara.
Some may find the relative high density rate of the mobs in Rift to be a drawback, and indeed it can be when you are short on time and need only to make it to the next quest hub. This sort of inherit danger adds both a thrill and a sense of accomplishment to the experience that a well patrolled road or passive flight path can never deliver. In addition to the visual aspects of exploring a new land, Telara is steeped with lore, for those that enjoy learning and living the story behind the game.
#2) It's Gotta Have Soul
One of WoW's few weaknesses is that of its highly limited class customization. It isn't bad enough that we all have to look exactly the same due to lack of armor variance or personalization, but we all end up slotted into the same few cookie cutter talent specs as well. Unfortunately, no game that has a strong PvP element built into its core gameplay will be able to allow much in the way of post level-cap advancement, but Rift has found a way to at least free us from the bonds of same-spec servitude.
Instead of having a large list of playable classes, Rift uses a soul system that begins with the player picking from one of the four archetypes, or callings. The callings are divided into Cleric, Mage, Rogue and Warrior and each calling has 8 unique PvE souls within it. Players get to accumulate all 8 souls and can then combine up to 3 of them into a role. As you level up you gain points to distribute into these soul trees, purchasing new abilities and unlocking power in the root system based on the number of points invested. While each of the 8 souls make sense for each calling, they are amazingly diverse in their scope and what they bring to the table. For example; Clerics are able to tank, heal, do melee dps or do ranged spell based DPS. Players will gain a total of 66 points to spend by the level 50 cap which gives them the freedom to make countless combinations of classes. With 5 available roles available, rolling an alt can be as simple as picking up a new role and playing with some new souls.
#1) Doing it in Public
What really sets Rift apart from the fantasy MMOG crowd is its finely tuned and engaging forms of open world content. Certainly it wasn't the first game to attempt to encourage and foster public gameplay, but it may easily be the most successful. The centerpiece of the game, and it's namesake, are the rifts; deadly portals into another plane whose inhabitants seek to invade Telara and plunder it for it's precious Sourcestone. There are many different styles and difficulties of rifts, from quest driven solo rifts all the way up to huge raid rifts that can dominate an entire zone, as well as PvP rifts and crafting rifts.
Groups are automatically formed when you get within the proximity of a rift, and even multiple per-existing raid groups can be merged instantaneously and without player coordination. Each rift has it's own objective and gameplay type, with new styles being rolled out all the time. Loot is delivered straight to the player via a UI window that makes the process quick and seamless. There are many rewards to be gained from participating in a rift event and few experiences rival that of engaging in an large scale invasion with hundreds of other players, fighting for the very survival of your world.
While it may be hard to pry yourself away from WoW and the countless hours invested there, sometimes its worth the effort to experience something new and fresh. With a free trial offer and constant deals on Steam and various other outlets, Rift is a fairly inexpensive new world Â especially when one considers the vast amount of content it offers. So come, take up the call and see why so many of us simply aren't in Azeroth anymore.