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The Queue: Alex talks mostly about RIFT due to lack of anything better


Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Oh, Monday. I hate you. Not because I have to go back to work, no. I already work on the weekends, so what's the difference? No, I hate Monday because there are no questions to answer in The Queue after the weekend, and you're all quite tired of reading me complain about it! Today will have a couple of brief WoW questions, and then I'm going to talk about RIFT because some of you were curious about the game and that's what I spent my weekend playing.

Many of you asked:

Is patch 4.0.6 releasing this week?

Almost certainly. There's always a chance that Blizzard will run into a game-stopping snag that prevents patching, but assuming that doesn't happen, the patch will be tomorrow.

maxmd29 asked:

Why can't my worgen learn the Schematic: Mekgineer's Chopper? I click on it for him to learn and it goes through the cast bar to learn it but when it gets to the end, I get an error saying that I can't learn that spell.

The schematic is race-locked so that only Alliance players can learn it. Blizzard never updated the item to include the worgen in the racial restrictions. In patch 4.0.6, this will be fixed and your worgen will be able to learn the schematic just fine.

ScytheNoire asked:

Are you guys going to turn into RIFT Insider? I sure hope so.

Ha, no. RIFT is a really terrific game, but WoW is still our first love here at WoW Insider. If you really do want to read more RIFT content though, head over to our sister site Massively. They do an excellent job covering general RIFT news, and they also have a weekly RIFT column. It's good stuff.

Dytheryn asked:

That RIFT commercial says it's not Azeroth anymore ... but how different is it? Is it better than WoW? Worse?

That's a hard question, because I really don't like comparing things to WoW! It's pretty unfair to set other games up against WoW, especially here on WoW Insider where obviously all of you are very big WoW fans.

RIFT is very much like World of Warcraft. The UI is similar, the gameplay is similar, and you'll recognize most game mechanics as very similar. To some degree, I imagine that's completely intentional. WoW is the bare standard for MMOs now, so you want your game to be easy to pick up and play by those that are accustomed to the industry standard.

The quests do not stand up to Cataclysm's questing. For the most part, it is a return to the "kill 10 rats" ways of the past. I was not bothered by that at all, however. The quests are there to give you something to do between the real meat of the game: rifts/invasions.

Rifts open randomly all over the world. Sometimes they're minor invasions, and you just need to beat up some monsters with other players in the area to stop it. Sometimes it's a major invasion in which the world becomes bathed in flames and elite demons thunder down the various roads that converge on your quest hub to lay siege to it -- these events usually have some zone-wide goal to aim for, and people must cooperate across the entire zone to be victorious. Defend this objective from the invasion, ensure this area is not overrun, protect that relic, destroy the enemy's relic. It's a beautiful chaos.

The class system is also very unique. There are four base classes: warrior, cleric, rogue, mage. Each class has eight souls -- that is, eight specializations within each class. You get to pick three. Imagine if WoW had only one plate class, but when you roll that plate class, you can mix and match any three talent trees from current warriors, paladins and death knights. It's kind of like that. I could roll a warrior and choose fury, retribution and unholy as my three talent trees to build a DPS character. Or if I wanted to build a tank, I would pick protection, blood and ... well, protection. Hard to balance? Probably, but at least at the low end of the game it doesn't feel like you can make anything too overpowered, and it's shockingly hard to create a truly useless character. During the RIFT beta, when players would ask in general chat what they should spec, others responded with "whatever you want." I was impressed.

Is RIFT better than WoW? In some ways it is, in some ways it isn't. I can't tell you which game you would like better, and I hate weighing two games against each other to pick a victor. I can tell you that I'm not quitting WoW for RIFT, but I do intend to play RIFT quite a bit.

If you plan to check the game out, do yourself a favor and play past the starter quests. The introductory quest chain is just to set the scene for you. You don't really get to dig into what the game has to offer until after that. It would be like giving up on WoW before you leave Northshire Abbey.
Have questions about the World of Warcraft? The WoW Insider crew is here with The Queue, our daily Q&A column. Leave your questions in the comments, and we'll do our best to answer 'em!

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