Rift’s hype machine starts the first beta weekend

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Rift’s first beta event weekend is this weekend.  I do not believe that beta testers are even allowed to say that they are in the beta, so I won’t say anything and leave it up to you.  What I do want to point out today is a video released by Trion that shows staged in-game footage.

Some cool things being shown and said, but unfortunately it all drowns in the hype.  My feedback for the Rift team would be to take the hype in that video and cut it down to about one thousandth of its current size.  I realize the point of the video is to drum up interest; I know get, I really do.  I’m a firm believer that if your game deserves attention then show the true game being played and describe what people are seeing.  The video didn’t need the buzzword testimonials from the nerdy guild members.  “Push the genre forward the day the game comes out”… really?

Okay, let’s not dwell on what could potentially be an ugly situation if it doesn’t live up.  Let’s focus on what we know.  a) Traditional MMO, b) some interesting features like rifts and their implementation into dungeons (like public quests, maybe?), c) The class system continues to appeal, d) Environments shown in the video do look impressive (like the desert fort shown).  I get a sense, and this could be hype, that there will be a nice open world with lots of ‘cool’ places to visit with a fully developed and dare I buzzword by saying “realized” world.  I like the idea of hunting in ‘areas’ and not just out of hubs (I would add this to my wishlist for Rift).

I’ll be trying Rift when it launches barring any catastrophe I may or may not experience pending my acceptance into a testing phase that I may or may not already be in or be in some day.  (Have to keep it cryptic, you understand).  I’m interested in the game not because of what I see in the videos and I encourage you to read around, try to get in beta, and form other opinions about the game instead of relying on the hype. It will never, ever, be as good as the hype you create in your head after watching a video like that but it can still be great.

I’m curious to know how the rest of you think right now.  I know you’ll agree that the hype was disgusting, but are you at all intrigued by what you’re seeing lately?

  • Rift looks to solve some of my issues with the current crop of MMOs, namely static content, so I’ve had my eye on it for a while now. As for the hype… well, I learned a long time ago to take anything I see in a promotional video with a grain of salt or two.

    But I do like what I see, from art design to game-play, so here’s hoping they can pull it all off.

  • I for one have been following Rift for a long time. I was lucky enough to go to their gamer day and see it first hand. Let me be the first to say this game lives up to the hype. I feel your pain with the last bit of overhyped fail games, so I understand your feelings on the hype. However, IMO this one has been flying low for a long time. It’s ready to start hyping up a bit. See ya in beta…err if me and you were to get a key and be in the beta that is….

  • Looks interesting, but as experience has taught me…hype is hype. I need to play the game for a while before I can decide if I like it.

  • Been following it since it was announced as Heroes of Talara.

    The biggest problem Rift has going for it is the competition coming out the same year. Guild Wars 2 for instance is promising dynamics on a larger scale then what we see here, but I’m just going by what I’ve read.

    As the saying goes “The proof is in the pudding”

    The great thing is it can’t get any worse than 2010’s releases.

  • This game reminds me greatly of Warhammer circa early 2008. Like War, the game engine is stable enough to provide an enjoyable press demo (in fairness, some games don’t get that far). Like War, they’re promising dynamic content (public quests v2.0, some of the devs were literally the people who did WAR PQ’s before EA fired them all). Like War, they’re making the usually ill-fated attempt to include all of the major playstyles found in WoW (solo questing to cap, group instances, raids, instanced PVP). Unlike War, they’re promising an intricate class system with a massive number of combinations, which sounds cool on paper, but also like an absolute balance nightmare.

    At the end of the day, I wish them well, and I’ll definitely check out any free trials or open betas, but I’m not taking the game at face value until they take down the NDA (including the endgame).

  • There was a lot of good information there, though admittedly not much we didn’t know before. I am curious what it takes for marketing material to be considered not-hype.

  • @Informis: Well, let’s look at what they said about classes. They gave a lot of great info there. They showed us the soul trees and explained about multi-classing. Then they make a statement like “You can be any class you can imagine!” … that’s just false. Purely false. I’m not breaking a NDA by saying it’s bull. Why? Because it’s impossible and anyone capable of rational thinking knows it.

    There’s also the implication that Rift will be a game that advances the genre the day it ships. Bullhooky! You can’t make statements like that.

    The explanation of rifts and showing the world was nice. They could have explained some of those settings a bit more and even thrown in a little hyperbole if they kept it in check.

  • I really cant wait to play this game iv been trying to snag a beta key in one of the giveaways but there always gone by the time i get to it. Right now im not playing any mmo’s unless you count league of legends or wizard 101 with my kids. Other than guild wars 2 this is the only thing keeping me interested in them really hope one of the 2 is worth my time. Hope you keep reporting on it good or bad.

  • @keen concerning classes:

    My god what more do you want, this game will have as close to a classless system as ny MMO since Asherons Call.

    How is the following false? “You can be any class you can imagine!” … that’s just false.

