Saturday, September 29, 2012

Through the Mists (Part 2)

Treking Forward

I've finished the main questline in the first zone of Mists of Pandaria's new content, that being The Jade Forest, and I must say....It's well worth it to do so. I wouldn't say it in and of itself was worth $40, but I dare say it comes fairly close.

As a bit of a guess on what it ends on...Most people who've gone through the game's older content tend to recall Wrathgate. Well, if you recall Wrathgate, I dare say the cutscene you're given during the end of this zone surpasses Wrathgate's own. And perhaps I'm building it up slightly too much to the point where it won't live up to expectations...

Moving on, after a few quests, I'm sent to the next zone, Valley of the Four Winds, to begin my mingling with the locals. This zone starts out fairly slowly, and doesn't ever really pick up much. Whereas in Jade Forest Alliance side you pretty much commit genocide of the Hozen, a race of monkey-like creatures, here you will destroy many of a race dubbed the Vermin, which appear to be oversized rats.

You'll help the local farmers on many an errand, but the high point of this zone is that you traverse it in part with Chen Stormstout, of Warcraft 3 fame. He and his niece are new comers in Pandaria, just as you will be, yet they have a slight firmer grasp on Pandaren culture, thus they sort of act as the middle point for you. You being at the low-knowledge end of the spectrum, and the locals being at the high-knowledge end, Chen and his niece ask just enough questions to allow you to learn the lore, without seeming to know nothing about their own people(though I would almost excuse it if they didn't know anything, as they've spent their time on a turtle).

Most of these quests end up falling in the simple "Go here, retrive this from the *insert animal here* that stole it*", before leading up to "Go here, kill a larger version of said animal." quests. Yet somehow I never really found myself bored. You'll be moving around the zone enough, and quests that shake up the formula are inserted at just the right spot, to keep you going forward. I'm about a bar from 87, and I honestly thought, after what had to be growing to near a hundred quests, I would be growing bored, but I simply wanted to keep going. There's a slightly believable relationship between Chen and his niece, Li Li, and even if the Alliance/Horde battles were in the background, it was pleasant to simply see some side character development, and learn about this new race's culture.

At first I was a bit iffy on a land full focused on a single race, and of the Pandaren in general, but now? I'm actually really getting into it. The Pandaren, while a gentle, peaceful race, are almost forced into their ways, lest they unwittingly summon the ancient forces known as the Sha, beings that feed off of negative emotion. It's actually sort of interesting just to think on that.

I believe soon enough I'll be moving onto a different zone, and I can't wait.

The Ways of the Monk

The new class to come with Mists of Pandaria is the Monk. The Monk relies mostly on hand to hand combat, uses an energy resource similar to a Rogue, but generates a secondary resource called Chi, similar to Combat Points, that feeds other abilities. They wear leather, and can spec into being Brewmasters(Tanks), Windwalkers(DPS), and Mistweavers(Healers), making the first new hybrid class to be added to the game, joining the ranks of paladins and druids.

They start a bit slow. Their basic attack is called Jab, and you do just that, you jab your enemy. This generates a point or two(up to three, I believe) of Chi, which later on is used to use stronger attacks, like roundhouse kicks and the like. It's easy to see where the influence for the class comes from.

It's honestly fun, once you've got a few abilities, but my main concern is balance. From the shape of things in the later levels, as I'm being told, the Monk appears to be seriously overpowered. Of course they are the new class, and as I recall DKs had the same problem. My main concern is that it either won't be addressed, or the poor things will be nerfed into oblivion.

I've yet to step into a dungeon with mine, and they've only just made it to level 23. As I tank for the most part, I specced into Brewmaster, was given a new stance to stay in, and a new form of taking damage, called Staggering. When you get hit by an attack, while in this stance, you will stagger some of the damage, taking only 80% of it right away, the remaining 20% will be applied to you over the course of the next ten seconds or so. It's interesting in concept, and it'll be interesting to see how it plays out in dungeons. I've yet to enter PvP yet with mine either, as at the lower levels I've found the queues to be ungodly long.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Through the Mists (Part 1)

I have journyed into the Mists, dear friends/readers/whatever you would prefer to be called, and I have returned in one piece, and let me dismiss a few rumors about this yet to be discovered land:

  • No, the island is not a secret base where horrible experiments are being preformed(as far as I know THUS FAR!)
  • The land within the Mists is not, and let me repeat, not made of ham.
  • Here there be dragons. Though you won't see too many during your first day or two there.
Ahem, sorry. Joking aside, I've had quite a bit of fun with my time in Pandaria, and I've just hit level 86 about half an hour from typing this. I've been taking it very slowly compared to some.

