Okay, so I originally tried SB wayyyy back when it was still a pretty new game and played for a bit. Don't remember why I stopped playing - I think I picked up AC2 or something.
I've come back a few times since then but for some reason, I just felt either overwhelmed or underwhelmed... or some combination of each. I think I felt overwhelmed at the apparent vastness of the game.... that is... they give you alot of ground to cover, even in the lower level areas and I always had trouble finding worthy mobs to fight after about level 10. And so I guess I was underwhelmed by the apparent (to me) lack of direction the game gives you - it left me feeling like I was wandering aimlessly. Then there were wierd tech. glitches, like getting stuck in the environment that even using the unstuck command wouldn't fix... I'd get unstuck and immediately be "warped" right back into whatever I was stuck in to begin with. I think that was the finishing point for me most of the time I tried it.
However... the core gameplay of the game, the depth of the character customization (which amazes me still) and the overall idea behind it has always intrigued me - I just couldn't get past the fundamentals of it enough to get in to any of that.
Then there was the reputation SB players seem to have as callous, abusive and generally unfriendly people, that always turned me off.
I'm posting the following as examples of what I've read about the game, quite alot in some cases, in the past and is what kept me from giving it a fair try. Don't take this as me bitching about the game. Take it as an opportunity to either clear up misinformation I may have given too much credit to, or perhaps to elaborate on or clarify something that is a bit hazy at best.
First is the whole "newbie bullying" thing. What I've read so many times is that new players are relentlessly ganked 'til they either somehow land in a guild to protect them (which I'll get to in a moment), or get sick of it and leave. Some have said things along the lines of "well that's what you get in an open PvP game; it's not for carebears" and.. I agree but I disagree. Saying "high levels ganking newbies is part of the game, if you can't take it then go play WoW, carebear", pounding your chest and flexing your muscles is all well and good, I suppose. It is a PvP game, and it does require a thicker-skin to play, succeed at and enjoy than a PvE or light PvP game.
But, really, as I understand it, it seems what those types of players are doing is basically stomping on ant-hills and potentially limiting the player-base. More New Players is a good thing in any game, if for no other reason than it keeps the game more active and, at least when there's a subscription involved, brings more money to the company to continue developing it. In that light... why so many people would choose to stomp on and then laugh when a new player gets fed up and leaves is beyond me. It really seems like shooting yourself in the foot to me.
My question on this is.... is it *really* as bad as it's made out to be, or is there some exaggeration going on?
The next thing is this.. the guild thing. I've read for so long that it is extremely difficult to find a guild because there's so much paranoia of spying and such. Yet, now I'm seeing that yo ushould get a guild before you leave the newbie area. So.. has there been a change of thinking on the guild thing? Is one situation or the other wrong, or... What's the situation with that?
And lastly... this is a question of my own, rather than a "complaint" I've read. How is the in-game community? If you have a question, make it known that you're a new player and would like some help with something (ie. understanding how something works - not asking for money)... how are you regarded? Are you shouted down, heckled and berated for being a "n00b", or are there people who will actually acknowledge that you're a new player needing help and answer your questions?
So.. thanks for the time to read this and hopefully the responses will bring me closer to giving it another go and farther from staying the hell away...
Oh yeah.. and is it still free to play? Can't find any info on that.
"If you just step away for a sec you will clearly see all the pot holes in the road,
and the cash shop selling asphalt..."
- Mimzel on F2P/Cash Shops