Rift: -Insert dramatic quitting title here-

Rift patch 1.3 is out, along with the ‘new’ world event. Phase one has, more or less, the same exact daily quests as the previous event. And the one before it. Collect stuff around Sanctum, travel to a zone to collect stuff there, do something related to a group. Repeat daily for an ‘epic’ gear piece and a ton of fluff junk. Want to know how amp-up I am for this? After completing the Sanctum quest, I only got half-way through the one in Shimmersand before I logged off. Good times…

I’m trying to figure out how Rift crashed and burned so fast for me. I mean yes, 1.2 turned group content into a puddle and set a very poor precedent for Trion going forward, the zone events were turned into a zero-impact side-show at the end of beta (not enough is made of that crime IMO), valor turned poor PvP into trash, and the overall pace of updates has significantly slowed (good job with those guild banks btw). That’s a lot of bad in a short amount of time, especially considering it’s all coming from the same people who build the foundation of the game, a foundation that was very solid for a themepark.

I’m having a hard time believing it’s just Trion grossly missing their target. They just never struck me as the clueless dev types who overreact or make short-sighted changes. Panic moves usually come from desperation or when things are really going south, and I think Rift is still doing reasonable well, right? Then again, it’s not like Trion has years and years of history in running a successful MMO here, so maybe they just had really great PR just before release. Guess I’m not really sure here either.

Now it’s no secret that I’m not a giant themepark fan, but I have successfully played and enjoyed them before, and all-along I intended Rift to be a nice little sandbox break that should have lasted, well, longer than it has at least. Again, if you had asked me on launch day do I think Trion is going to go the way they did with 1.2, I’d have laughed at you, but while 1.2 did a lot of damage, could it really have completely destroyed the game for me? I’m just having trouble believing that for some reason.

Playing last night just felt very odd, as did the previous time I was on running a 5 man. It’s that feeling that while nothing is directly ‘wrong’, what you are doing is just so pointless, and I don’t mean strictly from a character progression standpoint. I guess once you are on the outside looking in, you can’t just look at something like the world event as a buildup to something fun, but instead you see it as three new daily quests that are a horribly protracted grind for one semi-worthwhile item. Again, the actual content in this case is pretty much the same, but the viewpoint has radically been altered, and the result is one giant meh feeling.

I’d say it was fun while it lasted, but man did it not last long.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in MMO design, Patch Notes, Rant, Rift. Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Rift: -Insert dramatic quitting title here-

  1. Warsyde says:

    Personally I’m kind of surprised you lasted this long :)

    You really don’t like themeparks, and the more themeparks you experience the lower your tolerance is going to be for the next one. That’s only natural, and Rift is actually becoming *more* themepark-y (and WoW-like) with each patch so your dismay is not shocking.

    I do wish Trion had tried something a little different for Phase 1 of this event, but at the same time it’s ONLY phase 1. Hopefully it won’t be like last time where Phase 1 was 99% of the event and the rest passed in the blink of an eye, but we don’t know yet.

  2. SageGaspar says:

    I’m not to the point of quitting, but I do feel similarly ambivalent and I’ve been trying to pin down why. I think it comes down to two things:

    1. Rift is a little TOO smooth. Too transparent. It’s a solid themepark MMO, but it emphasizes the themepark way too much. There are no cool cities to visit. Meridian is a bunch of people standing around a courtyard with three towers. Sanctum is a small island with a chapel. It just feels incredibly limited as a social experience. It’s hard to quantify, but it feels a bit too much like they followed a blueprint than crafted a world that had some soul in it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fine blueprint with some really awesome ideas, but the world just feels lifeless to me.

    2. The game funnels you to cap and then makes all progression into a huge grind. It’s not unique in this regard, but I’m feeling it more in this game. If I want to buy quantum sight or another source machine, time to grind planarite. If I want to level up the three high end factions, time to grind a normal instance or daily quests (randoming into the same expert is no longer an option). If I want the rewards from this limited time event, more dailies to grind! Do I want the new appearance armor from IPP? Okay, that’ll be 200 dailies. Do I want a set of T2 gear? Okay, time to run each instance 20+ times. Fill up that source machine? Unholy grind of expert and raid rifts.

    I’m running into currency overload. I have raid currency, expert currency, invasion currency from every tier, event currency from three events now, IPP daily currency… grind, grind, grind.

    The clincher is that this content isn’t particularly challenging. There is very little interesting about rolling the same instance over and over again. I’ve tried to grind expert and raid rifts both, god I’ve tried, but the prospect of spending hours running between no-challenge exercises in tedium kills me. Far better if the raid rift was difficult and took an hour and a half with more rewards than the current system.

  3. Nils says:

    Among other things (macros, focus on raids, zerging as only world event, …) Rift misses an interesting decision that allows you to get more rewards for harder content. They do the same mistake that WoW started with WotLK: Almost every part of the game has a similar difficulty.

    I also don’t really feel like meeting people. It’s a solo game; other players are an inconvenience. But maybe that’s me, who knows ?

