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Rift: Taking On The WoW Clone Argument

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,588MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

One of the most common statements launched by so-called naysayers when speaking of Trion Worlds' Rift is that "it's a WoW clone". In a new column centered around Rift, MMORPG.com's Phil James takes a look at that statement and weighs in with his thoughts. See what Phil has to say about Rift and then be sure to let us know what you're thinking in the comments below.

As I write this Rift has been out for a little over four months and we have just received update 1.3, Waves of Madness. Trion Worlds promised players an aggressive update schedule and I would say that so far they have delivered. March 30th saw the release of update 1.1, River of Souls which had death rifts popping up all over Telara. There was a world event which players of all levels could participate in leading up to the unlocking of the River of Souls raid zone. There were also a boat load of fixes and tweaks and a handy feature allowing you to capture video and upload it to Youtube while in-game. Not a bad start.

Read more of Phil James' Rift: Taking On The WoW Clone Argument.


Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • maniacfoxmaniacfox SheffieldPosts: 171Member Common

    My only real gripe with Rift is the lack of content variety. The levelling path is the same for all races and classes on each faction, as someone that loves levelling alts this is disappointing.

    Long live SWTOR!

  • WicoaWicoa LondonPosts: 1,602Member Uncommon

    Great article thank you for writing it.  I am back in rift now and will stay for the long haul with my son.  I enjoy putting the time in and receiving a decent reward without having to "raid".  Especially how the pvp instances are I cannot stand small scale arenas giving the best gear.

  • RaventreeRaventree Yourtown, MNPosts: 456Member

    Yes, Rift feels like one of the best of the WoW clones.  It is highly polished and and the graphics are fantastic.  I think if you started with Rift instead of WoW you would be extremely underwhelmed going to WoW as your second game.

    Trion seems very positive, very ambitious, and very active in putting out new content in a very short time.

    The only problem I have with Rift is that it feels a little too familiar.  For those of us that have burned ourselves out on WoW it gives you a bit of the been there, done that, feeling.  I think the best thing Trion could do is to begin moving in a path that differentiates themselves from Blizz and gives the game more of it's own unique feeling.  When I start a game I don't want to feel like it is a reskinned game that I am already sick of.  I want to feel like I am playing something new.

    If I had to come up with a recommendation, I would say Rift right now needs 2 things:  Unique PVP and more classes.  If they added RVR or something unique for PVP it wouldn't feel like you have the exact same options as WoW, increasing the feeling that you have already done this before.  Also, there is very little incentive to roll alts, which means when you reach level cap you are prettymuch done playing.  More classes and especially if they were classes unique to Rift would go a long way toward putting some meat on the bones of this scrawny beauty.

    Currently playing:
    Rift
    Played:
    SWToR, Aion,EQ, Dark Age of Camelot
    World of Warcraft, AoC

  • WicoaWicoa LondonPosts: 1,602Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by maniacfox



    My only real gripe with Rift is the lack of content variety. The levelling path is the same for all races and classes on each faction, as someone that loves levelling alts this is disappointing.

    Long live SWTOR!


     

    Considering one AT is able to do alot of things and in swtor you are limited in most classes to 1 or 2 roles with only one spec available + everyclass is a pet class with companions you can stuff swtor.

  • KazaraKazara merritt island, FLPosts: 1,075Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by maniacfox

    My only real gripe with Rift is the lack of content variety. The levelling path is the same for all races and classes on each faction, as someone that loves levelling alts this is disappointing.

    Long live SWTOR!

    I agree and the recently added content amounts to daily grinds and is raid centric at the end. I enjoyed the dynamic zone events and invasions, but there is precious little to do (ourtside the usual dungeons/raids) in between once you have leveled. Rift is a solid game, but it has a limited amount of game play. I do recommend the game, but if a gamer wants an MMO with more than five of six months of game play  (I am being generous) and a more cohesive community, I would suggest he/she look else where.

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  • azmundaiazmundai St Louis, MOPosts: 1,417Member

    But ... they said it was a WoW clone. Not in so many words but they said they were taking everything from other games and making it better .. which was and very much is a stretch ... I guess you could call this an everything clone insteaed of a wow clone but since most MMOs since wow are wow-clones ... you get the idea.

