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I have to say, While Rift isnt the most perfect mmo on the market, I do think it is most stable and most likely in 5 years to still be around. Know I know this is all pure speculation but if you look at the trend of the last 3 big mmo releases in the last year (SWTOR, TERA and TSW), All starte out big and fizzled quickly or never took off the ground. Rift on the other hand, while didnt take off like Wow did, at least did moderately ok and has a stable population (I think) and has a its first expansion coming out in a few months. Out of those 4 games, Rift is still a sub game (but like Wow, has a" lvs 1-20 free trial thing") while the other games :
SWTOR> 1. Launched with huge hype, sold 2.4 million copies
2. Ok story but lacked even basic features that mmos years ago had
3. Horid engine with 2004 graphics and shoddy CS
4. Ignorant and clueless devolopers
5. Within months, offers free trials like candy, and in 8 months annouces F2P by Nov
6. Went from 1.7 million subs to maybe at best 500k?
7. With EA on the box, wouldnt trust my time with it (even if it was good) they have a bad track record of shutting down games)
Tera> 1. Much better graphics and animations but dull, tiresome, quest hub, standard themepark gameplay
2. Bad handling of the EU version due to Frogster
3. Lack of endgame
4. Not sure on numbers but prob never had beyond 700k to start now, I think its less than 300k
5. Pretty sure it is going to F2P soon if not already (know it is in Korea)
6. Only one leveling path to lv60, this is what killed Tera for me imo.
TSW> 1. Graphics are meh
2. EA once again, wouldnt trust them with a 10 foot pole
3. Heard the game is already bleeding subs badly
4. Played the game for a few hours then quit, thought it was a total bore.
And now compared to Rift:
1. Graphics arent the greatest, but at least it feels more alive than SWTORs
2. Standard quest-hub themepark but its is just like Wow (it can be a good or bad thing) but didnt bore me so fast like it did in TERA.
3. Great CS support and Trions Worlds really does pump out content quick and listens to players.
4. Is still P2P and with a full expansion otw (looks veyr interesting btw), its future looks good
5. Last I heard isnt bleeding subs and has a stable population of around 500k?
I think Rift, by far, will still be the game most likely to be P2P in at least 2-3 years. I know the F2P market is getting huge and P2P is looking long in the tooth but if the game is good and has good support then P2P is still viable. This is just my opinion and not trying to state these points as fact. I have played all 4 of these games and other than Rift, I could not possiblly see myself ever going back to playing SWTOR, TERA or TSW. Just my 2 cents.
P.S. Also, I dont mean to dog anyone that enjoys SWTOR, TERA or TSW, just imo they were a total letdown really quickly.
Tbe Repopulation will be what SWTOR shouldve been.