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How does ESO compare with LOTRO/GW2 (NOT a “which one is better” comparison)

Gamingtodaynews1e - How does ESO compare with LOTRO/GW2 (NOT a "which one is better" comparison)
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So I'm thinking about trying ESO and I just want some input on how the game feels. The only other MMORPGs I have much experience with are GW2 and LOTRO, so I'd probably get the most out of any answers that can frame how certain aspects of ESO work in comparison to those games (I was decently lategame with GW2, legendary crafting, t4 fractals, learning to raid while I've only reached Moria in LOTRO), or aRPGs that I have much more experience with (mainly Path of Exile, Warframe, and Diablo).

  1. What is the open world like? One of the main reasons I liked LOTRO is the world, the setting, and npcs. Even though much of the questing was just classic fetchquests, the world itself felt more alive, since a lot of the stuff you could do wasn't all just "big hero save the world" but just helping a neighbor get some eggs from a nearby farm so he could make a cake kinda stuff.

  2. How is the build complexity/flexibility in ESO? There's always a meta, but how rigid is the meta for ESO? How large/complex/flexible is the skill/passive tree or equivalent system in ESO? How defined is gear? By this I mean like in LOTRO gear can have all kinds of variations in stats and you generally try to prioritize the stats that are most important to your build while in GW2 gear is much more defined with stats being determined by prefixes and only like one of each type of endgame armor (for example, zojja's would be the berserker gear, so almost any power dps class would use zojja's armor).

  3. How is the cosmetic customization? Is it more like GW2 where fashion wars is its own endgame or more just a simple customization to tailor your character to what you like as you play?

  4. What's the crafting system like? In GW2, the crafting system itself was kinda cool with discoveries n stuff, but the process of acquiring materials was painful and any lategame crafting was like 95% just farming gold and buying mats off the trading post. LOTRO's crafting itself was simpler but the mat acquiring was more interesting, with generally more self-sufficiency other than the interdependence of professions, which could be done with alts or just a friend or two, and gathering mats for crafting meant actually gathering mats, not just farming gold to buy mats.

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  5. I know the combat in ESO is more like GW2 where its more actiony and aimed rather than tab targeting and with less skills. My question is how meaningful is the action and aiming, like how big a role does mechanical skill actually play in the combat system? In GW2, positioning and dodging were huge, esp in stuff like pvp and it meant knowing a good build was nowhere near enough to be potent. In contrast, a game like warframe is often highly praised for its movement and stuff, but I found it very unimpactful as the endgame does not really rely on much or any aim and movement/dodging, it's all just get a good build and then just stand there blowing people up.

  6. How involved/incentivized is party play? Is it like LOTRO where the holy trinity of tank/healer/dps is extremely emphasized in any group content and you need a cohesive working group or is it more like GW2 where having more allies often just means more overall damage and having a cohesive group that communicates isn't really very important as long as you just have a few specific supports filled (like chrono, buff banner) and people just know what they're individually doing? Or, god forbid, Path of Exile style where playing in groups is literally worse than solo 99% of the time.

  7. How grindy is the game, or how does the grind work? Note that grind isn't inherently a bad thing for me, playing games like PoE and Diablo have taught me to love the grind, so long as the core gameplay loop is satisfying or at least not painful. Grinding (at least any bit efficiently) in GW2 kinda sucks, as its basically just: log on, do dailies, and if you wanna do more then dailies then its just doing big meta events like RIBA or HoT events where so much of it is just following a massive group around doing a more advanced questing style thing that might be cool at first but gets really boring and repetitive and unsatisfying after a few times, and is also near impossible to do solo. I enjoy farming/grinding by mindlessly running around killing things, and GW2 completely lacks this.

  8. Any other things that I didn't ask about that you think I should know about ESO

also i apologize if the formatting isnt great idk how to reddit format

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