Rift – Don’t worry…gamers have short memories

Sometimes I hate being around North Americans and our culture in general. We’re a spoiled lot who expect everything yesterday and it damn well be better than what we got last week. Jeepers, it’s no wonder we’re all on anti-depressants and souped up on Red Bull….we’re all running around with our pants on fire trying to satisfy demanding asshats who live in their basements. There is a silver lining to that behavior though: short memory. Don’t worry guys…in two weeks time you’ll be saying “what server queue?”. I really had no big issue with server queues over the weekend. When I did encounter them, it was about a 10 minute wait to get in which I really don’t have an issue with as I do have other things to occupy my time with. Seriously folks…it’s called “waiting”. I know…shocking concept when you’re high on stimulants.

Yeah…so if you have low tolerance for asshats like I do, stay away from the Rift forums. Nothing but usless bitching from the usual, spoiled rotten suspects who’ve lost total perspective.

…mooooooving on.

Over the weekend, I probably had some of the best memories burned into my head by playing Rift. I lost count the amount of invasions I helped with and the number of Rifts closed, but I tell ya…it was just awesome to see the balance between MMO gamer selfishness and community goals finally reached. Just yesterday, on the Bryeil server (…gawd I hope that’s how you spell it..) a zone wide event kicked off in Gloomwood. This zone event happened right after a major fire rift event. All of a sudden a message went up saying that the main town was being invaded by warewolves and other nasty things. One of the goals was to take out 5 bosses that spawned in various places in the zone. It was really something to see that many people co-operating in an MMO event. There were at least 50-60 people traveling in a nice group towards these areas as one big raid group. On the RnH vent server, I remarked that it was just wonderful to see that many people just getting together for this quest..to which a guildie said that he has never seen anything like it before. I agree…I have not seen this much in the way community building events in any MMO before. It’s just…refreshing.

Time will tell though. The players have been given every tool that they can ever possibly want to group and make this a true massively multiplayer game…but in time, will we use these tools or start sidestepping them? You’ve got to remember, that WoW has taught us all one thing: let’s play our games alone together. How deep has that thought been buried in our minds? I have seen some examples of players falling into old, selfish questing habits during my adventures, like, spawn camping and tagging when it takes half a second to invite others to group wanting the same name. Like giving up the first two seconds of a PvP event, or going AFK instead of helping out the group. All of these things are lessons from WoW. The lesson of being a selfish MMO player whose ONLY goal is to improve his standing with…well…himself. Rift has everything there. Trion has made it sooooo easy for you to interact with other players so that you can help build a community instead of building up your gear score. You can do both, and not be a douche. If Rift fails, then I think MMO gamers are truly broken.

We’re still only a week in. Remember that Rift has really hasn’t officially launched yet, so we still have a long way to go before we really find out if this game has got legs. Right now, I feel that Rift has a lot of momentum behind it. Technically speaking, it’s made no mistakes…server queues don’t count because those are expected glitches, not technical mistakes. Game wise, it’s all there. Right now, I’m not seeing any downside to how Trion is managing Rift. I don’t see a “WAR thing” happening, because their community is not tiered like WAR was. The population looks pretty even and healthy across the zones…for now. A year from now, how will a level 1-20 character experience Rift? Will it be as fun as my adventure has been? No one really knows, but here’s hoping Trion figures out that little problem.

So. Despite the usual negative, predictable MMO culture that we live in, I think Rift is off to one of the best starts I’ve seen to date….including LOTRO. The team over at Trion seems to have the luxury of having time to design their game instead of putting out tech fires that should have been solved months ago, which is a huge advantage. I’m extremely optimistic about this title and even if it does go BOOM in a year, I’ll still have those memories burned in my mind.

D out.

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