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My wife and I started back with Rift when the new expansion was released last week. When we played a year ago I enjoyed the PvP battlegrounds (called Warfronts in Rift I believe), at least at low and mid-level when the gear and rank disparity is not extreme.
So yesterday I tried a few warfronts with a couple of my level 20 and 30 characters. It confused the hell out of me because sometimes I found myself playing for the other faction. I'm a Defiant and I was put on the Guardian team! Really threw me for a loop to start from the other side of the map and to be the blue team instead of the red. It turns out that Rift PvP has been turned into a bunch of buddies playing flag football for fun because now the factions are blended.
As always, this was obviously done to ease queue times. Players want nothing more than fast queues so that they can grind out whatever tokens or reputation they are granted. But this trend makes the game feel dull. We are all just one big loving family of two factions that can guild together and quest together and jumble up to play warfronts for points. It's like playing poker for matchsticks with your nephews.
I absolutely loved the early days of WoW battlegrounds when they took place on your server against the other faction on your server. You knew your enemy and it really felt like the two sides were at war. But recently MMOs seem to be on a trend of blending the factions to the point where they are meaningless even when lore or logic tells you that the factions are in conflict. All in pursuit of fast play and easy grinding and easy developement. It's much cheaper to make zones that everybody plays in.
In recent MMOs I've played like GW2 or Secret World and now Rift there is no real sense of factions being in conflict. Even if you play on a PVE server because you don't want to spend the majority of your game time getting ganked there should still be a sense of conflict between the sides.
Right now I'm regretting my decision to come back to Rift. Something about signing up for PvP and then being randomly put on the other side is simply depressing.