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Well, the first day of the real servers and paid gaming is over. I was in the game from minute one. Reminded me of day one I had in EQ2 years ago. It is always chaos, fun and disasters. In that way it was a pretty normal start.
I levelled my Paladin in Tursh to level 10, got a horse and rode to New Torgonor travelling to Tanvu, where I finally logged. I guess I was the first blond person the Kojani saw, heh. Anyways. I followed the footprints from my beta experiences basically. In the next days people will form an opinion. What I feel, more as intuition than rationale observation is, that grand and dire will be close together and may likely accompany us for a long time. FPS has incresed quite a bit, but in a sense I found it much more crashy than in the last beta days. I had seen several bugs I had never seen before in beta! Like, when I entered the storehouse with my guildmates, and we used the elevator, suddenly some toons appeared stuck in the elevator, while they themselves saw them normally moving. My guildmates and me where regularly kicked to character select (approx. all 60 min one char), and when we returned that char appeared unguilded until that person restarted the entire game. New bugs, never seen before, at least by me.
So far I can say the locked zones are here. At least some, those in Thestra I travelled through. New Targonor has NPCs now, even though I would not call it a living city that compares to the buzzing life of Ironforge or Qeynos - yet. Character generation has not improved and a lot of features are not in it. If there was a question if they are in store and were just withheld in the beta, it is now clear they do not exist yet.
My feeling of this day is mixed. The good clearly is stronger, but there are shadows of doubt. While the aggression of the beta days was gone from shout and OOC, it wasnt clearly a social atmosphere. Everyone was quite busy with hectic soloing. For some reason I still cant put my finger on, people rarely group and even more rarely TALK in groups. I am used to grouping, where people make a break and talk. About the quest or hunt, the game or anything. Like the beta groups, the groups all where VERY fast paced and quite unsocial. It was as if the environment put us into a fast paced frenzy. After 1 hour I had enough of grouping because it started to be too strenuous. The lack of chat bubbles, the lack of good target pointers has grouping made much more difficult that you are used from any other game. Most of the time you are focussed on the icons, watching if some special icon is highlighted, and watching the chat window, because of the lack of chat bubbles. I never was watching the landscape and the actual fighting so little in any MMO. They need to add some comfort to this game yet. For now, many wont notice. But if you look at things open minded, it is just plain how behind the entire UI is compared to really advanced interfaces like EQ2 or SWG. (I just say Fetish! If you ever used zonx EQ2 UI you just have seen the best possible UI.) The VG Ui is clumsy and cumbersome and needs a DEEP rework.
The game itself is fun in many aspects, no doubt. I just keep pointing at the problems, because they may be small, but they are at crucial points. Be mindful. Much needs still to be done.
People don't ask questions to get answers - they ask questions to show how smart they are. - Dogbert