I bought this game on release day, and have been following it's progress since the good old days when it was announced at Games Day. Unfortunately, I have to say I'm very dissappointed.
To let you know, my specs are as follows:
AMD 3.2Ghz processor
Gforce 8800 GT Graphics
8MB internet connection hardwired to PC
So, more than enough to run the game, according to the minimum specs, thinks I. How wrong I was. For some reason, it took over an hour to install the game, a problem I haven't had with any other disc. It actually crashed out once and I had to start the whole process again. Might just be me, but meh.
When I finally got it installed, I opened it and waited for my firewall to ask for access, but this didn't happen. After trawling through some forums, it turns out the game doesn't like many firewalls and a lot of users are having problems playing it with their firewalls up. Giving it the benifit of the doubt and throwing caution to the wind, I turned off my firewall and the game finally started.
2 crashes later (game hung up on 'finding a server' screen) I was looking at my character creation screen. Characters are stereotypical MMO fayre, tank, dps, ranged etc, so nothing spectacular there. As it stands, you have a few hairstyle and face choices to choose from, but nothing revolutionary. I made my Chaos Marauder and logged in, still feeling optimistic.
I am well aware that any MMO will have lag on release, as there's undoubtably going to be a massive influx of new players, but this was unplayable. My character would still display the 'standing still' graphic while running around, scenery would appear and dissappear, I would have to wait 2-3 minutes for quest-specific NPC's to appear before I could interact with them and more.
Still trying to find love for this game, I stuck it out for about another 3 minutes (for a total of about 7 mins logged in) before the dreaded crashes kicked in. The game hung up completely and crashed to desktop. More forum trawling reveals this to be a problem for a lot of players at the moment.
That was basically my experience of first-day playing. Oh, and when I logged back in the next day, my character had dissappeared completely and the game told me I had no characters on any servers (another apparently non-isolated problem).
After playing for another few days, I'm sad to say this game just isn't that good. It feels exactly like WoW to play (see enemy, press tab to lock, run towards it, hammer 1 til it dies, wash rinse repeat), which might be acceptable in a 4 year old game, but not something fresh off the press. The public quests are very predictable and linear (everyone kill x number of grunts, x number of elites, a boss or 2 then reap rewards, do this again 2-3 times to complete the section then move on), and you're forced to do the same one more than once in order to advance. The areas are cluttered and messy at the best of times, and bland and unimaginitive at the worst. I've made better gaming tables in a weekend with cardboard, PVA and a big tub of flock. Then there's the crafting system.
The crafting system involves choosing a seed to grow, then actually waiting up to 2 minutes for it to grow to a plant. Yes, that's right, 2 minutes just staring at a screen doing nothing PER PLANT. There's items you can use tonock 30 secs or so off, but it still takes too long. The plants you grow are then drag-n-dropped onto another screen and mixed into various useless potions. That's it. Also, Everyone has the same skills.
Might turn into a good game in years to come, but for now, dissapointing and bland. Gets 2 stars as the graphics are pretty (when it works, that is