TLDR: I’ve desubbed from WoW to play Rift in the Head Start, which started today. I know this news will disappoint Paladins who have been following my PVP Guide and videos :( For me it’s time to move on. Keep in touch!
It’s still very early in the Cataclysm expansion – barely 2.5 months since it launched. In my opinion Cataclysm is WoW’s best expansion so far:
- Class re-designs have been largely well done
- PVE is challenging again (not that I really care but at least it made leveling not completely tedious)
- The PVP system is accessible and is about as skill-based as it has ever been.
Despite all this, recently I have felt restless / bored with WoW PVP. I don’t want to get into too much detail, but I will simply say I haven’t taken to Retribution as much as I had hoped, and I simply miss meaningful World PVP.
Earlier this week a gaming friend from the UK, Nathan, sent me a couple messages about Rift, a game which is launching in Head Start today.
Up until now I’ve largely ignored the Rift chatter / hype. I’ve had no reason to check it out, and I’ve been burned by hyped MMORPGs before, e.g. in 2008 with Warhammer (WAR), in 2009 with Aion, and in 2010 with Allods Online.
However, what Nathan wrote was very compelling to me, especially the following excerpts:
It is the perfect amalgam of WAR and Aion, honestly. What I like about it: customization…finding classes and roles that match something you would enjoy playing.
I cried wolf when Blizzard ‘simplified’ talent trees, and this REALLY gets me pumped! Graphics are lovely, sound is great.
Battles are VERY Warhammer-esque (same engine I think too). I’ve played beta since the second phase, spent a couple of weeks getting feedback and to this day (beta just finished), I still have no idea what to play!
I played around with a Rift Spec Calculator. Each class can invest talent points in 3 of 9 different talent trees. The degree of customization is nuts, and this will generate a ton of fun discussion in the community. It’s clear that Rift has borrowed good mechanics from other games, such as the Guard and Hold the Line mechanics from WAR. The Guard mechanic enabled a tank to put a Guard buff on a friendly player that split damage on that player between them – so in essence tanks could protect targets when needed. HtL was a buff that tanks provided to players behind them, e.g. for mass charges or defenses. These were awesome mechanics that made tanks very relevant in WAR PVP.
The only thing that I noticed of concern is that Rift has only 2 factions – and in every game I’ve played that had concentrated server-based PVP (e.g. LOTRO, WAR), population imbalances tended to affect mass PVP outcomes. That is, the more populated side would tend to win, and this sometimes created a vicious cycle: the losing side tended to shrink as people got frustrated with losing and re-rolled, while the winning side got bored due to facerolling. I am still waiting for another game to copy Dark Age of Camelot (DAoC) which had a 3-faction system – from what I’ve heard this was very healthy for PVP and created ebbs and flows in terms of faction strength that the playerbase enjoyed.
Yesterday my best friend from high school told me the reason he hasn’t been on WoW is because he’s been playing Rift Beta with a co-worker, and they bought the Rift pre-order because they were very impressed with the Beta. Net-net, the game mechanics in Rift sounded attractive enough and I heard good things from people whose opinions I respect, so I bought the Rift pre-order and cancelled my WoW subscription – I don’t have the time to play multiple games and I plan on chronicling my experience with Rift just as I did with WAR.
I will be playing Taugrim the Warrior, Defiant faction, on the
Sunrest Harrow server (RP-PVP).
P.S. my reason for making the decision to switch from WoW to Rift has nothing to do with the 4.1 Patch nerfs that were announced on Feb 24. I made the decision before that:
Of course, I hope the 4.1 WoG nerf gets revisited, I just won’t be around to see it.
P.P.S. if you are playing Warrior in Rift let me know what specs you’ve tried so far and your take on them.