Home > MMO, RIFT > Girl, indecisive

Girl, indecisive

So RIFT is available for pre-order now, at least in the United States (and I won’t rant about the rest of the world being treated like poo or, at best, Johnny-come-latelies to the playing party, it’s not like it’s the first time an MMO company has done this — the whole distribution and licencing and whatnot side of things seems just a wee bit convoluted to me, designed to benefit everyone except the actual non-US players. Oh wait, am I ranting? Good rant, but in this case actually not warranted, it seems. Oops. Sorreeeee….).

RIFT. Pre-order. Yeah… I probably won’t.

It looked okay and everything, in the short couple of hours (if that) that I played over last weekend’s beta event. Please note, this is not (read it: NOT) a review. I don’t think I’ve played long enough to review the hairstyles, let alone the actual game, and at best I can give you some first impressions. In any case this is about why I won’t pre-order.

RIFT was slick and it was polished, don’t get me wrong, especially for what’s technically still a (end of) Beta. It looked better on-screen than it does in my screenshots, actually, but here’s one anyway. Is it just me, or does my char have a Kim Wilde thing going on? Maybe I should burst into “Kids in Telarica”?

The soul-class-not-class-system-thing was really interesting, from the little I saw of it, and I was grateful (if a little overwhelmed) that the beta threw it at me so quickly. I didn’t understand it well, but at least I grasped the basic One Char, Many Souls, Pick Three, four is right out concept. I think.

The world under siege theme was well-presented — in fact, as far as I’m concerned, too well in the human (?) starting area that I saw, pictured above. The constant bombardment constantly bombarded my ears the entire time I was playing there, accompanied by wails and whatever other sounds were appropriate for the time. I turned the music off very early on (no offense, RIFT, I do that to every game) so at least that wasn’t added to the cacophony. But, while it might stir the blood of normal players, add to their immersion, and generally make them feel part of some large urgent world-invasion event — to me it rapidly becomes just a wall of sound, and not the good musical kind either. I have sensitive ears — or something.

Laugh if you must, but ironically it was enough to make me log off and not log back in that weekend. I liked the character, I found the UI rather familiar and quite easy to get along with, but I couldn’t stand the idea of spending another hour or three with explosions and crumps going off every 3 seconds. So I didn’t.

Which microcosm experience sort of reflects my macrocosm decision not to pre-order. (Yet. This is an MMO, so Rule #1 is Never Say Never.) Pretty, slick, nicely done, ever so sliiiightly original but not so original as to put off people who expect a WoW-clone — like, you know, probably 90% of the gamer population who don’t read blogs and who don’t give a shit about the industry’s attempt to define itself outside of the shadow of the benemoth… But it didn’t grab me.

If I get invited to any other betas I may give it a little bit more of a chance, though the insane noise of the starting area is a huge drawback for me. Some people don’t like nails on blackboards, I don’t like noise, to the point of wanting nothing to do with the source. And yes, I could make a char somewhere else and I probably will, though sadly it won’t be an Elfy type, and GLEE wept. The char models look odd to me at best; the dwarves are actually pretty cute, but the elves on both sides of the divide are, how do I put this politely? FUGLY. See below, and I rest my case — is that a miserable-looking cow or what? Heroin Elf-chic, I guess.

Another reason I don’t think I’ll get this ahead of time — and very likely won’t play it at launch either — is that I’ve only just got back to another game, and I’m actually rather enjoying it. It’s possible I’ll be bored of WoW by the time RIFT launches, but this time I’ve got a bunch of friends there too, and that really enhances a game’s stickability. I don’t see myself being ready to move on come March.

We’ll see. There’s no such thing as Never in the MMO world, but for now I don’t think I’ll be pre-ordering and I’m not really panting for launch.

  1. January 12, 2011 at 9:29 am | #1

    As far as I’m aware from what I’ve seen you can pre-order digital just fine from Steam as well as from the Trion site world wide. I may be mistaken, but I’ve seen a good number of our UK and EU twitter friends pick it up. Of course if you’re talking about only the physical box, this point is moot. :)

    • January 12, 2011 at 9:30 am | #2

      That’s excellent news — I was actually going from the bitching of EU friends who maybe didn’t do enough research. :D Will pass this on.

  2. João Carlos
    January 12, 2011 at 10:28 am | #3

    mmmmmmmm…

    How I can say it…

    Just complete the quests at the starting area instance. It is for you close a rift…

    SPOILER ALERT

    You will be sent to the past for try stop the world be destroyed.

    END SPOILER ALERT

    When you arrive at the “real” Telara you will see it will not have all that noise from bombardments, that aparently disrupt you.

    That places are more quiet… except for the rifts and armies of players runing from one side to other for stop them when there is a massive invasion.

    Ah… the game name is Rifts… but the real rift madness start only after you complete the starting instance. The dinamic content is a nice experience and a lot of fun.

    • January 13, 2011 at 9:11 am | #4

      Yeah, I’m not sure the rest of the world would be any better for her. There is an overwhelming sense of “OMG GO SAVE US NOW” for a good long while. I’ll only point out that EQ2 went to this model as well when it decided starting cities were not allowed for the first 20 levels or so. :-p

      Also, FYI, you will eventually get access to all the souls in your calling, not just the initial three. It is difficult, but once you get the hang of it, you can build just about anything.

      • João Carlos
        January 13, 2011 at 10:28 am | #5

        Yes, that starting zone is like that isle at EQ2.

        The problem is that the real Rift start after it. You just see the real game after you conplete that starting phase. And I see the reason why they don’t put “real” rifts at the starting area: that can disrupt the players trying to learn how to play the game and how to use their toons. (yes, a rift is a lot disruptive, and a rift massive invasion worse)

        With relation to souls, you get the ones only for your calling. You cannot get a warrior with souls from mages or healers. If you start as warrior you can get, trying diferent souls combos, a pretty good tank or a pretty good dps and you can adapt it for solo/group/raid changing the souls.

  3. Sinnekar
    January 12, 2011 at 10:33 am | #6

    Tried DCUO yet?

  4. January 12, 2011 at 4:41 pm | #7

    If it’s not a stupid question why did you not simply disable game sounds in options?

    I find it quite useful to do this, most recently in WoW. If I am tanking for a horrible group full of ninja pullers then turning the sound off significantly lowers my immersion so that instead of the game taking 90% of my concentration it takes about 20%. As Options go it’s definitely one of the more powerful ones and really changes your interaction with the game.

    • January 12, 2011 at 5:16 pm | #8

      It’s not a stupid question – thing is, I like some sound in my games. When they’re dead silent (i.e. entirely muted) it doesn’t seem entirely real to me and it’s almost as bad as too much sound. That said, I probably could have played with the sound options — I can’t remember whether I did or not. Probably though, since I’m a compulsive options-fiddler. ;)

  5. January 13, 2011 at 4:48 am | #9

    Yeah, WoW kind of killed RIFT for me as well. First I wasn’t in the beta, so I have no idea, aside from second-hand accounts, what’s in store. I don’t know for instance how well the UI functions and if I will like how much you can customize it; which is one of my pet peeves.

    So yes I am in the same boat, I won’t be trying out RIFT, at least not as an early adopter.

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