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Gaming To Hell In A Handbasket

The trials, tribulations and musings of an MMO veteran trying to find the next holy grail.

Author: Strayfe

Rift: Planes of Azeroth

Posted by Strayfe Wednesday March 2 2011 at 7:36AM
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I never intended to write this blog. 

I had come to terms with the $50 I spent on Rift in a fit of peer pressure.  I had come to terms with the knowledge that, yes, there are people who are playing Rift right now, and they are happy as pigs wallowing in a vat of feces.

I had come to terms with my buyer's remorse, and another divet on my "Lost faith in the industry." wall.

Then I opened up a certain website today.  It's called, and happily splayed across my screen in epic sized, proprietary font were these words;

"Rift: We're not in Azeroth anymore."

I lost it.  I've been going through some stress at my job recently, and seeing that, after I had spent most of last night playing the game in a state of utter disbelief brought my mind crashing into an abyss from which I still have not recovered. 

I sat there, and I stared at the ad, and I cackled like a raving lunatic.  I snickered, giggled, sputtered, laughed, hooted, hollared, and made so much noise, that my cat looked as though she might leap into a box and mail herself to Australia to get the hell away from me.

Ladies and Gentlemen, if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Trion Worlds has done everything but drop down and lick between the toes of Blizzard Entertainment.  I have been a part of this community for several years, and I have seen many, many new releases pointed at and ridiculed for being "another WoW clone."

If Warhammer and Aion are WoW clones, then Rift is a genetically engineered creature, carved painstakingly one sub-atomic particle at a time from the very quarks and quantum-makeup of World of Warcraft.

When I tell you that everything is copied, I mean, quite literally, everything.

Keybinds, interface options, UI, movement, camera controls, chat, chat options, combat text, the macro system, the macro commands themselves, action verbs, cast bars, audio options, display settings, the colors of gear and items, the crafting professions, battlegrounds and pvp, the questing system, quest tracking, the maps, waypointing, node tracking, hotbars, icon locking, training, tutorials and tips... the list goes on...

Everything is... exactly... exactly... exactly... exactly THE SAME.

Not slightly the same.  Not similar.  Not reminiscent of. 

A complete and utter duplicate.  A 100% accurate laser-copy.

If I didn't have my bank statement to look at with the -$49.99 for the purchase of Rift: Planes of Telara and NOT World of Warcraft staring me directly in the face, I would have thought I had gone mad.

I still think I might be mad.  Did this game actually take years to make?  Did someone sit around a table at a production meeting and actually hash out the design for this game as their own idea?  Did the design document consist of a series of covert black-ops missions into Blizzard headquarters to steal their code?  To steal the brains from Chris Metzen and Jeff Kaplan themselves?

I am appalled.  I am so utterly baffled that it's difficult for me to put into words how utterly baffled I am.

I can't believe that the executive producer of this game, Scott Hartsman, could have worked on my all-time favorite virtual world, Gemstone III.  Could someone who helped shape one of the most innovative games ever released also be responsible for the most derivative swill I have ever seen? 

Apparently, the answer is yes.  The sole reason I bought Rift, was because of the background of the developers and lead designers of Trion Worlds.

Bad show, guys.  Bad, bad show.

Isiolas writes:

I've thought the same thing since early beta. I understand people will pay and like this...but the ads and others that write completely biased reviews due to the fact that they wish to see WoW a bit sad.

This game is mediocre, if u like LOTRO and WoW, you'll probably enjoy this game. As for longevity, I'm positive this game will not satisfy.

Now don't mark me as a WoWhead. Warcraft has had many years, many additions, and many fixes to make it what it is today. For a less than B company to come to light on first chance and promote a phrase basically stating they are the "WoW killer" , to me is comical.

I'm happy to those that are enjoying themselves. I hope often for a new mmo to satisfy me. But Rift will not be it for more hardcore mmo'ers

Wed Mar 02 2011 9:58PM Report
Coranthe writes:

Actually I almost completely disagree.  The game itself is far more solid than WoW ever was at launch.  WoW is also not a better game.  It's on par.

