Still pretty bad, yea. Not a PVP game at it's core. I don't know if they can ever reign it in. If you are interested in the raids and PVE side-- well, Rift puts most games to shame in that regard.
I'm aware of the raiding part, I can't go into a hard core guild to raid so I would have to find a server that does pug raids which is probably unlikely, and I love PvP... really to fix their PvP though, its best if they just gave everyone a pre set gear/stats like GW2. I'm not saying there isn't any method but I think this would be the easiest to fix the imbalances.
---------- Post added 2012-08-01 at 02:12 AM ----------
If I do decide to come back I will re start entirely a rogue, I usually play the healer class however for some reason I hate healing in rift maybe its the UI or something but I hate it, and PvP as a healer is horrible.
I played rogue to like 39 and just PvPed with him and I really enjoyed the NB/RS surv build, so much fun, died so many times to gear though...
They actually have the prestige ranks a little more drawn out now. So the incremental increase in power is a bit less in all fairness. But it's sort of a long grind for this or that enchant/PVP currency, rank, etc. It's basically the same as any other gear based game that attempts to add PVP modes. Take from that what you will.
Also, the big 3 NA servers do PUG raids for t1 and MM content like all day long. Now you can get raid marks [incld. the current tier] for doing normal dungeons daily & raid equivalent sets of gear for just open world stuff. It just takes longer if you are not a raider. But the PUG raids are literally like all day long due to the new weeklies. Think, "Blahblah Must Die!" from WOW.
On our server eu-icewatch hk and rotp are pugged quite a bit. Its not unusual to see 3-4 rotp runs going per day off between wed-sun. Hk theres at least 3 full pugs go off during the week (10/11 isnt unusual). If our guild alt run doesnt fill we dont mind filling up the slack with pugs, and generally they play to a standard that gets the bosses down.
To my knowledge, theres only one id pug running on a saturday. PF theres quite a few advertised but i doubt thier success rate.
Something that should be added here, and seems to be missed is the community. A big part of all MMOs is the social side of the game, and what sort of attitudes are predominent in the community. I find rift of a much more mature nature on the english speaking eu shards.
We have recently had the french speaking and german servers added to our instance/bg group. I find the skill level of a lot of these players to be of a much lower standard. I have seen some very good players from there also; it isnt across the board statement. They just seem to be fewer and far between. This could be down the fact they dont pug so much on these servers, and I dont get to see them. But playstyle aside, there attitude is of a very mature nature. This isnt the case on some other MMO.
I see PuGs on my server all the time, there are also 2-3 guilds currently recruiting for starting raid content, including mine which is casual. Shameless recruitment plug here, but if you are in US and want to move to Seastone hit me up and I can tell you about my guild. We do not have any real set schedule yet, other than "guild time" is 8-12 server time and we gather up on vent, see what 50s we have available and do something. Once we have enough we will be getting into 10m Slivers and 20m raids, however currently, it is usually run the daily expert rift then put together a Master Mode run or Expert run to get people geared. You show up, on vent, on time, and we will do whatever is needed to help you get ready to do whatever with us. When people show up regularly, we do our best to help them do whatever they want to do. We have all sorts of crafters, once you reach member status(couple weeks as active 50) you get guild repairs and bank access(though we can pull stuff out for you before then if you seem serious) and we are a fairly high level guild since it's been around so long, just rebuilding right now. Hit me up via PM here or in game as Lathais@Seastone if interested.