Quote from the Rift forums:
And the new land masses just fragment things even further. Sadly the bigger the game the more spread out the players. SWToR failed cus of the size of the game and the spread out nature of the players. Same has happened here and any new player would be left with a feeling of an empty game… and with the time it takes to do it alone I guess they will be back to what they were playing or try something new very soon.
I do wonder if this will prove to be a problem for Trion. There is so much land mass now that the playerbase, or at least the percentage of the playerbase still interested in anything other than chain dungeon/heroic/raid grinding, is going to be split between more zones. It’s very hard to even guess at how much of my server’s population is active in the open world content. The Hunt Rifts don’t seem that popular anymore as I rarely see tells for them – I did manage to participate in one briefly in the Pelladane zone last night.
There are also a less zone events going on now – you can see these easily on the map as the zone gets marked with a red-bordered symbol when one is ongoing. Whenever I’m playing I try and keep an eye out for such events as I like to break up questing with some group activities. Of course I need to get leveled up to the cap so I can participate in any events across all zones – since I’m still only 54 that limits my effective participation to four zones at present.
I was among the critics of Rift at launch, saying that the world felt too small once you started travelling around on your fast mounts. But for a game with a (supposed) focus on open world content, is it actually better to have a small game world?