The upcoming 1.2 update to Rift is pretty substantial, and considering what 1.1 brought just a month ago, Trion is keeping to a brisk pace for updates. Part of me wants to cheer, the other part sits here, nods, and wonders what 1.3 will bring next month. I want to say such expectations are unfair (especially when I make the totally unfair comparison to Darkfall update pacing, or the even slower rehashing of WoW), but then, this is a themepark, and well, it’s the pace you must sustain to keep people happy. Asherons Call did it back in 2000, and EQ1 released weekly expansions. About time we return to those days.
I will say this though, if Trion DOES continue to release updates of 1.2 size monthly, I don’t see how people can realistically be upset (forum warriors aside, as those ‘people’ are professional crybabies, minus the whole “getting paid, self respect, contributing member of society” thing). So long as the monthly updates don’t replace content like expansions do, Rift will be a game bursting with (even more) options in a few short months, along with being an incredibly feature-rich game. And again, given what the baseline is (2004 WoW), that’s almost expected. If the pace drops to one big update every three months, I think it will be ok to call that disappointing.
Along with the update itself, I want to talk about the world events. Initially I understood the first world event as something the players would influence and shape the outcome of. Obviously that was not the case. Phase 2 and 3 were going to happen regardless, and the result of phase 3 was set in stone before even the first player action was taken. The sandbox player in me is disappointed. The themepark carebear wonders why.
Now I’m not sure if the devs ever called these things dynamic events, but if they did, it’s a lie. There is nothing dynamic about them (or at least with the first one, and I’d be pretty shocked if future events were). But that aside, the event overall was fun for what it was. The carebear in me is a fan. Yay collecting stuff for shinies, yay seeing RP events, yay cheap motivators to get randoms together. Grade A themepark entertainment (for real, no sarcasm).
And since these events are not dynamic, since the actions of the players DON’T matter, the whole ‘unique event’ aspect goes out the window as well. Replay the RP event every night. Have the big bad respawn and attack again next weekend. Cycle the whole thing twice if you want. Whatever. My immersion aside, who cares. Dynamic world + player actions != themepark. The only upsetting thing is that I’m just now coming to that conclusion. Pretty embarrassing actually. AQ40 was a lie, that gate was going to open, racing to do so was only important to the world-first e-peen clubs. Nothing has changed, and that’s ok.
But like the update pacing, these events need to be pretty consistent. Maybe not one every month, but every other? Like one month an event is going, the next all is quiet, then another starts up for a month? I’d be cool with that. And while players won’t impact the result after said month, can we maybe have a daily impact? Can an invasion actually take over a quest hub, or, gosh, a zone? And if the players don’t care, the mobs don’t leave?
Is there any chance a town gets wiped off the face of Telara AC1 style one month? Or we find a new mini-zone thanks to some cave that opens up? Asking too much here? Aiming too high?
Aiming too low?