We know that IA is being expanded out to the whole world, and before that happens I wanted to pop in here and throw some loose concepts out the the devs in hopes of using IA's as a platform to launch a revitalized dynamic event and cascading event system. What is cascading events? Well its simple. Its a conditionary system. You start with a baseline event. This is your "middle ground" or control group. Then it branches off based on success or failure. Culminating in a large scale end at both sides of the spectrum.
Lets take an example from in game. We are gonna use the basic Life event from Silverwood with the Treant. When the event launches certain quest hubs are targeted. When this happens an IA chain also starts at the hubs affected. You can join in these if you want to continue questing, or you can join the force fighting the actual event. But it doesn't end there. When the event concluds affected hubs then gain a new IA chain dependant upon wether they have been captured or not. If you go to the hub and its taken over a new IA chain will launch to take back the settlement. If you succeed, then a chain that incorporates things such as gaining supplies to rebuild, shoring up defenses and killing roving invasions will happen. If the event was defeated then it moves on to the next link in the chain, a zonewide event (House Aelfwar). This works just like the previous. And then if you win again it moves to the final link in the chain, a huge epic zone event at the top level of the zone where you fight a battle against a foe that is established within the chain (in this case Hylas). If you win a wounded Hylas flees to Stillmoor (setting the stage for GSB). Losing moves you back down. Losing on the first invasion event would bring about a large scale assault on the zone by multiple collosi (similar to House Aelfwar but different) with an eye towards moving on Sanctum. And the final link on the bad side of the chain would an all out assault against Sanctum by Hylas. Failure would result in Cyril and Shyla coming out to meet Hylas head on, resulting in him fleeing to GSB but leaving the zone completely taken over by the plane of life. All along these chains IA's would drive the story for those that quest but have had their usual quest hubs taken over by invasions. Gone are the invasions that disappear over time or lose power. Now invasions will gain strength if left unchecked, potentially spawning collosi of their own.
The end result while complicated is a organic and immersive dynamic event system. I am bringing this idea up now because I realize the IA implementation is probably still a ways off, and I recognize my idea is quite complex from a content standpoint, probably not quite as much from a programming perspective aside from the implementation of IA's in conjunction with events. The branching side of chaining events together though should be fairly easy for Trion to do. Its just conditional statements in the code.
Anyways this is just an example of how such a idea might be carried out. The reality is this game needs something like that to bring the focus back onto what this game is about (and its namesake) rifts. Its great that we have strong raid content, but once ID goes in, I think its time to focus on making things a bit more cohesive. And these end chain events should be TOUGH, like at least as tough as the Ember Isle zonewides.
Rewards would need to be made more appropriate for the level of challenge obviously. But like I said this is more about getting the skeleton of the idea across. I know Trion reads these forums, so its likely one of the devs will see this, hopefully its something they consider. Feel free to add your own ideas about other ways to make rifts and invasions more central. Perhaps launching off the platform of IA's is the key, since I feel thats a big part of this game's future.
A good way to test this system would be with a upcoming world event. It would allow them to utilize a more focused time frame to see what the reaction is. Honestly though if handled right I think people will embrace it. People are adverse to the idea of invasions occupying quest hubs cause it will interfere with there usual gameplay. Thats understood, but what if you could present that player with a new way of questing that brings them into the story and whats going on around them.