Something there that wasn’t there before

I'm a dad, I play disney for my daughter in the car. She loves it. Get over it.

As I’m sure you’re all aware, last night was the opening of the open Beta for Rift. You may also recall my relatively luke-warm reception of the game. I’ve said it elsewhere, but I can’t recall if I explicitly stated it here, I had zero intention of playing the game at launch, or after launch. It was a good, clean, crisp, well polished rehashing of everything I’ve done in the past in every other themepark fantasy game. My excito-meter wasn’t exactly breaking the glass. In fact, I hadn’t even played any of the close beta’s beyond the third when I made my UI video, my disinterest was that low.

Last night, saw me in the game. A strange confluence of events left me with no other outlet of MMO-dom. Both EVE and CoH had patches to download that required a whole 10s of minutes, and I’m damned if I’m going to wait around that long to play a game. My wife was happily dominating time on our PS3, playing the copy of Katamari Forever I got for her birthday. WAR, I found out, my subscription had ended, and I didn’t feel a particular urge to re-up, as I hadn’t even played in a number of weeks, and couldn’t recall when my sub had actually expired (I’ll revisit this later).  So, I looked at my Rift icon, thought, what the heck, I’ll start the patcher and see which game wins in the patch-race.

Rift finished first.

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Rift in the community

I know, terrible pun. You’ll get over it. Or you won’t, and my bad title will cause you to do something drastic, and probably come back to bite me in the legal sense as being responsible for your extreme behavior. I’m willing to take that chance. Especially for a topic as interesting as this one.

With every new release of a fairly prominent title into the MMO community, people invariably start to talk about it. Big or small, bloggers at the last will make some comment about it. Rift is no exception. What’s particularly interesting about this release, are the reactions from those who have played it, and those who are reading the things written by those who have played it. Some players find it has too much PvP, as in, the game is not solely, 100% PvE centric. Apparently, not paying attention to whether allies are flagged for PvP and then healing them isn’t a good reason to be dragged into PvP conflict, nor is inattentively throwing out AoE when a potential enemy is around. I kid you not, someone used the excuse “They walked into my damage”, when I was in elementary school and told the teacher the other kid ran into my fist, the excuse didn’t work then either. Conversely, we have players who find it to be incredibly thin on the PvP side, and highlight that by pointing out the entire experience in the Betas so far have been PvP optional, EVEN ON THE PVP SERVERS. Capital letters drive the point home I think.

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Rift UI Elements

Here’s a short video I did from the Rift beta event #3. In it, I go over most of the UI elements of the game, and talk a bit about how the work, and the value of each. Trion did a great job of taking a lot of ideas and implemented concepts from various MMOs and integrating them into their game. Of particular note, is the customization of the UI layout they took from WAR. Too frequently, that aspect of Warhammer is overlooked, which is a shame, as the UI developed by Mythic is what I consider to be one of its largest achievements when they developed the game.

Follow the break for the video.

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Stick and move

Rift is the first game I have seen in, well, ever, that I think has an actual shot at competing with WoW for a PvE MMO place of recognition.

I mean that with all subtleties and intricacies you can think of if you look at it through the light of the current treadmill MMO genre design.

Will talk more on it later.