    Yea, wow doesn't have public quests or rifts .. but 99% of everything else in rift is exactle like wow.

    As far as I am concered if a game had badge gear, it might as well be a wow clone because that is one of the main things that turned wow into fail for me .. so if some great new game has badge gear .. I might as well just keep playing wow.

    LFD tools are great for cramming people into content, but quality > quantity.
    I am, usually on the sandbox .. more "hardcore" side of things, but I also do just want to have fun. So lighten up already :)

  • WicoaWicoa LondonPosts: 1,602Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by azmundai



    But ... they said it was a WoW clone. Not in so many words but they said they were taking everything from other games and making it better .. which was and very much is a stretch ... I guess you could call this an everything clone insteaed of a wow clone but since most MMOs since wow are wow-clones ... you get the idea.

    Yea, wow doesn't have public quests or rifts .. but 99% of everything else in rift is exactle like wow.

    As far as I am concered if a game had badge gear, it might as well be a wow clone because that is one of the main things that turned wow into fail for me .. so if some great new game has badge gear .. I might as well just keep playing wow.


     

    Dark age of camelot had badge gear before wow.

  • liquescentliquescent East Hartford, CTPosts: 145Member Common

    Originally posted by maniacfox

    My only real gripe with Rift is the lack of content variety. The levelling path is the same for all races and classes on each faction, as someone that loves levelling alts this is disappointing.

    Long live SWTOR!

     I agree 100%

    You have to do the exact same quests. That makes it very boring to me.

  • WicoaWicoa LondonPosts: 1,602Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by liquescent



    Originally posted by maniacfox

    My only real gripe with Rift is the lack of content variety. The levelling path is the same for all races and classes on each faction, as someone that loves levelling alts this is disappointing.

    Long live SWTOR!

     I agree 100%

    You have to do the exact same quests. That makes it very boring to me.


     

    And you foolishly think swtor will be different?

  • ConjureOneConjureOne RigaPosts: 226Member

    "but Rift has done it where it counts and given us a proper game at launch paving the way for meaningful content updates instead of thousands of bug fixes making a released product feel like a beta."

    Looking at, Earthrise.

    P.S. kudos to Rift for a bugless release, though the game is a wow clone with little new to offer, flame away

  • MsGamerladyMsGamerlady Mmoville, INPosts: 181Member Uncommon

    Shitty Cheereos much?

    image

  • lokiboardlokiboard Chico, CAPosts: 195Member

    What is WOW?

  • AmarantharAmaranthar OhioPosts: 2,425Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by lokiboard

    What is WOW?

    WoW is an EQ clone.

    Once upon a time....

  • KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 19,987Member Uncommon

    Er, surprised this wasn't published under the Devil's Advocate Column....because almost all of us know why Rift is accused of being a WOW clone.....

    The author doesn't seem to grasp the concept of standard theme park MMORPG as typified by WOW and others of the genre.

    It isn't the fact they have levels and classes, many MMO's that are not standardized have them such as Lineage 2 or DAOC.

    Lot's of MMO's have quests, but when the character progression is tied going from one set of quests to the next in a mostly linear fashion you are starting to follow the standard model. (especially if they are really just a speedbump on the way to endgame)

    Rift, like so many before copy many of the design and gameplay mechanics that Blizzard did with WOW and eschew the same set of mechanics that Blizzard chose not to incorporate.

    Sure, there's some variation with the rifts, but basically the design of this game is level up a character quickly to 50, then raid, raid, raid for more and better gear.  Despite what people believe, that wasn't always the "endgame" for MMORPG's, but it certainly has become that for many of them in the post WOW era.

    It's true, Rift is very well made, and  adds a few twists of its own, but the basic feature set mimics WOW, raiding, gear progression, dungeon finder, daily quests, standardized UI that any WOW player would easily recognize (go play EQ2 if you want to see a different sort of UI implementation). 

    If you've ever played the older MMO's such as DAOC, AC, AO, EQ1, UO, Lineage 1/2, Shadowbane or EVE you'd see there are so many other ways MMO's can be designed and played, however Rift and its many cousins are all far too close to WOW to not be labeled anything else but modern standard theme park MMO's. (aka WOW-clones)

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
    "I don't have one life, I have many lives" - Grunty
    Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  • nate1980nate1980 Evans, GAPosts: 1,829Member

    How anyone can say that cloning other games is a good idea is beyond me. Before WoW we had 4 major MMO's: UO, AC, DAoC, and EQ. These games were all very different from each other and I don't think anyone would dare say any of them were clones.

