Continuing this series of articles on how Rift approaches aspects of gameplay compared to other MMO's. Today I am touching on content. What is it? Does Rift offer enough?
Like yesterday, I wanted to get an idea of what "content" means, so lets start with our Dictionary term. Note, this one is hard, as several terms could be used here...
"something that is contained: the contents of a box."
This first description is interesting, as it basically means ALL inclusion of items. If a box has a manual, a DVD, a map, etc...for an MMO, this is the boxes "contents". Does this work for what is IN the actual gameplay? What does content equal?
The BIG Twitter discussion of quite a few MMO heads had some variations on this topic.
Rowanblaze - "Yes I say "content" is the reason for doing something in-game. IOW, the story. Everything else is grind."
Adarel -"I think story is just one form of content though. The world is full of activities, all of which are content."
Ardwulf -"Even social tools can be content. Depends on the game."
Three different perspectives right off the bat. How does one player look at content as one item, yet another player requires differences in their game for it to equal "content"?
I had remarked how Rift had about as much content as WoW...after it's first expansion, which some would disagree with. Why is that? What MORE did WoW have at that time? A larger world? More "quests" and "dungeons"? I do not remember invasions on a regular basis in WoW. I do not remember Guild Leveling or Guild quests, shinies hunting...the list goes on.
But to me, this is a form of content.
If a player logs into the game, decides to shop on the Auction House, then will craft, then logs off....did they do content? Or did they do something else....features? mechanics?
Again, another perspective. What if the word meant something different...
How about we look at the meaning of "content" as another form of it's definition...
"satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anything else."
Here is where the game changer is. Is the player "content" with what the game offers. This I think describes our MMO's more than what the game gives you to do.
If there is not enough "content" (whats inside the box) then the player is not "content" (happy?). But, this is perspective. What one player will see as con-tent, another will not be cun-tent with.
Phentari stated "I dont know I think they are nuts, that means they ran out of new things to do including features"
"Features" was one word that was used to describe everything that had no "story" to it. Was it then that the player exhausted the "story" and the "features" would not make this player cun-tent?
A slippery slope here.
Lets use the latest news for Rift as our example of new "content" (according to Trion). A new event coming called "Spoils of War" prelude will be offering daily quests to gather various items to purchase unique items, etc.
Is that content?
"As the name implies, the Spoils of War is related to the River of Souls event. Telarans and the Ascended successfully overcame Alsbeth and her minions and now the rewards have arrived. The prelude offers players four new daily quests centered on the mysterious treasure-like items literally falling from the sky in some cases."
What is interesting here is it seems to be a standard "stuff to do" type of event, or features if you will...but also is a continuation of the story from the first big event Rift had, River of Souls. So, we have a story, but it is just "daily" questing to get items to get more items.
mythokia "Producers think they can get away with disguising dailies as new content."
Ouch, clearly mythokia thinks adding in dailies...even for a reason...is NOT new content.
Do we see the pattern? We can note that each player has their own opinion on what content is. Just look to that link about "Spoils" (and try not to burn your eyes out, thanks to the MMORPG readers commentary) and see what is being said...
"Just dumping a couple daily repeatable collection quests in the game you need to do a horrible amount of times and increasing the frequency of Rifts and call it a Live Event is not what I call original nor very attractive in my book.
Rift was great at launch. Very polished and fun to play for a short while.
But so far these so called live events just end up being nothing more than an ordinary boring grindfest!"
"It sure beats other games. You don't have to wait, sometimes years, for content."
Within the first few postings, we see two varying viewpoints.
So, is Rift lacking in content? Or is a specific player not "cun-tent" to play what is offered.
As I saw on twitter, there was not an end to the conversation, and so many roads were taken by various players. But, it is clear...one mans junk is another's treasure. To even think there is not enough content in specific MMO's...especially Rift, is subjective to each players outlook.
I will use my family of an example of how Rift is approached each day.
My wife is the one who does the daily "shinies" hunt and craft runs. My son will login and is working on leveling, and feels questing is where the game is at. Myself, I feel running zone wide invasions, rifts and dungeons are fun (but, I try to do a little of EVERYTHING).
We are CONTENT to play with the CONTENT as it is...and just see another patch with more to do as even more fun to be had.
If only others could do the same.