There's a lot of miss information floating around out there, so I'll try and clear some of it up here. I'm using this guide from my guild's forum, with my friends permission. So all credit goes to Akami Casagama. It helped me tremendously over the last week.
1. Graphics - The graphics are actually quite amazing, but they are highly adjustable depending on your machine. I'm running a i7 @ 4.2 gig, 32 gig of ram, and a overclocked gtx 980, and I can barely run it on ultra (i personally need 30+ fps at all times). So the game actually has a bit of room to grow tech wise too. There are a lot of people complaining the graphics look pixilated, out of focus etc. These are settings on your client side, and not the games fault. When you first start the game, it defaults to some quite low end graphics, you need to adjust them to suit your own needs.
2. Combat - I'll be honest when I first started playing the game, I hated the combat. People kept talking about combo's, how awesome the combat was, how fluid it is, and how tactical it was. Where as I felt like I was just mashing buttons without any real thought to what I was doing. There didn't seem to be any logic behind what abilities to use when. And I didn't see any evidence of "combo's" as I knew them in MMO's. (one ability chaining with another ability, and another, to make a greater effect)
It took about 20 levels before I really understood how in depth the combat really is. Once you start getting points deeper into the trees you really start to understand the combo system. The first thing you need to understand is that you NEED to be using the shortcuts for combat (wsad, q, e, f, shift, etc). If you hover over the skills in your skill tree, it shows you the key shortcuts needed to use these skills. Once you start really getting invested in the trees, you will see these shortcuts start to combine together to create in depth combo's. ie. on my blader (class not available in US yet) I can use the right mouse key to start a defensive skill which has a build up, if I immediately follow that key with the S+L mouse I will leave my defensive build up, and lunge forward in a column attack dealing large damage and quite a bit of movement. This combo isn't listed in the skills window, and it's just something I found out through play.
On top of this combo system, you also have the reactive system to enemy states. If you hover over your skills you will see many of them say Down attack, Air attack, etc. These are skills that will do increased damage to enemy's that are in certain states.
Down Attack – deal 1.5 times damage on the target if you attack it when it is knocked down.
Air Attack - deal 1.5 times damage on the target if you attack it when it is floated in air after a knock up.
Speed Attack - deal 1.5 times damage on the target if you attack it when it is charging towards you.
Counter Attack - deal 3.0 times damage on the target if you attack it when it is casting skill. This one is HUGE, and needs to be learned quickly.
3. Quests- Much like Archeage, Age of Wushu, etc the start of the game will lead you along in a long series of quests. The beginning quests are intended to teach you the basics of the game play, so you are interrupted constantly by your black spirit as you go through them. This can get quite aggravating. In the Korean version these quests teach you the basic game play in great depth. Unfortunately the translation is pretty basic, and the nuances they are trying to get across to the players just are not conveyed very well. So the quest text seems like silly Korean gibberish for the most part. Once you get past what I like to call the "tutorial" quests these quests won't interrupt you nearly as much, and things will become much more fluid.
The quests given by your black spirit are basically the "main" questline of the game. If you so chose you could skip over all of the other quests in the game and be just fine.
4. Leveling - Again, much like Archeage, AoW, and many other games before, quests are not the best way to level. If you enjoy the mindless quests they are a viable way, but not the best way. If you are only interested in leveling, the best way to do so will be to find a crowded camp of monsters, somewhere out of the way that isn't already being slaughtered, and just plow through them. (we like to call this grinding) Yes this can get a bit boring at time, but it is by far the best way to level. If you combine this with your black spirit quests you will level up quite fast. (leveling in BDO is still a exponential curve, so quick is relative. Think original EQ1 hell levels)
5. Skill & stat levels - Something you don't see often in modern MMO's. All of your actions in BDO will level up your stats & skills, and I do mean all. Simply by running around you build stamina levels. Chopping down trees? Yep Stamina and harvest levels. Taming wild animals? You guessed it, your taming levels go up! The only other recent game I've seen this type of system in was project gorgon, and I actually find it refreshing and fun.
Now this is all just the icing on the actual cake. Everything listed here is just introductory to the real depth of the actual game. From amassing a large fortune. Simply adventuring around the world to see the amazing visuals, and just find out what's over that next rise. Taming every wild animal you come across. Housing is incredibly in depth and quite fun. PvP & guild PvP. Becoming a renown crafter of amazing an mythic goods? (crafting isn't really my thing, but it is quite amazing in BDO. Google BDO crafting if you are interested)
There is a lot of complaining that there isn't enough "end game" content, which for some single minded people is true. For those sad folks there are dungeons, systems, and more pvp being added. But until then, there is still quite a bit to do.