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Ah, posts on this forum have been so bitter. While I understand the frustrations of many of the people who have to come figure this complicated game out, I have to say, I've enjoyed my experience for the most part. I downloaded the open beta a few days ago.. excited to have found a mech game.. and I got everything I was looking for. Don't get me wrong, though. Tutorial was brief, practically non existant. I was unable to read what my race was capable of doing as the scroll passed my screen much too quickly. I chose enhanced human based on the haircut I thought I liked best; I ended up choosing a tanking mech, who's upgrades and weapons are resplendent of bionicles. I can't complain, though; it's pretty cool, and lots of fun collecting and assembling your first few armors. The NPCs are virtually useless in the recruit base, but with a little struggling I was able to figure certain things out- mind you, I completely ignored the crafting part of the game, as it confuses me to this day. At any rate, I spent the first few days scoping the game out, discovering mines, and grinding them to their full potential. By day two, I was ready to buy my flight module, and grinding crystals for my buddy's mech while he got the game..
I can see why some people get a ghost town feel from this game. It's very quiet.. but really, everyone's just hiding in the woodworks. I for one do not like to be disturbed while I'm figuring out where to distribute my knowledge points, in accordance to the armor parts I have available and what they need. All I can say is that this is pretty much an armored core MMO minus the realtime combat. Also, you don't want to just equip parts all crazy-like if you were decking out your WoW character with all your latest quest items and drops. It doesn't work that way. Trust me, I'm struggling with my current armor build; I'm a blend of several armors ranging from rank 14 chest and engine to rank 3 legs. I recently discovered how to upgrade items so now somehow my legs are as powerful as my chest. Arrrgh. Frustrating, but I digress.
You need to stir the social environment to get anywhere. Boss fights are nearly impossible in the beginning, and a helping hand is always easy to find. Things skyrocketed for me after I asked a higher level player for help turning in a quest; he invited me to his Corp (guild) and ever since I've been skyrocketing forward. This game isn't such a grind if you do it right. At any rate, my buddy joined in as a Neo-Human, and now we're having tons of fun ripping up battlefields. It's true that the enemy AI could use some improvements, but for the most part you have to think of the maps as a giant chessboard. I zoom in with my half-kingkong half-leapord armor, swinging my giant laser falchion while the sky rains aoe damage from my guided missle system. All the enemies in the area lock in on me and start pelting me with their aggro, and I take it like an armored God. Meanwhile, my buddy is picking'em off one by one from the shadow, wielding a cannon that's arguably heavier then his armor.
I'm NOT saying the game is perfect, but it is entertaining. It could use adjustments. It's way confusing at first; you have to rely on the general population for help. Leveling up through grinding is slow and painful. The quest rewards are helpful and making money is quick and easy.. but you need a good Corp to get anywhere in this game. I'm thoroughly enjoying it for now; finally, a mech mmo with some promise.