The good: these neutral factions, which move and exist in multi-dimensional space (official overview), make Rift more into the wild planar-focused game that I always wished it was more like. In other words, I’ve always wanted Rift to be the MMO version of Planescape Torment–full of mystery, wierdness, and amazing and exotic factions and characters to interact with. I want to leave Telara and journey to fantasy extraplanar cities, court mysterious demon women, speak with goddesses, or learn that I am one.
Not so good: this new form of gameplay pushes Rift even more towards an MMO I don’t want to play or go back to. It’s already a WoW-style raiding endgame, despite efforts to appeal to casuals like weddings and historical/lore instances. The new three-faction PvP now moves Rift still more towards a PvP-focused MMO. We have a lot of those. I also haven’t forgotten PvPing until my eyes bled just to get partway into the third PvP tier. I can’t imagine going back to that grind again. Normally I’m more fine with grinding than most.
Where does the disappointment come from? I was hoping when Trion hinted at three factions that they were going to add a third playable faction. That was probably too much to hope for, but it would have been a really big deal for Rift, and it could have enticed me. I might have gone back to play Rift this month if they had added a new race of warped panda-badgers or plant-lolitas or something with decent kung-fu.
I know–that would kind of be ripping off Mists of Pandaria, but hey–Turbine just added magic light crystals to LotRO as weapon enhancers, didn’t they?
Turbine dev #1: How can we compete against SWTOR? Our players are leaving. What do they have that we don’t?
Turbine dev #2: Light sabers, obviously.
Turbine dev #1: We need to make our Legendary Items more like light sabers.
Lead Designer: Power crystals. We can do this. Plus, we can sell premium crystals in the store for cash. Let’s make it happen.