    Let me tell you what we didn't have pre-WoW. No quest indicators above NPC's heads. No focus on endgame. No dailies. No raid tiers. No in game quest helpers.

    Since WoW, we're being smothered with pointless and meaningless quests, that you can't walk a mile without having your eyes assaulted by a big shiny symbol above some guys head. Since WoW, most games follow the same formula. They have few classes, that have talent trees, that you can spend talent points in to specialize your character. You do quests, which 99% of them are solo, which number in the thousands, following them from quest hub to quest hub until you hit max level. Along the way, there are dungeons that are instanced, which require a group to complete. At max level, you have a choice of rerolling, doing BG's, or raiding.

    Past games didn't follow any particular formula ad naseum. If you played WoW, you've already experienced the same gameplay found in LoTRO, AION, WAR, RIFT and most others released P2P since WoW came out. It's boring and I'm tired of playing the same type of game. People use the "They're all the same, because they are in the same genre," at which point you can tell they started playing MMO"s after WoW released, because all the MMO's weren't the same for the first 5-6 years of their existence.

    So yeah, RIFT is a WoW clone, which is why I didn't last more than 2 weeks in that game. After playing WoW and it's clones for the past several years, I cannot stomach doing another lame as solo quest. Why can't these NPC"s take out their own garbage!

  • mCalvertmCalvert Tallahassee, FLPosts: 1,283Member

    Wait, so when are you going to 'take on the wow clone argument'? This article did nothing of the sort. The article should be titled 'Rift So Far'

  • mCalvertmCalvert Tallahassee, FLPosts: 1,283Member

    And rift is actually a Warhammer clone, which is in itself a wow clone for the most part.

  • nate1980nate1980 Evans, GAPosts: 1,829Member

    I just remembered that we also had AO, City of Heroes, and SWG before WoW. My point still stands about the older MMO's all being different.

  • EcocesEcoces Chicago, ILPosts: 879Member Uncommon

    wait so rift isn't a wow clone because WoW doesn't have as much content updates? give me a break, if you stripped down both WoW and Rift and played them in just polygon mesh mode you would not be able to tell the difference until maybe you got to a rift/invasion.

    Rift IS WoW ... with maybe a few more gimmicks and different skins.

  • azmundaiazmundai St Louis, MOPosts: 1,417Member

    Originally posted by nate1980

    How anyone can say that cloning other games is a good idea is beyond me. Before WoW we had 4 major MMO's: UO, AC, DAoC, and EQ. These games were all very different from each other and I don't think anyone would dare say any of them were clones.

    Let me tell you what we didn't have pre-WoW. No quest indicators above NPC's heads. No focus on endgame. No dailies. No raid tiers. No in game quest helpers.

    Since WoW, we're being smothered with pointless and meaningless quests, that you can't walk a mile without having your eyes assaulted by a big shiny symbol above some guys head. Since WoW, most games follow the same formula. They have few classes, that have talent trees, that you can spend talent points in to specialize your character. You do quests, which 99% of them are solo, which number in the thousands, following them from quest hub to quest hub until you hit max level. Along the way, there are dungeons that are instanced, which require a group to complete. At max level, you have a choice of rerolling, doing BG's, or raiding.

    Past games didn't follow any particular formula ad naseum. If you played WoW, you've already experienced the same gameplay found in LoTRO, AION, WAR, RIFT and most others released P2P since WoW came out. It's boring and I'm tired of playing the same type of game. People use the "They're all the same, because they are in the same genre," at which point you can tell they started playing MMO"s after WoW released, because all the MMO's weren't the same for the first 5-6 years of their existence.

    So yeah, RIFT is a WoW clone, which is why I didn't last more than 2 weeks in that game. After playing WoW and it's clones for the past several years, I cannot stomach doing another lame as solo quest. Why can't these NPC"s take out their own garbage!

