Rift Rogues

The RIFT beta events are getting more and more open.  Its at the point now where anyone who has interest can get in.

Last weekend I got a beta code, downloaded the client, and loaded it up to see what all the hubbub was about.  Naturally, when given the chance to choose a character type I went with a rogue.  (really, I don’t know why anyone would choose anything else!)

Background:  I am a one-game person.  WoW is the first and only MMO that I have ever played.  Therefore, I have no context about how WoW compares to other games that have come before, during, or after WoW.

I was really surprised at how similar the rogue experience was in RIFT to the way it is in WoW.  It had everything – right down to the combo-point-then-finisher fight structure.  Some of the various rogue builds even smacked of assassination and combat.  Even the talents had the same names.  I saw Ruthlessness, Serrated Blades, and others that were lifted directly from WoW.

I decided to try a bit of a variation on the rogue theme to see how much their system deviated from the WoW rogue model.  The soul system allows you to customize your character’s strengths within its archetype.  They had options for your rogue to have a pet (like a WoW hunter) or to specialize in ranged attacks.  You could even choose a soul that gave tanking abilities, or even healing/group support abilities.  I chose a soul that combined magic and physical combat (Nightblade).

Most of the play seemed very familiar.  Attack with combo point builders, then unleash a big 5-combo-point finisher.  Stealth was not a baseline ability, but was learned relatively early on in leveling.

My favorite RIFT-rogue feature that I would love to see in WoW… the ranged combo point builder.  My Nightblade soul had a baseline attack that allowed me to hurl a fiery dagger at an opponent from range.  This was great because (1) I could do it while running, and (2) it granted a combo point.  When I used that to pull from range, I usually had three combo points built up before the mob even reached me!  That’s a lot different than the stun openers we are used to in WoW.  It was quite fun and made combat fast-paced.

The group questing was a neat feature.  When I got to a place at the end of a questline with a large culminating event, there were three other players there and a window popped up giving me the option to group with them.  That was nice.  It felt very cooperative.

Unfortunately, my computer doesn’t really meet the minimum specs of the game.  I didn’t get far before I started lagging out (due to my system, not their servers).  I never got to participate in the RIFT battles that are supposedly so much fun.  Still, I thought it was a good experience and a nice change from WoW.  Even though the gameplay was very, very similar (down to the UI elements and commands) the graphics and general theme were different enough to give it a fresh feeling.  I’m not going to play RIFT after beta, but it was a good distraction for the weekend.


An aside…

If RIFT fails, it won’t be because of the game.  It will be because of the people.

The game is not released yet, and already people are complaining about the endgame raids.  They are complaining that there is too much questing, or not enough instancing, 10 man vs 20 man, blah blah blah.

I read one review where the person gushed on about how good the game is, but then found one flaw and decided that he was canceling his preorder.  Really?

This is the WoW-ification of game expectations.  Every new game has to be polished and complete.  It must have options to appeal to crafters, questers, instancers, raiders, casuals, hardcores, grinders, socials, pvpers, roleplayers, leaders, followers, collectors, and every other possible variation or a gamer.  If not, then it is labeled as “FAIL” and cast aside.  Its all black-and-white.  A game can’t be “pretty good”. Its either amazing or terribad.

What irks me the most is that the game isn’t even out yet and people are already figuring out how they will avoid all of the content to get to the endgame as quickly as possible.  To each his own, of course, but I just cannot in any way relate to that outlook.  I think that those people are setting themselves up for disappointment.  A new game must devote most of its developer resources to the leveling process.  That’s where you are going to catch and hold (or lose) your subscriber base.  No game can put all of its resources into endgame before release.  Yet people are already judging the game based on endgame raiding.  Some people are just not happy unless they are complaining.

/end rant


14 Responses to “Rift Rogues”

  1. February 10, 2011 at 11:58 am

    “A new game must devote most of its developer resources to the leveling process. That’s where you are going to catch and hold (or lose) your subscriber base.”

    Yeah, but then you level to 50 or whatever the cap in Rift is, and then what? Leveling process is absolutely important, but once people are not leveling anymore they need some endgame to stick to. I think you’ll agree that while the initial sales are important, it’s the subscriptions that are making the game possible to maintain.

    There has been an announcement lately that they’re not gonna do 10-man raids, only 20-man, because of the difficulties in gearing etc. That’s the developers telling me with a straight faced lie: “we don’t want you to stay in our game after you level up”. If I’m a 10-man raider I now have unfortunately nothing to look for in Rift, at least not for a longer amount of time.

    • February 10, 2011 at 2:28 pm

      I haven’t played the beta as long as some, but I don’t see how you can judge the endgame yet. How do you know if you’re a 10-man raider? Are you basing that on WoW? (and remember, WoW started with 40-man raids)

      • February 11, 2011 at 10:17 pm

        Well, of course I’m basing it mostly on WoW, because I went from being a part of 25-mans and 10-mans in TBC to organizing 25-mans and double 10-mans in Wrath, to finally not caring about 25-mans at all and sticking to a 10-man raids now.

        Even in Eve Online I didn’t really like if we had a lot of people in the fleet – I was getting lost if I had to issue orders and lead/care about myself and 6 other people, what about 30 or more?

        The main disadvantage of bigger raids (or fleets or groups or whatever you want to call it), which is having to herd 19, 24 or 39 cats (or up to a thousand in Eve ;] ), doesn’t change from game to game really, but WoW fortunately gives me a way to avoid it.

        Rift currently looks like it will not. I’m not really saying their endgame will be crap, but if I have to organize bigger raids, then I simply don’t want to do it. So if they keep their endgame to 20-man groups unfortunately I won’t have much to do there.

