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Reader Comments (164)

Posted: May 10th 2011 8:07PM Oskari said

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I don't know for sure, but this sort of sounds like Blizzard may be using Rift as a scapegoat for their own issues with the latest expansion. I left WoW before Rift even came out, not due to hating the game, but just because I was burned out after playing the same thing for five years. I probably won't be back, but who knows? Right now, I'm enjoying the heck out of Rift.

Rift might have played a part in the drop, but maybe, just maybe, it was also Blizzard's own actions that lead to a large part of that 5% leaving.

Posted: May 10th 2011 8:24PM Beltyra said

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@Puremallace
What have they done that is so drastically different? In the fist two months they've released content days after peoples subscriptions ran out, enticing players to keep subbing just out of curiosity.
Has this content made this game one that will be playable for the next year? What innovations are there? A dungeon finder? Something the game needed from the start? Balance to PvP and diminishing returns? Also something that should've been at the start?

Before RIFT released we ALL said "Yes RIFT is more of the same, but it's a really good same" and it's still true today. That doesn't mean that it will retain customers, it only means it has enticing powers over those who want to look elsewhere.

And we did. And we're back to WoW the same as we did every other game before.

Posted: May 10th 2011 8:29PM The Minn said

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Wow came and conquered. It doesn't matter if it gets to 0 players this year...the company won and made a crap load of money. I think people leave MMOs (and for some reason badmouth them) is because you can't really play 1 game forever...eventually you move on, simple as that.

Posted: May 10th 2011 8:35PM Tropic said

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I just returned back to World of Warcraft today, myself. Which is ironic, because I uninstalled RIFT 3 days ago, and the new patch just launched; sadly, my attention wasn't held long enough to even care to see how it panned out.

RIFT is an excellent game for what it is. In terms of the current MMO market, in my humble opinion, it is the only direct competitor with World of Warcraft in terms of polish. RIFT is great at what it does, but sadly, there is no lasting appeal.

By the time headstart turned into live, I was already level 43. I didn't play hardcore, no exploits. Just quested my way through, reading the dialogue, enjoying myself. I was shocked at how fast advancement was, tho. I figured the end-game would just be amazing with the amount of options available. And then I got there..

I'm not going to be one who says RIFT's end-game is nonexistant. It isn't. There's plenty to do. Go farm rifts, run some Expert/Raid rifts, good amount of Expert dungeons to one with a solid progression bath from T1-T3. The raids aren't bad, either.

The problem is it is all done entirely too fast. By the end of my second month, I had two 50s (cleric and rogue) that were more than half-way T3, rest was T2. I had nearly maxed out every faction related to rifts, and had maxed out all of the factions that were worth it (Mathos, Dragonslayer, and Icewatch) and the rest of them sitting half-way through revered, almost maxed. I finished over 200 collections, reaping most of the decent rewards from the vendor + the turn-ins. I had mounts and pets, with 5 different 110% mounts. I completed over 65% achievements. Both characters had max professions and the majority of the crafting items you buy with plaques.

I still have yet to get to where I have nearly "completed" WOW, regardless of the expansion, and surely not within 2 months.

What RIFT needs is more longevity -- problem is, the base of the game is so small in comparison to WOW, it's going to have a tough time competing. The world of Telara is one of the smallest MMO worlds I've played through, many threads go into detail about the scale of the world, but regardless.. the size of the world is small, and it's already packed to the brim with content. And this content can be completed within two months.

RIFT is good, and I know that these MMO things we play never stop, but two months in and I've finished the game almost in terms of not repeating content. Hardly any achievements left to farm, hardly any gear upgrades to get, prestige ranks are a joke to blow through; levels 1-6 you can blow through easily within 3 weeks, and you will, because there isn't much to do once you finish it.

RIFT has everything it needs to be a successful and thriving MMO. But when you compare the scale of it to WOW, it falls flat. And yes, WOW has been out for years, but in my head, I'm running through Vanilla. Hell, I played my warrior for 6 months before I hit 60.

RIFT tried to go the route it thought people wanted; solid and smooth gameplay, interesting classes, and fast progression. Progression was a little too fast and the world is just too small.

