Rift: Taking Comfort In The Familiar

January 5, 2011

I’ve been contemplating my decision to pre-order Rift all day. No, I’m not changing my mind on the purchase, I simply am in the habit of holding conversations with myself in my head. And no, I don’t think that’s strange, do you? No, I don’t, absolutely not.

Basically, this question surfaced in my mind: “Why are you still pre-ordering Rift, if your impressions of it were so average?

Well, leaving aside that this is still beta, and I have no doubt we’ll see improvements, my answer to myself was, “Is it really so odd that I enjoyed an ‘average’ game?” I don’t think so. Maybe Rift won’t bring anything terribly new to the table, but I don’t think that had any bearing on my level of enjoyment. If I were to place a high priority on stuff like that, well, then I don’t think I’d be so hooked on games like Hexic and Bejeweled.

To be honest, the word “average” might not even have crossed my mind if I hadn’t been sucked into the all the discussions or watched the “epic” beta launch trailer on Massively right before I played. They overdid it a little, in my opinion, but I’m partially to blame too. Normally, I’d take measures to keep my excitement in check and brace myself for anything that can happen, but unfortunately my Rift beta key was a last minute surprise, and I wasn’t prepared. Experiencing the beta on the heels of such an onslaught of anticipatory buzz and emotion probably affected my first impressions. As they say, beware the hype machine. And that goes for both players and developers.

The crux of it, though, is that an MMO doesn’t necessarily have to blow me away with its originality to still offer me a good time. Those things aren’t mutually exclusive, and that’s how I viewed Rift.

Sure, a little novelty now and then would be nice, and I’m still waiting for the day when a truly “revolutionary” MMO will be developed, and when it comes you can be sure I’d be cheering for joy with the rest of the masses. But until then, right now, today, at this very moment, I am just so sick of upcoming MMOs all claiming to be  “innovative”, “advanced”, “bold”, “cutting-edge”, and “next-generation” etc. etc. etc. Hey guys! I just want to have a good time!  To be honest, a claim boasting “We’re mostly going to stick with the fun things that work!” would be perfectly fine with me. But then I suppose that would make for a pretty crappy trailer tagline.

Oh my, I think that was a rant. Was that rant? I don’t know, but you’re doing that thing again.


  1. Nice rant! j/k 😉

    I’ve been making the same argument on various forums. Is Rift original? No. Doe Rift feel a little too familiar? Yes. Do I had fun playing Rift? Yes. In the end, that was my decision maker. Lastly, Trion kicks ass when it comes to Community management and customer service. I really hope the game does well for them.

    • Oh yes, it doesn’t matter what you play, if the support behind it is terrible, it’s no fun at all. I’ve had a good experience with Trion CS so far, and I think they are quite in touch with their community.

  2. Well said! There is something to be said for product that delivers a consistently high level of quality. Perhaps that’s where MMOs are destined to be at for quite a while.

    I’m always interested in a better hamburger even though the hamburger is nothing new or innovative these days 🙂

    • Thanks, I’m glad you liked my post, but I like your hamburger analogy better. 🙂

  3. If you have fun, you have fun. theres no reason why you shouldn’t pre-order. Even if you only enjoy an average mmo for a few months, you’ll probably still get your money’s worth.

    me i’m waiting for a .hack//sign-like mmo that will blow me away, but until then, swtor, and gw2.

    • That’s exactly what I figured. At worst, I get a few months of fun and if it’s something play off and on, in my eyes that’s money well spent. At best, it ends up being a game for me for the long term.

  4. Considering how bad so many games are, making an average game is actually an achievement!

    It may not hold you forever like some games, but you’re likely to get at least a few months about it. In that case, why not preorder and get in while the game is still new?

    • Ditto what Anjin said, and that’s pretty much what’s in my 2011 post scheduled for tomorrow.

      Awesome semi-rant by the way!

    • I know, I would rather have a working fun game that knows where it’s going than something that tries to be edgy or tries to please everyone.

  5. I don’t mind tried and true, more of the same. I actually like knowing how things work and what to expect. I hope to try Rift and I do hope it’s a good game but I don’t expect it to be anything new and innovative.

    • Even though it’s more of the same, for me, I’d say Rift is a “good” game. Especially given this is beta. The quality of the gameplay thus far is exceptional, considering.

  6. Allod’s Online was an extremely average fantasy MMO. That didn’t stop me from enjoying the hell out of it until I hit 20 and it bacame “Hit the cash shop, or be bored to tears…the MMO.” Just the Eastern European steampunk setting and the art direction was enough to keep me hooked.

    • Ahh, Allods. Yeah those were some good times. I actually liked that game a lot, but I didn’t quite make it as far as you did. Unfortunately, it was the community I couldn’t stand and finally did me in, I didn’t even hit the cash shop wall.

  7. Nothing wrong with an occasional rant now and then.

    • Thanks, but I do try to stay off that soap box 😛

  8. […] seen so far, I can say I agree with most of what everyone is saying (Bio Break, Kill Ten Rats, MMOGC, Manifest Pixel, and especially Wolfshead Online); it’s got a very strong sense of […]

  9. I agree with you really. Though i haven’t read all that much about Rift the MMO till the last 24hs or so I find it interesting to read about the game on a few blogs in short amount of time. I’m probably finding it interesting because I do like finding something new and interesting to sink my teeth into to play. And they really just haven’t been that many games that really draw my curiosity outside of a few i’ve played.

    A game don’t have to be cutting edge or all that innovative for me to enjoy. What i often like to enjoy is a good story and a game where i can find it fun to learn as well as have fun playing and learning it. What I do want sometimes is options of something else to play that’s at least have some fun yet it don’t have to be the best or great step above the rest, it could just be different than what i’m used to playing.

    I for one would love to see more new games succeed or enough game companies put some real effort into making a game with enough quality at launch it has a chance to succeed vs just rushing a game to market for $$ thats dead before it even had a chance to live. Even a average game i can enjoy if its fun or interesting or just sometimes different. WoW may be the biggest game in the MMO market to attempt to topple, but to me a game don’t necessarily have to be all that better than WoW either for me to personally enjoy.

    Even if a game is average and fun i’ll be willing to try it, willing to give it a chance that it can grow on me to like or enjoy the time i’m there having fun. I for one really do wish for more games to succeed or to be just above average fun to play so that i can have more choices of games to play vs not that many at all but the ones that has survived the last several years.

    I’m looking forward to you writing more about Rift Beta and more. Hell i may try to get a Beta key and play it myself. I enjoy playing beta’s just as much as you do or anyone else.

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