Rift: Taking Comfort In The FamiliarJanuary 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.