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...and I just couldn't make it work at all! What was I drinking when I decided to do that? Okay, so we need a bit more in-depth rundown of the situation.
They had the Free Weekend Play for those that bought the game to return and try it out before it does the F2P conversion in the middle of June. Being that I haven't played since the 3rd or so month of the game, none of my original characters were there and I was required to start from scratch (no big deal, honestly). So I went into character creation and that's where some of the frustration started.TLDR version here: The biggest irk I'd had with Rift (compared to GW2) is that as a Mage I couldn't move while casting. I literally had to stand in place, target an enemy, and cast the long-cast spell just to engage the enemy. In comparison, GW2 has me being able to launch fireball after fireball at the enemy while running towards them without ever having to target the SOB I plan to hit. Now, the enemy can move out of the way and the fireballs won't land, or they're too far and they'll fall short....but the mechanics are there that they actually are ACTIVE instead of a semi-RTS style of inactive gameplay set up for reach interaction.
3 races of the one faction, and then split M/F just to give an delusional illusion that there's more than 3 choices to be had. Of course each faction had 3 races, so it's technically 6 in total...but, since it's faction-split based, it's still only three: 3 good guys and 3 bad guys. Aw, but the races are so interesting and unique: humans, humans with a different name, Elves, purple Elves, Dwarfs, and half-giants. So, realistically it's 4 races, two having different skin options. Oh, and then one of the 4 classes each
In GW2, there's 5 well flushed out races each with their distinctive background, home city, and racial traits. The none of races look like the other races at all. Charr are furry kitty cats, Sylvari are plant-like twigs (with the brains that match!), Asura are short geniuses that look like something out of the Gremlins movie, and Norn are half-giant (or full giant) viking like mountain beings.
After character creation (Defiant) was the launching of the game's cinematic story, a sort tutorial area, another cinematic, and then the actual game. For the cinematic alright for the time that it came out, and I really like how it's made with in-game engine and models. The tutorial play was quite a bit of kill zombies, ghosts, skeletons, and eventually fighting this one evil boss lady prior to it cutting to the tutorial-exiting cinematic and the loading of the game's real world (single starting zone for...both sides, each just on a different side of the same river.....)
Following the character creation in GW2 a picturesque painting style cinematic plays with show of the choices made within the story parts of the character creation, as well as the character created themselves. Each race loads into their own fitting tutorial zone, which is a bunch of killing things, and each of those finishes off with a semi-epic boss fight. Each will load another cinematic before going into their own respective starting zones (a zone adjacent to their own city).
Into the game's world beyond the tutorial is a "!" that leads to hub with quests chaining from one to another. All standard MMO quests if there are any. The only different one(s) is the take on public quests known as rifts (duh?!), where players FIGHT TO TAG a mob to get credit for the public quest. Mobs are first-tag-all-credit style as again another standard MMO mechanic. Though each time hitting a level does reward with new points to spend in one of the soul trees to give some mechanic increase or new ability (or both).
When entering into GW2's real game world, players are greeted by a plethora of things going on around them. There are hearts that you automatically get credit for without talking to an NPC, just by participating in the the things for the area; there are dynamic events that chain of micro-stories for the residents in the area; the player's own personal story has a new section to it every other level or so. Mobs are shared credit where credit's due thanks to mechanics that allow all helpers to be rewarded. The leveling up system here wasn't too rewarding until level 5, when unlocking the first utility ability, level 7 for weapon swapping (class limited), level 10 for the 2nd utility, and level 11 for the first trait tier tree unlock. So there are gaps between the rewarding process in the early levels that leave to be desired.
Now to bring up the mechanics side of the things, in Rift for an ability to properly go off it needs to have a well aimed -and directly facing- target. Many of the abilities require casting time in which the player has to be standing still in place (or they'll not go off). Movement is counter productive during combat and can many times get you killed. Line of site is always a MUST.
Boy does GW2 shine when it comes to it's mechanics. Move-and-cast abilities for those that aren't instant (very few channeled abilities require standing in place, like Meteor Shower, and even those are a split second). Dodging has become a key embedded feature to make-or-break a fight. One doesn't even need to target something or someone just to hit them so long as they are at the area being attacked (whether that be a sword swing, a fire ball, a lava pit, poison throw, arrow, etc.).
=>So, the conclusion: GW2 HAS SPOILED ME! Seriously, I cannot go back to any other of the older MMORPG's because of how sad they are in the wake of GW2. The first 15 minutes experience of one (GW2) is far more epic and engaging than the other (Rift). Many of the old mechanics are set there to punish, berate, and down right annoy the player for what reason I just cannot understand. New mechanics such as those that allow sharing (of reward, quest/event, target, and etc.), those that carve a personal experience into the player's experience, and action based combat that is no longer a static/dull experience.
P.S. I've had a similar experience with going back to WoW, but it's far too easy to bash that game anyways based on it just being itself. Rift is ..well hell, it was a clone of WoW with it's own unique flair (those damned rifts! duh, again!). Who recalls the "You're not in Azeroth anymore" advertisements on TV, the web, and in game mag ads?