Instant Gratification: Rift Has It; Will It Hold Me?

Hours of fun. Serious!

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?


  1. While I don’t play Rift, I took a week off from WoW to try something new…Forsaken World. Two Characters to lvl 25-26 and I’m already feeling like “‘is this it?!”. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the effort BUT I don’t feel there’s really enough to hold me even for a F2P. Aside from my usual complaints with F2P, there are really a couple of things getting to me and really killing my interest.

    The two things, which I guess are really bothering me are as follows.

    One is the armor. There’s very VERY few selections/looks which kind of kills it for me when I can’t customize my armor to a way I want to look? I like having my Paladin ride around Elwynn in his ‘Cowboy/Sherrif outfit’. I like the fact that I can use different outfits for different occasions…Forsaken World simply doesn’t offer that which is a shame.

    The second is the lore. I’m a lore nut. Story certainly drives a game for me. WoW does this in a superior fashion (having 2o yrs of lore behind them helps!), LotRo has an obviously rich built in lore, but here and with DDO, the lore was kind of non-existent. What is my motivation? What is the reason for me doing ANYTHING?

    Mechanically speaking? It’s junk. The autopathing is a neat if glitchy idea. The fact I can walk into a group of monsters and unless they’re an ‘elite’, they don’t aggro until I attack makes me miss murlocs with a passion as frustrating as they are.

    There are some beautiful things about Forsaken World though. The combat graphics/effects are truly astounding. I like the fact it’s a typical ‘boobs, babes, and bikinis’ MMO (I am HighwayMAN after all :P ). They immerse you with profession tasks from the very get go which is good.

    What does this have to do with your post, Koopa? Well, I’m getting the feeling FW is front loaded as you said. There’s not a lot to keep you going and going and most importantly, coming back for more. While it’s going to be a while before I even CONSIDER Rift, everything I’ve heard from players coming back from it echoes these sentiments.

  2. There is only 1 MMO that I got crazy into before WoW and that is Ragnarok Online. I had several maxed out characters and a Priest that could literally stand in the fire and never die. I was OP.

    I played Lineage 2 but the game didn’t gratify quick enough for my likings. It was also grind grind grind. Don’t get me wrong, RO was a grind fest. I have no idea how that 2-d/3-d mmo got me hooked. WoW seems to have a pretty good balance of all the mmos I’ve played, and possible has the most different ways you can level (PVP, Questing, Grinding, Dungeons) out of everything I have ever played.

    While I have high hopes for other MMO’s out there, I have a feeling once I am completely burnt out of WoW, I will be burnt out of the genre.

    I guess that was kind of off topic, forgive me it’s late.

  3. I think, properly implemented, a Dungeon Finder would be a good step. What I think the issue is (and it’s perhaps, my biggest beef with WoW) is that at least as Blizzard has implemented it, it’s cross server/battlegroup. This has absolutely DESTROYED any sense of realm cohesion/community imo. If it were to be kept in realm, making it more of a remote queue tool rather than spamming trade, you’d have (most of) the convienence without 90% of the hassle. Do this for BG’s as well and we have a winner, imo.

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