Thankfully my server or time played was perfect. I never had a queue, but that seemed to be a rarity. Anyway, I felt like I got a solid play session or two in. I would say getting I got enough time to make a solidly informed consumer decision.
First, it’s rock solid. A lot of love and polish has gone in to making the game really smooth in pretty much every factor. Sure, there are a few minor bugs here and there, but if there was a vision to how the game would be, it was pretty much implemented to the fullest.
Second, the vision is of course something branching off of a vanilla MMO, which World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings Online, Rift et al. hold domain. There are some twists, which I am still digesting for future posts here, but my gut feeling is they don’t change much. It’s like the difference between presenting a nicely cooked steak on a plate and one that has been sliced for the guest to show a nicely cooked interior. It’s a steak either way. The two things that hit me were interactionable cut scenes replacing quest text and groups of mobs as being a single encounter. I’d be really interested to see how different those two things feel after 20-30 levels of gameplay.
Finally, I would love to play, but I don’t feel like shelling out $50 plus a subscription to play something essentially super-shiny vanilla. With holiday gifts needing spending, I might pick it up next year. I think I would enjoy the journey of going through each class’ story. So much of it feels though like “play together, alone.” I am a little worried at what might become of the end game too. I know once I got a whiff of Rift’s near-release end game I quit the game. For now, I think I will just look forward to stories and spoilers.