  4. Ryan says:

    Unrelated to Rift but related to accessibility, how do you feel about some of these latest LoL patch changes–bounty system, experience system, Evelynn stealth to slow, etc, that are making the game more accessible to the casual player? I’m curious as to what you feel about it.

    • SynCaine says:

      Riot has stated that they nerfed Eve to keep her down until the stealth remake. She is in the same boat as Panth and Twitch; intentionally super weak until a remake.

      LoL is different though because it’s a PvP game; when you get better you play better players, so the game never really gets ‘easy’ like Rift PvE content gets when nerfs/buffs hit. Now if they start to pump out ‘simple’ champions, that would be cause for concern, but all the latest champs have been pretty deep and interesting.

  5. Dink says:

    Everytime you gush about a new game, I always think of these types of posts.

  6. Valkrysa says:

    From the beginning it was clear there was a slippery slope that Rift could fall down, it is only the natural result of the progression that you would have lost enough value in the game to quit.

  7. Derrick says:

    I told you so.

    Sorry, had to say it. Like Valkrysa said, it was inevitable. It was the only real way Rift could go, and it was painfully obvious they’d go there from release day.

  8. Linkin says:

    MMO tourism. Pointed out numerous times when you first started drooling all over Trion, not in so many words. And like all good tourists, you made sure to hammer home that it wasn’t you — it was the devs.

    Keep doing what you do, dude. You’re quite the specimen.

    • Xyloxan says:


    • SynCaine says:

      One would think, this site being the origin of the term, that people could at least use it correctly here. Ah well.

      • smakendahed says:

        Correct. He is not a “WoW Tourist” as he does not play WoW. Please refrain from calling him a MMO Tourist or Tourist.

        The correct term is “Darkfall Tourist”.


  9. epic.ben says:

    Rift is like a beautiful blonde, with immaculate, highlighted hair, bleached teeth, and a bronzed skin from a tanning bed… that underneath it all, would be an ugly chick if left in her natural state.

    Meaning, Rift is polished. It’s slick. It’s pretty. But underneath all of that …. surface … lies a vapid, boring … *uninspired* game.

    Look – I’ve never slept with a beautiful blonde without a brain. God knows I tried. Well, not really. BUT IF I HAD TRIED, AND BEEN SUCCESSFUL, and continued to see the blonde a week later … I think I would have woken up on day 8 and felt like I did logging into Rift in month two.


    • Torcano says:

      I’m sorry but you really need to sort out what you mean here.

      Is it an ugly chick who looks decent (perhaps from afar?) due to cosmetics? With an unspecified personality I might add.

      Or a beautiful blonde with a boring personality?

      Cause i have to ask if you haven’t slept with the latter should that be taken to imply you only have with the former?

      If so, I’d suggest day 8 is a Sad state of affairs :(

      And that the latter most definitely have their uses. :)

  10. Stabs says:

    Yup I’ve given up too.

    Hats off to Trion though – they wanted to take on WoW on its own turf and achieved several notable opportunities for bragging rights. And they’ve built themselves up a reputation for solid quality product, possibly the only MMO company other than Blizzard who isn’t positively laughable. (I would have included CCP in that before monoclegate).

    I would buy another Trion game and I got my money’s worth out of Rift. I’m not going to get bitter about what might have been.

    • Carson says:

      Well, I can’t say I got my money’s worth out of Rift because I didn’t spend any money on it – the open beta was more than enough to persuade me that this was not a game which was interesting to me in any way.

      But I definitely agree that Trion have earned themselves a reputation for solidity and quality. And if their next game sounds like something fresh and innovative, having the Trion name attached to it will make me more likely to check it out, despite how unimpressed I was by Rift.

  11. mbp says:

    MUST RESIST URGE …to accuse you of turning into Keane…

    Seriously though I think you are right to move on if the game no longer interests you. Your enjoyed it for a while and that is the most we should really expect from any game. Personally I think life is too short to spend more than a few months in any one game. There has never been such a choice of terrific titles available.

    Suggestions for you to try next (probably obvious):
    World of Tanks (I am surprised you haven’t tried this already)
    Magicka – its a quickie but great for a quick laugh
    Team Fortess 2: Just gone Free 2 Play – most polished shooter out there and could be interesting to see how this develops.

    and, with apologies for suggesting this, if you really really crave hard core raiding, I hear that WoW is where it is at at the moment,.

    • SynCaine says:

      No real interest in WoT, the whole “grind gets bigger” as you move up thing is very F2P-ish to me. Plus in all honesty LoL to me is a better version of what WoT does.

      Magicka is a Steam-sale title for me, I’m sure I’ll own it at some point. And no real interest in TF2, not a huge FPS fan and I’ve got BF3 coming up for that.

      Another reason Rift is getting pushed out is that I currently have too many games to play; LoL is a ton of fun, M&B eats up a ton of time, and Heroes beta starts next week. Plus DF is getting an expansion ‘soon’. Maybe.