For the sake of this look over, here's what you get when you purchase Mists of Pandaria:

  • Access to a new race, the Pandaren, who can join either the Alliance or the Horde (Actually, I believe all races have been made open to everyone, despite which expansion you've purchased)
  • The new class, the Monk, which focuses on a more martial arts style of combat, uses Energy as a resource, and generates a secondary resource called Chi, which is used to power stronger attacks.
  • Your level cap will be raised to 90.
  • You will have access to the new continent Pandaria, with its seven new zones.
  • Six new dungeons, and two(one is split into two halves) remastered dungeons, three new raids(not including two world raid bosses), and four new Battlegrounds.
All in even if there's a bunch of content included, it doesn't really matter if you aren't getting your $40 worth, now does it. That's what you get with the expansion, you also get access to a new, I'd call it a minigame, dubbed "Pet Battles" even if you've yet to buy MoP. So first off lets just go over how your first step into the new content will be, and how I felt about it.

5.0.4 and the changes it wrought

The largest change that comes to mind that MoP kicked off with was changing up the talent system. Instead of the old points system, where about every other level you were given a single point to shove into a tree, you are now given a choice of three talents every 15 levels. Like in the old system, at level 15 you'll also choose your specilization, of three, or four if your a druid. Like in most MMOs, your spec will either shove you into the category of Tank(taking large amounts of damage), DPS(damage per second, pretty much killing things quickly), or Healer(Healing people). If you're a WoW veteran, or MMO vet in general, you likely know how that goes. But where did the talents I would've got from shoving points into line in my talent tree you ask? Why you just get them at fairly even increments as you level, instead of having to put the points in, what's even better, is that you don't even need to go talk to a trainer to do so.

Mana was also capped, meaning that no matter your gear, you will have the same mana as everyone else at your level, and also a few new attacks were introduced, and few taken away.

That's what I can think of off the top of my head.

Into the New Zones (Possible Spoilers! I'm trying to keep it fairly simple, but you never know)

While I have only seen the Alliance side of things(I only play Alliance, Horde scum), things actually start off with a bang. This zone is mainly meant to introduce the Alliance and Horde to the natives of Pandaria, which, even though that's what the name implies, is inhabited by things other than the Pandaren, and vice versa.

You'll start out on a fairly focused chain, which is about your faction of choice wooing one race of natives, Jinyu for the Alliance basicly fish people that sort of remind me of Jar Jar Binks but better, and the Hozen for the Horde a race of monkeys. Considering the only thing I ever did to them was murder them, the Hozen didn't really seem interesting to me, but they're in an existing conflict with the Jinyu, and oddly enough the Alliance gets stuck with the faction on the losing side of that. I honestly did like the Jinyu, and I'm not going to say Horde favoritism, because the two sides once the Horde and Alliance are introduced to them, get fairly balanced out.

Once you've assisted your factions new friends, you'll be sent to do something else, which for the Alliance is something I won't spoil, but it left me scratching my head. From there your off to a lovely village called Dawn Blossom, which is where the true experience started for me. Once you get here, you'll be given a few quests, which will lead you to different places, and different stories.

This highlights one of the strengths I've seen in MoP. There's a larger focus on story, even to the point where you won't get an achievement for a zone until you've completed all the stories open to you, instead of just doing 80 quests or something. There's a lot more voice acting then I recall in Cataclysm, though honestly, I didn't care enough for Cata quests to keep my sound on, favoring simply listening to music on YouTube. Here though, I actually feel like I'm part of something, I'm interested. Of course, this is just the first zone, I've yet to venture from it, so we'll just have to see how intact that feeling is by the end of the last zone.