    I think i love you

    LFD tools are great for cramming people into content, but quality > quantity.
    I am, usually on the sandbox .. more "hardcore" side of things, but I also do just want to have fun. So lighten up already :)

  • IllyssiaIllyssia LondonPosts: 1,524Member

    It almost reads as if Phil is embaresed to play Rift and feels this type of article in a way justiifies his enjoyment of the game. A game is what it is FPS games are all variations on a basic theme, its how well they do that and whether they inovate anywhere in the product. To me Rift doesn't inovate as a game, its really a semi next generation mmo in that it falls inbetween the experience GW2 and SW:TOR deliver and what WoW gives to us., the leading last generation mmo. In the end that is the big problem with Rift it doesn't feel really special so like Aion it porbably generates a transient following that goes elsewhere for action all to soon. Going back to WoW, which I know is a favourite game for this site, you just wonder where it will be when Diablo 3 launces, I think that if Diablo 3 launches in a huge way the suits that run Blizzard will put their army of developers onto extra content for it...it could be the next major cash cow before Titan project comes.

  • JeroKaneJeroKane OsloPosts: 5,353Member Uncommon



    Originally posted by liquescent







    Originally posted by maniacfox



    My only real gripe with Rift is the lack of content variety. The levelling path is the same for all races and classes on each faction, as someone that loves levelling alts this is disappointing.

    Long live SWTOR!

     I agree 100%

    You have to do the exact same quests. That makes it very boring to me.






     

     I think that's what TRION needs to focus on, to increase the game's longetivity, instead of pushing out more and more RAID content only a small portion of the playerbase will ever see!

    The Echoes of Faydwer expansion to Everquest 2 was highly praised back then, because it added content from levels 1 all the way to 70!

    Again with Rise of Kunark.. adding a whole new level 1 to level 20 experience, next to HUGE 70 to 80 overland zones.

    That was EQ2 at it's prime, with the game now having lots of different level paths, making leveling ALT's a blast. It's really hard now doing the exact same stuff on another character twice.

    So TRION's prime focus now, for the long term survival of this game, is to start adding more low level content, so leveling up ALT's becomes actually fun and interesting!

     

    But seriously. Up to this day. EverQuest 2 is still the superior Themepark MMO on the market! With the most content, most different game systems / mini games of any MMO on the market.

    And I know TRION has ex-EverQuest 2 devs in their team, which you see back in form of collections, etc. But they still have a very long way to go to make the game more interesting and longer lived.

  • majimaji ColognePosts: 1,995Member Uncommon

    Seems to me that 90% of the article are about praising Rifts content patches. Not quite what I expected when reading the articles title.

    Let's play Fallen Earth (blind, 300 episodes)

    Let's play Guild Wars 2 (blind, 45 episodes)

  • DolmongDolmong KowloonPosts: 515Member

    Trion, throws in Open World PvP with more content and reward.  Or RvR with there is meaningful for people to group and do RvR.

     

    Then you will win this market!

  • trinixtrinix ZwollePosts: 51Member Uncommon

    Rift is a great game. The first time you play it and up until you hit the 40's. After that, the enjoyment is gone, you end up stuck in an endless repeatable quests, repeat dungeons, repeat everything.

    The only good thing is the rifts and the random encounters. But guess what, they are fun for a while, but in the end they are all the same. Sure you have 5 or 10 versions per type per zone, which sounds a lot, except they just reskin them. Ever noticed doing the same thing over and over for 50 levels? The first wave are just simple critters you have to kill x. Then you get a new round kill x again. Then round 3 is a boss fight. Kill him in time and you go to round 4. Round 4 are some thougher guys, hard to solo. Round 5 is an elite boss. And you are done. Next, the same system, just different skins and a few different abilities they use.

    There are some different unique events, in stiilmoore mostly. But most of the time, you are doing the same thing, 5 stages encounters (the minor's, the major follow a slightly different progression). The worst part of the rifts, they don't do anything. So if I log out and log in in 2 hour time, nothing changed. The rifts are gone, people will have killed an invasion or it went to time.

    And I agree. We used to have unique MMO's. They didn't copy, they just were there, being unique and cool. Now everything is a wow clone and noone dares doing something cool anymore, because if they do, they won't get anywear near the 12M possible customers (which they never get). Wish producers would wake up and just try to make things differently and stop trying to copy WoW. That always just fails.

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