The big news from this last week was Microsoft reversing its stance on console DRM, basically putting the Playstation and XBOX and the whole console scene back to situation normal. No always-online requirement.
Gosh, it’s a shocking miracle. They said it was already built in, and this was the way it was going to be. But not, thanks to gamers as a whole, including military people with unreliable connections writing impassioned speeches, and also thanks to Sony, which is awesome.
Angry Joe covered this. I’m going to write my thoughts about Rift F2P after playing every day since it launched.
This week I realized another silver lining to F2P. F2P ruins immersion by adding real-life money to the economy and meta-elements into the game world, like NPCs that sell for store credits and store buttons on the game interface.
On the other hand, by letting players play when they want, it effectively removes an invisible expiration date that is always on your characters during a subscription. If you stop your credit card payments, your characters are cut off from you, never to be seen again.
I am accepting of Rift F2P so far. Rift doesn’t spam your interface with store hotbuttons, and it puts your daily gift out of sight in the corner of the store panel, so that doesn’t spam you either. As LotRO demonstrated, those two things are my breaking point.
Per this last Friday livestream, Trion is adding not just a mage tank, but also a warrior healer soul, cleric support, and rogue healing soul. The names of these were linked in the forums to pages on the Magelo web site that showed bunches of skills.
Supposedly these are taken down now, but I noticed the rogue’s combat rez was called “Kiss of Life”, which is kind of rogue-sexy. The kitty likes. As someone in the forum says, these souls also have to be good because of F2P. If they are weak and uninteresting, no one will buy them.
The livestream also seemed to announce the next expansion or region (not clear on that), which will be off Telara on the plane of water. No, it’s not 100% swimming because the devs recognize that players don’t like that. The water plane in Rift is the realm of madness and insanity, not just a big ocean.
The only bad thing about Rift F2P (so far, to me) is that it commits the dire sin of putting a store interface on every NPC that sells something. The first vendor you reach in the game has a 4-slot bag. Five gold or ten credits for a bag, please. Oh, you don’t have ten cents worth of store credit? You’ll need to pony up $5 to get 750 credits, so you can get 10.
Rift F2P is not without its “tricks”. The first zone and the capital city are loaded with this same scheme–a really low store credit price on things that are trivial, which serves no monetary purpose other than to persuade people to buy that first credit package. I wish that I’d bought extra roles for my warrior before F2P, since now they cost store credits.
I hope F2P helps Rift. Rift is very raid-focused and not casual friendly. Just the first stretch of the main quest in the first zone makes you group, and if you don’t you’re getting smacked down.
Forced grouping on the Rift main questline has always equated to throwing millions of dollars out the office window, and even more so now that Rift is F2P. This doesn’t bother me too much since I’ve already endured it, but it’s going to frustrate a lot of F2P casuals.
I am committing time and effort to Rift now. I’m having a lot of fun, and I haven’t even looked at the housing or new continents yet. I crafted a bunch of bags for lowbies.
If you are a new player on Faeblight, send a mail request to Leonore, and I will send you a free 18-slot bag that will last you until L30+ along with your backpack. I gave one away just now to a former WoW player thanks to the Rift minimized program button on my toolbar flashing and alerting me when I got a tell.
It’s like that with Rift–so many little features. Last night I macroed saved UI layouts for when I want to play windowed mode or full screen. I couldn’t do that in LotRO. I bought a $50 credit package for Rift today.
I also bought some REX (Rift Exchange currency). I kind of see now how REX works. It’s complicated. There are no more queues on Faeblight, but gold-sellers are spamming chat like crazy. Trion is fighting them. The spammers look a little silly competing with REX, trying to undercut the platinum prices.
So. This gamer is happy to have a “home” again in a great MMO. Yolari re-affirmed that she is done with MMOs, so like on this blog, I’ll be going solo.
For more reading about F2P, I would recommend Beau Hindman’s Massively article from last week.