I've probably been playing MMO's longer mainly because all you harp upon are the similarities.  The DIRECT WoW clone you want to point to is Alganon (though they've been trying to get away from it).

WoW is pretty much almost indirectly 100% responsible for the current state of the MMO gaming industry.  Almost EVERY game released will be compared to WoW in some way shape or form.  In fact blame THEM for the standardization of almost 98% of UI elements and control.  It is completely foolish to fault a game developer for copying UI and control elements so that it would be more comfortable for players to slide into and play. 

An unfamiliar gaming environment is 10x more likely to put off a potential customer than anything else.  I understand the reasons for the interface elements.  The gameplay is a bit different though and frankly easily better.  No, RIFT isn't a duplicate not even close.  Also it appears to be more of an amalgam of WoW and WAR than anything else.  I'm almost 80% certain there will be inclusion of RvR elements as well eventually.  Get your facts right when you review a game.  5 levels in tells you nothing. 

Thu Mar 03 2011 11:47AM Report
jansten writes:

Coranthe you completely missed the point of his post. I havent played WOW more than the demo and am currently playing the rift because i dont have another game but im saddened by how its super easy mode type game. I enjoy dynamic gameplay but definitely think they need a bit more to satisfy people who want a more in depth experience. 

Thu Mar 03 2011 8:02PM Report
Mystik86 writes:

Played the beta (phase 4) for roughly 10 minutes and exited, uninstalled, and left it at that.

My reasoning? A lot of what you've said, but then a lot of what you didn't. It's also trying to be like WAR in a way. I hated and still hate WAR, and I have been burdened by the WoW-addiction since it's release.

Rift is, for all intents and purposes, WoARoTRO. That bothers me. It bothers me because I saw a world that could perhaps be close to say, Vanguard, and then met it's arch-nemesis.

I've always been more of a roleplayer/sandboxer type of guy and am fond of such SRPGs as Morrowind, Oblivion, Fallout, The Witcher, Dragon Age, and Drakensang. This should tell you that games like Rift or WoW are the opposite of what gets me going...

Fri Mar 04 2011 1:14AM Report
Mad+Dog writes:

If you want something different, Darkfall, Xsyon, EvE and many more ----> way.

As long as you press TAB 123 = mob dead = same old sme old...

(and yess I know EvE is auto lock but its so much more)

Fri Mar 04 2011 5:52AM Report
JaskaJii writes:

It seems you play a game for the interface and not the gameplay. Maybe you should look past the keybinds and hotbars and minimaps and immerse youself in the game world and content.

Fri Mar 04 2011 7:54AM Report
Littles writes: I’ve played WoW since launch and I remember at launch serious server problems complete collapses with total data wipes that forced me to start all over. Content was not robust by any means, crafting overly simplistic. But, I loved the game. RIFT is a conglomerate of some of the best features of all of the MMO’s out there and in my opinion the best and coolest NPC vs NPC vs PC dynamic there is. Rifts lead to raiding parties that take out NPC’s and PC’s then create more Rifts. Its seriously fun and very unpredictable. Whole zones may be whipped out preventing questing unless you clear the rift. That dynamic is more fun to me at least then having preset predictable reactions from more established MMO’s. Crafting very beneficial at low levels. PvP needs a balanced team to win. Rifts are a blast and the instances enjoyable. I laugh when I here complaints about “next generation.” The only thing new that can TRULY be considered next generation is total emersion. We not there yet, close but not quite. I don’t consider first person shooter formats in MMO’s next gen. Rift is a nice new approach to things we already have. If its not for you then move on. Is Rift a Clone of WoW?? No, it’s a serious CLONE UPGRADE. Fri Mar 04 2011 1:31PM Report
quentin405 writes:

So what if its similar to wow. It may as well be WoW 2 as far as Im concerned...  Get a life and start playing games not worrying about what games copy what or whatever your blog is about lol.  I stopped reading at "Waaah job stress, the advertisement made me nerd rage"...

Stuff like this is why is like the seedy underbelly of MMO forums. Spend your time and literary talents writing something people MIGHT care about.. really man.

