The search for the “WoW-Killer” continues as Trion Worlds launched Rift into open beta last weekend. For years disaffected World of Warcraft refugees, unsatisfied with the turns of development the game has made, have been searching for something which will fill the void. Rift has come closer than any release thus-far, all because of a simple design philosophy; “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.”
Rift has taken the most successful aspects of WoW, Warhammer Online and THQ’s successful top-down RPG (or Diablo clone), Titan-Quest, and perfected them. Players have the class-customization of TQ, choosing three of six talent trees per role. The much love but imperfect public quests from WAR have been streamlined into something that carries meaning throughout your avatar’s entire journey. Finally, Rift’s core mechanics, combat and levelling systems have the finesse of the WoW engine, without the toonish graphics.
Will Rift rise to the rank of the fabled “WoW-Killer”? I don’t see it happening. It just doesn’t exist. Once a player has spent six years investing their souls into a game it takes divine intervention to replace it. Even if a better game is released, the patrons of Azeroth will stubbornly reject it. WoW is more than a game, it has passed into the realm of religion and doctrine. You will do twenty-five dailies every day. You will smite these ten bosses on a weekly basis. You will have the most enchanted and gemmed gear possible, regardless of the economic repercussions. Those who subscribe to these pillars of faith are not so easily converted.
Perhaps Rift will succeed in converting the few, the disaffected WoW-fugees. Perhaps it will one day be widely accepted as WoW’s equal. For now, however, Blizzard need not be concerned.
For more on Rift visit http://www.riftgame.com/