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Reader Comments (26)

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 5:49PM Deadalon said

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RIFT is slipping in population and gametime sides show it is falling drasticly. They failed to implement alot of the addon features that ppl were hoping for and the content in 1.5 is really not that much.

Six months are up. Now its time to get to work Trion.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 6:16PM avaloner said

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@Deadalon
And yet I recently returned to the game and on Prime time on the weekends lots of servers are High pop, even more medium, ond out there where only two low pop. Its been like that the last three weeks at least. The amount trolls claim the population is falling you would think -34563 people would be playing by no, hense the - there.

People have been saying what your saying since the game was released, like they seem to every game that releases. I can imagine you siting there at your computer histericaly shouting to youself that the game is failing, it has to be failing while roscking backwards and forwards. If its failing why does the game look and feel so alive?

Why do they bother advertising it anymore or even developing content the size of which is coming out in 1.6? Other "failed" MMOs like WAR or AOC where in a far far worse state then RIFT is 7 months since launch.

You say they have to get to work, is'nt that what their been doing? Most people in game are happy with the direction of the game. Yes there are people who are not but they are in any game. Trion has worked harder for my $15 a month then any other developer.

I can't wait to read the SWTOR and GW2 forums when they release and get my fix of people like this poster claiming that these games are dead/dieing. It will just show that this BS mentality of people never ends.
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 7:18PM Fabius Bile said

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@Deadalon
Trion are known for changing the "high" label on servers with less population each time . "high" nowadays is a lot less people online than it was at release, its more like the old "medium" or even less.

Trion are grandmasters at fake advertisement, spin and dishonesty
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 9:56PM avaloner said

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@Fabius Bile
I disagree, I just finnished up some rift farming and a zone invasion in SHimmersand while doing the world event. I was in a raid with 19 other players we where co, ordanating with two other raids of about equal size. The defiants (the other faction) where everywhere.

The PVP battles where huge, easily 70+ players, hard to tell my computerers frame rate went to hell. This was world PVP on a large scale in one zone on one server. There was also fighting in the other two high level zones as lots of people went out to do Rifts for the world event. You never see that type of thing in a modern theme park MMO, infact of all my years playing WOW (among a few other games) I have never seen the like except in RIFT (or realy old MMO before BGs).

So realy if this game is as dead as trolls like to make out, especialy those ones that have that RIFT pop status page bookmarked just so they can link it if it has red numbers instead of green, then WTF was I seeing? Just Trion controled BOTS?... Lol.
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Posted: Oct 14th 2011 3:07AM bobfish said

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@Deadalon

Any game where you spend 99% of your time in instances at the level cap is going to look empty.

Really is very little reason to go to social areas in Rift.
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Posted: Oct 14th 2011 11:59AM OutThere said

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@avaloner

I haven't noticed any drop in population either. Some gamers just like to use the word "fail". Even Vanguard and Alganon are still out there, two of the possibly worst launches in MMO history. So, no. Rift may not have what this particular poster wanted, but it's more likely he's just addicted to the word "fail" and can't post anything about a game without using it.
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Posted: Oct 18th 2011 9:22PM (Unverified) said

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@Fabius Bile

I have not notice any drop in population. At least for my shard
the population is booming!
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 6:03PM real65rcncom said

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Nice reveal and good article.

Excellent questions and Hartsman gives a good inside look into what it's like to run a game. (not a gaming company) There is much more to think about and to run than people imagine. Just looking at the things Hartsman had to oversee in this shows just how interwined he is with ALL-things Rift; leaving nothing to chance or passing it off to subordinates. Truly hands on in all phases of his game (Rift).

That said, it makes the info of the Spider mount being a cash shop item dubious. If this man is that involved in his company as he stated above, he would have had to seen the Ashes trailer prominently featuring the spider mount as a "Canadian CE ONLY" option before it was approved to release.

Someone as intelligent and fastidious as he shows in the interview above would have picked up on the idea that mostly everyone subbed to Rift would see the spider and want it. There is no way he wouldn't have known that in his position. So this goes to somewhat purposeful advertising with the spider in a way because he (as director) didn't pull the ad or at least that misleading part of it. It's simply unthinkable that he wouldn't have been smart enough to see what would happen based on his knowledge of this game's workings.

Trion reps then claims to be looking into how to get it "to everyone" and their solution isn't a quest or rep grind, but a cash purchase. I don't think it would have been that hard to just thrown it on a boss and have it RNG either as an option.

Either way, it shows to me foreplanning of the whole deal as a way to test it's base for the future of cash purchases. I think Trion should be happy because it met with overwhelming success of sales so this bodes for the future when the cash shop is put in by Trion brass.

This business is run excellently and I think if they continue to do things as they have, they will be quite financially stable as the playerbase will continue to purchase any new costumes, mounts or pets Trion adds with future patches and updates. Even if they lose half their current subs, the remaining ones on the yearly plans will be able to pick up that $10 sub (average price) that the ones leaving create.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 7:02PM Nef said

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@real65rcncom

I wouldn't say the Ashes pack was testing the waters -- that would be the original collector's edition pack (which was 'exclusive' way back when). Hell didn't freeze over then, doubt it will now -- most people really don't care.
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 8:21PM real65rcncom said

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@Nef
/agree

I've seen some subs on the Rift forums proclaiming that because they sold their first cash shop item (in disguise) that this is the beginning of the end. I lol'd because those players surely aren't paying attention to the industry at large or even the response from most of the Rift subs. Again, seems like most Rift players wouldn't mind paying for more items based on how well the spider mount went over; that's why I say that's got to be great news for Trion's test balloon.

