The official Rift
forums are a wealth of information, a hotbed of knowledge and a great
communication tool between members of the development team and the
community. They are also a bridge. Not the idyllic metaphorical bridge
that brings two divergent sides together though. No, they are a bridge
that act as a virtual home, a covering that even the most cursory
glance at reveals its seedy occupants Â trolls. There is an old saying
in the MMOG community; those that can do, those that canÂt go to the
forums and whine about it (perhaps IÂm paraphrasing a bit, but you get
the point). The forums have become a place where no good deed
goes unpunished and despite the best efforts from community managers,
seeds of snarkiness and underhanded jabs of contempt are sown and
Of course these places of semi-anonymous discourse arenÂt all bad and even the most obnoxious and overly dramatic rants can sometimes spawn great discussions with solid ideas and suggestions. This week we take a look at 3 of the more common themes of contention that probably should become reality.
Most of the vocal opponents of the current system would like to see a split between players of different PvP ranks, segregating the haveÂs from the have notÂs so to speak. While that sounds great in theory it creates more issues than it solves when put into practice. By further reducing the pool of available players from which the system can draw from the Warfront queues will become increasingly worse. Besides, once you have the entry level of PvP gear you have the same amount of damage reduction as the highest level players.
One possible solution would be to take a page out of the book of the new kid on the block; Star Wars: The Old Republic. SWTOR uses a method of normalization that allows players of all levels to play in the same instanced PvP encounters. Rift could adopt this methodology for all unranked players and all players under the level cap Â put them in a huge pool and normalize their stats and abilities to help queue times and increase participation. The more dedicated PvP players would then go on in their own group.
Opponents of this may see it as a sign of weakness with the game being relatively young, fearing that doing so would be admitting defeat and pronouncing the death of the game. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Rift has had phenomenal success based on expectations and based on the performance of other AAA titles released in the post-WoW era. Add to that the fact that no other game can release polished and meaningful content at such a high rate and it becomes clear that Rift still has plenty of years left in the tank.
Another upside to shard mergers is that queue times will be reduced as more players are funneled in. Faster queue times will increase player satisfaction and enhance RiftÂs reputation as the premier load and go theme park MMOG.
Player immersion isnÂt always predicated on raiding or PvP, some players enjoy the economic aspects of a game as much or more than any other facet. A revamp of the tradeskill system would not only benefit the crafters but everyone on the shard if the items were made useful. Trion needs to reduce material costs or increase their availability, introduce some useful items into all professions in the system and create crafter interdependence to help boost the system.