Storm Legion comes out soon (2 weeks!) and a common question that I see is how Trion is able to balance all the souls. The answer is simple, they don’t. Rift has quite a few quirky mechanics that beg to be balanced but aren’t. It won’t ever be an e-sport or try to (*cough*WoW*cough*). It won’t have heroic raids. It doesn’t put an arbitrary line in the sand and say “only the best of the best can do this”.
WoW’s largest flaw is also its largest pull – the generic homogenization of everything. The outliers who specialize, Rogues and Warlocks namely, are massively shunned by the gaming populace. I remember reading a population breakdown and with 10 classes, both combined were under 5%. The generic classes (Druids and Paladins) took over the largest chunk by far. WoW took the design decision to balance everything and so doing, made everything taste like Vanilla. WoW gives you two talent sets because that’s enough. I could give you 6 others, they’d be the same as the first two.
Rift is like the Harry Potter Jelly Beans. You really don’t know exactly what you’re going to get. Might be great, might be earwax. It’s the reason they give you 6 talent builds and a very easy way to swap between them. I’ve played a Bard with pets. I’ve done a ranged tank warrior. I’ve done melee mage (and will formally in the expansion). I’ve DPS healed (before Monks made it cool).
I love Lego. So does my daughter. You can pick and choose what you want to use to build what you want. Rift almost gets that but being a themepark, comes as close as possible. It’s the possibility of failure, of spectacular and gut wrenching mistakes that makes the success so much more tasty. When you can’t fail, you can’t really succeed.