The recent announcement of Sony to offer triple the conversion rate for Sony Cash only all to well shows their real ambition and intention with the player base. To loyal players, they have shown their willingness to extend a hand of genuine concern and a valid peace offering.
If Sony is truly interested in re-building their fractured relationship with their paying customers, they are offering gifts that are truly worth a second look. Take the money and run, is my motto. I encourage you to take a death breath, step back and see what they are offering as a way to amend the situation. It is bad, but it is worth a second or third look.
To be honest, I am not a big fan of microtransactions. I never was, nor will I ever be. I would rather have had you just give me more free time to play — perhaps even allow me to take this free time whenever I wanted, so that if I did want to take a break from the game, I could come back at a later date and use it.
I logged into my Sony accounts last night and blankly looked at my characters within EQ and EQ II. I had actually no reaction — it was like how you would watch a commercial on TV, almost complete disconnect and indifference. It was then that I decided to end my relationship with the game. I just didn’t care any more.
Will I ever want to play again? Perhaps. Each time I left, I came back and played some. But each time I came back, the need and desire became less palatable and my exit was quicker and longer.
So how long will I be gone this time? Who knows?
For me, Sony just seems to have lost its way in the world of MMOs. It is no longer the top dog, something it enjoyed for several years in 2001. It is not the most graphical any longer,either, as it was for a time with EQ II and Vanguard — perhaps even SWG for the day. It seems to have fallen into this need to whore itself out for every possible penny, as if somehow the more money they can earn, will make the feel better.
They need to return to their roots. Get rid of the microtransactions in their games. They need to get back to making great games with great visions.
Not this year, and perhaps not next year. They need to do something that just blows open the MMO market. What it is, is everyone’s guess — but taking the dimes from kids selling them imaginary glitzy mounts isn’t it.
For now, I will say: “See you later…maybe much later, Sony!”
I have not played Rifts for very long, as a matter of fact less than a week total from buying the game and from a very limited beta experience. In that time, however, I feel I have come to grasp some of the great Loves and Hatreds of the game. I have spelled them out below, in no particular order other than my likes first and my despair being last.
Terrific Things About Rifts
1. Models: Rich and luscious, the models exude color and detail
2. Atmosphere: the terrain and flora, the sky and the ocean all seem vibrant
3. Character progression: four classes, each with 8 subclasses, each with dozens of skills translates into hours of fiddling and fine-turning a class.
4. Ease of play — within a couple of hours you are completely up to speed and playing like a “big boy”.
5. Solo friendly: Along with ease of play, the game seems very Solo friendly and also offers fast grouping methods, which means no more sitting around waiting for groups if that is your thing.
Fears, Hatreds, and Troubling signs
1. Extremely Linear: There are but two paths to follow in the game, basically the opposing sides to the game. Once you create one for each, the quest progression is dreadfully the same with no alternate paths. Making the process of creating another character boring, repetitive, and just unfun!
2. Feels like all the other MMOs: Taking the best from the rest is great way of making a fun game, but it also causes everyone to compare it to the big rivals. “This is a new WoW!?!” Good to hook new players, but bad for those wanting a new experience.
3. Crafting is too basic: For those that like to craft, Rifts is not it — crafting and harvesting has been reduced to the most infantile level of complexity and is just not fun.
4. Death: They have tried to make dying unpleasant and penalizing, but their choice is too much like WoW and one that I just do not like. I hate running back to a corpse — Waste of time and dumb. Certainly once per hour you can just be reborn, but often (see below) your death has nothing to do with being a smart player or not. Horrible death system.
5. Rift Mobs: Unless you have played this, it is hard to explain. Basically rifts open up and spew out mobs, but sometimes these mobs (which are usually higher level than the local area) come bashing on your guy even though you have nothing to do with Rift. So you die, and that is not cool or fun.