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I'm not a big PvPer, I actually perfer PvE, but I've been looking for a space game for a while now since I updated my graphics card and couldn't play FreeLancer and dropped Star Wars Galaxies when the missions got boring. What with a free 30 day trial you can get here on MMORPG & a 30 min download I figured I didn't have much to lose so decided to give it a try even if it was a Pvp game.
First if you've played FreeLancer or the X-Wing vs Tie Fighter games, alot of the game play and HUD will look familiar enough to help you ease into the game.
Since it is a pure PvP game it's nice that your starting spot is 'fairly' safe. No griefers camping outside the space stations etc .... so you can run the tutorial missions without too much worry.
This fact leads me to my first really nice thought on the game. It is kind of safe, but with just enough danger to keep it interesting and ensure you pay attention and not run your brain on auto-pilot.
On the downside, part of this 'safeness' may be from the smaller player base currently playing. All I can say is as it stands right now both my 14 and 10 yr olds can also play and not worry.
The missions. Seems to be a decent amount and variety of one's to choose from. They also seem to support the concept of becoming what ever 'profession' you want. Currently I seem to be leaning towards the life of a courier pilot.
It would be nice for the inital mission blurb to have a little more info in it like which system they want you to go to and maybe what the pay (rewards) would be. I'm not currently clear on the ramifications (if any) of my clicking mission accept, getting the full mission brief and then clicking abort (mission) if I don't like it. Will they not offer me anymore work? No effect? What?
Advancement/Leveling. Both fast and slow. I got 1 whole level jump in my trade section by just doing the first easy courier mission on one hand, but my light weapons / combat's been going slow since just random shooting the NPC miner droids only gets me 5 xp each. There is a droid shooting mission that gets more xp plus a bonus I may have to try, same with the Advance Fighting tutorial although that one sounds fairly robust just from reading it. My 14 yr old has gone up 1 or 2 levels from just doing the mining missions so that part sounds ok.
Graphic's. I like them, bold rich space views, different looking styles of stations, the 'foreign' language neon signs etc..., haven't had to tweak anything to raise my fps and with the exception of visiting 1 certain station that always stalls my system down to 1fps for a bit once I get close to it, I haven't encountered any problems, although my fore & aft radar displays went out of focus last night but that wasn't a game breaker as I could still make out the radar dots - they were just fuzzy not crisp circles. I'll see how they look tonight after work.
I do find the look of the ships a little weak (of course the neutral SWG ships were too), but from throwning the thought back and forth with my 14 yr old I'll give you that designing TOTALLY NEW ship designs that are real eye grabbers would be hard. What with all the other games and TV / movie shows out there you'd have to stay away from looking like anything that's been done before.
Gameplay. You have 2 types of flying control. Flight Assist which most games use I believe; mouse / keys to turn, fly like an airplane. And then you have the Physic's mode which I had seen before on the Babylon 5: I've found her game. 6 axis flight, just turning the ship doesn't effect your movement direction, you'd have to use your engines to power you onto the different direction. Does allow you to fly 'forward', point and shot 'backwards' but at the cost of not being able to see where you're going. LOL! If you lean towards motion sickness you may not want to try using the Physic's mode or fly in the 3rd person view.
Community. This has to be one of the stronger aspects of the game. You always have a good mix (differnt factions) of players on the Global chat channel and all of them are willing to answer questions no matter if they're your nations friends/enemies or neutral. That part of the game is just that - part of the game. Answering questions is outside of that, just players which is nice.
So to sum it up, come ruin my low population game Get one of the 30 day trial keys and flood the game with players. You can't beat the price thats for sure and you just may be surprised and end up staying. Check out Vendetta-Online.com if you want more information.
SWG (pre-cu) - AoC (pre-f2p) - PotBS (pre-boarder) - DDO - LotRO (pre-f2p) - STO - GnH (beta tester) - SWToR - Neverwinter