From its inception, RIFT
has taken the position of being both a World of Warcraft
clone and a direct competitor for its playerbase. It's not as if Trion Worlds
has been subtle about it: The early campaign slogan of "You're not in Azeroth anymore" all but reached over and tweaked Blizzard's
nose. While some didn't like the direct comparison, I thought it was a wise move for RIFT
to acknowledge its obvious ancestry and its position as a cocky upstart.
While I've never been of the opinion that only one MMO can "win" or that we should always disparage games other than the ones we play, I won't deny that comparisons get made. Listen, World of Warcraft
is a fun, slick game, one I spent many years playing. But just because it's one of the most popular MMOs in the world and stuffed full of 10 years of content doesn't mean it holds all of the cards (nor is it the MMO that currently grabs most of my gaming time).
In fact, RIFT
has several distinct advantages that it's used and continues to use against Big Blizz, and it's those advantages that I want to praise today.