I can't decide if I want to pre-order Rift or not. Or if I am even going to play at launch or not. Do I like Rift, from what I've seen in the beta events? Yes, I do. But is it something I am going to want to play for more than a couple of months once I can play it all the time? I don't know. I am getting cold feet, fearing that its similarity to WoW and other 'modern' MMOs means that it won't be worth the purchase price when I quit 2 months later and never look back.
I do know that I liked WoW when I got a glimpse of it during some pre-release stress testing. I thought it was going to be a really great game and a huge hit. I didn't buy it right at release, but about a month later, for Christmas. Six months later, I finally cancelled my subscription because I realized that I was paying a subscription for a game I wasn't playing. My highest level character was 33 or 34. Even then, 6 months to get to the low 30's was ridiculously, unbelievably slow, but that's what happens when you find yourself avoiding a game.
That, by the way, is not WoW-bashing. I have friends who are still begging me to come play WoW with them, and I really want to play a game with them, but every return is the same. It's not the game. It's me. The game is great, but for me, it feels like an unbearable drag. When you keep finding new chores to do around the house instead of logging in, you know a game isn't for you.
I have joined a guild in Rift for beta, and they are really nice folks. I wouldn't mind playing with them some more. Finding people to play with can make a game a lot more fun, and keep it fun longer. But I have fallen behind everyone else in level already, and I don't like the feeling of being the noob in the guild.
Maybe WoW would be more fun with people I know to play with. Perhaps I should give it another try with the people asking me to play. I am not all that keen on starting 6 years late. If I hate feeling like a noob because I am a few levels behind, how would I feel being years and years behind?
I can answer that based on my experience subscribing to EQ2 very late for a couple of months-- it sucks being years late to a party. I didn't know the abbreviations or where different zones were, or what was what in terms of gear. I felt stupid. I didn't like it. But the people asking me to play WoW are already my friends, so, in theory, they are more likely to help me along, right?
So... ANYWAY... To Rift or not to Rift? I think I'll keep doing what I am doing for a few more weeks-- dropping in for the beta events and playing a boatload of free-to-plays in between, giving myself time to work out what's worth parting with my money for.