You'll also be restricted to the ground for all of this, until you hit the new level cap of 90, and honestly I don't miss flying. The world feels bigger when seen from the ground.

Pet Battles

Even if you've yet to buy MoP, you'll be able to enjoy the new feature called simply, Pet Battles. If you've played Pokemon or one of the many games it inspired, you'll be in a familiar place here. Your vanity pets will enter the field of battle against another pet(or up to three for both you and your opponent), and they will duel to the death. If they are victorious, they will gain experience, and over time level up, up to a cap of I believe 25. They will also eventually unlock six moves, with three slots for those moves, and a choice of two moves per slot. As in Pokemon, certain pet types will be weaker against other types, and stronger against yet another type.

You're also given the ability, once you've brought a pet up to level 3, to capture pets you'll fight in the wild.

It sounds a bit odd, doesn't it? In action though, it's extremely fun. WoW's questing system pretty much encourages you to go it alone, but I think this encourages playing with others even better than a raid or a dungeon. It's much more casual, as if you beat someone you challenge, your pets won't gain experience. I palled around with a guy from my guild, just trying different combos, and I didn't care if I lost or if I won, it was just fun.


That's my thoughts thus far. Personally I'm enjoying this much more than I thought I would. I'll talk more in depth about the Monk class next time, hopefully(just hit 15), but honestly, I won't be taking a dive into the playable pandas. I wasn't too big on them before the expansion hit, and I'm not too big on them now. Though their NPC counterparts have actually made me laugh, literally out loud on some occasions, and are interesting.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

FTL: Faster Than Light

The clock ticks to 1 AM as my download finishes. I should be asleep, sure it's a Saturday night, but honestly, I'm tired. But pure interest has drawn me to simply try a single game. One run. An hour later, I've gone through at least four ships as I crawl off to bed.

FTL: Faster Than Light is a bit hard to describe for me, and to those who asked me, I described it like this: You know how on shows like Star Trek they constantly say "ALL POWER TO THE SHIELDS!" and the like? Imagine someone made a game out of that.

And it would appear someone did. FTL: Faster Than Light isn't a game I would say is simple in concept. You're balancing power systems, while dealing with a crew, while dealing with an enemy ship. You need to watch your shields, the enemy's shields, your crew's health, your systems, your weapons, and that's just the beginning. Once you actually start to layer strategy onto there? It just sounds a bit...Cluttered.

In execution, the game plays nearly seamlessly. Your 1-4 keys are assigned to your weapons, keeping them at your fingers at all time, your crew is easy to control, a few clicks and their off to where they need to be, and with a press of the spacebar you can pause the game and give yourself time to think.

You start with a small crew, and a ship, you're given a map with a few stars you can travel to, and given the goal of trying to move through eight systems to get vital information to the Federation at the end of the eighth. In between you'll run across pirates, slavers, and slugs. I showed the game to a friend, who said it was a bit like The Oregan Trail, and in a way, he is right.

The game also has a few roguelike qualities. If you die, you start over, and every map is randomally generated. This keeps it feeling fresh, and honestly, I've yet to beat it. Perhaps that's just a bunch of bad luck, or perhaps it just means I need to get better.

A few of my complaints, though, are that there's very little control of what's going to happen to you. This leaves a sense of exploration, but there were so many times that I went through half the game without seeing a new crew member, or a decent weapon just floating in the black, that I almost felt a bit cheated when I reached the end of the game, still using the starting weapons. I could've invested in a few from one of the many stores you'll run across, but I almost always preferred leveling up my systems over this. That's just my preference.

There's also not much here, story wise, the random events are well written, but there just needs to be more of them, and I'm sure there's a chance of that in an update.

But the main game? I didn't really go into detail, but it's worth it. You'll be balancing your shields, mainly, around your weapons, and your engine which allows you to dodge a bit. Other systems include oxygen, which allows you to breath, and your medbay, where you'll be healing your crew members if they get close to biting it. If the idea of captaining a ship for a more personal experience in a dogfight, look this one up.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Guild Wars 2: The Little Things Edition

Yeah I've been writing about Guild Wars 2 a lot. Yeah it's not really in a very positive light. Yeah this is likely gonna be one of the final pieces on it before I give it a proper "review". Probably.

