1. Rift is a finished product
Why yes, Rift is indeed a polished and well-made MMO. I have pointed this out several times and have seen many others do the same. Trion Worlds has managed to finally give us an MMO that doesn’t suck. But we are missing the point here. We are congratulating Trion for making an MMO that isn’t littered with problems. Which is because companies like Mythic and Funcom gave us two duds that were wrecked with issues from beta and on to this very day. But should we really be so eager to heap endless compliments onto a company for finally doing what most MMO developers should do in the first place…release stable, unbuggy games?
How have we let our expectations become so diluted ? Well, it’s because we are so used to receiving the same crap shoveled out again, that we are more than prepared to kiss the feet of anyone who can release an MMO that doesn’t possess the stench of decay at the very moment it’s birthed into the world. So is the problem here really the MMO community ? Is that who is truly at fault for making us all so screwed up in how we assess new MMOs ? Or is the fault to be laid at the feet of developers who continue to release unfinished, problem-strewn games ?
2. There’s an endgame
Why yes, Rift does have an endgame and things to work for, which completely differentiates it from…oh wait. Yes, I am happy as anyone to see that Trion has released an MMO that has some endgame content from the get-go. But that makes it special how? I have played a metric ton of MMOs in my time, with Lotro, EQ 2, and WoW being among the most predominant. And all of those MMOs currently have endgames and many different goals to work towards. It doesn’t matter if they had a proper endgame at launch, because that is the somewhat unfair reality that new MMOs face. Freshly launched MMOs have to compare to current games after they have already received a bevy of fixes and updates over the years.
So just because Rift offers me more loot to pursue does not make it special, as I can find that almost anywhere right now. I can raid in plenty of places, folks, it’ not a revolutionary concept anymore. But I do applaud Trion for releasing a finished game, as I said before. But how long are we going to pat them on the back for doing what should be the norm anyway, and instead, point out how they are simply copying what has been done before them without really pushing the genre forward as some of their marketing material claims. (I will touch on this more later)
3. The game isn’t buggy
Good heavens, haven’t we already made this point ? Does Rift have nothing else to offer me other than it isn’t a terrible game ? Is there really where this debate has gone ? It’s like when Valve keeps putting blocks and see-saws in Half Life 2 to demonstrate the fact that they made a physics engine. I’m thrilled that they’ve managed to make a good physics engine, but there are only so many times they can keep showing me how I can throw blocks before I start to desire something more out of it. (they do provide that by the way, just making a basic point)
So Rift is not buggy. Well done Trion ! But what else have you got to offer ? Let us see.