Much has been said over how often Trion updates RIFT. We all know that major updates are pretty much a monthly thing. Personally, I love it. It’s earned Trion a lot of my respect that they work on their game so much. (I was tempted to write that they “focus on their game so much” but what would that mean for other MMO companies?) These patches are usually ushered in by highly advertised world events with “great” thematic tie-ins to the world’s lore. A couple months ago I might have even wrote that without the quotation marks.
Here’s my problem with world events in RIFT: They’re all exactly the same. Every single world event has consisted of variously skinned versions of “kill these invaders, kill these rift creatures, buff this wardstone, and go to this spot and click on something” — except this time they took out the clicking part. How great can your lore tie-ins be when what you’re actually doing is no different that what you’ve done every other time the world has been threatened? These planar leaders better get together for some kind of think tank because they’re seriously lacking in the creativity department.
This really goes along with my general feeling for 1.5, they have some good ideas but don’t go anywhere near far enough. Planar attunement is nice but levels tend to take forever unless you’re grinding chronicles every day. I like having another bar to fill but it’s hard to see my motivation staying up for too long; I could grind 10 levels for 10 spell power or… not. The better answer right now is to upgrade. Get better runes, run more dungeons, roll on gear drops. Every one of those will do more for you than planar attunement will. Other “good starts” in 1.5 – Chronicles: 15 minute XP farms but wonderful premise with a lot of potential; Master Mode Dungeons: Only one, which means people got burned out on running it, when was launch day again?
For all of these things, Ferrel would probably tell me that I’m complaining about extra stuff to do. World events really are fluff, after all, so why nitpick at the extra stuff. Honestly, he’s right. The reason to speak up, though, is that there are really good ideas in there buried under piles of “the same.” Don’t get me wrong, having world events — or really just new quest series/rewards — happening every month is great. Truly, I love that. There needs to be more variety, is all. You can’t put out a bunch of copy-paste world events “just because you can” and expect people not to notice. And the little bits they have changed, like the Hammerknell story sequences or the speaking travel stones, have been great. Even the variety of the in-city quests (finding spies, burning plants) is nice. So when you load into the game to see two good ideas and five recycled ones, it’s a little disappointing. Planar attunement is nice system, too, but needs to be sped up and made more interesting. And Chronicles, here’s a system that makes you wonder “why haven’t we been doing this all along?” They just need to make them longer, into full-fledged two-mans instead of appetizers before the raid.
Lots of great stuff came with the last patch, a world event just a point on the list. Like most every big idea, though, its been treated with the trepidation of successful people in a high-risk environment. As RIFT gets larger and more well off, I truly hope that a “don’t mess it up” mentality doesn’t start to stifle the ideas that clearly trying to leap out.