I've played WoW, Ive played Aion, Eq all the AA titles.. Most hours played are in WoW... so obviously I liked it.. Here comes Rift.. sure its a wow clone but its somewhat of an evolution as far as wow clones go. And for gods sake its not Cataclysm lol.. And yes in case you were wondering.. I now play Rift.. and its awesomesauce :)


Fri Mar 04 2011 7:11PM Report
BobHenry writes:

I think a lot of the interface and the lame global cooldown was a direct ripp-off of WoW.  However, I think those are fairly superficial issues and the rest of the game isn't really a copy.

Personally, I believe that the soul system goes miles to seperate Rift from WoW or any other MMO out there.  The rifts are not at all a cut and paste from WoW in any way shape or form.  Additionally, the PvP is entirely different.  Its more like EQ than WoW. 

Now, you could make an argument that the game plays like EQ and has the superficial aspects of WoW.  That I could believe.

Fri Mar 04 2011 7:11PM Report
BTrayaL writes:

Strayfe, it's your own damn fault for not watching the Betas, and as I understood there was even a brief Open Beta.

This does not mean that I dissagree with you, no way!

Just that your complaints are empty, after you had the chance to sample the "product".

Sat Mar 05 2011 5:45AM Report
Hatefull writes:

LOL, Strayfe...You had it, but you dropped it.  How far did you play? lvl 10?  Yeah man you misse the boat.  Don't get me wrong, I am no RIFT fan, I am playiing it until somethign else comes along, but it's far less of a WoW clone than you are making it out to be.

Sat Mar 05 2011 5:29PM Report
Snakex writes:

My Friends, please, let me introduce you to the one and only....


P.S- Dont flame me for this just haveing some friendly fun =]

Sat Mar 05 2011 10:09PM Report
salsabeard writes:

What I think is funny is how you defend WoW as being so original and stand alone. RiFT has done exactly and I mean EXACTLY what WoW did back in 2004 and thats take all the best aspects of MMO's out and tweak them to be more enjoyable and user friendly. So again what is it about RiFT thats so similar? The Gaphics? nope. The Rifts? nope thats more WAR. The Fact your not locked into one class? nope. The PvP and collectables? nope thats EQ2. The story? nope. oh wait the interface right? Yeah that toatally makes the game a complete clone how could it be any different. I think it's more sad that you bought a new MMO in a "fit of peer preasure".

Sun Mar 06 2011 5:20AM Report
LadyAlibi writes:

Well, since I basically never played WoW, I have nothing to lose playing Rift. I had fun playing during the beta, and I'll get around to buying and playing it. (Starting a new MMO is about my lowest priority right now, in terms of time, attention, and cash.) 

Sun Mar 06 2011 10:18AM Report
norvak writes:

The world and storyline are nothing like wow.  I think the majority of people nowadays have forgot that RPG means "Role Playing Game".  These games were designed for role players, which means reading the storyline.

Its like comparing the Bible to my Chilton Ford engine manual.  They are both books, both have type written on pages.  Then my engine manual is an exact "DNA" copy of the Bible right?  The ignorance of people amazes me.  Im also amazed that they put themselves out there like this blog!!!

Sun Mar 06 2011 12:17PM Report
biorealms writes:

All the nerd rage aside, they just want a peice of the warcraft player base. It not a far fetch that an MMO game was developed that emulates wow since,wow has done it's fair share of borrowing other games ideas. if the rift folks play the cards rights they might just succeed and grabing a few million subs to boot.

All that aside, wow has lingered and festrered. it's pure crap in terms of balance innovation. You can almost bet if this Rift thing get's really huge blizz will be trying to copy something in Rift! Just you wait blizz marketing already cooking up something that rift has going for it. just you watch and see. 


it's an enigma wrapped in an ironic twist of ironic proportions.

Sun Mar 06 2011 1:29PM Report
Evasia writes:

I laugh at you sir for buying this game hahaha.

If you at least read some previews and watch some movies you would have know follow some forums and you dont even have to watch movies to see its just another themepark ala WoW.

Your own mistake and it deserves you right you lost 50 bucks on this.

Hope for your sake you have learn from this little mistake hehe.