Tonight I figured I'd get down to the nitty gritty, and talk about some of the minor things that Guild Wars 2 doesn't seem to get, but on the more positive side, I'm also adding in the small things I think it does right.

The Not:

PvP gives no XP

sPvP(which I believe I discovered means "Structured PvP") gives you no experience. At all. Instead you level an independant "rank". This might be nice once you've hit the level cap, but on the way up to that point, this makes me feel like I'm wasting my time. WvW happily does give you exp, but we'll discuss WvW a bit further down the line.

Social Solutions

The first thing I tried upon booting up GW2 for the very first time, once I had actually managed to join the world I wanted, was try to see if there was a form of custom chat channels. There is not. Now I understand, if you want to keep in touch with your friends, perhaps they want you to join a guild. The word is of course in the title. But the option at the least would be nice.

Another problem I find is the Friend's List. My problem with this is that it almost seems to copy Blizzards BattleTag/Real ID system. Except it doesn't tell you this. When you add someone to your Friend's List, you will see that person no matter what character they're playing on. If you stick to only adding your friends, this shouldn't be a problem. If they want some privacy, they can list themselves as "invisible" and you won't see them pop up, which is very nice, and a feature I'd like to see in other games. But this is a double edged sword. Someone can also add you to their list, without you ever knowing(in my experience), and see you at all times. Do you see where I'm going with this? I see this as partially an invasion of privacy. It's not likely to be a big problem, but it could be a problem none the less, thus, I'm not a fan of it.

Cruel Crafting

Crafting at first seemed like an excellent way to level, or grab a few levels here or there. But if you want to actually do a lot of it? Prepare to go through a lot of picks, axes, and scicles. You will need a lot of crafting materials, from areas you've possibly outleveled, to continue leveling. And with cooking at least, you're going to need to "discover" many recipes to move on. Now some of these are actually so easy to figure out, you're likely to miss them because they're in a game. Bread and butter make...Toast! Of course! This is actually a bit fun at first until you realise that they're a bit specific with what you need to discover a few recipes. Also the amount of items you need to make dyes is out of this world. Why do I need 25 potatoes and 25 of something I can't recall off the top of my head to make a dye?

Dynamic Dilemma

The first time an NPC runs up to you, points to you in particular, and informs you of a settlement being attacked? Awesome. The second time, same dialogue, same direction? Less awesome. The fourth time? Not on your life.

The world at first feels very alive. People move and you don't get the feeling they're waiting for you to show up to go about their lives. Caravans move along their routes, towns are harassed by various hostile races. The list could go on. But then, you walk into the same area, and find the same event going on for the tenth time. Going through the second Charr zone, I can't tell you how many times I killed what I assume was the same giant that kept attacking the same town. Moving through zones helps a tad, but the feeling once lost, is a bit hard to get back.

The Got:

Alright, alright. Time to give Guild Wars 2 a break and talk about a few of the smaller things that I think it truely does well.

Crafting Correct

Now, I bashed crafting just a bit up on this page, but there are a few things that it does very well. The more of an item you craft, the less time it will take to make that item. This is very nice, and very helpful. I don't feel like I'll have time to play a game of Monopoly when I make large stacks of items.

Also, even though I complained about the discovery system, when you actually figure out something on your own, and haven't seen it in an article, or a guide, or something, it's actually really awesome. These times can just be so far and in between, for me at least, that it's sort of a let down when you don't find one for a long stretch.

Community Channels

While the lack of custom channles is a bit annoying, the channels you're provided with are actually amazingly pleasant. The people are pleasant and helpful, and it's a far cry from say, WoW's trade chat. Perhaps the community is just different, but whatever the reason, it's awesome to see.

Subtracting the Subscription

This is probably the reason Guild Wars 2 is really big. Because in my eyes, if you slapped a sub fee on this? Uh, no. I think the game was built with the fact that you don't have to worry about getting your bang for your $15 a month.

Really, perhaps that's the problem I'm having. I simply want to get my most out of it, but when I try to, I simply end up grinding away like I have before. I'm not saying that is my problem, but it's possible, I suppose.

