Thursday, February 27, 2020

Was there a Rift between us?

The other day I decided to download and check out a "now" older MMO, good ol' Rift.  You remember Rift, right?

Look, a Rift that's undulating like a giant octopus in the sky!

Sure you do! So did I! I was there during "Beta 5" for Rift and it was full of people, and Twitter was annoyingly barking out screenshots for every achievement you made. It was crazy, and it seemed like anyone who was anyone was out there playing Rift.  I even made a special blog I was going to devote to Rift that . . . never really took off. Oh well. Let's just forget I mentioned that.

2011 was a crazy time when MMOs were still all the hotness and the term "WoW-killer" was a thing.  Every new MMO that came out was going to be the next WoW-Killer and promised to be full of fun and interesting people . . . and they were! They just didn't kill WoW. That time really felt like the peak of MMO production to me. What did we get out of that time frame? SWTOR! GW2! AoC! LOTRO! ESO! and so many more cool acronyms!

I'm not sure what happened to my old (level 40? level 50?) character, but it's probably hiding on either a different account or a different shard. Either way, kicking up a new character and running through the old intro zone was almost exactly as I remembered it, but with a few differences.

Gotta love this first Rift boss battle in the Rift Tutorial  

The first big difference of course was that the game didn't have as many new players like me running around in the tutorial area.  That's to be expected. Rift is a nine-year-old game at this point and from the looks of their community landing page, all that's being talked about are the new mounts and things in the shop. I'm just happy to see the game servers are still running and I can log on and play for free.

The second thing I noticed was that it all seemed a bit easier than it was when I was playing back in 2011.  Agro radius was smaller, and things didn't feel like they presented as big of a challenge as they did back at the day.  That's also to be expected.  When something is too punishing too quickly, people just tend to check out of the game and say #sorrynotsorry #ImAudiHere.

The third thing that had changed was ME . . . great, I feel old now. Thanks a lot, Rift! But, seriously, I've changed a lot as a person and as a game-consumer, but that said . . . the actors were all standing in the right spots and I was there playing the hero of the game, Mr. Ascended himself.

I remember chain whip guy and in my memories, he's a lot scarier than this with more adds.

It was good to log in and at least look at the starting area of Rift again. I'm not sure if I'll keep poking around or not, but it's good to see this is still alive and kicking.

Here's to you, Rift!  Here's to you.

Happy Dueling


Roger Edwards said...

I played Rift during the beta and then for a while after launch. At the time, I liked it's innovative use of dynamic events with the "rifts" themselves. However, despite the new ideas it incorporated in to the MMORPG genre, it still had a lot of old school baggage.

I've returned a couple of times over the years, only to find power creep and skills bloat. Hence it has now been relegated to being a source of gaming nostalgia. I can see why it may be struggling in today's market and why it may indeed "go to the wall", so to speak. Such is the evolutionary nature of gaming and prevailing trends.

Bhagpuss said...

I did six months in Rift from launch, playing it as my main MMORPG. It remains the poster child for "better in beta" as almost every change made the game slightly less fun than it had been until I drifted away. I do go back sometimes but the thing I really loved - Invasions - needs a critical mass of players that simply aren't there any more. Even the Rifts are just scenery now.

Stingite said...

Thanks for the reply! I also really loved this version of open raiding or events. I felt sad when I looked at a Rift out in the wild and thought ... Nope. I ain't trying that by myself.

It's super difficult to comeback to a game with power creep without some motivation to invest in the new way of doing business.

Stingite said...

@Bhagpuss -- totally understand what you're saying here. Systems like this are great if there are players there to support it. Otherwise it just feels, as you say, like scenery . . . which isn't horrible. LOL. I do like the look of Rifts coming down from the sky. Just have to skip that content or ignore it I suppose.

One thing I didn't do a lot of when i played before were the grouped instances. Tipa and I played through a dungeon once. I remember it being very difficult.