Mon Mar 07 2011 11:32AM Report
Evasia writes:


Dragon age:Origin is opposite of drakensang or Morrowind if you still not notice:P

Not to mention DA2 thats even totally different from DAO hehe.

Mon Mar 07 2011 11:41AM Report
Evasia writes:

Drakensang i mean its alot better then mediocre DAO.

Mon Mar 07 2011 11:43AM Report
Nimmon writes:

I think it's hilarious that most of these comments are trying so hard to pass off opinion as fact. For the most part I agree with you Strayfe, but I do think you're taking it a little overboard. I personally think it's more of WoARoTRO as someone put it.

Mon Mar 07 2011 2:47PM Report
Derriklest writes:

You know whats funny is everyone says everything is a WoW clone hate to tell you but wow stole most of its Ideas from EQ , DaoC and Ultima, when wow came out its was good but the servers crashed that same day i was there i hated that i stuck with it all the way up to Wraith and i have to say Cata does not impress me at all i quit playing WoW and dont want to ever again, oh and if you dont know what WoW stole from say DaoC hate to tell you this but thier PVP battlegrounds, when they advertised it as a new pvp, DaoC had battle grounds way before WoW was a dream in blizzards pant leg. don't miss understand WoW is a good game but i dont like it, Rift has done the same thing that WoW did but it did it alot better, the servers are stable, and in the beta when players said hey this doesnt work, they took the server down for 30mins and fixed it like that. Rift is not a big WoW clone it has part of just about all the AA MMO's out there and thats why i plan to buy my copy soon and play it and stay subscribed to it. 

Mon Mar 07 2011 11:03PM Report
markt50 writes:

I'm afraid I find it hard to have much sympathy for your financial loss. There were like a million beta keys sent out, plenty of opportunity to try the game, and people have been saying it is a Wow clone for a very long time. What the heck were you expecing ? A FFA full loot sandbox space sim ? Sounds like you need to research your future purchases a bit better.

Strangely though, I don't personally buy into the 'It's a carbon copy of Wow' theory. It is similar, but it is different enough for me so I'm happy. I can only put it this way, I have played Wow on and off since launch and it never quite clicked, yet Rift has really grabbed my attention and I'm enjoying it so much more than I ever did Wow. The little things it does different or that are new (Such as the actual Rift dynamic events) make all the difference for me.

Tue Mar 08 2011 7:36AM Report
miteshu writes:

Anyone who says that Rift isn't a WoW clone are ignorant.

They haven't broaden their mind from the battle system they could see in single player games.

Anyone attempting to justify Rift by calling WoW an EQ2 clone should grow up. It doesn't make a game better if Rift is allowed to copy WoW even if WoW did copy EQ2. Because instead of justifying, they could use that time to make the game better.


I heard around that the reason why Rift is not a WoW clone is because of souls. So what? It is just only more animation. 

Tue Mar 08 2011 2:35PM Report
Jacobin writes:

I am basically in the same situation as the Poster.


Played a little of the beta and found it pretty meh worthy. However due to the lack of a game bought Rift anyways and played to level 20.


Now I just can't be bothered to log in again. Its all just a tab 1-2-3 been there done that feel. In pvp I hardly even look at the battlefield, just spam and wait for the GCD.


I thought the soul system might make it interesting, but it really doesn't significantly change the gameplay for each archetype, just which sort of attacks the 1-2-3 does. It would have been much better if you could mix all archetypes and have a total free for all system like guildwars - yes I know hard to balance, but thats what beta is for.


Rifts were interesting until you do about 400 of them and realize they are not going to change.


I guess it will be decent to log into once in a while when I feel the mmo itch to grind out some stats, but overall everything feels like an average rehash of the same old thing and I find myself wanting my $50 back.