      • Stratagerm says:

        Amazing to see you so blithely write off TF2. It’s my candidate for best current game (which doesn’t mean I play it exclusively, or even more than other games).

        Due to it’s cartoony style TF2 is quite different from the herd of more realistic, gritty FPS titles like BF3, CoD, etc. It also has a thriving community running servers and developing maps and mods.

        TF2 was long-delayed by a company with the financial resources that allowed it to take its time to polish extensively. Valve has boiled off the tedium and rough edges and distilled the gameplay elements down to pure liquid fun. No other game has made me laugh out loud in enjoyment as much as TF2.

        But hey, it’s your loss.

        • Dril says:

          First impressions:

          Like a lot of Valve titles, it seems massively overhyped and overestimated; it’s just not very fun. The training missions I did kept disconnecting (lol) and when I finally got into the game, it all felt a bit sluggish. Not very sluggish, but sluggish enough to make me miss Bad Company 2 and its superb feel.

          Playing the game, was, well, boring. The maps felt too small, I hated the the healthbar since I kept having to look down (away from the action) to see how my health was, and the feedback for hitting people never really seemed to be there. It seemed more like an orgy of explosions and bright shiny things than an actual decent shooter. and weapon changing was very clunky indeed.

          So, yeah, it follows the trend of virtually every Valve title (with the exception of Portal) of being made into some kind of idol and not really living up to it. I’d much prefer a solid game of Bad Company 2.

  12. Dril says:

    I did actually resub earlier this month and try to play it in the way that most of its raving audience do: one hour a day, no stress, just go with the flow and make “happy fun” builds.

    I was still logging off within 5 minutes of booting up the client at the thought of more uninspired combat, questing and generic rifts. But well done for removing funding from one of the dullest MMOs ever released.

    Although, as others have said, I’m very surprised you stuck it out this long.

    …Time to start playing EVE, perhaps?

    • SynCaine says:

      Problem with returning to EVE is I don’t have a Corp, and solo EVE is pretty zzz for me. If I can convince some buddies to try it, I’d be down.

  13. John says:

    I should have liked Rift. I like themeparks, I still play wow, and I loved Rift at launch. But I didn’t last anywhere near as long as you. I haven’t even logged on in over a month now and have had no desire to.

    Yet, lately I’m actually find grinding in WoW for the Bloodsail Admiral title, or doing inane cooking dailies in Outland to finish up my chef title relaxing and fun.

    I’m sure I’ll soon get wow-burnout (again) and go do something else, but I’m equally sure I’ll keep coming back. I can’t explain it …


  14. SM says:

    Rift? Oh yeah, I remember that game — wow clone….and um, hmmm, that’s all I remember. Yeah, it could’ve been so much more but they copied all of wow too well, including all the mistakes.

  15. Hank says:

    How awfully keen of you SynCaine.

    • SynCaine says:

      This comment was insightful, accurate, and extremely original. Thank you for your valuable contribution.

      • Hank says:

        Was it as accurate as your appraisal of Rift as MMO 3.0?

        Or, are the differences between your treatment of Rift and Keen’s treatment of more like the differences between Rift and WoW?

        By the way, don’t waste your time answering those questions. We all know that you’re different and special. Unlike the unwashed masses, your decisions are rational and never contradict your stated opinions.

  16. Devastator says:

    I’m probably one of the lucky people that barely played wow (didn’t hop on the train, had other MMOs distracting me over the years that I wasn’t willing to give up). Rift still going strong for me and definitely looking forward to Hammerknell, shrug.

    In the end, though, if you aren’t enjoying it then moving on sooner rather than later is your best bet. At least that way if they do something down the line that you may want to check out again on a free trial or whatnot, at least you wouldn’t have “beat a dead horse” for longer than necessary ;)

  17. uhospaghetto says:

    Steam has this game called terraria, I can’t stop playing it… help

  18. Rast says:

    I quit back when 1.2 dropped when it became obvious that Rift was succeeding in cloning WoW too well – they cloned the bad along with the good.

    I’ve been kicking around the idea of firing up EvE as well, my sub’s been inactive since I went back to college two years ago. But I logged out in a wormhole system and my POS has long since run out of fuel and more than likely isn’t even there anymore; the idea of paying $30 to reactive two characters just to self-destruct and leave behind two billion ISK in equipment + implants, then spending the next week trying to find a decent lowsec system to set up in (since being -10 makes basing out of highsec a bit difficult :D).

    But I’m super bored and after going back to WoW twice, giving Rift a try, and playing LOTRO for a couple months I think the sandbox is where I belong – EvE’s the only game I’ve ever stuck with for any significant period of time. It’s so old now though that honestly I’d rather wait for something new come along, they’ve been working on a World of Darkness MMO for years now, really want to see how it turns out.

  19. wormsby says:

    Aw. All the tourist and Keen digs got made already.

    It’s OK. Now you have time to try the The Eagle and the Radiant Cross total conversion mod for Warband. Take a tour of the Warband mod scene. You’ll be glad you did.

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