Posted: May 10th 2011 8:38PM Addfwyn said

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@Tropic Agreed, while I never even hit the end game of RIFT, I could kind of see where it was going. Now, WoW's endgame wasn't really any better (in fact it was worse) when it first launched, but sadly we can't compare new games to the older launched games and say it's fair. Which means the standards for every newer game gets set higher and higher to compete with the older brethren and make it lasting fun.
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Posted: May 10th 2011 8:58PM Averice said

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@Tropic

You're just going to blitz through WoW too. When you play 5 hours a day you tend to race through content, and devs really don't care about players that do that.
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Posted: May 10th 2011 10:17PM Tropic said

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@Averice Quite the contrary. I'd pick up an hour inbetween classes sometimes, and play two hours at night after the kiddos went to bed. I didn't stand around towns or anything, I quested and leveled in some way when I was on. Experience rates have bounced around since head-start, as well, but I've seen people 1-50 in 3 days, and not /played. I was nowhere near close to that.

And in regards to your comment about being social at 7pm 3 days a week, well, welcome to RIFT endgame. Hope the ride to 50 was worth it, because that's all it boils down to. The current raid rifts are all rendered irrelevant fast as you gear and really only take a few minutes with a good group to clear, and the experts are divided into tiers. Once you gear up in T1 gear, you wouldn't need to run another one since the blues from T2s replace T1 purples other than for the daily for plaques. Then you get to the raid tiers, and tada, welcome to the raid scheduled gameplay.

That's besides the fact in less than 5 expert runs, I was in almost full epics from a fresh 50. The progression speed is off, the whole progress system of the game is.
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Posted: May 10th 2011 8:36PM Addfwyn said

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He may sound arrogant, but he's also probably right. In my case he certainly was, I played Rift for about a month, and immediately went back to WoW after.

Not because RIFT was awful (it wasn't) but it also didn't bring much new to the table that WoW didn't do already. If I'm going to play roughly the same game, I'm going to prefer the one that all my friends play, which for me (and for most people, by simple numbers) will be WoW. That's just a quality of MMOs for a lot of people, it's a social experience. Not matter how good a night club is, the one all your friend are at is going to make a more fun night.

It gets hated on a lot, but Cata did add so much content that there's no way I'll get through it (after years of play, I never even made it through all vanilla content, since I never levelled a horde). There's always stuff to go back for. Eventually, maybe there won't be, and my friends will move on. But in the meantime, myself (and a lot of others) WILL indeed keep going back.

The only thing I can see coming out that may keep my attention for very long is TERA. I know nothing about star wars, so that IP holds zero interest for me, and I never was a big fan of the original Guild Wars. We'll see, but I have a feeling Blizzard may be right again.

Posted: May 10th 2011 8:39PM Alboreo said

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Having been playing Rift for two months now, I can't see myself ever going back to WoW. I'll pick up GW2 and SWTOR when they come out, but I just can't imagine going back.

I know that I'm probably the exception, though, and I'm willing to accept that.

Posted: May 10th 2011 8:49PM (Unverified) said

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No, they won't all be going back. Personally, I'm bored with fantasy MMO's. I just don't want any more. Do something new. TOR, WoD, TSW... just use some new settings. It's why I couldn't stay with Rift, I'm so sick of the fantasy setting.

Posted: May 10th 2011 9:50PM Addfwyn said

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@(Unverified) Yeah, I could use a good non-fantasy MMO, but I`m not interested in EVE and Fallen Earth was lacking to me.

That said, I don`t think they think that everyone will be going back, but there are a lot of people who probably will leave wow for a short period, test the waters of other MMOs, and then migrate back to WoW. I know that`s what I often do, even if I am not super compelled by wow even anymore.
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Posted: May 10th 2011 10:16PM Seldra said

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Absolutely, I'd take a Victorian Steampunkish/pseudo-scifi game than a high fantasy one. Come on game devs, "MMO" doesn't mean just Tolkienisk settings.

I left months way before Rift even was in anyone's radar, no I was just just done with the game after Wrath, and I haven't been back since.
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Posted: May 10th 2011 8:54PM Averice said

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It sounds like a lot of MMO players are just burned out on MMO's and don't want to play them anymore.

You can hope over and over that the next one will fulfill your dreams, but it will still be an MMO.

WoW is still a great MMO imo, it just forces too much scheduled social on you, as if being social at 7pm 3 days a week is the only way you should be allowed to play.