I would mention something about WvW here, but I actually added some new thoughts on it/corrected myself back on my impressions part 2. I was wrong about part of it, I'm always willing to admit when I am. :)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Guild Wars 2 impressions part 2

After, according to Guild Wars 2, I've been playing for 39 hours over 8 days. That's quite a bit of time when you think about it, nearly two days. I've reached rank 2 in PvP, I've 100%ed two zones, and 17% of the world. And yet, I'm only level 31, going on 32.

Story aside, I feel like I've honestly been doing the same thing in every zone. You could make the argument that that's what happens in every MMO, but let me explain. In WoW, as you level up, you get gear, you get new abilities, etc. In Guild Wars 2, as you level, you get gear, and every now and then you save up enough for a new ability.

Where in a game like WoW, or SW:TOR, you have a set of skills based on your class that you'll earn as you level, Guild Wars 2 gives you skills, based on your class, according to which weapon/weapons you have equipped. While this seems clever at first, you don't earn anything past the original skills for weapons, and it can become a bit bland to continue using the same ones over and over and over.

I did take the time to try the PvP. As for the, I believe it's called "sPvP", and I've yet to figure out why, it's fun, frantic, and fast paced. Your goal in the ones I've played in is to capture as many of the three points as you can, and hold them slowly increasing your team's score. You also get points for killing other players, and in some of the fighting grounds, killing the other team's "Lord".

For the most part, PvP seems really balanced. This is in part to the fact that once you enter the PvP area, you are boosted to level 80, and given an entire set of PvP gear, which makes the playing field much more even. Something that just feels weird, though, is the way teams are balanced. If multiple people leave one team, the teams will be balanced by shifting some players around. This is done quite often in other multiplayer, but it still feels odd, and it's not pleasant to go from the winning team to the losing team.

As for the World versus World...It felt very zergish. While there is some skill to it, I'm sure, it seemed that the larger mob of people generally won the day. I didn't do much in it, so it's really hard to talk about it, but gear aside, any bonuses given by it are really only good for WvW.(AN EDIT HAS APPEARED! Here it is: As it would appear, I was wrong in this regard, as it would appear the bonuses given by WvW actually do apply to everyone, which is honestly a nice touch. I will keep the rest of this how it was before, instead of redoing this entire section, as I find that would break flow) Which really isn't something to criticize. In a game like WoW, you raid to earn gear to raid more. That's how it works.

And on the story front, things seemed to have taken a turn for the generic. For awhile the voice acting was actually really good, and the Charr voices, especially my character, seemed to deliver well enough, but then, once I hit a big choice where SPOILERS! you're supposed to choose between three factions to join for the rest of your leveling experience, things got much worse. Every Norn's voice actor seems intent on giving a horrible preformance, humans are hit and miss, and Asura and Sylvari are just bland. Charr seem to be the most consistant, and even their voices can be poor, or just plain flat.

The cutscenes are bland as well, two characters stand staring at each other while they speak and fling their arms around. When a different character starts speaking, one of the two vanish to be replaced by the new speaker. It's very....Dull. The story itself was actually getting to be very interesting, but now after  I picked my organization, it's not moving very quickly.

Something that I've constantly been thinking about, is that if you took out the item shop, and the free to play model, and shoved in a subscription fee, would people still be going gaga over this? I honestly don't think so. Honestly there's been very few times that the game has shown its F2P teeth, but when it did, I grew very annoyed.

For instance you start out with five slots to put bags in. Your sixth slot is locked until you pay for it, for about $5 in gems, or about a gold of in-game currency. If I had never spent a piece of money, by this point I've probably earned about a gold. Income has increased, but of course with that spending increases slightly, and leveling my cooking takes a bunch of that. My second time seeing it, was when I tried to buy more space for my bank.

You start out with 30 slots for your bank. That's honestly a decent amount, until you realise that your bank is account wide. That's not 30 slots for one character, that's 30 slots for all of them. To buy more space, you need to spend 600 of the game's premium currency, or about $7.50 in real money, and considering you can't buy them in that amount, you'll end up having to buy the $10 pack of 800 gems. Or you can spend about 3 gold for the gems.