    Pretty much any class you can imagine in a typical MMO can be created, and has been proven time and time again by many of the folks who played even the pre-alpha builds at the cons.

    Rift will advance the genre much to the same way WoW did, if you think other wise then you my friend havnt been staying up to date. Dynamic content, open class system, refinment of previous MMO ideas. Just becaue it isnt some sandbox failure of a game that caters to he 1999 EQ/UO crowd doesnt mean it doesnt advance the genre.

    Your previous post is full of refutable biases and comes off as a jaded and disallusioned former fanboi.

  • @Branith: You need to chill. It may have a high number of classes, but saying you can be any class you can imagine is not true. I can imagine classes not in the game. I can imagine combinations not even possible. You’re bound to certain playstyle restrictions within an archetype. Are there a lot of classes? Yes. Anything you can imagine? No. The customization is not that high. It’s like WoW talent trees with more freedom — you’re able to pull in varying styles but are still stuck inside the lines to a certain degree.

    I know much more than you do Branith. It is you who are clueless on the issue. How can you possibly say that Rift will advance the genre the same as WoW? How? Not even the Alpha players can possibly make that claim. Not even Blizzard, WoW Alpha Testers, or anyone playing WoW the first month knew it would have the impact it did. You got some of your clueless fanboy froth on me.

  • Keen, I think you are just picking nits here. The Soul system is more open than any class system I have played before. To take one small line out of the entire video and make a big deal of it is kind of pointless. I don’t think anyone is going to be disappointed when they get into the game and find they can’t make a bazooka-toting, laser-sword carrying, samurai/ninja that turns into a bear and shoots gravity-beams out of his eyes.

    Yes, there is hype involved here but that is to be expected in any video for a MMO. With today’s competitive environment not hyping means your game will die a slow death, no matter how good it is. Especially in the crowded world of the “theme-park” MMO.

    Every statement they made in that video is true more or less. Yes there is a degree of hype but the video is pretty spot on and is certainly a hell of a lot more true than the AoC “tavern brawls and massive sieges!” fiasco or the WAR ” you can behead the king and stand on the city walls and taunt your enemy” BS.

    Trion has released a video that has hype but also is pretty damn true. To me, that should be commended. I look forward to the game and I hope the video does the job and gets more people interested.

  • I’m not just taking one line Esloan. I pointed out several. You can believe the hype if you want. We’ll see who is right.

    Does anything I’m saying mean Rift won’t be great? Not a word of what I said had condemned the game. I’m taking issue with a tactic that has gone far enough: Hype. I fell for it and was a complete fool with Warhammer. I’m not dedicated to trying to get people to think rationally.

    They made several statements that can not possibly be defended: “be any class you can imagine” (It has Branith up there thinking it’s like AC) and advancing the genre the day it launches… c’mon, you yourself have stated it’s just updating the idea of public quests and giving additional class options. Are those bad? Heck no, that’s great.

    Common sense goes a long way, but it appears to be in short supply.

  • Well, I would argue that updating and improving upon the Public Quest system and the class options IS advancing the genre. I would say in many ways Rift is advancing the genre as much as any “theme-park” MMO has in the last few years and it is doing it while releasing in a polished state.

    Its hype and I expect that. Everything is exaggerated in today’s world. Does the huge hamburger in a Burger King commercial ever look like that when you order it? No it doesn’t but we expect that. Its just the way of things.

    I still think the video did a good job of laying out how Rift is different and they did it without lying about it. Did they exaggerate a bit? Probably. But, again, thats just advertising. If you come out with an advertisement nowadays and don’t exaggerate a bit, you are doing it wrong.

  • @Neglok: Hard to hype a game that’s already out and more of the same thing — whether you find that a positive or a negative. One either knows what to expect and looks forward to it or not.

    @Esloan: See? Now we’re saying almost the same thing. The video did indeed present how Rift is different. The Rifts and Class system are quite excellent additions. And it is probably advancing the theme-park genre (see how you specified that now?) more than any other theme-park in the past few years… given the titles released in the past few years it’s not hard to see how that’s obvious. We’re basically saying the same thing now. It’s just how we’re choosing to interpret the outcome or how we personally feel about it at this point.

  • You sir are not me and do not kno the people I know, I do in fct believe RIFT will advance genre. Even the game by night bloggers feel that way. Go read his funny time travellig future report article.

    I have spoken at great lengths within the community of players alot of whom hve played the cons version and otherwise. i am a routine and respected player in the IRC chat with alot of these people. Call me a fanboy all you want it doesnt matter, but I do know RIFT has all the features that will drive what made games like WoW what they are.

    What more character customization do you want? Your hypebolic condemnation of the use of hype to appeal and market the game screams of ignorance. You can INDEED create any class of character using the current 3 tiered soul system that has ever been imagined in an MMO since EQ at east. Healers who DPS with spells or melle, Meee who delve in the arcane with pets, bards with stealth and heals, paladins with pet beasts, I could go freaking on and on but your inablity to do a modicum of research is roof enough to me yur only intention is to troll a company and game that will be the next best thing.

