Unfortunately, with a game that is supposedly as close to release as it is (and has been for a long time, but the Vaporware debate is an entirely different subject) I throw up in my mouth a little bit every time they release some new cinematic and don't focus on the actual game.
I'd rather they make their money by delivering a solid, fun and engaging product instead of cross-promoting gadgets. Unless it was announced during E3 and I missed it we still don't even know when this game will be released and they're already trying to sell us accessories.
I have been extremely impressed with Trion's content release schedule so far. My only concerns are that
1) They're still living off of content they had in their back pocket at release and releasing it to look like they have this amazing ability to continuously update the game, or
2) The legitimately can pump out this level of content at a rapid pace, which will lead to so much content being released so quickly that sooner or later they'll run out of ideas and/or start pushing mediocre content out just to keep their pace.
Either way the end result is going to be, at some point, that they will have a "dry spell" where we go a few months without any new content. My fear is that they are currently setting the bar so high that they won't be able to live up to it in the long-term and when they falter the playerbase will go ballistic.
I would much rather see 3-4 big (paced) updates each year on a regular schedule than watching the playerbase get over-saturated with these good content updates every month only to be hit with a wall of nothingness for 6 months when the Devs at Trion run out of ideas to patch into the game.
While I agree with you about the similarities between the two games I think the whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts. Yes, the class/talent system is oddly familiar to WoW players (although I would agree with other posters that there are definitely some new twists on "standard" WoW classes as well as some new class ideas) but the ability to mix and match classes brings a level of variety to gameplay that cannot be experienced in WoW. Yes, the questing system is a certified replica of WoW's questing system (minus the annoying vehicle-combat mechanics that Blizzard has become so fond of forcing down our throats) but they are integrated with the game fairly well and perform their function within the game admirably. It's also easy to pan the lack of a "creative storyline" but Trion didn't have 20 years of canon to build off of and many players will maintain that the lore in Rift is far superior to what can be found in WoW (which itself was also blatantly ripped off from Games Workshop all those years ago).
I agree that there are a plethora of parallels not only to WoW but to almost every MMO that has been on the market in the last 5 years (Rifts = WAR's Public Quest system, Collections came from EQ2, etc) it only becomes apparent as you spend time in the game that all of the individual parts add up to give Rift it's own identity.....they allow Rift to stand on it's own merit as a quality (and fun) MMO that, thus far, is seeing a better retention rate than anything (sans WoW) that has come before it. We're still only a little over a month into the game's life, so anything can happen, but for now I'm perfectly content to remain in Telara and enjoy the fact that I'm not in Azeroth anymore. :)
Just a quick update on the video recording. Trion has upped the record time to 10 minutes. 3 Minutes was nice, but didn't allow players to create boss-fight tutorials. The new time limit was very much appreciated.
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