Monday, June 17, 2013

Update on RIFT free-to-p(l)ay

Well, it's looking good for RIFT. They've had too raise the caps for number of active players and have started splitting servers! Great news for the community! Rift Junkies has the whole story...

I'm particularly pleased to see that they have not offered any of the best PvP or PvE gear for purchase on the ingame store. True pay-to-win is the  curse of MMOs, and I'm glad to see that Trion isn't falling for it.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

RIFT: Free to Play first impressions

RIFT Free-to-Play launch page
I tried out RIFT on my far-too-old living-room entertainment center laptop last night in order to see how free-to-play was. I was kind of blown away, but there were negatives too, so let's get into it!

First off, in case you haven't followed it: RIFT, a popular second-tier MMO with a peak of an order of 1-2m users has gone free-to-play. I think that this is largely a result of their having lost user-base after the first rush of new users during their first expansion, Storm Legion... I'll cover why that was in another post. Free-to-play isn't the end of RIFT, though, if last night is any measure!

RIFT plays a lot like early WoW, before it got all of its sharp corners filed off. This is both good and bad. The game is far more dynamic than WoW, and presents the player with many more choices in terms of character development and play style. However, it also leaves casual players at the bottom of a deeper chasm of learning curve than the modern "just make it simple" MMO. As such, RIFT is much more of an MMO fan's MMO, and if you haven't played MMOs before, you might check out one of the simpler ones first (like Guild Wars or Star Wars... WoW is an option, but it's high-end grind is a bit too daunting in terms of time commitment for most new players right now).

Anyway, so RIFT is free-to-play; what does that mean? It means that you can log in (sort of... paying customers or "patrons" get priority if the server population is too high during peak hours), create a character, and do just about anything in the game, just like a paying customer. Paying customers get some bonuses like extra goodies, resurrection is a bit more convenient, etc.