Below is my personal opinion, they are not the views of MMOGames as a whole nor do they reflect the thoughts of anyone except me and others who share my thoughts and feelings on the matter.
When I first heard about Rift Prime, I was intrigued. I was a massive fan of the game before the first expansion released. Even after I stopped playing, I continued my subscription for another year in the hopes that something would pull me back in. So, of course, going back to a vanilla server appealed. It is the state I loved Rift in and I only left after the release of Storm Legion, which by the way I pre-ordered and bought the collector’s edition of, but when I started reading the announcement for Rift Prime there were a few problems.
First, it appeared that when the server ends, your characters would just be gone. Of course, that didn’t sit well with a lot of people. Who wants to go through all that play time for them to just up and disappear? Especially since you won’t be ready for it. How often is anyone really ever ready to say goodbye to their characters? Thankfully, we know now that this won’t be the case anymore. When the server ends characters will be transferred to a F2P server. Which…eh…if I’m honest, I’m not hugely thrilled with. Yes, it’s an improvement, but right now we don’t know how long the server will last.
That brings me to the primary (pun intended) reason I won’t be playing Rift Prime. We don’t know how long this new server will last. Will it go on for three months or three years? If it’s three months…why bother? I can just as easily roll up a character on the F2P servers and play the old content for three months. The thing is though…I’m already not doing that. If I’m going to go back to Rift, there has to be something pulling me back, and a couple of months of me paying for a nostalgia trip isn’t enough.
When I read the FAQ and the launch date announcement, I actually whimpered a little bit. Dimensions, by far my favorite thing that came from Storm Legion, will be available on this server. I never really got to play with my dimension since I left the game shortly after Storm Legion released. Their addition to the server makes it so much more attractive. I WANT to play on this server, but I also want to know it will last.
Vanilla Rift originally ran from March 2011 to November 2012, less than two full years. I remember quite clearly at the time saying to myself that they were burning through dragons too quickly, and I was concerned about what would come once they had gone through them all. It seems like this is just going to be a repeat of history. After they’ve gone through the content of vanilla Rift they’ll move on to Storm Legion, which will once again be where they lose me. So, yes, I want that part of the server’s run to last, even if I know ultimately I will leave again.
Why can’t Trion give us an idea of how long this server will run? Is it, as has been speculated, that the runtime will be quite short and they’re hoping it will convert to new players on the main servers? Are they worried that if they give a timeline and it isn’t met that there will be backlash? Or is it simply that they don’t know how quickly they’ll get through the content with their monthly release schedule?
So, of course, I’m not going to express an opinion like this without offering up a solution. My solution to the problem is quite simple: give us a guaranteed 8 months to 1 year on the server. At which time Trion evaluates the population and sees if it’s worth continuing. Maybe I’m the only person out there who wants a permanent vanilla Rift server, in which case yes, shut the server down and move characters to other servers but, based on things I’ve been reading in blogs and on social media, this doesn’t seem to be the case. It seems like there are others like me out there who want something longer lasting as well.
In an interview with Massively, it was said that Trion is considering alternate rulesets and many other options for the future, but it also seems like their future depends on the success of Rift Prime. With such a big question mark over the server right now, I question how well received the server will be. Will they see the popularity and success they’re hoping for? Personally, until I know for sure, I’m not interested in spending the money. But if Trion can give us an estimate, I will quite happily pay for Rift Prime in the hopes that it will soon lead to a vanilla Rift server.
Or maybe I’m just letting nostalgia for a game I fell in love with in beta get the best of me. I had my heart broken by the game when Storm Legion launched, and this seems like a great way to return to a game that I really loved, so maybe I am jumping the gun a little bit. Maybe I need to sit back and wait. Maybe I need to get my thoughts out there now while they’re still on my mind and give people the opportunity to respond to them. Giving Trion feedback from potential returning players, people who want to give them money for their ideal version of a Rift server. They’ve got a great foundation for this idea, but it may all fall apart because we don’t have this one little detail.
I certainly hope that isn’t the case though. For now, I’ll continue watching from a distance and hope that more information will be released. I also hope that Rift Prime is successful enough that more servers are created and we do get that vanilla Rift server so many of us hope will be released.