Originally Posted by Tippy
I get that Rift was a highly polished MMO upon release, one of the smoothest launches ever and with a nice chunk of players to kickstart it - but I never understood what it was trying to accomplish by being basically 99% similar to WoW in terms of gameplay, interface, controls, combat, etc. Sure it had shinier visuals (or at least, a lot more glistening effects/bloom and duller/realistic colors) but other than that and the concept of rifts (really it was nothing more than a marketing gimmick) there was nothing more to it.
The big question any sane person would've asked is "why not just play WoW for a better WoW-like experience?". And back when Rift launched, WoW was still boasting 11-12million subs - the MMO wasn't exactly dying or even put on the back foot. People used to reply "well if you're tired of WoW then try Rift" but that's exactly the point, Rift basically IS WoW with a few minor things changed. I think I dropped it within 5 hours of playing, because if people were TRULY bored of WoW the last thing they would want is to play another game so damn similar to it.
Now don't get me wrong because none of what I said above is particularly BAD, as far as I know Rift raiding experiences were nothing short of extremely well done and the patches brought in loads of interesting new content. There was nothing inherently wrong with how much hard work Trion put into their MMO. But...that didn't help it's cause, that didn't help people stick around.
This is the exact same effect that you see when first person shooters try to copy Call of Duty (e.g. what happened to Crysis 2 and Crysis 3). Both those games now have squat-all players, the multiplayer is essentially dead because if people wanted a Call of Duty experience they would play Call of Duty. This is why in BF3 you see at least 80% of the population playing Conquest on massive 64 player maps with vehicles, because it's the polar opposite of what CoD offers.