I resubscribed to Rift some week ago, but didn't really find the motivation to play it. Yesterday I was finally getting serious and logged in.
First I had to transfer my chars to another server - shard, sorry - because my old one is now a test server. The transfer was really fast and without problem. Then I logged in. Every talent my mage had was reset. Now, if you know Rift, you also know that speccing a character without having spent significant amounts of time reading and comprehending talents doesn't work. I made a short youtube video about it. Turned out I forgot a few points in the fire tree. As if I cared. I logged out.
I logged in with my lvl50 Warrior who didn't have his talents reset. Even his macros seemed to still work to some degree. I did the PvE Scenario - or whatever Rift calls them. The entire NPC capital celebrates me as a hero. I have no fucking idea why. Next, some NPC death idiots appear and wanna spoil the party (yeah, it's referred to as a party!). Of course only I can beat them and the most powerful allied NPCs stand by or despawn. I'm so damn immersed at that point!
Of course the big monster at the end of the slaughter - during which I receive constant healing from, I don't know whom - is super-big. When I am in melee range I don't see anything. After a while I get that I am supposed to move out of the red-marked ground. I kill the thing by repeatedly mashing my buttons.
I receive a million quests with even more text that I don't care about. Add that to those world-event quests. I look at my mailbox and see like eight mails sent by Trion as a reward for resubscribing. All kinds of 'epic' items without stats. They are meant to make me look cool. About as cool as anybody looks who wears item everybody else has in his mailbox as well.
I open my bags and find a million items I don't care about. I log out.
Was I naive when I just wanted to fight some NPCs at my own pace to re-learn my character? Hell, I don't even know what zone would be level-appropriate. Did I mention those 10 thousand different currencies in my bag?
Rift isn't a bad game. I didn't have those level 50 characters if it were. Rift is certainly not worse than other themeparks. Even though they seem even more aggressive with immersion-breaking in-your-face "here's a 'reward' because you exist" behaviour.
Anyway, the returning-player experience yesterday was .. meh.