New MMO vs. Old MMO

There has been a lot of talk in the blogging community about Rift and how fantastic it is.

Chris over at Game By Night recently posted his opinions on how WoW has chaned and the demographic it is now aimed at.  There are many good points in his post and you should really go check it out.

I am going to use his post as a springboard for my own opinions.

I have been playing WoW since the beginning.  I did not play the beta (I generally don’t play beta versions of games, they tend to make me dislike the game).  I haven’t been active the entire time, I took breaks and came back.

The WoW that we have now is a completely different game to the vanilla version.  I have seen a lot of blogs commenting that Cataclysm has ruined the game to the point that some of them have quit.  I on the other hand think that Cataclysm was a fantastic expansion compared to the horrible content in WoTLK.  I also loved BC.

There are a lot of people reminiscing about the times they spent in vanilla, how great it was, how horrible the game is now.  I want you to ask yourself, would you still be playing vanilla now?

Here is how I remember vanilla.

  • Very slow and boring to level.
  • Classes were stuck in particular rolls.  Warriors (Tanking), Druids (Healing), Paladins (Buffs) etc…
  • Grinding for a loooong time for atunement and then having to generally apply to get into the raiding guilds.  Depending on your class, sometimes you never had a chance.
  • Gold was hard to gather, I remember many people stuck with their normal mount simply because they could not get enough gold to buy their epic mount.
  • The warlock and paladin epic mount quest lines were horrible and long and ended up either costing a lot of gold or a ridiculous amount of time.
  • If you did not want to raid (or couldn’t for whatever reason) the endgame was particularly boring.
  • Being stuck in a raid that took 2-3 hours just to organize and having the raid wipe and disband anyway.
  • A personal complaint.  Some of my epic gear looked like level 10 gear.

If WoW was still like that, I would not be playing it.  I don’t play WoW to raid or even to fully gear out my characters.  I play for fun and because I love the game.  I love to level up alts which means that this expansion is awesome with all the new low level content.

That leads me to my next point.  A lot of people have been comparing Rift to WoW in 2004 or how WoW used to be.  One of them being Syncaine over at Hardcore Casual.  Syncaine has a great breakdown of what he thinks of Rift and where he thinks it is going.  Again it is a great post that I think everyone should read.

I actually agree with Syncaine that  Rift is bringing some great ideas to the table that may have been in other games here and there.  Public Quests,  Invasions and the looting system are all great ideas, not to mention the cool class system that they have introduced.  While it looks versatile and customizable at the moment, there will eventually be ‘cookie cutter’ builds that you will have to use.  I am hoping that the end-game will be able to support any wacky and wild build that you can come up with.  This however would also lead to the content being ‘dumbed’ down to accomodate a less than stellar build.

I am still of the opinion that Rift, while it may be a good game is still going to ‘fail’ in it’s goal to be a ‘wow killer’.  I estimate that it will fit into the same market as LoTRO, a damn good game, just not a WoW killer.

Of course these are all just my opinions and as such opinions do change, maybe I will get madly hooked into Rift when it releases, I doubt it, but I have been wrong before.  I will not be participating in the beta any further as I feel that my views on it will degrade with further play before it is finished and released.

I personally am kind of over all the fantasy mmo’s that are on the market.  I have a good fantasy mmo in WoW.  The next mmo that I can see myself sinking time into is SWTOR.  Something different with a decent budget and a focus on story.  Sounds great to me!