Every MMORPG is similar, but has vast differences as well. While I decided in the long run that I preferred World of Warcraft to RIFT, there were features in RIFT that I strongly felt were superior. These features helped lure thousands of players to at least try RIFT. Blizzard had a documented decrease in subscribers directly after RIFT’s release on March 1, 2011.
Working Mom of Three, History Buff, Writer, World of Warcraft Addict. . .My Comments on My Crazy Life.
Okay, this is a short list of obvious and more subtle differences that made RIFT enjoyable to play.
1) Character Customization and Artwork: Toons do not all look alike. Not only could skin and hair styles be changed, but facial features, markings, and even height could be altered for the player’s liking. Dyes could be purchased to color gear in different combinations as well. So if you wanted your rogue to always wear black, no matter what gear dropped, it could be dyed.
2) No more “Cookie Cutter” Specs: Tanking Rogues? Priest-Mages? Mail wearing Druids? Warriors with pets? What is this, crazy town? Nope. Just a normal day in RIFT.
3) AOE Looting: Just killed a mob and have lots of sparklies. Click on one and watch your bags fill up. Click, Click, done.
4) Sense of community: The RIFTS that the game is based on open up and invaders invade on a frequent basis. Imagine it this way–you’re questing through Northern Barrens and suddenly, general chat is filled with calls for help, LFG messages, calls for tanks and heals, etc. That’s how it works. The community has to work together to close the rifts–and they get pretty good rewards for doing it. Imagine also that the Alliance and Horde had to work together. . .and could communicate. You know how you say derogatory things about a gnome warlock in a battleground ? What if she understood what you said, and would answer back? All of this, believe it or not, makes folks more civil and helpful. Trade Chat Trolls are rare, and people are less likely to yell, “Stupid Noob!” and “Ask a guard” when you ask a question in general chat.
Just as important, though, is that the developers actually interact with the players. The lead developer of Trion actually plays forum games like, “Where in the World” and if you find him and submit a screenshot, you get an in-game title. I once saw a movie of a RITF in game wedding that turned into a real-life proposal. The developers were in on it, created a priest and officiated!
5) Easter eggs: RIFT has in-game puzzles and hidden caches of gear that are just there to be discovered. When you do them, you can receive achievements and titles.
Of course, there are negatives with RIFT that makes WoW superior–if not, I and thousands of my cohorts would have re-subscribed and be running dungeons and slaying dragons right now. But, all of these (and many, many more) of the unique features of RIFT could go a long way to improving WoW and making it even more enjoyable.