Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling remarks from my mad, muddled, meandering mind.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Rifting on a Theme

So, perhaps inevitably, the buzz about Rift is turning a little sour. Pete is a little down because the game isn't the way it was in early betas. Syp thinks maybe Trion should go dark in the last few weeks before launch to stem the over-hype. Ardwulf is gonna sit out the launch, maybe join later. Even GeeCee sees differences in the way the game feels based on zone population. I think Randomessa may have hit the nail on the head when she lays the blame firmly at the feet of the player community itself, especially those who blog (and tweet).
I mean, we can't have it both ways. If a game is to succeed, it has to appeal to enough players to cover its costs and make a tidy profit. Sometimes this means "dumbing it down" a little, which infuriates some of the more hardcore among us. The rifts are too hard, until there are so many people zerging the mobs that the rifts become too easy. What a pleasant problem for Trion. They are working on balance with the rifts. I would like to know how random the rifts themselves are. How quickly can they be ratcheted up or dialed back, based on pax in the zone?

Maybe because I haven't been there since Beta 1, I haven't been jaded to the current game. I'll have to admit here and now that I am one of the unwashed masses who got into beta with the express purpose of trying out the game to see if I would want to buy it. Well, guess what. Trion made me a believer. I have talked in the past about games that draw me in right away, versus games that are just meh, or even unplayable, from my perspective. I also know that other players are delighted with those very same games, while others can't stand playing the games I love.

We can only hope that the MMOs we fall in love with are popular enough to be sustained for a few years. Rift is this for me. I have been drawn in by the gameplay, and the lore. I have to figure out my characters' place in the world though. With my developed TOTG toons, I had been playing for a while before I developed their backstories. With STO I had enough lore knowledge that I could get the RP ball rolling right off the bat.

I like my Eth Rogue, and my High Elf Cleric. While I loved the spells of my Bahmi Stormcaller Mage, he died way too much for my taste. I may have to tweak the build, before he is viable. Because I still like the idea of the Big Giant Clothie.
I was the first on the scene when a rift opened up on Sunday evening, and was able to click on a gravestone to get NPC assistance until other players arrived. (I still died.) We managed to seal the rift and I went on my way, I thought it was fun. I am definitely a "stand back and use ranged abilities" kinda guy in large groups. Against individual mobs, I am much more melee oriented (this with an Assassin/Riftstalker/Bard). I find rifts and large public groups to be very chaotic, but then I find large raids in TOTG to be similarly chaotic, no matter how much "strategy" goes into them.

OK, so this has rambled on a bit. It could have been two posts, but it's what I am thinking about this evening when I intended to play my poor neglected STO. Anyway, I hope everyone finds what they are looking for.


  1. You are not alone.

    I still remember being so upset with the blogger community over two years ago, that I literally blew up my blog, erased all content (another 2 years worth) and turned it into a "Communist Propoganda" blog...posting links to various bloggers who would run their mouths (Keen and Graev is one example) quoting crap as fact, and using Communist style "Comrade" speak to sell their blogs.

    That was fun (got an award for it too...lol)

    It is the same thing again. Jaded MMO players wanting to have their say and not looking at Rift as a "game" but as a tool of the MMO genre that must work to attend to that players needs in the way that they wish.

    Either play it or leave it...

  2. I read you in google reader so i didn't notice the site redesign until now. nice job, truly.

  3. I should say that Pete, for example, still intends to play. He just hopes to have some more danger in the game.

    Every game seems to have its detractors, I just don't understand why people feel the need to become so vitriolic against games like WoW, and perhaps Rift. Like you said, if you don't like it just don't play it.

    The Devs often are accuse of selling out, but you know what? They have mouths to feed, too. They need to earn a living. If catering to the masses enables them to keep their jobs, then that's what they will do.

    Here's an opposite tack from the Music industry, another venue where people are accused of selling out. There was a metal band in the late eighties, Extreme. They one hit, "More Than Words" which was apparently a throwaway ballad unlike anything else they played. They didn't sell out, continuing to play mostly hard rock stuff. Where are they now? I've heard they're back together, sort of. If they had shifted their repertoire, "selling out" they might have been more than one-hit-wonders.

    Game Devs need to be more than one-hit-wonders. They need to have consistently high numbers to turn a profit. That means listening to their audience, and tailoring gameplay to fit the majority of players.

  4. When it comes to criticism, what matters to me is the delivery. I thought Pete's concerns were totally valid and he gave clear examples and made it clear that the post was born from his own personal preferences and his personal hopes for the game. Keyword personal. You're allowed to like a game and have a negative opinion every now and then, which based on his comment section some people don't seem to think that's acceptable.

    On the other hand, you can tell right away most of the time if the person has it in for the game, they will go on and on about it and spout negative things about the most general of topics, maybe throw in the word "sucks" for good measure. That wasn't Pete's post, and to be honest, I don't think I read anyone like that. If I do come across something like it I would quickly skip the content and move on. On the other side of the coin, there's also blind optimsim, and I also take those kind of comments with a grain of salt.

  5. Yes, this was by no means a dig on Pete. And you're right I think someone can like a game and still have a few negative opinions on aspects of the game. Way too many people have extreme opinions one way or the other about games, politics, whatever. And they are intolerant not only of the opposite extreme, but also those with moderate, nuanced opinions of the topic.

  6. Oh I know you weren't digging on anyone, I was just making a comment in general about criticism, and still reeling from reading that crazy comment from Jennifer on his blog :P

  7. Ja, that was incredible. I read a bit of conversation regarding Pete between her and someone else on Twitter; she sounded like a bitter, jilted lover.