There is no question that RIFT is probably one of the greatest (old-fashioned "styled" MMO'S) to be released in quite a while. I have as a matter of fact been playing this lovely game ever since the BETA. I quit shortly after, due to lacking content, but found myself going back. TRION had added a huge amount of content, and it was very intriguing.
The main problem with games like RIFT is not that it gets boring or that it holds your hand all the way through -- As a matter of fact: The raids are very hard and some of the dungeons are as well. The reason I left RIFT is not because I got bored with it, and it is not just RIFT'S primary fault. I see other great MMORPG'S like Guild Wars 2 suffering from the same symptoms.
I'll try to narrow it all down:
You have the RIFTS. The most awesome portal from another plane, spewing out invaders of a certain plane (water, death, life, air, earth and fire.) This is something that seemed awesome, since TRION would mention how they would spawn and how it could change everything. If a group of fire invaders stepped upon a bunch of death invaders, they'd fight each other since they are from a opposite plain. Fire being Maelforge and death being Regulos.
The problem with the Rifts however is that they became a nuisance in the end. They were just there in the way and it was something that you probably would try to ignore whenever you stumbled upon one. Because you never get anything good from a normal rift -- and they are everywhere. What TRION could have done is to handle the situation more delicate. Spawn one or three Rifts once a week in every zone and make them hard, and make them rewarding! Instead we are force fed these worthless portals floating in mid air, doing nothing but stalling our questing or forcing us to take an alternate path.
To fight one of the bigger enemies of a Zone event is always exciting and fun. There'd be a bunch of rifts (death for example) if it was a zone event about Kain the Betrayer trying to take over Freemarch or Stillmoor. However -- Having this zone event happening every day, constantly -- makes it dull. Having Zone events happening every day, constantly -- Make them uninteresting and not really "eventful."
But, what's even worse: Is making sure these Zone events are something you have to do in order to grind reputation or collect Stones /planarite in order to get raid ready Planarite lessers.
Planarite lessers are somewhat like the Gems from World of warcraft and they are something that you are required to have in order to do a decent amount of healing, dps'ing supporting or even manage to tank. Now, making world events a constant Choir is not fun, it doesn't make it interesting at all.
What's even worse is that you are holding back the player, making them wait for these blasted zone events, and when they finally pop up, all you do is wait for the final boss to appear, touch him and then you are rewarded your stones & planarite.
In the end, Rift just ended up being a constant Grind fest, and I couldn't put myself through that in their new expansion -- I just did not feel motivated to do every single thing again. A game is supposed to be fun, not a choir. Sadly RIFT ended up being so.