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Well I must say where has the time gone? I originally picked up DAOC in 2004 and I've always played it on and off since then. I've been gone for about a year and I just went back and I'm loving every minute of it. I rolled up a new character on Midguard and found the leveling experience to be even better than previous. Leveling via battlegrounds can essentially be done starting at lvl 1 and the leveling is quick. I got lvl 50 in less than 15-20 hours play time. I think I started playing on Friday and Sunday I'm already max level. Leveling via battlegrounds you also earn realm rank and bounty points. I was able to earn a generous amount of bounty points which you can use to buy gear, ML levels, and TOA Artifacts.
Overall my point is that leveling up from scratch and gearing up is simpler and easier than ever. In just a few days you can be ready for big boy rvr. You can also always turn your xp off in battlegrounds and earn some extra RR before you head out into the real world. I found all the battlegrounds that I played in to be active with players. The repeatable bounty point quests are really amazing.
Another enhancement that has been recently been implemented is that you can buy full buffs in all battlegrounds and in end game rvr. These buffs are almost equivelent to buff bot buffs. I think the difference in the end game buffs is +147 vs +151. So you can see around 5% or less difference in effectiveness. What this means is that running two accounts is no longer neccessary unless you are min maxing.
10 years later DAOC is still the best PVP game on the market. I'd recommend this game to anyone who loves PVP.