Old Dog vs New Pup: Everquest Goes Head To Head With RIFT
I’m not a happy bunny. See, I awoke this morning to find an email on my iPhone from the kind chaps at SOE offering me a 11 days of free play on Everquest starting yesterday and lasting until the 21st, coinciding nicely with the launch of their new progression server, Fippy Darkpaw (which I’m very much looking forward to). Yep, ol’ Fippy goes live on the 15th Feb which now happens to be, funnily enough, the exact starting date of the RIFT open beta. Which I’ve just pre-ordered. And so has my brother. And almost everyone else I know. Bugger.
Now it’s not that I’m unhappy to be getting my EQ account reactivated for 11 days but, um, excuse me wasn’t the new progression sever meant to be launching in March? What’s with the sudden announcement of launching it in the middle of February only days after Trion announced the open beta (and effect launch) of RIFT on the 15th? As much as I appreciate what SOE are trying to do here (i.e. get in first and hook some players before everyone gets stuck into RIFT) but c’mon guys, you’re giving poor folk like me tough decisions. Oh the wickedness of marketing, how I deplore you.
Of course I could just hold off and play RIFT at the head start on the 24th but we all know that’s not going to happen. I already restrained myself enough and didn’t take part in any of the weekend beta events and this open beta is effectively their pre-launch launch so it’s green lights all round. Come Tuesday, I’m going to be sorely tempted to log into RIFT as not only am I excited to play it but I have quite a large number of friends who will be playing it too. A very strong incentive.
But I’m equally interested in checking out Everquest again and I don’t want to miss the boat on that. A big part of the fun will be getting on when it’s new and seeing all of the low level zones filled with level 1 players again, all scrambling to loot Firebeatle eyes and farm Will ‘O Wisps for Greater Lightstones. I give it about a week, tops, before some nut hits level 50 so I need to get in there and enjoy the companionship of my peers whilst I can.
Still, if it’s a contest between RIFT and EQ then I think RIFT’s going to win. And I’m probably not the only person thinking that way so I can’t help but wonder if SOE have made a bit of a blunder here with their release date. Maybe they should’ve held off until March? Or April even?
Oh well. Don’t suppose anyone has invented a cloning machine?