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First of all I must say I am a fan of the game, I find the game very solid and refreshing, This is the first MMO I've put time into in 2 years after basically giving up on the genre until a open world sand box pvp game comes out. In the short time i've played it extending back to Beta 3 I definately feel my 59.99 + 29.99 for the season pass was well spent but i'll provide some bullet points to the potential consumer to break down some noteable points without a mass of text and also some points of fail.
- Co-op (win): This means PvE centric, there has never been a time I thought this game would be focused around PvP and Trion never indicated it would, Trion has multiple facets of PvP currently and could potentially expand on it later but until then co-op is more then enough to kill some hours, missions scale by the number of active players in the area and I believe in the group as I found some missions incredibly hard with a group of 3. Hard means fun to me though. By hard I mean I die a couple times
- Death (Fail): No real penalty, lose some currency spawn close by.
- No fall damage (Fail): Some of that's silly, I guess it functions well because most mountains or ledges seem to be unscalable without a vehicle but either way first time in a serious MMO i've seen it this way.
- Collision Detection (Fail & Win): The driving through people thing is dumb, but it stops all kinds of online griefing and trolling so I accept it.
- Chat (Fail & Win): There is no Global chat which makes some of the social interaction difficult, yet avoids all the spam and chat trolling that could happen. Global chat being excluded leaves room for immersion by forcing players to do things locally and not globally. There are queues for co-op pvp and dungeons so there ya go.
- Story (Win): How could this be anything different, the story thus far is well written and inspires me to progress and help out. The side missions had a load of time you'll get from this box, definately longer than any console fps in some time. Other than games like Skyrim where if you did everything it would greatly out do the content of this game... currently... this is an mmo ever evolving to the tv show progression.
- Leveling (Win): Incredibly unique system that is really really easy, no mind numbing grind. You perform missions with the hopes of getting good gear or attachments and while playing the game you advance rapidly. Believe I put a few hours in on one character had 100 EGO few hours on another had 100 EGO, Time flew by and my character got progressively stronger.
- Aiming (Win): Not as hardcore as a straight up FPS but I notice myself miss a lot if I don't put effort into aiming. Maybe higher tiered weapons will have larger hitboxes I dunno, but currently I can see the skill factor.
- UI (Fail): I've gotten use to it but it's vastly unecessary, all mmo's should just keep it simple, escape > menu (all options)
- Arkfalls (Mixed Emotions): They're large, hard and extravagant, some of them are progressive and lead to bigger harder Arkfalls (I think... Maybe they just fell one after another uniquely and just happened to get harder?) Either way I really enjoyeyed the co-op of them yet I find some of the grind on the elite mobs of them to be boring, I generally dislike raids in mmo's because the idea of me and 30 other people bashing something in the face 140,000 times to kill it is fun killing to me. So maybe i'll notice a change towards cap where I have better items and skills and those around me also do? Until then I like them yet dislike hitting the main mobs for 10 minutes each =(
- Costumes (Win & Fail): I feel they fit the criteria of the world they're creating but they definately should of given more sci-fi looking options instead of multiple ways to look like you're homeless. The win part is I like the options of altering my attire and being different from others but I dislike the current options of what I can use, The Collectors edition skin is awesome though and more my style.
- Talent Progression (Win): Only Ultima Online had a better system so far... I love this system, it's not so restrictive or complicated, you go the direction you choose to go and I recently leveled up my shotgun skill, I saw it randomly... go up +1 so I assume the more you use a weapon or kill with a weapon you are building up skill in that weapon.
- Factions (Fail): There is none, this is where the PvP needs to come from, faction wars or even race wars. In a world like this I can't see them not releasing some type of faction content eventually, maybe it would of been tv show spoilers so they had to hold out?
- Box Cost (Fail): 59.99 is the console price for games, the pc port should be 49.99 either way I paid it and am satisfied, it's still the most expensive standard edition MMO i've bought to date.
- Character Editor (Fail): Options are too limited, it was enough for me to find a couple looks I could go with but definately limited and similar to Rift, They could have done more.
- Exploits (Fail): There are still exploits that people are using to get insane scores on the competitive games. Hopefully these get fixed.
- Inventory + Loot Drops (Fail): THe inventory was made small so a player who need to buy an increasement in bag space, I got the arkfall codes and steam tier 3 additions so I have 32 slots which seems to be enough, which brings me to loot, theres not a large quantity of loot to drop, itemization is incredibly low in this game.
- Loot drops 2 (Win): Loot drops according to your EGO level and is only lootable by the person who it spawned for.
- Loot Equip (WTF Fail): Maybe this is user error but when i'm in combat and I want to grab that shiney blue item glisening it auto equips it and them i'm stuck with a pistol instead of a shotgun unless I open my inventory and reequip my gun... So basically don't loot during combat, I'm assuming a Defiance dev was a hardcore raider and put this feature in to make people quit doing that rofl.
All in all I'm really liking this game and Trion is now officially the only MMO company I trust until another proves to be as devoted to their product and it's fans get their money worth.