  • @Branith: Do me one favor and I won’t say another word to you. You have to promise though, okay? Promise you’ll come back and admit when you’re wrong.

  • If a time period when I’m bored and have nothing to play coincides with Rift having a free trial available, I’ll check it out. But it really does sound like a very incremental improvement on what’s gone before, even if they execute everything perfectly – and having some beta testers saying that it’s solid and polished doesn’t even begin to convince me that it is. I’m interested, but I’m hard-pressed to muster any actual EXCITEMENT.

  • I’m looking forward to the game, but I was also disappointed at the amount of hype they put into that video. That “be any class you can imagine” has an upspoken “to a degree” on there. You can ultra spec and be the best at everything. You’re limited like every other game.

    I’m also interested to see how polished the game will actually be at launch. Everything I’ve heard is good and supposedly they’re working on the endgame right now since what beta testers will be playing is mostly done (source: latest Rift Podcast). Still, this is an MMO we’re talking about and them hyping this “complete at launch” and “it means being polished” out the gate stuff may raise expectations a little too high. I mean, what they’re doing is admirable but they’ve played it so low key thus far, that video seemed to be on the whole opposite end of the marketing spectrum.

    What bothers me is how so many people are latching on to the “dynamic rift system” without ever seeing it in practice. I sincerely doubt it will wind up as dynamic as they’re marking it sound, even though I believe that’s their big reason for saying they’re advancing the genre on day one. It will be neat but how dynamic could they reasonably make rift spawning and what happens afterwards. They’ve already said that, with the game being a theme park, unstopped invasions won’t totally prevent players from ignoring them if they choose. What I see is random incursions popping up outside of towns that will get bigger and harder, but not impossible, to ignore. And the planes will fight if they meet, which is cool, but, let’s face it, making two NPCs KoS isn’t exactly groundbreaking.

    That being said, I’m hoping that they’re promises of true dynamic events are all they say they’ll be. I’ve read some other aspects of it, like how they’ve implementing that type of content into the world, which is kind of neat. There was a small quote that stuck with me from the forums last night that, if expounded upon, could do much do bring back the concept of virtual world vs. gameplay setting. The forums are down at the moment, but it was about how they’ve applied dynamicism (is that a word?) to a merchant who will wander the world and continue if she’s being frequented, making conversation with passerby an so forth, but if no one visits her, she’ll become depressed and go back home. That kind of scripting could be very neat, I think.

    There’s a lot to be excited about with the game and, believe me, I am. After being bitten by the Warhammer bug, though, I think you tend to look at things a little more realistically. Rift may be a very fun game, but it’s not going to reinvent the genre or push us into the next generation. At best, it will be an incremental step forward, packed with compelling and fun gameplay. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I actually welcome that. After seeing so many games try to be radically different, getting something familiar is a welcome change in 2010.

    My two cents.

  • I personally was not bitten by any previous MMO bugs so to speak, I knew WAR was going to flop as well as AoC but I bought then anyway in hopes of the Devs fixing their glaring issues, but it was to no avail.

    I dont understand all the hate of hyping a game, every single game does it and its nothing more then a marketing ploy that any true gamer should be able to look beyond and look at the game for its merits.

    Keen i’ll be the first to post here if I believe the game will be a disaster but after following it for so many months now I have no reason including all the previous hyperbolic language in this and other game blog sites condeming Rift.

    I just see the game advancing the genre, and when I say genre, I mean the way that WoW advanced MMO to the mainstream gaming community as being one and of the same. The dynamic PQ’s if you wish to call them, will go a long long ways in giving another avenue for MMO gamers to entertain their life with. On that same token though, Rifts dynamic content and the platform they have created will be a huge jump in creating a diverse and fluid game play environment unlike the static and meaningless PQ system of WAR.

    The class system is as close to being able to create a game world where if you really wish to envision what style of character you want to be (with in limits of course) you can create it. Yes you cant create uber gods of doom, but that is the beauty of the system, being able to create for me now, a Plate wearing, Dual wield berzerker, that usses lifetaps and a magic can be created in Rift. I do realize I cant be the best at all the callings but I can equip certain souls that create some sembelance of what type of class I want and use my creativity of “roleplay” to extend the concept further.

    It truely is as close to being a classless class system as possible. I hope that phrase explains some of it even though it is an oxy moron.

    BTW forgive my atrocious typing mistakes in my previous post becasue it was typed while at work in a dimly lit room on a laptop.

  • @Branith: No, I’m not saying the game will be a disaster. In fact I know it won’t be — I know it’ll be actually quite decent. What I’m saying is that you have these ideas about the class system and the “dynamic content” that aren’t going to pan out quite like you’re expecting. That doesn’t mean the game will be bad.

