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I have played World of Warcraft for nearly three years. Now I am playing Rift.

I had two WoW accounts. That was from the time when you couldn’t have characters from both factions on the same account on a PvP server.

Because I had opened the accounts in different names I was not able to combine them even after that rule was changed – despite the fact they were paid with the same credit card, and all other personal information was the same.

Both accounts were hacked. Each time that happened, the response from Blizzard was accusatory, even rude.

I bought authenticators for both accounts. But the login only asked for an authentication key about quarter of the time.

Earlier this year I got an email from Blizzard saying one of my accounts had been banned, because I had been using a ‘hack.’ That’s a mini programme that enables you to move faster, walk through walls etc.

I had two 85s on that acccount, an ele Shaman and an unholy DK, plus a few other minor toons. I enjoyed playing the Shaman, who also had top level skinning, leatherworking and cooking. I was anxious to get that account back.

I emailed Blizzard saying I had not logged into that account for several weeks, and had never used a hack. I got a curt email back saying the decision would not be reconsidered. I emailed again, asking politely for an explanation. I didn’t get a reply.

I continued to play my other account for a while – I have three 85s on that one, a Lock, a Druid and a Pally. But my heart was not in it any more.

A month ago I said goodbye to WoW forever. For the last couple of weeks I have been playing Rift. It doesn’t yet have the depth of content WoW has, but gameplay is as good or better, professions are definitely better, the dynamic content is great, and support staff seem helpful and interested.

So far I have a level 32 Champion Warrior, and a level 14 Pyro Mage.

Rift will have to work hard to match the new content in WoW, and the attractions of Star Wars: The Old Republic, which launches in December of this year.

I have a suggestion.

One of the nice things about Rift is the soul tree system, which enables players to combine talents from different streams within a single class.

A major improvement, and something no other MMORPG has, would be to allow players to combine soul trees from any class – essentially allowing them to create their own classes. So you could combine a Champion/Riftblade Warrior with the Necro stream from the Mage class, or any other combination of any trees from any class.

This could be boosted by allowing any character to wear any armour, giving for example, speed and spellpower bonuses to cloth armour, parry and strength bonuses to plate.

This would add a uniquely flexible character and combat system to an already interesting game. If new content continues to be added, I think this change would make Rift unbeatable.

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