  2. February 10, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    As soon as I heard the rogue class had a tanking role, I knew I would have to play this. I dabbled a bit in beta 5 and 6 and it seems fun so far.

    “Yeah, but then you level to 50 or whatever the cap in Rift is, and then what?”

    If WoW has taught us anything, it’s that powergamers are not the target demographic.

    • February 11, 2011 at 10:03 pm

      It’s not even about powergaming, that’s an absolutely different issue.

      You get a free month in the box, right? I’m actually not sure but basing it on everything else lets assume you do. :]

      Even if you spend your time leveling, eventually during that month you’ll be 50. And then what? Do you make another alt? Is the game actually fun enough to subscribe and keep playing your max level char?

      • February 15, 2011 at 10:55 pm

        “Even if you spend your time leveling, eventually during that month you’ll be 50.”

        That’s what I meant by powergaming I guess: I don’t think the majority of the playerbase will cap out in a month. There are a lot of very casual players out there!

  3. 7 Shun Tzu
    February 15, 2011 at 4:10 am

    Hello All,

    Rift is a new game, better or worst then wow we shall see. Starting to compare these two games now is not a sake decision. How many raids has wow when Vanilla start? And now, speaking of the end game content, we practically play World of waiting for que. I’m already played more then 5 years and half on WoW and now I just doing arenas and that it.
    Why all the people try to proclaim the winner or the looser when any new wow clone will appear on the market? Play it and stick with the game you like it more. If the game is good then it will have players.

    I played EvE six months, the game is ok but I miss the on town friends meetings, so I stick to wow on the end.
    I played Warhammer three months, something good and something bad. Some of ideas were taken it in Wotlk.
    I played AION three months, good graphic but again I feel lost inside. Some ideas from it are in Cataclysm now so I come back to wow.
    I bought the collector edition of RIFT and I will play it. If is good we shall see, character talents customization appeal to me.
    I will buy SWTOR when will be released to give it a try.

    I really don’t need a WoW killer; I need competition, in this way we will play better games in the future.

    If you find what you looking for, then is your game. Here I agree with Dinaer why to play other class then rogue.:)


    • February 15, 2011 at 12:12 pm

      I actually am looking forward to rift… and yeah, all new games are being dubbed as the ‘next WOW killer’… this shouldn’t be the case… wow is already very well established, and there won’t be a WOW killer… let’s look at ‘RIFT’ as a new flavor, or something…u

  4. February 15, 2011 at 9:08 am

    People forget that when WoW was released the end game consisted of UBRS and, well UBRS. Ony and MC were not ready at release.

    When WoW and EQ2 released the leveling was so slow it gave them time to have end game content close to ready. The problem with the games since is the leveling is so silly quick that you get to level cap right away and have nothing at all to do.

    • February 15, 2011 at 3:54 pm

      Excellent point. When I first started WoW, I think I took eight months to reach the level cap.

      It is possible that WoW has actually ruined all other MMORPGs. Current WoW players are so spoiled by the fast leveling and quick entry to endgame that they will accept nothing less. A game that puts in a slow, methodical leveling process (like EQ or vanilla WoW) will be dumped quickly as “too slow”.

      • February 15, 2011 at 8:57 pm

        I wouldn’t call it ruining things. Far from it, actually – I enjoy the work that Blizzard done with both the 80-85 zones and the 1-60 process a lot. Outland sticks out as a weird memento of older times (but you go through there amazingly fast), Wrath is a bit better.

        Why would I want to go back to the methodical leveling process of completing quests that were in most part “kill 20 wolves”; “now kill 20 enraged wolves”; “now bring me 25 bear asses” that we had in vanilla zones?

        That doesn’t seem like fun to me – and the storylines in the new zones do. And I want to have fun, that’s why I still play games after all. It’s not because old way of leveling is “too slow”, it could be as slow as you like if it was fun at the same time.

        And for me fun comes with a storyline.

      • February 15, 2011 at 11:00 pm

        By “ruining things” I don’t think he means the quality – obviously Blizzard’s production values are top notch. It’s more the idea that you blaze through the content quickly to get to max level and then the “real game” starts there. Even the Cataclysm levels only take a couple of hours each.

        It’s probably more a symptom of jaded wow vets levelling their n+1th alt, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t spill over into other games too.

  5. 13 Sharpsy
    February 17, 2011 at 6:17 am

    You people really need to stop comparing games like this to WoW. WoW is an iconic game and sure, people tend to consider it the standard at which other mmo’s should be judged. But really, this is a completely different game with different ideas.

    It isn’t even out of beta yet! Maybe you should wait another couple of weeks or so before complaining about shit you dont even know about yet.


  6. 14 cable
    February 22, 2011 at 1:51 am

    I have to agree with your analysis of the rogue. It is intense and fast paced. I as well saw a lot of haters on realm, most of which fall under 3 categories:
    1. Is too addicted to wow and compare every little bit of a DIFFERENT game to wow. More or less afraid of change.
    2. Children or adults acting like children because they re not financially secure enough to purchase a new game.
    3. Are not used to the fast paced game and visually striking graphics.

    Also rift made this game less glitchy and more defined than wow cata release. I beta tested cata and knew they were no where near ready for their release but blizzard feels that their customers can deal with it. I’m not fond of that. Trion on the other hand is trying to have a near perfect game at release, which will make this the new MMORPG on the block. I feel blizzard will lose a lot of their income from 2nd and 3rd accounts from player to this game and maybe with that, they will start releasing finished products and not expansions with band-aids like cataclysm.

    I however am lucky enough to have just upgraded my p.c. to a new build and had a chance to do some of the rift questing events. It was a blast and hope to see you in there with us soon.

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