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Let me start out by saying I was thoroughly excited to play the game, even though it still has a negative stigma from some. I'm going to be rating each section out of 10
There are 15 classes and 19 races. You're bound to find something you like. Although it's annoying that there are class restrictions based on your race, there are still enough choices to create a very unique character, especially with all of the different sliders. Even though there are only 4 hair choices, you make up with it, because you can choose almost any hair color you'd like, and then you can even add highlights.
I think that Sigil, and now SOE did a good job creating immersive gameplay; I started out as a half elf monk, and was put into the middle of a purge. I was not a lowly soldier, but an officer, in which I was helping to lead an attack on a rebellious town. I didn't roll any other characters, but awhile back I did a trial and played a dark elf, where I had to prove that I was stronger than the other dark elves, by killing slaves. As far as the get x number of pelts, and slay 5 monsters, types of quests, there are these, but they make sense within context of the game. For example, after I entered the game, my half elf was sent to a martial arts master to "reform my muderous ways." In order to do this I had to help out town members, and do good deeds. I felt that this really gave a good reason for having to collect meat and slay dragon flies. If you don't mind these quests, but sometimes feel you're doing them for no reason, this game really gives you a good reason to do them.
This is really the only place where I have an issue with the game. Although my system passed the system requirements test, and there were supposed performance updates in the GU3, I didn't really see them. I recieved the same performance that I got earlier this summer when using a buddy key. Graphically the game is amazing, although if you don't have at least a 256mb card, I suggest that you steer clear of this game, just for the fact that the number of FPS that you recieve will be abysmal.
Sadly I was not able to get to either of these spheres this time around, due to my lack of FPS. I just gave up, because I couldn't get them high enough. I have read a lot about these two spheres though, and they both seem really good. The crafting sphere is very complex, although from what I understand very rewarding, as everything in the game can be crafted, including houses, boats, and almost every piece of equipment. The Diplomacy is equally as cool. Using a card game system, you have diplomatic discussions with npc diplomats, and if you're good you can actually do things like earn a run buff for everybody in the city you're in. I feel that this feature is very neat, and does something that is very unique in the mmo genre, allowing you to actually have an effect on the game world. If you're looking for complex crafting and a very unique game mechanic, vanguard may just be the game for you.
Overall the game gets a 39/50 or 78% from me. If you were able to get more than just 10 fps on the minimum requirements, I'd have given the graphics aspect a much higher grade, but for me this was game breaking, as it would be for most people. If you want a very deep game though, with a ton of choices about how you create your character, play, and spend your time in game, I'd say give VG a shot. Aside from the FPS issue, the performance was fine, and the game has become very stable since its train wreck of a release.
EDIT: I was able to get the game up to a playable number of FPS, and decided to give crafting a shot. I've gotten my artificer up to level 4. Crafting is very addicting let me say that. It takes thought and time, and is very involved. Over all it is an enjoyable experience. I think that I'll start working on diplomacy next and hopefully be able to get the free mount from the diplomacy quests. Here's a cherio to VG. Now if only I had a better computer....the game would be even better!
I have found the community of the game to be very nice, and helpful. I'm actually a little surprised, because I've heard that the community of VG is made up of a bunch of elitists. This is not true. If you're remotely mature and don't go around calling everybody a n00b, you'll get along fine with the community. They're a very nice, dedicated group of people.