Rift Free to Play - Developer Diary
Check out this developer diary for the free to play model of Rift.
To me, Rift as a whole is a sad story. Yet another mmorpg to be released in the time period of WoW's rampage of the PC market as a whole. Its release was already shaky, but they had good elements that had not really be done before. The class system was amazing and offered a lot of options with one character.
What gave them so many sales after the first month? The game was actually CHALLENGING in the time that WoW was becoming far too easy in the grand scheme of things. What did the devs do in Rift in the 3rd month? They dumb the game down to pathetic levels, in which they lost a MASSIVE chunk of their playerbase.
The point of my ramblings? Simple. Games need to be challenging. MMORPG's need their dungeons to be challenging. Take that away, and you leave people with a grind that doesn't challenge a person to think or have patience.