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Aesthetics is the entire artistic style that's more than just 'graphics' but takes into account the environment as a whole. They obviously have a bit of a pseudo-cartoony feel that seems familiar and yet different, like WoW in high-definition. Watch some YouTube vids in 1080p for an idea of what it can look like maxed out, its damn good for a F2P game. I'm not going to say they're bad aesthetics just because they don't look like Vindictus or any other hyper-realistic game.
Break out the MP3 player. While the music is decent it does loop a little too often. Each area has its own distinct graphical and audio flavor but very few soundtracks are good enough that you wanna listen to them outside the game (Aion, Ragnarok Online, etc) and this isn't one of them.
Its an MMO. The game is VERY quest-heavy and does a good job of having a decent storyline alongside the quests if you bother to read the quest text. However, the 'grindiness' of daily quests (some of which are required to progress with the main storyline such as the 'Socialist' job) ends up dropping this down to just 'average'. Its not a horrible grindfest but there is enough repetition to be aware of it. There's an entire encyclopedia of entries fleshing out the background of the world and characters. While widely despised, the Socialite quests do provide some character to otherwise-forgettable NPCs within the world around you, but repetition of the same thing makes you stop caring after you help X npc with Y problem for the 20th time.
Mechanics: Below Average
Potions are pretty much spammable on a 10 second cooldown so PvP comes down to disable/stunlock or whoever runs out of potions first. Cash shoppers have an obvious advantage here unless you are willing to grind out enough gold to buy what you need to compete.
Your spells use a good chunk of your mana and you will be potion-spamming during instances and boss fights which makes you need to either grind for tradeable gold via AH manipulation, grind repeatable quests for enough soul coins to buy npc-potions, or LONG AND BORING grind of tradeskills.
Tradeskill-grinding is severely hampered by a 'stamina' system that limits how much you can craft/gather per day. The stamina refreshes 3 points per hour while offline and 12 points per hour online, so most of the 'population' just goes afk overnight since the game doesn't boot you for being afk. You spend one point each time you craft something (regardless of its level). The amount of stamina you can have goes up as you level, but it fails so hard at keeping up with the outrageous mana usage of most classes that people end up either buying from the AH directly or just using only NPC potions.
Cash Shop: Above Average
Here's how 'cash shop' works in Forsaken World, explanation of currency is below. You earn soul coins, you gather/find/craft something that has value to other players and pay soul coins to list it in the Auction House (AH). When you sell it, you collect your earnings as tradeable gold/silver/copper (D&D currency type system). You can then use an in-game exchange vendor to directly purchase premium currency (Eryda Leaves) using in-game currency (Gold). There are no direct sales of overpowered items, and the best stuff is always earned, not purchased or given.
Yes, cash shoppers have an advantage here (like in any other MMO) but that advantage is mitigated because it takes actual skill to play effectively and also because ANYONE can become as powerful as a cash-shopper provided they earn enough in-game GOLD to directly convert to premium-currency LEAVES via the in-game NPC and then they can BUY anything in the CASH SHOP without spending any money! This will require a good bit of effort depending on how economical you are in manipulating the AH and other players and whether or not you're in a helpful guild. Paying for the leaves with real-money just provides a very-quick shortcut in this process. This is the same for masteries (increased damage/resistance passive skill) that require GOLD to upgrade.
There are 3 types of currency.
-Soul coins are what you earn from npcs and quests, used to buy skills, potions, and goods from npcs. Contrary to what most people say the potions from npcs are not worthless, they just don't restore as much as player-crafted ones but they can be bought without limit so it evens out.
-Gold coins are 'tradeable' currency used in the AH (separated into diamond, gold, silver, copper in a D&D style system), some custom npcs such as those found at guild bases (to buy special guild mounts) or a traveling goblin npc near the starting area that sells premium potions for a hefty gold price. You can get nearly anything you want with Gold, and the 'premium' currency is only there to provide an easy shortcut for the most part.
-Eryda Leaves are the 'premium currency' of Forsaken World. You can also buy almost any cash-shop item with gold through the AH or from other players through direct-trade or player-run shops. You can buy