I'm not making a "Rift is WoW clone" thread.
however, having played WoW for 5yrs since launch i've seen it grow from a fun mess to an overproduced bore. hence the quitting during WotLK(great story anyway).
i've seen Rift compared to WoW and i agree with the assessment that it is "WoW year 2-4". the single biggest similarity are the design "quirks". some might call them flaws.
though the Rift Team has been pretty good at working around and catching coding bugs and other design errors they still have the same obvious starter MMO issues that you'd think would have been thought of before release. i'm seeing the WoW growing pains all over again, and i've only been playing for 2 weeks!
so, we have the obvious missing feature that anyone knows with be added later: guild bank, flying mounts, LFG, voice, addons, etc. with each of these comes a whole bag of oh-noes! when they decide to implement them they will have to back-modify other parts of the game to compensate. flying mounts being one of the trickier ones, you have to make sure the movable space is "flying mount exploit proof". WoW had to break Azeroth to make it compatible.
speaking of exploits, with a growing population comes more users testing the integrity of the design. some people wander on to exploits, others seek them out. once they're known they usually become viral quickly. case in point: hotfix for iron ore and hotfix for equiping extra weapons. all iron ore was disabled for a few days before the fix(PITA when thats your current skill up). then theres the weapon exploit. how should something like that even be possible. i haven't coded in years but how bout a global "if hands = 2 then maxWeapon = 2". jess sayin. once the population reaches the millions you're gonna start seeing people equiping helms on their butts or mages with Rick Astley for a pet.
i've already been terrain pwned twice since i've started the game and thats just from going to places to complete quests. i'm awaiting the "How to get to Old Meridian and then free fall for 3 hours" post.
next, we get to balance issues. this can be an eight page post, but i'm not talking class vs class vs spec vs abilities. i'm merely touching on stuff like range vs melee and racial abilities. i love pvp. i picked a rogue hoping to be an assassin-flag-carrier-killer. 20+ levels in and i realize i can't use my run speed racial, stealth rogues aren't "as advertised", and ranged can sit up on a rock and murder me. this is my own ignorance. i do know gap closer abilities come later and this isn't WoW's one-shot baby, but c'mon, after an opener and 3 rounds of flawless combo cycling i can't kill a guy 3 levels below me spamming Cadence.
i think i had more points to make but now i'm just upset. /whine