  • @Keen: My problem with what what you have said is not whether or not what the video says is non-exaggerated or not but that you are making too big a deal about it.

    Unfortunately, in today’s world they HAVE to exaggerate a bit. Bringing it back to the Burger King thing; let’s say you are looking for a burger and you see an ad that shows a huge burger that looks absolutely delicious. Then you see an ad that shows a burger that looks like the typical hamburger you get at a fast food joint. Which are you more likely to pick-up?

    That is the world Rift is releasing in. Exaggeration is the norm. I can not find fault in them slightly exaggerating things, especially if there are no out-right lies in their hype video. They certainly exaggerated way less than what Mythic did with WAR and Funcom did with AoC. Everything you see in that video IS in the game. The only real argument comes in the degree in which it exists and, frankly, a lot of that is up to opinion.

  • You may know it’s exaggeration, I for sure know it’s exaggeration, and some other rational people might, but a great many have no clue and are eating this stuff up at face value. Will it be a good game — perhaps one of the best themeparks since WoW? Yep. Will there be a lot of class options? Yep. Will the word have PQ-like events that spring up and do most of what they’re saying? Yep. Will it let you mix and match any class and be whatever you can imagine? Nope. Will you have a dynamic world? Nope.

    That may make no difference to some, but there are plenty out there who will log in and be like “woah, wait a minute! This isn’t what you promised!”. That negativity will destroy the game regardless of how great it is because it will immediately give people a bad taste in their mouth.

    This isn’t about whether you think exaggeration is okay or a valid tactic. It’s about whether or not what they’re saying is misleading in any way — through exaggeration or otherwise.

  • “Will it let you mix and match any class? Nope.”

    Yes, it pretty much does, at least within your archetype. Which is what they have said from the start. Not sure what the problem is with that.

    “Will you have a dynamic world? Nope.”

    I guess that depends on your definition of dynamic. Dynamic is normally defined as: “Characterized by continuous change, activity, or progres”. If you stick with that definition then yes, it is dynamic. There are Rifts, invasions and footholds happening constantly. Contrast that to WAR’s PQ system, in which the PQs are always in the same place and never change and you can say that Telara is dynamic.

    Now does it change drastically? No probably not, though I think they are just starting to get their feet wet with the system and you will see some bigger things come out of it in time.

    But it does change and is constantly changing and that is dynamic.

  • The events (Rifts) spring up, they get completed, and they go away. That is dynamic, but it is limited in scope. It’s not a dynamic world, but rather a dynamic feature within a zone. Let’s not get caught up in the semantics on that issue, as it’s definitely not the big one. They were pretty straight shooting with the rift system. It’s the people on fansites blowing it way out of proportion.

    One big issue is the class system.

    “Save up to four unique builds” <-- That is TRUE. You choose the archetype, you choose the 3 souls to equip at a time, and you spend points in them as you would in talents. You may choose to spend all points in one soul or spread them out. You might want one skill from from a soul only (granted it's one of the first you can choose since it's like WoW where you unlock more as you spend more). "Allows you to create any class you can imagine" <-- That is FALSE. You're bound to a selection of classes (souls) based upon the archetype you chose. Yes, you're given a great variety of choices. Right on the class website you can see there's a rogue soul that is more defensive. Combine that with the rogue soul that uses some arcane and you might think "holy crap I'm a backstabbing tank with magic!" -- no, you're a rogue that has more defensive capabilities that has an arcane flavor. You're not a mage -- that's the Mage archetype. You're not really mixing and matching whatever you want. You're not creating whatever you want. You're using an excellent variety to customize your character's class more than normal. I'm not undervaluing it but I feel like people are definitely overvaluing it and will find themselves disappointment. I feel like I'm repeating myself a lot, but I really don't understand where all the confusion is here. I'll just finalize what I'm saying once again since most people aren't even bothering to read my entry anyway. I probably won't repeat myself again. TLDR Version: 1) It's probably going to be a good game. (I'll lead with this one for those who can't read more than 7 words) 2) The class system will be diverse and allow for a lot of customization but it is not what you think after listening to things like "create any class you can imagine!" 3) Hyperbole and exaggeration to the point of misrepresentation are not acceptable in marketing for any game, in any medium. "X company did it so that justifies it!" I hope you're all smart enough to see through that. There are better ways to get people excited. There are better ways to sell your product; ways that will actually help you retain subscribers and not lose them in the first month. 4) Being excited is wonderful. Advertising is wonderful. Marketing is wonderful. Being a fan is wonderful. Ignoring the obvious and discarding your rationale are stupid.

  • @Capthook: They are a bit more involved than PQs that move but thanks for playing!

    Actually my excitement about the Rift system is in what they can do with it. There are lots of things that they can add and grow that can truly make it a dynamic world. Right now the system is in its infancy and, while still fun, are not quite the game changer they could be in the future.

