Last night I pre-ordered Rift. I’m still enjoying Cataclysm, mind you – but I admit I’m a bit meh about levelling a third character to 85. My long-neglected priest went from 74 to 85 over the Christmas holidays, and that took a bit of doing – going through the old content again was quite painful! So perhaps a bit of a break from WoW, with a new game.
Is it going to be different than Warcraft? Of course not – we have all read the “wow clone” reviews. But you know what? In one sense, that is definitely not a bad thing. The UI and the game mechanics work for the majority of people; it’s part of the reason for Warcraft’s popularity. It’s smooth, everything is intuitive, and although nothing may be groundbreaking, all of the initial mechanics and objectives are easy to understand.
The one thing that “wow clone” game companies don’t understand is why I wouldn’t want to pay a premium subscription for a clone of a more successful, and probably more fun, game. Price your subscription at a lower price point, or go free to play…but if you are going to price your game at the same level as Warcraft, you had better offer me something significantly better in order to have me switch. Aion came close (and is the one game that I still feel really nostalgic for). There are games such as Runes of Magic which are F2P but have still managed to get a fair bit of cash from me. I keep them updated and like knowing that I can jump in at any time for a smooth, fun “wow clone” experience when I want something different. They have my loyalty, and I don’t regret the money that I spent on mounts, furniture, and so on. Priced the same as a major MMO, I don’t think Rift will gain that loyalty for me.
But for a month or three, I think it will be fun to explore a new world. :)