I've been playing rift for a month or so now and I've got a pretty strong grasp of the mechanics and game play. So for today and tomorrow you'll get to read a write up on the main differences between Rift and wow and a general overview of "how to play." Basically all of the questions that you'll have after your first 2 hours of the game will be answered here.
Money. Gold, silver, copper has been turned into platinum, gold, silver. Same value and rarity as in wow but with different names. So anytime I say "plat" you can just translate that in your mind as gold in wow.
Mail. It's instant between all players, but from the AH it's a little delayed. When you buy or cancel an auction it's delayed by around 45 seconds, but when you sell something it's instant. When you mail something add the item before typing in the name or it gets a tad temperamental.
Leveling. If you wear plate, take 1 defensive talent and the rest dps and you're fine. If you go with a tank spec you can pull as much as you like usually, but things die VERY slowly. If you level as a healer it's the same as with wow, kill yourself. Your first purchase of a second spec is dirt cheap so being able to dps and heal or tank is no problem. It's all straight forward and easy to figure out. In fact, if you level a toon in wow to 60 without heirloom gear that's 20 times more of a nightmare than in rift.
Fun fact: I never enjoyed questing in wow. Ever. Not even on my first toon, I hated every single quest. None of them were slightly interesting minus like, 8 total. Meanwhile in rift, I'm having fun on at least half of the quests as they're interesting and have their own story in their own place. Not like blizz did in wrath and cata where every damned quests was either "zomg unded" or "zomg something's burning."
Best game mechanics. Two things come to mind. One is automatic AoE looting. If you kill 10 mobs in the same spot once you loot one of them you auto loot them all. FUCKING WINNING! Like seriously, who ever made that call has got to have tiger's blood or something. After that is that you don't have to dismount to loot anything, don't have to wait 10 seconds before skinning a dead mob etc. Other cool things include when you need to kill a named mob but it's tagged, as long as you help kill it you still get credit. An when you're on a collect drops quest, everyone in the group can loot the quest item from the mob so you don't have to kill 10 bears for each person.
Talents. Identical to wow for the most part. The main difference is that the more points you spend in a certain tree you'll get more abilities opened up. I don't mean that if you spend a talent point into X you'll get X skill. No it's more of a passive thing where 30 points into a tree will get you Y ability. That and you have talents that are like built in mastery where the more you spend there, the better you are at that role.
Mounts. You can get your first one as soon as you can afford to buy it (2.5 plat), next at 40, and the last is at 50. With gold given from only quests I was able to afford my first one at around level 10.
Professions. Identical to wow. Skill ups are green, yellow, and orange difficulties. The big difference here is that you can learn 3 at once and a lot of them are either splits of wow profs or combines. For example "Outfitter" crafts both cloth and leather gear, so it needs a leather gathering prof to supplement it. Meanwhile "Weaponsmith" is just what it sounds, a black smith that makes mostly weapons. Choose wisely. I went with outfitter, rune crafting (enchanting), and butchery (skinning).
Biggest thing missing from wow? No addons, none, zero. They have stated that it's something they're considering for the future, but want to see how the game plays and the people go through it before they make a decision. In other words, the game is 2 months old fool! I think this is a good decision honestly, because unless you run the game right out of the box there's no way to really gauge the difficulty of learning and playing it. This is mostly from a developer's standpoint though. I'm sure that your average wow player has no problem working with addOns but if you're fairly new to the genre you'll be like a deer in headlights.
Bugs. There aren't many bugs in the traditional sense, but there is a lot of things that I've noticed that make you wonder "why can't I do this?" By that I mean when a confirmation window pops up, you can't hit enter to say OK. Also the auto complete in the mail box is a bit temperamental. I'm positive that things like this will be fixed or added in later on as they've already handled a ton of this in the last patch or two. So in the mean time, be aware that there are still a few minor annoyances that you'll have to deal with.
Travel. This is the most awesome change from wow right here. No more 10 minute flights from A to B! In every zone there is a portal that gives you instant travel to any other portal that you've come across thus far for a minor fee. And I do mean instant in the literal sense, you hit OK and you go to the loading screen and blam you're there. One per zone might not seem like a lot, but traveling on a mount is VERY simple when you stick to a road. In some zones that are much larger you'll find two of them there so the only hard part is finding them. And that's only hard if you have nobody at all to tell you where they are.
This blog is about discovering all of the ways to make money in Rift. There are no cheats, hacks, or exploits used in any of my methods.
After amassing a 2 million gold fortune in wow I decided to come over to Rift and see how well I can do there. It is my belief that the game does not matter as much as the methods used and mine have already been proven to work and work well.