    Once we start seeing dynamic Goblin attacks on towns, dynamic attacks by towns-people against enemy encampments or the opposite faction, then you will start to see the Rift system becoming all it could be. Hopefully they are successful enough that they can start adding everything they plan to the Rift system.

  • @esloan

    I don’t see how it is more involved. It’s just spawns of mobs/bosses are differing locations. Are you saying it is special because they can take over towns? That just means mobs sit in a town until someone comes to take it back, nothing changes.

  • @CaptHook: What do you want them to do? Dance a jig for you? They randomly spawn at differing locations, with differing strengths (including Raid rifts) and different configurations.

    They then spawn invasions that head out in differing directions and attempt to attack NPC towns as well as other Rifts. If they take over a town or quest hub they hold it until players show up to take it back. What else, exactly, are you expecting them to do?

    It is a far cry from the static PQs, that played out exactly the same way every time, in WAR. It is dynamic, it does change regularly and it does change the world, if only for short periods of time.

    I’m just not sure what you are expecting here. Every “innovation” in MMO history has just been a slight building upon of MMOs before it. From WoW’s quest system, to PQs, to WAR’s sieges, all take aspects of MMOs before them and improve upon them or try to improve upon them. If you are expecting something totally different then perhaps MMOs are not for you.

  • It’s just marketing doing what it does best. Most experienced gamers understand that statements like “any class you can imagine,” are just there to add some spice, so they don’t take it literally.

    The only time I ever have a problem with marketing videos for MMOs is when the entire video is some CG cutscene that looks epic and features absolutely no gameplay. Why? Because that can be extremely misleading considering it doesn’t really show the game at all.

    Otherwise, getting upset or having “problems” with marketing buzz just seems like a waste of time.

  • I’m not upset at all. I have a problem with it because it hurts the industry. The hype bubble continues to grow, pop, grow, pop, grow, pop. People are continually being mislead. Just look at what esloan said a few comments up. In today’s world people have to exaggerate? That’s messed up.

    People getting the wrong impression hurts games. I think WAR would have actually been received better if Mythic didn’t misrepresent and exaggerate. People would have gone in knowing, or not gone in because they knew. That would have yielded less bad press which would have yielded a more stable subscriber base. I feel very strongly on that.

    Look at a game like EVE. There was never an ounce of hyperbole used for EVE. I can imagine how they could have said “have the most epic space battles ever where you control a ship participating in a fleet as you dog fight. Then take your ship parts and actually build ships and get hands on with the crafting.” Instead they’re straight up, the game is what it is, and people love it.

    I don’t want Rift to be dismissed because it didn’t live up to the hype. I want it to be given a chance for what it is and not for what people thought it would be from a video or misconceptions stemming from unclear verbiage.

  • Hype is not what killed WAR, broken systems, subpar PvE and a complete lack of focus on what they really wanted to excel at killed WAR. Hype did not kill AoC, lack of content, horrible performance and outright lies killed AoC.

    People know that there is a bit of hype in every marketing video. They expect it and it is something every company has to do to make their title stand up against all the other hyped MMOs. People expect hype and a bit of exaggeration and they deal with it just fine. What they don’t deal with, and what makes them leave in droves, is buggy, unpolished and unfinished content, broken systems and outright lies.

    Trion will probably not have to deal with any of that. From the looks of it the game is polished, there is a ton of content, everything works and they have not outright lied in any of their videos, including this one.

  • You’re repeating yourself now Esloan. 😉

    And I didn’t say hype killed WAR, but hype definitely hurt it in a big big way. I think it would have done better without it.

  • Yes, it would have done better without it but only because it was broken, unpolished and unfinished. The hype was just the nail in the coffin and something else to hold up to ridicule. Had it not had the other problems, everyone would have just forgotten about the hype and the building up of PQs as more than they really were.

  • @Keen posted “The events (Rifts) spring up, they get completed, and they go away. That is dynamic, but it is limited in scope. It’s not a dynamic world, but rather a dynamic feature within a zone. Let’s not get caught up in the semantics on that issue, as it’s definitely not the big one. They were pretty straight shooting with the rift system. It’s the people on fansites blowing it way out of proportion.”

    What your failing to understand here, is their game world iis designed, and this is verbatum from the Devs mouth, The dynamic structure will allow us to change and implement new and dyanamic modes of content and stream them in game as they see fit. They talk of travelling questgivers, dynamic raid encounters designed within hte scope of their system and so on. The Rift invasions is only the tip of the cup according to the Devs. The only difference I see, is will they add these dynamic events or not.

    As for the class system, you can pretty much invision any normal class from any past MMO and its imagination is in game. With the caveat that you can mix and match within your calling to find the right combination of talents/abilities that suits your play style. Plus they have the ability offer 4 different preset loads, unlike the 2 from WoW dual talent tree specs. They are given us choices. I can build a Death Knight type of class in Rift (Void Knight + Reaver), and will have the choice to add a pet via Beastmaster, or a Arms Warrior with a champion. That sounds pretty damn diverse to me.

