I apologize in advance, it's obvious you have too many of these around lately. I've read them all. I tried a bit of "Rift lite". I'm still unsure and have questions. Sorry about the long read, thank you to those who bother to read it and respond.
Background mmo info, recent history:
Currently a WoW subscriber, GW2 owner and a disgruntled former SW:ToR subscriber.
WoW just doesn't do it for me anymore. I do not want to bash it, a lot of the blame lies on me and that's what I want to focus on, as to avoid this turning into a wow vs rift thread. I had all classes on 85 during Cata. I have 6 90's now. I raided as tank. I raid as dps for a while now. I don't enjoy healing.
This game has nothing to offer me anymore in terms of discovering new and fun stuff you can do with class builds which is one of the things I enjoy most during my play. Monks didn't do it for me. Not so much for the class, but I cannot in right mind go through leveling again.
I've done the bloody Barrens. I've done it a million times on 3 different accounts. The old world, the new world. I've probably done every damn quest in the game, across all my characters and more than once.
I've done all of the dungeons. Back when they were hard(er), with a non optimal group taking 2 hours to get together. As tank, as dps, as healer. I've done them mid-point when they were trivialized but still kinda fun. And finally I've done the aoe zerg fests they are today, more times than I cared for. And then some more.
I raid. I clear normals before nerfs, heroics after, if I have to. I rather just clear normal on an alt. Or 9. See the fights from a different perspective.
GW2 is amazing, but no raids seems to be a deal breaker for me.
Yet I didn't raid in SW:ToR at all, I spent the days in warzones playing horribly unbalanced pvp and I had fun for a while because... well, dual lightsabers to the face, basicly. But obviously, that too got old after a while.
The bottom line - I bloody well devoured WoW over the years, yet didn't "grew up and moved on" and I'm still hungry. I'm not looking for a complete switch, just something that can at least fill me up now that WoW doesn't offer much beside working on a new raid. So tell me this about Rift:
1. Immersion. Do the quests come with remotely interesting lore? I love to read them the first time around, at least. Lore is kinda important to me, I need to know why we do what we do, why we raid what we raid. It sets the mood. I don't terribly mind the quests being your standard "kill x, fetch y" fare, altough GW2 did spoil me a lot with it's system. Do the quests, dungeons and what not pull you into the world and set a distinct mood that clearly separate this game from all the similar games out there?
2. Classes and souls, how different are they from each other if every class can basicly do almost any role? Is there enough to separate the flavour of a dot-like mage dps from a dot-like cleric dps?
I abhor class homogenization that occured in wow. I don't want for more of the same.
3. Class balancing in both pve and pvp. Rangedcraft much? You know what I'm talking about. Be brutally honest, even if you love Rift as a whole.
4. European Raids and specs. Can you start a toon today and say "this is what I want to do" and have that survive the requirements of raiding guilds tommorow? I play on a full server in WoW. Melee dps is not in high demand at all, but if I want to, I can play it and I can find a guild that will be happy to have me. Can you do the same in Rift?
Is the biggest server populated enough to accomodate new players who don't want to play support/healer, or at least not on most fights?
5. European Pvp and specs. Similar to above.
6. Hardware. Older machine, i5 with 8gb RAM and Radeon 5700. Will it look nice enough and not stutter with 5+ people on the screen? Mostly concerned about this in a raid setting and pvp. A split second stutter in pvp can mean a world of difference.
Thanks for reading, looking forward to replies.