I want to like Rift.
As one of the few themepark MMOs that is performing well a year after launch and with a new expansion on the way, the game’s star is on the rise. Even Syncaine, who officially hates the game, recognizes it as a ‘real MMO’ and praises the developers’ efforts to keep it updated.
However on deciding to give the game a trial, my first session didn’t last very long until I had to quit to play something else.
To explain why this happened, here are some first impressions. Take them with a pince of salt – I played the game for a couple of hours at most.
The usual humans, elves and dwarfish looking races in both factions. Usually there is at least one big ugly race, but I couldn’t find it anywhere.
There are good and evil factions. The evil faction have opened rifts through which destructive forces are pouring. They need to be stopped and I am the hero to do it.
I ran Rift on ‘high’ graphics and on first impressions, it looks a lot like LOTRO. Not bad, but nothing stands out. I do find some of the UI graphics slightly ridiculous – as noted by Wihelm. Every time I accept or complete a quest I receive a massive ‘QUEST ACCEPTED’ sign that makes me think I have just achieved something substantial. It’s unnecessary to say the least.
I am fairly comfortable with the semi-turned-based nature of WoW-like combat. Having said that, my Cleric’s main attack takes a painfully long time to cast. I anticipate that there will be class talents that reduce this cast time, but at this stage it seems overly punishing. To quote Killed in A Smiling Accident: “The wait-on-global-cool-down combat seemed ponderous, almost ridiculously so.”
I have not yet played the game long enough to cast judgement on it, but I thought these first impressions will prove an interesting journal entry when I reflect back on the game at a later date. If I compared the first hour of play with SWTOR, WoW or similar, Rift fares pretty badly.
I’m going to stick with the game – I’m particularly looking forward to experiencing my first rift and trying out the Group Finder, as well as tinkering with the soul system.
But for a game that is bucking the trend of subscriber decline and is regarded but some as a ‘real MMO’, I was hoping for something more in first experience.