So it's been like 15 years now that MMO's have been in creation (give or take a few years). Lets say with that much history, you can pretty much base a game off of what works and what doesn't. Well, that's what's happening. After this long time of making, playing and continual testing of MMO games, the gaming market is finally in it's next evolution. Much like a Pokemon, the market has turned its attention to what players want and like and have attempted to fix the things that they don't. Let's get to it shall we?
It started as a P2P game that offered something a little different from the constant WoW brigade. Granted it wasn't perfect or as addictive. but it was pretty dang close. Trion has done their homework. They wanted Rift to succeed because they saw so much potential in it. They didn't give up. They took the advice of their players. They listened and molded their baby into a full blown MMO experience! Rift is now F2P and it isn't as restrictive as so many other F2P games. They offered their loyal players who had been playing the game (or had ever played as a P2P player) compensation for their dedicated time. They offered cash shop credits and other rewards as a way of saying thank you.
Trion teamed up with Raptr to offer other gifts for those who dedicated their time to the game. Invasions became more rewarding and worth it to stop your questing to help defeat invaders to Telara. Many people think that a game with too many different currencies is confusing or annoying. In actuality, Trion made it easy. Each festival has their own currency used for awesome prizes. There's cash shop credits, regular in world currencies, planarite from invasions and other trinkets that, when used with other currencies, can give great rewards. Not only that but some merchants will offer you the option to use your credits or your regular currencies to pay for things.
Players can actually sell their unwanted items in the cash shop. If you're too far from a merchant, just open the cash shop. A button on the bottom that says "Sell gray items" is there, but you can also sell other items you may not need.
The LFG system is similar to WoW's as well as the Guild Finder system.
Rift has integrated Dimensions. It's another fancy term for you own personal living space. Not only do you have your own place to go and decorate, but many people will purchase a special Dimension, dress it up and advertise it for others to come and visit. If players like it, they leave a +1 rating. Some of these dimensions are used for Role Playing as well.
Players can also dye their armors. This is a good concept for those of us who hate having the exact same outfit as everyone else (I'm lookin at you Perfect World!). I know WoW offered many items and styles for people to obtain. While I don't mind having the same look of armor, I'd like to run around with it being different somehow.
Crafting is pretty dang easy and resources are never short
PvP is sort of like WoW, but from what I understand, the rewards are amazing and it requires a bit more skill than WoW to play.
Multi-souls. This has always been a staple of Rift. Basically you can have 3 soul trees in a role. The best part about this is, you can have a lot of roles (If you have the cash for it) and if you choose a preset role, the system will automatically show you where to put your next point(s) in the role. It's good for people who just casually play and don't have time to sit and try to find a decent build through countless websites (I hated it!).
Obviously this game isn't out yet. It's in the works. I did, however, get to see the press release and live showing of it's potentials. As a gamer who started in EQ back in the day, my jaw hit the ground! I'm gonna bullet sum this up for you all:
- Completely immersive characters
- Actual environmental effects on said characters (wind blowing clothing and not just when casting)
- Completely destructable environment
- Epic boss fights
- EQ's face equilizer to portray emotions
- Buildable areas (housing zones) that aren't just blocks, but smooth objects
- building objects are customizable (add moss to a wall, make it look eroded, etc.)
- The story is in tact