While skimming through SWTOR PVP links on Google, I noticed that:
- One writer described SWTOR’s approach for making tanks relevant in PVP as novel
- Another writer recognized that SWTOR’s PVP design for tanks is a copy of what Warhammer Online implemented
The second guy got it right base on what I read.
I am glad that SWTOR is borrowing the tanking mechanics from WAR – these mechanics made tanks in WAR valuable in PVP and mad fun to play.
I often read complaints from players, bloggers, and media folks that games don’t innovate enough, but in my opinion, what game developers don’t do enough is copy the great features from other games while delivering true innovation.
RIFT is a good example of blending innovation with parity. In my opinion, RIFT clearly innovated in several areas…
- Flexible class spec customization: each of RIFT’s 4 classes has 9 talent trees, and for a given spec you can mix-and-match 3 trees however you like. By comparison, WoW’s 10-class system with 3 fixed trees per class feels incredibly rigid and limiting. In RIFT, you can spec your Mage, Cleric, or Rogue to be a MDPS, RDPS, or healer. And Clerics, Rogues, and Warriors can all tank in PVE
- Rich, elegant warfront map design: RIFT’s maps have similar mechanics to maps from other games. E.g. Codex = WoW’s Arathi Basin, Whitefall Steppes = WoW’s Warsong Gulch, etc. However, the maps in RIFT have terrain features that encourage and create opportunities for tactical play, as exhibited in my most recent RIFT Cleric PVP video
- Integration with social media: you can record game footage in RIFT with the press of a button and then upload to YouTube, and RIFT integrates with Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr
…while copying other practical, sensible features from other games, such as:
- Distinct PVE gear vs PVP gear systems (e.g. Valor is WoW’s Resilience, etc)
- Achievements, which originated in WAR and were copied by WoW
It will be interesting to see how/where SWTOR and GW2 innovate and where they choose to copy from other games.
I have been a huge advocate and supporter for RIFT – it was the first AAA-quality launch of an MMORPG in the past several years, which in itself was a big deal. I am concerned with some of the proposed changes in Patch 1.5, such as how key talents work (for Clerics) and how the stats work. I also believe that now is not the right time to be introducing disruptive changes to the playerbase, given the impending launch of SWTOR and GW2. By changing stat mechanics, RIFT players may have to re-gear, which usually means re-grinding, and some players may simply write a game off and jump ship for perceived greener pastures.
RIFT can’t create meaningful differentiation in terms of lore-based IP – the buzz around known properties such as Warhammer Online (3 years ago) and Star Wars (now) has already proven that – but RIFT can differentiate itself from much of the MMORPG market by iterating thoughtfully and carefully with each Patch.
If any of you have tried SWTOR, let us know what you think of the game. I have heard that it feels more like a single-player game than most MMORPGs and that the PVP was not so good. But I have not tried it myself.