    Think I could build a DK with warriors charge and a hunter pet in WoW? not on your life, but I can in Rift and that is the beauty of the class system. Yes I am a warrior in plate, but I have options in how I will play and what style of abilities and skills I will use. Its as close to getting to a classless system since Asherons Call did it in 1999.

  • That chick with her husband was hot 🙂

    Just trying to break the mood! I think the game is wanting to play with the “big boys” but will fall short.

    I am from the future. Trust me. It will find a core group of players like DarkFall or AoC.

    Remember. I am from the future. I know things.

  • I haven’t been following it in great detail and will probably wait and check it out once I’ve read some reviews. It looks nice enough but there’s nothing about it that truly excites me or makes it stand out from the crowd. I’ll hold off and see what public opinion is like post launch.

  • It looks somewhat interesting. I don’t think it will do much in the way of PvP or even Story (like TOR). It also looks themepark-ish, so there is not a big draw for me at least.

  • Here is a perfect illustration of of ho w Hype can hurt.

    True story: My cousin is a gamer but he doesnt spend a great deal of time reading forums or researching games, he mainly just asks me about them or goes by what he stumbles across.

    A couple days ago he tells me he is all excited about this game called Rift, asks me if I know anything about it. I say yes but I havn’t followed it very closely. He then goes on about how it’s going to be so awesomr because “you can create any class you want too, just like we did in old SWG”, and then I had the pleasure of telling him to pump his brakes because that isn’t how it works in Rift.

    So, lets say my cousin doesn’t come ask me about it, or he is just some random consumer that sees the marketing hype and bus the game based on that. He logs in, quickly finds out that the main selling point for him was misleading/doesn’t exist. Now you just have another pissed off consumer that will trash your game at every opportunity.

  • Hai.

    I agree. Lots of hype and buzzwords used. That part was disappointing, though I didn’t mind the testimonials nearly as much. Why? Because we know their name, see their guild and know what they look like so if they’re lying to us…

    … we can track them down tickle them.

    It looks like a nice game. It sounds like a lot of good ideas. As can be expected, the advertising isn’t precise and leaves you to fill in the blanks often leading to bigger expectations.

    Prime example?

    Branith. “Think I could build a DK with warriors charge and a hunter pet in WoW? not on your life, but I can in Rift and that is the beauty of the class system.”

    Um. No you can’t. Looking at the Warrior archetype subclasses (souls), there doesn’t seem to be anything there that has a pet (like a Hunter does). The Hunter-like pet option is the Ranger which is under the Rogue Archetype.

    You pick warrior, you get warrior soul options and you’re limited to those… otherwise they’d be listed in some mass of options instead of right under an archetype.

    Keen has already pointed that out.

  • @SmakenDahed

    You neeed to do your research a bit more. Yes, you are limited to Warrior Souls in the Warrior Archetype and Rogue in the Rogue archetype. However, there are widely varying souls in each archetype, making for a high variation of play styles.

    Yes, you can have a pet as a Warrior. Using the beastmaster soul you can have one. Every archetype has pet class, BM for Warrior, Ranger for Rogue, Elem and Necro for mage, druid for Cleric.

  • As entertaining as this entire discussion has been, for me it’s just kind of pointless. When the game comes out I’ll buy it and try it for a month. If I like it, I’ll stick with it, if not I won’t.

    I don’t mind purchasing the game even in the principal that I appreciate companies that build MMO’s. And I also think it makes a pretty big statement when your game sells, but folks don’t enjoy it enough to pay monthly. I think being a developer/company that would hurt more then not selling the copy at all. Then it can’t be blamed on marketing, just sheer lack of enjoyment.

    If I have learned anything from the previous MMOs is I just need to play the game.

  • @smakenDahed

    Yes as a warrior I can indeed build a (WoW) Death Knight with (WoW) Hunter pet and (WoW) Warrior Charge. Its called a Reaver + Beastmaster + Champion.

    Or maybe you want a bit of a (DAoC) Shaman for Dots and roots combined with (DAoC) Warden for abalative Procs and add in a dash of (WoW) Paladin then I could make a Purifyer + Justicar + Shaman.

    So yes pretty much any class can be realized in Rift, with some exceptions of course.

  • @Brentih: In Rift, can I make a 100% pure glass cannon like I could in AC, hyper-focused to be extremely OP in one spell at the expense of absolutely everything else? (and for the love of god, stop mentioning AC as the last MMO to feature an open-ended class/skill system, you are missing about 5-8 years of games that have done it as well) Can I make a character based around being noticeably faster than everyone else? Jumping higher? Can I make a pure crafter that can contribute all the way to the end-game?

    And all that aside, what are the odds that on the PvP server, there is more than 3-4 ‘viable’ builds? What are the odds that, at any given time, one or more combos are considered OP or broken? What are the odds that, when it comes time to fix said combo, it breaks PvE in some way?