Tue Mar 08 2011 8:15PM Report
bone12 writes:

first of all people shut the fuck up plz World of warcraft and Rift are two totally diffent worlds and games they might look alike but a game never is the same even if the game looks like the other game like UI or interface so what the hell it dont matter at all if  a game copy another but i tell you this only World of warcraft freaks/fans says this because they played wow since its first beta. i would say the very same if rift were released first but it's not Rift is just another game that really shows some new adventure, fun, and new ways to play a game and discover new things like the raids, dungeons, pvp. and i can maybe give you a idea why you think rift was not the first game that really has been thought of try look back to start of wow shiity grahics?, bad gameplay maybe? or anything else many games that are more then good detailed graphics. or so if we take rift we take a game that is far better looks and details maybe they just didnt want to release a game before they had the engine to it maybe world of warcraft still is the first thought of this system but who knows that only them or rather not no one really knows who started planning first only way to do so is asking blizzad and trion worlds on what day they began the very first research of the game and then you know how it started. and i can say this as a neither wow fanboy or rift fanboy infact i stopped on world of warcraft several times due to the boredom of the game really!!. rift did show me an entier new history to discover a new way of making classes combos and futher on and the thing that made my eyes open was. i liked the game in beta because it has the UI i like the movements. the keys to attack. the free way of playing and leveling. and so on if you really disagreee i dont care. my point wow and rift are two diffrent games and worlds no games are the same allways some things that are not. but think about this how would games be made if they couldn't go and say we make a clone of the system like wow or rift they wouldn't be able to create 1000 new system every time a game is made. so i feel sorry to those who dont like the game not our problem its just not your cup of tee or coffe or coke

Wed Mar 09 2011 6:36AM Report
bone12 writes:

i allready found my spellings wrong so sorry for spelling wrong but plz read it and so. i know i forgot some words but read it

Wed Mar 09 2011 6:37AM Report
bone12 writes:

i like to add something to my text that neither wow or rift is bad they are great games and there are nothing called ripp off god dammit ripp off global cooldown wtf? never heard that it's lame to say no one copy global cooldowns most games i played has that and its there for you. global cooldown is a way you cannot go lower then and so you wont be able to attack like 1000 times a min what would be lame alot

Wed Mar 09 2011 6:41AM Report
Vyeth writes:

To quit or not play a game because of visual and functional similarities is a little simple-minded.. If you don't like the game, fine.. but don't come out saying that you tried it for 3 hours and quit because "it was like WoW" or "looked like WAR..".. If anything quit the game because you got bored at max level with nothing left to do.. Quit the game because of poor balance in PvP with healing being overbearing and leaned heavily upon.. To look at the UI and say this game sux just like WoW.. Or to move your character with the "W" key and say "Nope.. Too much like WoW..", is feeble...

Wed Mar 09 2011 2:38PM Report
redcloud16 writes:

Thank you. I hoped I wasn't alone. 

Wed Mar 09 2011 3:29PM Report
deryk_Pirate writes:

I really liked some things about rift.  Yes there are some similar styles to WOW... lets face it they stole ideas fromother games too.  I got into the last beta and it seemed fun.  the last weekend of the beta I thought they were doin a stress test with all the rifts... little did I know that was how the game was going to be.  I tried for the last 2 weeks and I just hated the constant rifts and invasions.  Honestly I like to solo and explore the world.  Yes ppl will say go play a single player game... well I do like chatting with people and asking advice and helping out..occasionally grouping up is all good.  The rifts happen all over and often times not enough people in your raid grup and die a bunch of times it gets old when you just wanna do some quests... gather some resources to craft to put up on the AH.  I contacted them for a refund... got an email from them a few hours later sayin nope.  ( I paid the 59.99 for the bigger bag and the turtle mount digital download)  I called my bank about it.  They said I should be entitled to a refund as its been only 2 weeks.  Lets see what happens

Sat Mar 12 2011 12:29AM Report
brnmcc01 writes:

Yah I played in a couple of the Rift beta's; I found it to be very polished for a Beta.  I didn't find a whole lot of similarities with WoW, it was more like a combination of WoW, Warhammer, and Everquest.  Too bad the graphics were blah, the gameplay was meh, and the quests just terrible.  I just hope it does ok tho, so that maybe the other developers will get off their collective asses, wake up, take notice, and dare to do something different and innovative; instead of trying the same old "crank out the same old boring shit" and expect us sheeple to happily part with another $50 and another $15 a month...


Wed Mar 16 2011 11:41PM Report writes:
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