Like most of the other reactions I’ve read, I’m tentatively interested, but I’m certainly not jumping on the hype train yet.
See, here’s the thing. I’m probably only going to subscribe to one game at a time. Historically the main reason is that there are precious few games out there worth subscribing to. But in more practical terms right now I have drastically reduced disposable income and it would be pretty reckless to throw money away on something that isn’t amazing. I’m no longer working at a job where an hour of cubicle work time offsets months of subscriptions on mediocre games I forget to even play.
Right now, the undisputed king of games deserving my subscription dollars is FFXIV. In second place would be WoW. And that would be the end of the list, as far as I’m concerned. EVE could be in there but I’m just not interested in long-term market-driven gameplay.
So from my perspective, the question is not whether I think Rift Prime is a good idea or not. Obviously subscription business models are the best idea, and it’s been proven over and over again that subscription games are the best games to play. I mean, if the studio wants to create an immersive game experience, that is. If the studio wants to, you know, stay in business, or make a big advertisement for a cash shop, that’s a whole different story.
The question for me is: If I’m only going to pay one subscription at a time, is Rift Prime worth supplanting FFXIV and/or WoW? We don’t really know yet, but I’m going to guess probably not. If this was 2011 and we were talking about Vanilla Rift then the decision would be very easy: Yes, obviously I would and did subscribe to Rift over WoW, and FFXIV didn’t exist. Rift in 2011 was quite clearly better at being WoW than WoW was. Presumably Trion now wants us to think of Rift Prime as that great old nostalgic Vanilla Rift (2011 doesn’t seem old enough to qualify for “nostalgia” though).
Another way to look at this is: Do I want to pay a subscription to play old content in Rift–a game I’ve already played to death–or pay a subscription to play new content in FFXIV or WoW. And oh by the way, as an additional factor, I can play that old content just fine right now for free. There’s nothing at all stopping me from leveling a brand new Rift character from 1 to 50 to recapture that good old Vanilla Rift feeling, more-or-less.
The answer seems really easy if you have a budget. No, obviously I’m not going to waste my one precious subscription on a game I’ve already played. I’ve leveled every class to at least 60 once already. I’ve played a million different builds already, back in Vanilla Rift. I have no need to experience that again. It’s not going to be any different now. It’s not like they’re going to add new classes or builds or anything.
Or are they? One wonders if they will unlock all the new souls or not. Presumably not, if they want to preserve the old experience.
Now if you haven’t already played Rift, then I might recommend that you run, don’t walk, to Rift Prime and subscribe and play it, and I’m very jealous of anyone who still has their first experience of pre-free-to-play Rift still ahead of them. Vanilla Rift was awesome.
Just beware that Rift Prime isn’t Vanilla Rift. It’s going to be a new thing.
In the Spring of 2018, we will launch a new server, RIFT Prime.
Our goal for RIFT Prime is to provide the experience that many of you have requested: no lockboxes, a significantly reduced store with more of the current store-based items obtained through gameplay (or removed entirely) – plus the excitement of sequential progression through RIFT’s content with monthly milestones and achievements.
As a small teaser of what’s to come, dynamically matching characters to their current zone’s level, dungeons dropping loot specific to your character’s true level, caps on the number of professions available to a single character, and participation awards that carry over to your characters on existing servers.
No part of that last paragraph above was ever in Vanilla Rift (except the profession caps I guess). “Significantly reduced” store, but not eliminated. I imagine it will be somewhat akin to the cash shop that also exists in WoW and FFXIV, where you can buy all kinds of cosmetic items.
So no, not much hype from me. I am moderately interested in the “spectacular ending” referenced–mainly if one could experience as a solo player. I am also curious to know if subscribing to Rift Prime will also provide subscription benefits to your non-Prime characters.
I originally wrote that Rift came out in 2013. It was actually 2011.