    The system sounds great on paper, just like rifts do. Wait for the real population (and not the ‘it always works out’ beta sub-group. How amazing was WAR in beta?) to hit the game before you proclaim something that is not very likely to happen.

    (Which is not saying Rift won’t be a fun themepark title, it very well could be. But like Keen said, the people buying all of the hype here are hurting the game more than helping it, and if anything, that attitude leads others to either also buy into the hype, or root against it because they have seen all of this before)

  • I want to be able to build a (War) Bright Wizard for damage, with a (Wow) Druid (Bear Form)for heals, survivability, combined with a (DAOC) Infiltrator , for Perforate Artery , stunning stab, creeping death combo. You give me that combination of souls and by god you got my 15.00 per month !!!!!!

  • “Think I could build a DK with warriors charge and a hunter pet in WoW?”

    I found this comment particularly illuminating of another issue with the whole “you can build any class you can imagine” line. The fact is, no, *god no*, you could never make that character in WoW, because it would be hideously broken in any kind of PvP.

    Guildwars had this feature, the freedom to mix and match between multiple classes without any limitations, and from day one it was the single biggest driver of imbalance and degenerate play in the game. However Rift’s system works in theory, in practice there will need to be limitations to prevent abusive cookie cutter templates from dominating the entire game.

    I will admit I’m probably a bit biased – I’m just not in this game’s target demographic. That said, it does seem like it’s being done very well overall, and I wish them the best of luck with it.

    Thanks to this coverage I’ll probably do some more research and try to follow the beta a bit, but honestly it seems too much like “a typical MMO” for me, in terms of its attitude towards progression and leveling. GW2 still seems the game for me, for all its potential issues.

  • @Branith: Three parts of three different (and completely classes), doesn’t really make them as good as the pure form but if they deliver it, it could be interesting.

    Beastmaster isn’t listed on the site for classes, however I did see it in a video. I’ll continue to curb my enthusiasm until I actually try it.

    @Sisphean: I don’t think they’re going to be able to avoid ‘best builds’. It’s going to happen just like it’s happened in every game that allowed that sort of versatility. Asheron’s Call had this sort of thing (though not as many branch options) and you had a whole lot of people going the same route because it was overpowered or the best.

    And yeah, I’m not expecting PVP to be all that balanced in any way. With that many options, it’s going to be a nightmare.

  • The one mode of PvP they actually mention is Warfronts? Which is scenarios/battlegrounds.. /puke even the shot looked like something happening in AB.

    Anyone who actually been looking into this, what is the situation with open world pvp and will people farm warfronts?(they will if they get anything from them)

  • One thing to note, about the dynamic content that i think is neat. Rift actually has an AI director, similar to Left 4 Dead. It was revealed in a pod cast that the system could spawn a world even w/o a GM even having to trigger it. You could have 20 death rifts open up in multiple zones that are set to go to invade status quickly and literally decimate a zone if left unchecked. It could potentially take the whole server a concerted effort to push back the invasion.

    Given the nature of the dynamic rifts, if you have a bunch of lvl 50’s only in a rift, it will actually spawn and change difficulty on the fly and give you a reward a lvl 50 could use, even if its a lvl 20 zone.

    Thats! what I’m excited about. Could it be hype given by a developer, maybe. But its clearly stated that they programmed the system to be able to do just that in the future.

  • If anyone can watch that video and NOT puke I will pay you.

    Looks like any other mmo but with a phased invasion system similiar to what wow used for some areas. Sounds super exciting to have some random npc take over an area for a little while..

  • Well it’s interesting that there’s so much passion about this game before it’s even gone to open beta – that’s quite encouraging.
    I saw some ropey animation in among the pretty gfx which I always consider an immersion breaker.

    We shall see, a free trial is in order.

    And yeah I hate the pop-up nerds telling me it’s amazing.

  • To be honest, I cannot find the Hype in the video you are referring to. I saw a couple of generic people talking about a game off of a script they practiced before they arrived to be videoed.

    Rift looks like it will be a contender in the MMO Market. Does that mean a contender for the crown jewel of the market? No. It simply means that I believe Rift will find its audience and they will stick to it unlike 9/10 MMO’s that release and die months later.

    The Rift’s sound like an interesting idea, however, when will that “ooo look at that” feeling wear off? Let’s not forget the frustration that will ensue when you arrive from home after an 18-hour shift and just want to relax in the game and login to your character only to find him hacked into pieces within seconds of this “raid.” (I am not saying its not good to have the challenge, its just that Rift needs to get ready for the inevitable cries of nerfing)

    I doubt even If I do get a Beta key for this game as I have signed up for will I try it out. Cataclysm releases soon and after playing in the Beta I know it will be a solid release. Don’t trust the doom sayers.

  • Rift for me is going to be my ‘Going in Blind’ game. Well. Mostly. I of course know the basics, I’ve watched the video about the soul class system, and I know about the Rifts themselves of course, but that is essentially it.

