Firstly, I am not a PvP player. Let me clarify that right off the bat. However, I have this idea.
To bring a new mini-game to Rift and remove the QQ over class balance and lack of arena.
Second, I really don't care for PvP except as an odd diversion, but in an attempt to attract new players:
Since many other mmo's have mini-games that are totally unrelated to the main game, why not make a competitive "side game" alongside the main one we already have?
When Rift launched, it had one PvP soul which was then removed and added as a Planar Attunement. I think they were on the right track, but didn't implement properly.
Have one role given to each player called the "PvP" role. They can buy one or two more, but there is always a "default".
When a "PvP" role is activated, each class gets to make a build out of one of four souls. The four souls will cover DPS, Heals, Support or Tank (flag carrier) and have stats / talents balanced around that role.
The PvP souls and talent trees - which are a combination of a few attributes / abilities from the PvE ones (to retain affinity with the class) are completely separate from PvE roles. This way, there is zero chance of PvP affecting PvE.
On a PvP server, world PvP will still unfortunately have to remain PvE talents and will be unbalanced (probably), but war is never fair.
The reason for this? Can't attack a raid doing a raid boss and then switch to a PvP spec. There is nothing that can be done about this. Rift is mostly a PvE game. This suggestion is not to affect PvE in any way.
The only way this can change is if a party of players select to duel each other and will then automatically use their PvP roles. If you attack a PvE player who did not elect to duel, you automatically get set back to PvE role.
I must stress - this minigame will in no way affect existing PvE warfronts. PvE warfronts stay exactly the same for PvE, non-rated battlegrounds and gear continues to be grinded as per normal.
On rated battlegrounds, however, your PvP roles are used by default.
In Arena, PvP roles are used by default.
People have to elect to be in a PvP role to indicate they are participating in conquest, or a PvP rift. Only people participating can attack / heal each other.
In PvP role and rated warfronts, all stats and gear are normalized so every class has a "balanced" HP, power, etc. It is about "skill", not "gear". Is it not?
All PvP rewards are cosmetic in the forms of costumed statless warfront gear, mounts and pets.
At the end of every season, the top people on the leader-board get rewarded with a mount. A similar, but not identical mount will drop off of an end-world PvE raid to save Trion artist resources.
With this system, PvP is added as a real, balanced mini-game and is completely separate from the game at the moment. The old PvP continues as per normal. Arena could be implemented. Existing warfronts could be used, but be rated.
People will be able to queue for rated battlegrounds with up to 20 players.
End goal? Bring more people to Rift.
More people = more revenue. More revenue = more developers and hence, more content. I don't think I have to defend Trion on this front.
Then again, there is so damn much to do in Rift... don't think I'd even have time to try this! :P