Many players, including myself, are wondering what will be next for Rift.
There are signs of trouble brewing for Trion. Despite a smooth launch and flashy graphics grumbles of dissatisfaction are surfacing regarding the current state of Rift and a perceived absence of content.
Firstly understand that I really wanted to like Rift. In many ways I still do. Rift looks great and the rift mechanic from which Rift derives its name has many possibilities to create an ever changing and exciting world pvp and pve experience. Trion has a chance to build upon their current game to create an innovative and compelling mmorpg experience.
Unfortunately, as Rift currently stands it is primarily a vanilla World of Warcraft clone. The only substantial innovations are its Rift system, a modified form of public questing and a more flexible class system. This begs the question, why bother playing an unfinished World of Warcraft at all?
Though Rift initially generated considerable hype and has enjoyed a smooth and successful launch, there is a growing apathy being displayed by its lackluster end game content. Unless additional content and more importantly, innovation within the genre are made by Trion we will continue to see players return to World of Warcraft in droves.
Ruin Gaming currently maintains branches in several MMOS, including Rift and World of Warcraft. Given the similarity between these games our organization has been interested in observing which game our players have chosen to play. Overwhelmingly those World of Warcraft players that tried Rift have already returned. They have consistently stated that the limited pvp system in Rift has made Warcraft a better choice.
Many of our players are veterans of Dark Age of Camelot and Warhammer online. They view the absence of Realm versus Realm combat as a glaring flaw in Rift. With the current pvp system revolving entirely around grinding Warfronts (essentially battlegrounds from WoW) the burnout rate is high. Grinding the same Warfronts over and over from low levels does not make for a varied or particularly compelling pvp system.
One of the major complaints from our member base has been the fact that there is so little improvement over World of Warcraft in general. In the major areas of PvE, raid content and smaller instances Rift only offers a few fairly standard encounters. Rift currently lacks many of the pvp features that World of Warcraft provides. Rift currently has no arena or rated battleground system.
There is hope for Rift. Trion has shown the ability to rapidly implement new content to meet the needs of their player base. Hopefully expanded pvp options will be provided to hold the interest of their player base. Otherwise the trend of an exodus to World of Warcraft and other games will continue.