This past weekend I got back into Rift since I have some time to waste on my subscription before it runs out completely, and I wanted to see what 1.4 did for the game since I skipped the last two world events entirely.
First, I will say that Trion is making a lot of headway towards making the world seem really active. There are minor rifts, major rifts, crafting rifts, raid rifts, and now even PvP rifts. Even the new zone invasions are pretty entertaining, and the new global alert when a zone event starts in the chat window is an excellent addition. So in that regard Trion has done a great job in really making the game feel like a game.
The second thing I ran into was the new cross realm(shard/server/ whatever you would like to call it) Looking for Group tool. I have been playing my Rogue since coming back, and have more or less been able to get a group in 5-20 minutes depending on the time of day. of course I also run a Marksmen/Assassin/Nightblade for a DPS build and a Bard/Ranger/Nightblade build for support, so I can get into a group with either and be able to function fine. Sometimes I get into a group as a Support role, and the healer will tell me to go ahead and DPS. I will even offer to switch so I can sap mobs and whatnot if the group needs it. Only once so far have I been annoyed with a person i got put into a random group with, and that was a warrior who took a blue Rogue necklace and broke it down for parts when I could have used it. That did annoy me greatly, otherwise everyone's been pretty good. Once again, as far as I am concerned this was another win for Trion.
With the mix of the above, I am actually finding myself having a hard time not out leveling my quests. I actually have to make effort to remember not to queue up or join against an invasion just so I can finish a quest or two. not a complaint, just a big change from the early 1.3 patch to now.
In the end I am rather irked though, as my wife is currently playing WoW, of course I have been hovering between Spiral Knights (who just got a Bomberman style PvP ruleset added to it), Forsaken World, and of course now back to Rift. I would like to try some other game, a part of me wants to play FFXIV even though i know it's not a great game at this moment, and the population is rather low. Another part of me wants to hold out until Archeage comes out before purchasing another game, but that is going to be a fairly long while out. I am still not interested in SWtOR, just not my game, so not really bothered with trying to play it. WoW is just boring to me, everything is just to casual from what I have gathered from watching my wife play. Really the only wild cards I have is Aion and Rift. I have not played Aion outside the starter zone in over a year, and have heard it has gotten a lot better, and Trion really does seem to be trying to improve Rift with each relatively fast patch cycle.
So now I am at a crossroads. Do I stick with Rift, reinstall and activate Aion, or just up the casual of WoW and just reactivate my account there? Lots of choices.