If they continue to give players these cash items just as other games in the industry surely are, they will be able to recoup monies for things they aren't charging for in the first place already like xfers.

For Trion: two subs. One likes cash shop, one doesn't. Both pay $15/month. The one who hates it quits in rage, but the other not only continues to sub but spends $20 on items in the (eventual) full service shop. Trion actually made $5 MORE by doing it that way which means they'll be able to pay for more things.

This is why other games went this route. The execs know it's just too much money to pass up overall, and bottom line that's what the company is made for.. not gaming purists really.
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 6:10PM Dirame said

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You can survive today... but can you survive...(que inception bass) ...tommorow.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 6:13PM Floop the Squirrel said

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"strangers are scary."

Actually, that's wrong. Most stangers aren't scary, they are idiots at best and assholes at worst (in Rift). If you try and give indications like "we need that rift there to spawn invasions" or "defend that wardstone" they either ignore or flame. Everyone's a special snowflake and the special snowflake knows best.

The model Scotty described might work in a good, healthy community.. but surely not in Rift, where the community is made up mostly of elitist, self entitled teens.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 6:42PM DarkWalker said

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@Floop the Squirrel

I have yet to see a single game where that would actually work well. Precious few players ever attempt to take the lead. Some (like me) even go out of their way to push the leadership role towards other players.

Developers can't really shape the population their game will attract - or, at least, not without driving plenty of players away. Instead, they need to work with what they get, and make the best possible game given their player base.
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 6:42PM Celtar said

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@Floop the Squirrel

That is "not" special to Rift, Floop. That actually is a common issue with all mmorpgs anymore. The worst community in my experience is AOC's, but all of them have the same issue you just pointed as being a Rift issue.

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Posted: Oct 14th 2011 2:42PM OutThere said

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@Floop the Squirrel

Leaders are few and far between no matter what MMO you are playing. The fallacy here is that a leader or leaders will naturally be recognized by the community. The big problem in Rift is that

1) There is no group voice chat. I've said it before, I'll say it again: LOTRO has such a great community because you can randomly group and talk to people you don't know, aren't in your kin, and don't have your vent address and password. This is impossible in Rift and really really hurts the game, and particularly the vision Trion apparently had of the community they wanted. If that's what they wanted, they should have had game hosted, auto-join group voice chat, which would have allowed the leaders to naturally emerge.

2) Without game hosted voice chat, rifting is far too frenetic for there to be any leader, because few people have the ability to kill and type chat instructions at the same time. What does happen is that groups coalesce around the strongest player and follow where she/he leads. If that player has good instincts (defend the wardstone, take down rifts, etc.) then the event has a chance of succeeding. If that person doesn't have good instincts, then the event will fail.
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 6:36PM Irem said

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Very cool insight. I was especially interested in the bit about how the public grouping came about, because that was, in my opinion, a really excellent implementation.

Posted: Oct 18th 2011 9:26PM (Unverified) said

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@Irem

The public grouping in Rift is awesome ... though copied a
bit from Warhammer. Still, Rift has taken it to a whole new level.
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 6:38PM Space Cobra said

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"Think of the game as a dialtone," Hartsman answered. "It needs to be up and dependable." Over the last eight or nine years, he said, companies have begun to realize this, that no matter what the problem, there has to be a place for answers. Holding up his phone, he said that he considers himself on call all the time because the game a service."

I am sorry, this is a minor rant from a player (me) who had a problem, along with others, that was not solved during headstart or even afterwards. Granted, I saw the server numbers so the majority of players didn't suffer, but I did. My game worked fine in Open beta, but on the second day of pre-launch, a patch was introduced that kibitzed my game and graphics in relationship to RIFT and only RIFT.

We posted on the Tech forums. No response. We endured your standard responses from the Peanut gallery. We even set up a list of problems, what may've gone wrong, and possible solutions OURSELVES. This had limited success, but from what I hear, there are still problems in-game with overheated graphic cards that work fine with every other game (and again, things worked fine on my end...until that ONE patch...).

So no, your "service" was not up for me and a few other plotential players and we heard nada/squat from you guys. Pretty sentence, no action. AFAIK, the problem is still there, because it turned me off RIFT. Maybe it got fixed, maybe you dealt with other problems, which I know you had. Maybe it's just "me" and I'll take that. But *you* guys put out a bad patch and it just turned me off cold. While I understood Trion later putting in Credit Card validation to log in at 15 days after launch, I wasn't about to give CC proof just to have the game crash on me after 10 seconds in the starter zone.

So, personally, your service failed me, when it used to work fine before. It failed others, perhaps less than .01% of the player base at launch, but I just got tired of trying to solve it myself.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 6:40PM Space Cobra said

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@Space Cobra

I apologize for that post, but that statement set me on edge. :P
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 6:47PM Celtar said

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@Space Cobra

Actually SC, I had a similiar problem three months into RIft. Right after a patch I started suffering these video crashes that would lead often to full on system crashes. I would usually happen about 15 to 30 minutes in and I finally gave up.

Giving up due to that issue was more of a "cap on the bottle" scenario for me btw. I had other issues with the games mechanics etc though other aspects I really liked that Rift's did.

I also think Scott Hartsman is a great guy to end on a positive note. No one gets it all "right", but you can tell that Scott truly cares about doing things well and this also comes through as a Trion mind set as well. Good company, to bad the game just didn't do it for me.
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