there will be a lot of Blizzard/WoW references here, I'm not a WoW fanboi (anymore lol) and I DO currently play rift (have 2 50s). There are somethings Blizzard did extremely well that Trion failed to capitalize on. This is more of I wish they change things more so than a "I hate them for not having these things."
Please don't bash what I'm saying here, if you disagree please insert your fair argument :)
In no particular order;
10). Lack of web driven database. It's hard for a player to find upgrades, lists of mats to make upgrades, or even know that there are upgrades over what you have. I have always been a ZAM/Wowhead user. I spent about as much time on Wowhead as I did in WoW. I loved finding new gear each level that I could attain because I knew exactly how/where to attain them. Lack of a datamined Rift isn't just hurting sites like ZAM RIFT, it's hurting the whole community.
9). Lack of need for crafted items until late game. This should be easy to see, how many people do you see spamming trade for any crafted item sub 50? Even when the item is a very easy to get and powerful item (such as http://rift.zam.com/en/item/8CD5E3A70501010101/Logger%27s-Axe) most people find little to know reason to look for those items... Crafting as a whole is pretty arbitrary until 50... it's like a means to an end to make most items. One thing that WoW did which was interesting is applied crafted items into questing. This created markets out of thin air for people with that profession, markets that are still viable today. http://www.wowhead.com/spell=3936 anyone?
8). No player impact on the world. Everything you do is pretty pointless when you look at the world... nothing really changes, even for a little while. **** even Thrall left Orgrimmar in WoW albeit for a short time to visit Outland and see his people. you were personally thanks by one of the most powerful beings in the WoW world for reuniting his people to him. I can't even think of 1 instance of even a little bit of this... which brings me to the next issue.
7). Lack of need to read quests. I've read like 2-3 quests out of the 2 50's worth of quests I've done. Having a nice little quest-helper built into Rift sure made leveling simple... but without need to read the quests 99% of the time I have no idea wtf I'm doing besides looking at my map and following the dots. No need to read quests takes away much of the lore behind everything and takes away from natural exploration. Sure WoW has it "now" but before if you didn't have an addon you were all alone trying to find quests yourself via clues from quest text. Mankirk's Wife anyone?
6). Lack of Mini-games. What do you do when you don't feel like questing or dungeoning... PvP? Farm? where is the extracurricular activities? Fishing, cooking, first-aid, holiday events. Yes Rift has events... very very boring events "kill 9 aelfwar and suck their essence" "kill 3 plants"... What did WoW have? throw stinkbombs into Southshore, ribbon dance for an hour long xp boost, serve food to people... crazy stuff. Rift's Events are all grinding. Very little fun and the only reason you repeat them daily is for stuff... I want to chill and fish off the coast of the Dunes of Akala and land some massive game fish I can then use in a sweet recipe to boost my lady charm by 10%... yeah you don't HAVE to do fishing, it can be anything I'm just using fishing and cooking as it's what I'm familiar with.
5). GRINDING, Constant GRINDING. Everything in Rift is a grind, want to be stellar at PvP? GRIND, hours and hours of Grinding. Want to be tight with most factions? GRIND IT OUT BABY. What's worse is grinding is rewarded, not with epic hard to get Items in most cases but cheap items that are replaced usually before you're grind is over! I wanted Order of Mathos rep for http://rift.zam.com/en/item/ACC0DE960501010101/Mathosian-Spy%27s-Leather, before I could finish the grind I got http://rift.zam.com/en/item/8BE5A3C60301010101/Battlemaster%27s-Jerkin. Which made me hate The order of Mathos as much as Regulos.
4). Lack of an economy. It's been said hundreds of times in many forums, the Rift economy is in a worst state than the USA's... now that's bad. A LOT of things can improve this, let's start with the easiest, adjust recipes so they use 3 types of gathered material. Since you decided to give everyone 3 professions no one needs anything outside of what they can gather themselves to craft... that was a BAD move. Now the only time you can sell mats is if people are too lazy to farm or if it's "just" over the vendor cost. Which is another problem... the Vendor costs are massive on a lot of items which make it worthless to use the auction house. Simply vendor your stuff and profit. Lower the vendor costs, AH fees, and raise the mats needed for professions. That way your player base can control the economy's flow of platinum via the auction house. And all this will be much better once people can use ZAM Rift to find the upgrades they want crafted :D
3). Epic quest driven cinematics. The opening cut scenes were epic, I was in awe when I first saw them (even though Dragons have pug faces lol). Why didn't you carry out with more? Not many more but maybe after a couple of the Story quests you could have had a nice little story cinematic to TELL you how much you mean to the world you just helped save? I can't really say much more here but you get it.
2). Random acts of comedy. There are very few and far between things I've seen in Rift that made me lol. Just because the world is under attack by forces beyond the realm of understanding doesn't mean people can't be funny. A practical joke quest line here, a few non-important things to do that are just there to be amusing would goa long way to adding much needed "soul" to Rift.
1). Pop Culture references. This is probably the most important things I can think of that makes Telara an alien world. There is a huge lack of Easter-eggs, just cool *** things that make people say "hey check this out haha!" I have seen some nice achievements that delve into this realm but achievements aren't game play imo. They aren't a crew running around named "Begolas, Limli, and Araflorn" looking for their lost friends who were taken by Stonefield troggs or something like that. I mean that is just funny, if you bumped into such a group, wouldn't you laugh? Another thing that WoW did which Rift needs to continue, adding highly known player references in game in some sort of way. Big Red Kitty was a huge hunter blogger in WoW, to celebrate his dedication to the community Blizzard actually made a gun and named it after him. Those're the little things that build a better community.
Thanks for reading (if you did) and I look forward to feedback, or your opinions.
Edited, Sep 5th 2011 10:51am by TheGoodEvil