    And it’s all I want to know.

    It’s a sort of experiment in trying to recapture some of that initial excitement of entering an MMO for the first time. In all likelihood it’ll be a futile effort since I’ve simply played too many now and whether I like it or not know the basics. When I first started way back in ’97 or ’98 with the AC1 beta, I had no concept of what a ‘gimped’ character even was.

    I’ll never be able to get back there… Yet… Perhaps exploring the world for the first time ingame and learning about the classes and skills ingame with no prior clue will go someway to alleviating some of the jaded cynicism which has built up over time.

    Shall see!

  • Oh, I should also add — and meant to in last comment, sorry! — that the last video they posted with the testimonials was quite an active turn off.

    Not enough to get me to stop, but it certainly left a rather bad taste in my mouth about the whole thing.

  • Seems I found this a little late, 63 posts already? Wow.

    The guild testimonials need to go. Gone are the days of people giving a shit about what your guild is. That mattered in EQ, DAoC and Vanilla WoW, not anymore. PS. 3 souls with 4 different specs is called 12 options. It took about 1 second in my head, I knew the number before you could finish saying that you wouldn’t do the math.

    The narriator says the right things… but then I get this feeling that they are biting off more than they can chew. First off, I will give them credit, they know why the other MMOs have failed. They weren’t polished. Now if they actually ship a game the public considers polished is another issue.

    They say ALOT of good things. They talk about a dynamic world, which if it is truly dynamic is good. They use alot of buzz words MMO bloggers have been using.

    Pitfall 1. It appears to be 2 factions again. This may not be an issue if the PvP is all instanced, and from the sounds of the battle… somethings… it probably is. Any balanced open world PvP requires 3 PLAYER factions.

    Pitfall 2. Dynamic content. Is it really dynamic of just a WAR style public quest? Just because something appears and disapears every hour, 2 hours, or however long, doesn’t make it dynamic. Dynamic requires player interaction to matter.

    Pitfall 3. Over hype. The more you hype the more we expect. It is better to start off with a very small launch and grow, rather than shrink.

  • PS. 3 souls with 4 different specs is called 12 options. It took about 1 second in my head, I knew the number before you could finish saying that you wouldn’t do the math.

    Just to correct this point, there are 4 archetypes, each with something like 6-7ish subclasses.

    Within an archetype you can have up to 3 souls at a time from the 6-7 options.

    So the math would be something like 4(6^3) which is like 864 combinations if I’m right, which I doubt, I don’t remember if I calculated that correctly.

    Exact number aside, I can tell you it’s definitely not just 12. 🙂

  • If there are 3 souls with lets say 7 possible sub class choices and assuming you can use each only once.. it is 7*6*5=210 thats per character. Total is 210*4=840.. which is a pretty massive number

  • And that’s just the various soul combinations, doesn’t even begin to account for the point expenditures. Granted some of the differences here will be slight, but there will certainly be a vast number of significantly different builds and options within each of the 3 soul setups as well.

  • Haven’t paid attention to this game at all as I move away from wanting to play MMOs… but this video certainly has peaked my interest. So consider me a victim of the hype machine!

  • Agree with Keen….. from what I’ve seen and heard Rift will probably be good but people that are acting like its going to be the second coming of EQ or WoW need to calm the hell down because your bringing back bad memories of AoC and WAR fanboys.

  • I think people are so desperate for a good, traditional MMO that they are casting their hopes on Rift. It’s not hype as so much as desperation, and I hope people wont oversell their expectations. There’s almost nothing left besides Rift for the short term.

  • I’m really worried about balance. I’m pretty sure the class system they have in mind is nearly or completely impossible to balance. I don’t know how they plan to combat people finding out what exact 3 combinations of classes are most efficient and then making 90% of the community those combinations.

  • There is no way around this. Even if they balance them as close as they can, people will choose a combination that they agree is “most powerful” and everyone will choose it. It will be nerfed to make it less appealing, people will find a new one, and then you have DAOC class balance…

  • You people have been watching this behavior on your TV’s for YEARS! I don’t see you blogging about how T-Mobil ads that claim ridiculous things. But, an MMO does it and holy crap it’s totally out of place and so unnecessary… hmm

    You deal with capitalism/commercialism on a daily basis get over it. This hardly requires a blog and 74 comments to articulate it.

  • @ Blasphemy

    Last I checked this is a gaming blog, not a blog about advertisements or commercialism in general. So of course, Keen is blogging about those issues in the context of how they affect games and based on the 74 comments the entry drew, I’d say it’s a rather interesting blog with readers having a wide range of opinions on the matter.

  • Hopefully I am not breaking the NDA by saying that over the weekend Rift went from a game that I cared about just enough to sign up for the beta, to the game I am second most excited about (aint nothin’ gonna pull EQ Next out of the #1 spot). I had a blast.