Anybody who has read a mere handful of my blog posts since I started writing here knows that I am a zealot in the war against subscription MMOs. I hate subscribing for content. This is a highly debatable subject, but my belief is that most subscription MMOs barely qualify as a service anymore than say a working single-player game. I feel that my subscription fees should pay for reaction and growth in a sustained manner. Yet, there are so many differing opinions on what the customer is owed when paying the monthly fee. Some people are simply happy to shell out a subscription fee as an access fee regardless of the stagnation of the game’s content (until a buyable expansion releases, anyway). If that’s how they want their money to talk… more power to ’em.
Initially I had written off Rift because it was a subscription game, and, once again, I didn’t want to pay a monthly fee for a theme-park ride of content. I decided to play in the beta because it was a free sneak peek, and first impressions were “more of the same.” There was a fervor in the MMO community that had me come back to try it in a different light, and the result was glorious. Now, I am really looking forward to picking Rift up in March, and I am looking forward to paying them a subscription fee.
There is one big reason (besides, of course, having a fun game), Trion Worlds is so far showing potential customers that they intend to provide a Service. They will respond in a timely fashion to players’ feedback, and continue to expand the content. They will not simply collect a monthly access fee to pay for bandwidth and servers. Rift now has a public grouping system, a streamlined character sheet, itemization changes, and so much more. It’s like a breath of fresh air to actually see change during the beta when so many betas before simply accepted the feedback. I’ve also noticed that they are continuing to refine and expand the invasion content, and they are hinting that invasion events are just the start of their dynamic content features.
I know that what they have done in this beta crunch time may not be indicative of the level of service Trion Worlds will provide at launch, but they have a customer right now. Keep it up Trion!