I’m now in my 2nd beta for the new game, Rift. Since my experience in playing MMOs is heavily based on the World of Warcraft with some Florensia and Lord of the Rings Online thrown in there, I have to say that I like Rift. A lot. I’ve pre-ordered the collector’s edition (which may or may not be due to the turtle mount >.>).
What I like about Rift:
1) The gameplay is familiar and the questing is linear, which are both good.
2) The public grouping mechanic is stellar! I am a casual player and I don’t raid in WoW (due to many variables) but being able to run up to a rift and join a raid is freaking awesome.
3) You can customize the user interface pretty in-depth by resizing individual pieces. Minimap needs to be smaller? Done! Need 3 action bars at 70% scale? Did it! Want tiny, tiny bags? Pshht, done last week!
4) You can also import a UI layout between characters on the same shard (=realm=server). /thumbsup
5) You can DYE your armor. Purple.
6) The default raid frames show debuffs efficiently and can be resized and moved around.
7) My triple-healing soul cleric can still kick the ass in an efficient manner.
8) Zillions of character customization options.
9) As soon as you can afford it (2 platinum, 50 gold = 2 gold, 50 silver), you can buy and ride a mount. No level restriction!
What I don’t like about Rift:
1) The Soul System is overwhelming
Chiefly, the soul tree system is a bit overwhelming to me. It’s much like the original talent trees in WoW — and I found that overwhelming as well. The awesome thing about the Rift souls is that you can 1) end up with 9 ‘talent’ trees; 2) start accumulating points almost immediately (not having to wait 10 levels); and 3) you gain access to fun stuff quickly. But a max-level Rift character will end up using all TEN action bars available because there are just. so. many. abilities. Of course, it will take time to sift through all of those abilities and perhaps I’ll be able to focus on a core group. I’m all about efficiency and this soul system is killing my buzz, man.
2) The graphics are boring yet too good
Someone in-game said “This game is like Aion and Wow had a baby.” I agree; and I agree with everyone saying that the graphics are awesome. But there’s a part of the whole game that makes my eyes hurt. It’s got to be the highlight effect (which is rather bright compared to the rest of the coloring in the game). Or the fact that everything has a sort-of grey, bland coloring. World of Warcraft is a brightly-colored, vivid game and I really enjoy that. Rift, on the other hand, is all muted tones and boring. I think they’re going for “realistic” but ended up with “blah”. I’m playing a game to play a game, not live real life. I don’t care if a game is outlandish and more vibrant than the real world — it’s a game! :) I expect clown colors. I don’t expect to strain my eyes when trying to determine how other players have chosen to customize their toons. <:\
3) The racial choices are pretty underwhelming/No body artwork available
There are 3 racial choices for each of the 2 factions. And they all look like elves or humans. Even the dwarfs are not really that dwarf-like. Of course, please note that I’ve only created female characters. The male dwarf, from what I’ve seen, looks like the WoW dwarf model. >.< Also, in the loading screens you see a female character with light greenish body art (I’m unsure if it’s considered tattoos or just henna-like artwork). As far as I have seen, this type of body art is unavailable. It’s really cool looking! I’d rather have some art on her arm or torso than on her forehead /facepalm.
All in all, I like the game. I think it’s worth the money I paid for the pre-order CE. At least I get 30-days of game time, too. My concerns or dislikes about the game are really pretty trivial or can be addressed through experience in playing the game. They are certainly not deal breakers for me. I mean, I played Florensia.