A recent trend in video games, all of them, has been the increasing need to instantly gratify the players. From Achievement Points for watching the opening video to rewards for logging in to a game, the industry has made it rain. And often. Purists hate it, and I see the reasoning behind that stance, but there’s as much justification for the opposing view. It gets the endorphins to flood our brain, providing us with a first impression of elated joy thanks to the digital door prize.
Rift, in association with dozens of other MMORPGs, has its own brand of instant gratification. The title is relatively easy to level in, giving access to tons of spells, equipment and abilities early on. Nothing new, really. Rifts, the game’s crowning feature, suck players in before their tenth ding, followed by dungeons, circa level 15. An odd flip to the expected. The title’s Soul System unlocks early, giving players another unique toy to play with. One I’ve had much fun with analyzing, selecting, recapitulating on a single point and reverting ad nauseam.
What? Speccing is gratification to some!
After leveling two characters to this point, due to a guild mix up, it hit me how front-loaded the title is. It’s been a fun ride, but I am starting to wonder if I’m going to be held for the long haul. Re-rolling has put me substantially behind the leveling curve, so I need some help on this one. Does Rift have more to offer me down the road? Does the sense of instant gratification dissipate into nothingness? Did Trion Worlds manage to keep the novelty going by pacing itself, releasing new and interesting features (perhaps better quests?) during the adventure to level cap? Or is it all front-loaded, with little beyond new abilities, spells and dungeons (read, same old, same old) to keep me to the end of the journey?