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the review is still ongoing;
its a summary of experiences hour by hour (beginning w headstart)
EQ2 fan sites
the first impressions ended with level 30, 42 hours of play
heres what he had to say about the first dungeon
Ascalonian Catacombs is hard. Enemies have huge health bars, hit like field artillery, and have complex, layered special abilities. Environmental traps litter its corridors and need to be disabled by finding triggers. My prior experience with the dungeon has made me a semi-capable guide, but I’m mostly just typing “NO STOP DON’T GO IN THERE OH CHRIST” over and over again. In one case I had to abandon a group that was simply hell-bent on dying in a fire: for me, the repair costs outweighed the fun of burning to death.The fascinating thing about this is that it’s impossible to be underleveled (you’re levelled down to 30) and very difficult to be undergeared. We’re not failing because we haven’t bothered to grind out fifteen hundred fire resistance potions in the wilderness. We’re failing because many players reach Ascalonian Catacombs without ever having to learn Guild Wars 2’s combat system.
If you don’t know how to block or dodge, or how important it is to revive your teammates, you fail. In a way, the more MMOs you’ve played, the more difficult this is likely to be. There’s very little use in tanking. You’re fighting a fifteen foot ghost with a glowing magic hammer. When that thing comes down, get the hell out of the way.
This is the last that I’ll write in this review in progress. The next step is to push through the Catacombs, get a firmer grip on world vs. world, and play as much as I can of every other profession and race before writing up my final thoughts on the game.
I am very impressed with it. It’s the first MMO in a long time that I can see myself playing (or at least visiting) on a long term basis, and it’s the first I’d consider recommending to someone who wasn’t inoculated against the particular vagaries of this genre. I am however reading as much as I can on Reddit, on this comments thread and on our guild forums: if you’ve bounced off the game, let us know. It’s all valid.