Rift is a great MMO, the depth of class customization is wonderful. But it's still an MMO, and when you buy an MMO you're going to get an MMO.

And it's too bad Blizzard devs tout accessibility but then constantly refuse letting players actually have accessibility, armor sets for example. Why should you have to have 3 armor sets in order to use each spec, just terrible.

Posted: May 10th 2011 8:54PM (Unverified) said

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Well I'd go back at some point after 4.2 or 4.3 with much more content released, but honestly right now I have no desire to play WoW, and RIFT too for that matter. RIFT has a very boring setting and lore, they did not took the lore seriously, but they worked around other things really good, except it doesn't bring anything new on the table and I'm trying desperately to make some distance from all that. I need something new and fresh and the only thing comes to mind is ... actually there isn't anything. EVE is great but requires too much time that I can't spend right now, Fallen Earth oh how I love it but since it only accepts credit card for payment or maybe paypal I can't give it a chance, in my region thanks too my brilliant government we got sanctioned by US and EU and coming by a credit card is a very hard task. I think I need to wait for SWTOR, scifi themed titles can buy me off easy right now.

Posted: May 10th 2011 9:10PM Sorithal said

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@Puremallace

Well, I definitely know I wont' be one going back to WoW. Hell I probably will just stay out of subscription MMOs until TOR comes out now. RIFT is fun and all, but... eh. Didn't feel pulled in enough to where I felt the subscription fee was worth the small amount of time I spent on it.

Posted: May 10th 2011 9:11PM Liltawen said

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Pathetic.
Keep hoping

Posted: May 10th 2011 9:35PM Ashane said

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You guys are silly with the WoW hate.

Its painfully obvious that most of the older wow crowd comes back when a new expansion comes out, or when new content comes out.

So him saying that is perfectly in line with... the truth.

While everyone says its dying, its dying, it clearly isnt. A loss of 5% (the first loss recorded since the game started) in 6 and a half years is hardly game breaking. Hell, I woudnt even break a sweat to be honest if I was him.

Especially when you consider Cataclysm was the "quickest" expansion pack in terms of number of levels gained and overall content out of them all so far.

When did people stop respecting companies for providing exactly what the majority want? I understand you may not be the majority, and that may bring back painful memories of your high school years, but really... the company is rolling in money, things are hardly bleak.

Posted: May 10th 2011 9:58PM DarkWalker said

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@Ashane

It's not exactly the first recorded lose. I believe at some point after WotLK, WoW did go back below 11.5 million players for a trimester or two. It also almost cut it's player base by half during the period China was offline in 2009.

What is telling, though, is that it's player base has mostly stagnated since 2009, and not even Cataclysm's big old world revamp was able to draw enough new players to restart WoW's growth. If a game can't grow, the only way left is down. Unless WoW can begin drawing new players again, it'll go down.

BTW, I blame this on Blizzard's greed. Instead of providing non-random ways for players in different realms to play together, Blizzard is sticking with paid character transfers. It's keeping the full entry price for new players at roughly $120 ($40 for the Battle Chest, $40 for WotLK, $40 for Cataclysm). If you take the optional mobile service into account ($3 extra per month), it has the single most expensive subscription among the best known MMOs. Instead of doing both the old world revamp and an expansion the same size as the old expansions, they pegged the revamp as part of Cataclysm, and delivered less expansion-only content than in previous expansions. And so on.
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Posted: May 10th 2011 11:57PM Utakata said

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@Ashane

I'm not sure where you're see'ing the WoW hate. People are just critizing WoW at it's current state and not saying anything unreasonabley nasty about it. And incase you missed it, there has been an awful lot of criticism lobbied at RIFT too. You seem to be looking for trolls under every bush, but they seem mostly absent in this discussion. /shrug
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Posted: May 10th 2011 9:39PM DarkWalker said

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@Puremallace
I would add:
8. 5 specs while WoW only has 2.

Which is part of why, even though I do plan to get into SW:TOR early, I'm not sure I'll stay. Both Rift and GW2 (and even, to a point, DCUO) seem to be taking design choices that are more to my liking.

It's also part of why I don't see myself going back to WoW. Giving up on an appearance system, multiple specs, and so on is something I don't foresee.

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