I've been playing RIFT for a little while now, and you know I've been kind of enjoying it. I wont claim it's a perfect game, but for such a recent MMO (launched about 6 months ago) it is very polished and there is a stream of new content coming fairly quickly.
But recently I've been hearing a lot of criticism, some of it fair, no game is perfect, but some of it is just plain stupid, and I'd like to take a moment to get these thoughts down.
- It's a WoW Clone!
This is an easy one... I'd just like to say... Well Duh! Copying is rampant in the games industry, everyone does it, RIFT copies from WoW, WoW copied from EQ, EQ copied from UO, UO copied from MUDS, MUDS copied from D&D, etc. But you know what, that's not a bad thing.
WoW is a very good game, yeah I don't play it anymore, haven't since Lich King, but I will freely admit it is a very good game. So of course if you want to make a good game you'll take notes from other good games, it's obvious.
It's how we get new games, gradual increases rather then staggering innovations. Just look at WoW itself, when it first came out everyone was so impressed with an MMO you didn't need to grind for days to gain a single level, you could quest and enjoy yourself, but they didn't get hit by a strike of lightening telling that to do that, no, they looked at the MMOs of the time and as players of those games knew what annoyed them to the most, so they set about fixing it.
And hey, you could call the latest Call of Duty game a Doom Clone (God showing my age there, I remember when that was a common term), never mind the FPS genre has evolved a staggering lot since (in some areas, such as level design, devolved. at least IMO).
- The Quests are dull!
Well okay, look at any MMO on the market, of course there are going to be tons of boring samey quests, kill 7 of these, collect 9 of those. It's nothing new. Granted some games have broken the mould (I personally LOVED the quests in DCU:O even though they were still kill X collect Y, the voice acting added a lot) or are going to do such as SW:TOR.
But you're not looking deep enough, there are quests that are actually fun and engaging (without the gimmicy crap some MMOs throw at you... looking at you WoW Vehicles), along with quest lines that span the entire level range, start at level 15 and finish up at level 50 with you doing instances and raids.
- There are too many / too confusing abilities!
Personally I love the soul system that lets you build the perfect character for you, and I love the idea that all your spells come from your talent trees, because it doesn't end up with you being forced to do X just because your class has that skill, because if you're Y you don't have it. So no being forced into roles you hate just because your class can do it.
And frankly I love having dozens of abilities to chose from, even if some of them are only used rarely, it's still cool have a big tool box to chose from.
Though I will admit some of the tooltips need cleaning up badly (Warriors especially)