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RPG News!

If you’ve ever played a game with any RPG elements, you have Dungeons & Dragons co-creator Gary Gygax to thank for his part in coming up with role-playing rules as we know them today. Gygax passed away in 2008, but you can still pay your respects by making a pilgrimage to a memorial statue being erected in his hometown of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

Don’t start your travel planning quite yet, though. According to the Gary Gygax Memorial Fund, a motion to grant land for the statue in Donian Park was unanimously approved, but the memorial hasn’t even been designed yet. However, it is likely to “include a castle turret with a bust on top and possibly have a dragon wrapped around the turret.”

Yeah, that sounds like an appropriate tribute to the father of RPGs.

During an Activision Blizzard earnings call for investors in May, Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime reported that the total number of subscribers for World of Warcraft had fallen from its peak of 12 million to 11.4 million. WoW’s 11.4 million subscribers still puts Blizzard’s MMO ahead of the pack of other pay-to-play MMOs with monthly fees, but the announcement also happened to follow the release of Trion’s fantasy MMO, Rift.

According to Rift designer Will Cook, Trion would “love to take credit” for the dip in WoW’s subscriber base, but Cook feels that Blizzard’s most recent Cataclysm expansion for WoW just didn’t shake up the world of Azeroth enough. Speaking to VideoGamer, Cook described WoW as “samey.” Cook remembers that “everybody was worried cataclysm was going to change too much. And the feeling I got was that it didn’t change enough. It is the samey kind of thing.”

That’s not to say that Cook is anti-WoW. “It’s phenomenal, the phasing is great, it’s essentially the same game it was six years ago in a lot of ways. But it’s not different enough and most people I know are sort of fading from it. It’s still the raiding game and social game that kept me in it for so long, kept me re-upping, but people seem to be fading from that,” says Cook.

GamesRadar gave Rift an eight-out-of-ten score in our review. The game’s actual rift system, which generates portals that spew out mobs across the land were also great – and dispelled the concept of towns as “safe zones” with local NPCs clashing against waves of demons pushing their way into what would normally be a ho-hum hub for quest givers and merchants in other MMOs.

Did Rift lure you away from WoW and do you feel that Cataclysm didn’t offer enough changes? Share your thoughts on the state of Azeroth below.

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2 comments on “RPG News!

  1. Otaku Hanzo
    June 24, 2011

    I grew up with Dungeons & Dragons when it was still called Chainmail & Elves and came in a small booklet. I remember meeting Gygax down in San Antonio during the summer of ’84. I’m glad the memorial got approved. I will definitely have to make my way back up to Wisconsin in the future to visit it.

  2. ObliqueZombie
    June 24, 2011

    WARNING: This is long.

    I’ve known about and played a little of World of Warcraft over the years, before Cataclysm and Wrath of the Lich King, and I loved it then.

    Just the other day, I bought Rift, made it to level 35, and this is what I have to say about both.

    First off, I JUST got into WoW, truly, for the first time ever. EVER. I scored a free account from a friend, with all the expansions, so if that hadn’t have happened, I wouldn’t pay the $80+ to play WoW in the first place. But since I have, that’s irrelevant. Just know that, with these sever amounts of updates, starting places, and hella stable community, here’s why I prefer WoW:
    -It’s got a better art style.
    -It’s got a firmer fan base.
    -There are more instances.
    -There are more (interesting) mounts.
    -The quests are much more diverse, and albeit, fun. (I shot down helicopters, blew up a base, and became a Big Daddy, for Christs’ sake!)
    -There are 10 races to choose from, each are unique.
    -Each class makes you feel like you have a place in the world (of Warcraft). Race restrictions are cool, too.
    -The PvP has much cooler areas to battle in.
    -The “story” was actually interesting to read, as the battles unfold between Alliance and Horde.
    -It’s, plain and simple, fun.
    -FLYING.

    Whereas in Rift, I found myself questioning if I wanted to continue this game around level 24 or so, because I was just… bored. Nothing stood out in the game. It wasn’t set in stone enough, and that’s sad to see from developers trying so hard to win over WoW fans. The only thing that ever, EVER caught my eye was the namesake: rifts. And even THEN, they got annoying. If I’m trying to level my level 13 guy in a borderline-deadly area, I don’t want to deal with level 15 elites during a full-scale Death invasion. While it’s cool in the community sense of the word, Invasions were NOT fun when they invade a corner of a desolate, low-level mountain side. But, aside from that one cool thing, here are the things that made the game NOT fun for me:
    -The art style was bland, uninteresting.
    -The amount of content was severely lacking.
    -The races were uninteresting.
    -The story was bland, but had some cool parts.
    -The “roles” system made it almost pointless to make any other class; one class could have everything you’d need.
    -The mounts/pets were lacking.
    -Shouldn’t they hire author’s nowadays? The writing was terrible!

    I’m sure it’s not fair to compare a few-month old game, to one that’s 6 years old, AND to one that has 3 expansions, but still, if you’re gonna openly challenge WoW, make me impressed. Don’t make me feel like I’m playing a widely mediocre game, when a fantastic game is beckoning me.

    I can’t wait to have this discussion again when SWTOR rolls around!

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