5 things WoW and Rift can learn from each other.

World of Warcraft has come a long way in the 6 years it’s been available. Blizzard made a lot of mistakes, learned from them, and evolved WoW into the game it is today. That’s why it’s the best MMO out there, the one that has all the people, and the one everyone tries to beat.

Rift is the new kid on the block. Trion has taken the lessons that Blizzard has already learned, and it’s applied them to Rift, with enough of their own ideas that make it an individual game in its own right, and they’ve done very well. Rift has had more success than any MMO since WoW came along and became the dominant player. Rift, if handled very well, could evolve into the game that finally truly challenges WoW’s spot at the top.

That being said, neither game is perfect. Each has things the other does not, things that make it great. Things that the other company should look into incorporating, or at least a version of it. I’m going to list 5 such things for each game.

We’ll start with WoW. Here are 5 things that Rift has done that could make WoW even more amazing and even more dominant.

1. Better player character models & customization. WoW has an extremely limited set of options for customizing how your character looks. You have 5 customizing options, each with about 6-8 choices. End result, you often see a lot of characters that have minor if any differences at all. And let’s face it, some of these races need their graphics completely redone. The Orcs and the Humans, WoW’s most iconic races, are so hideously ugly it’s a wonder they get played at all. Rift has an amazing amount of depth to it’s creator, which allows you to be much more unique in your design. Not to mention the fact that all the race options look amazing.

2. Zonewide events – Rift is brought to life by the rifts and invasions that happen in each of their zones. You see tons of players come out of the woodwork, stop what they’re doing, and band together to defend key points, and take the fight to invading enemies. Now, I’m not saying the Burning Legion has to invade every zone in WoW at random intervals, but perhaps in a few key zones, recurring zone-wide events can occur. Maybe a surge of roving silithid suddenly spring up in Silithus, or minions of the Twilight Council suddenly invade a zone. Especially with proper rewards, I think this would drive a lot of players out of the main cities and into the world more, and it would make the zones in question feel much more alive. Actually, a good example of a start to this is the constant battle between the Dragonmaw and the Wildhammers in Twilight Highlands.

3. Updates to the Class System – Okay, I’m not bashing WoW’s class system. I like what they did with it in Cataclysm. But they really need to step outside the box here and think of ways to make each of the classes, and even then each of the schools/Talent trees more unique. Each of Rift’s individual souls plays very differently. WoW should definitely take a look at some of the archetypes Rift introduced and consider how to incorporate them, but not only that, they need to take a look at some of the concepts they came up with. Having souls specifically to serve in a “Support” capacity is an amazing idea. Many classes have debuffs that are unique to the player that serve not so much to hinder an enemy, but to modify how the class plays, such as the Stormcaller’s Electrocute or the Necromancer’s Deathly Calling. Blizzard really needs to come up with either more interesting and unique classes and paradigms, or think way more outside the box with the ones they have and make them a more unique play experience.

4. More customization of the Default Interface – Rift’s basic default interface is extremely customizable. Everything can be moved around without the need for addons. Blizzard is LONG overdue for needing to do this. Many of the default UI elements are in extremely awkward places. Let us move some stuff around by default, Blizzard.

5. Artifacts – Rift’s Artifact collecting (and to a lesser extent, puzzles) is what Archaeology should have been. Archaeology is terrible, and needs a serious revamp.

 

All right, we’ll move on to Rift. Here are 5 things WoW has incorporated that I’m honestly shocked did not make it into Rift.

1. A Random Dungeon Finder – Come on, Trion. This thing was universally hailed as the best thing to ever happen to WoW during Wrath of the Lich King. Why would you not incorporate it? I get that you’re big on the whole exploring the world thing, as evidenced by the lack of Flying mounts or taxis, but really, you need to add this in.

2. Addon support – This is another no brainer, as it continues to be one of WoW’s greatest selling points. You’ve done a good job incorporating many things people would want to have from addons into the game, but you can’t really have thought of everything. Give us this, please.

3. More exotic variation in player racez – Ugly though some of them may be, WoW has an amazingly diverse array of races as player characters. Trion, you do not. The Guardians are your standard Humans, Elves, and Dwarves. The Defiants are….Other humans, other elves, and Bahmi. The Bahmi are the most exotic race you have, and even then, they’re just big beefy humanoids with cool colored skin. The thing is, you already have exotic looking races in your game that are unique compared to anything we’ve really seen before, you just made them all evil. Look into establishing some faction of some of these races to join the existing factions, or create a neutral one entirely.

4. Better traveling options – Okay, I get it, you want folks to explore the new world. And you have the porticulums to move folks from zone to zone easily. But your zones are really really big, and we sometimes have to spend an inordinate amount of time running or riding our mounts just to get back to areas were in. Having some sort of flight paths (perhaps a series of smaller teleporters that only go to a few towns in a zone) would make this less of a hassle, and would help out a lot during invasion events too.

5. Guild Banks – This one also seems fairly obvious. It was a great addition in Burning Crusade, and many other MMOs have done it since then. I’m really shocked it wasn’t implemented on Day 1. I hear rumors that this is coming soon, so let’s hope it’s the case

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