I probably won’t be renewing my subscription to Rift when it runs out this month.
It’s not a bad game at all. Heck, I’d even say it’s a good game. It’s a classic case of “It’s not you, it’s me.” Well, mostly.
When I started playing during head start in February, I formed a guild with some of my friends who came over from LOTRO. There were about eight of us, and we did some low-level stuff together because there wasn’t much going on in LOTRO at the time. But by the time we reached level 30 or so, when a new patch for LOTRO added some content, most of them left. Besides me, only one stayed in the game long enough to get to 50.
So I joined another guild, Dark Valor, right around when I hit 50 on my Defiant mage. It had lots of people on every night, and I partook of a few raid rifts my first few weeks there. I then took about a month off, and when I came back, nearly everyone was gone. I hung around for a while longer, hoping it would reform, but no dice. I’ve been running T2 dungeons and other miscellany from time to time, but the lack of social interaction combined with the still-tedious wait times in queues has pretty much turned the game into a monotonous… well, I hate to use the term “grind,” because I’m not active enough to really be “grinding.” But you probably get the idea.
I am part of an active Guardian guild on another server with a level 25 rogue, and I suppose I could just find another guild for my Defiant, but even if I did either of those, I think the shine has worn off for me for Rift, and I don’t really want to go through the effort of trying to find ways to play with other people (not to be confused with the effort of actually playing). Finding a guild is too much like hunting for a job when you don’t have someone to refer you (as was the case with Dark Valor and the Guardian guild), and I’m a little worried that I’ll get my rogue to 50 only to find that my other guild has also evaporated. So yeah, it is “me” some, but it’s also a little bit of how Rift is set up that’s got me feeling “blah” about the whole experience.
Telara is a vast, expansive, beautiful world — of which 80% or so is useless to my character at max level. After going through the process of leveling, I can only actually progress and gain things in two, maybe three zones, and tend to spend most of my time sitting in Meridian, waiting for a dungeon queue to pop. Granted, this is true of most any MMO, but a game that touts itself as being something where you want to run around and find random stuff to do should make it more rewarding to, well, run around and find random stuff to do. (And yes, I have spent some time just hunting for artifacts, but when you find one every 10 minutes, it gets to be a bore.)
The soul system is cool and innovative, but it’s also mentally draining. I have four roles on my mage — solo, support/heals, group DPS, and PvP — and it’s enough to keep them straight and (hopefully) efficient, with their 329 skills, that I haven’t even tried to experiment with more than straight DPS solo roles on my two alts.
Then there’s the story, which seems cool but, apart from some nice cut scenes in the intro and the occasional NPC voice acting, seems rather bland. Maybe a few more cut scenes, even if not fully animated (like the epic quest interludes in LOTRO) would have helped?
Really, I understand that these are all minor quibbles, and the main reason for my leaving Rift might be that it a) hasn’t utterly knocked my socks off; b) I’m playing enough games already, thanks to my occupational needs; and c) I’ve got other games on the horizon — TOR, Skyrim, and GW2 mainly — that I’m interested in and am looking for something to cut. And a few months down the line, I might miss Telara and check back in. If I do, I hope that I’ll still remember what half of my buttons do.