In the end, is Guild Wars 2 still fun? Yes. I would say I've gotten my $60 worth. But it is not without its flaws that I've not seen anyone mention, so perhaps I'm the only one that sees them? Or perhaps the only one who really cares.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Guild Wars 2 actual gameplay impressions

Alright, it took me an entire night to get the thing installed. I actually bought a CD copy so that I would need to avoid a long download(my internet can handle a good, even latency just fine, but downloads? Computer says: "NOT ON YOUR LIFE!"), and once it's all installed? 60,000 files that need to be downloaded.

So the next morning, I boot up the game when it's finally done, and try to join the server that the people I know are playing on. Here's the problem. It's "full".

Forgive me, but if say, a WoW server is full, you can still play on it. Later in the day I checked and it wasn't full, so I transferred from the server I joined instead right away, but I still don't understand exactly why I couldn't just roll on it in the first place. Especially with these 'overflow' servers that they have in place.

Moving onto the actual game, I rolled a Charr Guardian. Character creation is nice, there's many options open to you, more than I've seen in other MMOs. The first thing I'm greeted with is a nicely animated opening cinematic, with some half way decent voice acting. The voice acting after this? Not so much. It's not so bad in the Charr area, but I rolled a Norn just to see a different starting area, and my God is it bad. And that's really a disappointment considering the story can at times be actually interesting, when it's not being blatantly predictable.

The gameplay itself isn't too different from your usual MMO, at least to me. It's nice, and fluid, and the ability to roll around is actually pretty cool. The main thing that sets GW2 apart from the crowd, it would seem, is the way it handles questing, and its PvP.

Questing is done mainly through what I believe are called "Renown Hearts". I personally call them either "Area Quests", or "Meta-quests". You walk into an area, instead of talking to someone, being given a quest, doing it, and turning it in, you walk into an area, are given a few objectives on the fly, and can do as many of them to fill up a progress bar for that heart. Once you've filled the bar, the NPC that was giving it to you turns into a Karma Vendor, which sells generally one reward that's useful to your class. Karma is earned through one of the game's other main selling points, Dynamic Events.

These events occur at random, throughout the world. They could be as simple as escorting an NPC, to as big as saving an entire town. How you do in these events could change the face of the world. Temporarily. Generally by the time you'll come back by, the status quo will have been returned. These make the world feel much more alive compared to other MMOs. That is, until you've seen the same event occur multiple times, thus destroying the illusion.

Arenanet seems to have tried to eliminate grinding by giving you experience for just about everything you do, be that crafting, exploring, doing Hearts, or Events. Except here's the problem, in my experience, just to reach your next level, you're going to need to do all of those things. Not just one, unless you want to take much, much longer to level, but all of them. I was a few levels behind my Personal Story, quests given to progress your own storyline through the game, when I realised I hadn't even touched crafting yet. Out of Hearts, and with no Events going on nearby, I decided to check this portion out. For the most part, it seems like you'll actually get worthwhile gear out of this, as to how long said gear will last you? In my case, not too long, as once I'd passed by story quest and moved to a new area, I found a vendor selling a shield which out did the one I had just produced.

A few problems I've had with the game is that a few quests are bugged, which they're so few and far between that it was never a major problem. Income seems to be fairly tight, also. By level 16, the most money I've yet to see is about 16 silver. I'm not saying that money should just be handed to us, but your income is a simple trickle, and it's going to be far lower if you want to actually level those professions. By the time I'd hit 10, I needed to buy a book to be able to use the skill points I was building up. Said book cost me 10 of my then 16 silver. I felt crushed, and broke.

There are a few problems that I'm actually foreseeing. I can't judge if they exist or not yet, but here they are.

Endgame. As far as I can tell, it would appear that the large endgame that you're working towards is the World versus World PvP. But here's the thing: You can actually queue to play this very early on. It's not really endgame content when you can actually do it for a majority of the game. In PvP you're power leveled to 80, the current cap, as to be on even footing with your opponents. And that's great! It makes it more based on skill than gear, and I'm all for that. From what I've heard, there's only six of the game's PvE dungeons at the moment, and apparently they're more for cosmetic upgrades, rather than actual better gear. I suppose you could argue that you'll have all of the world to go through, and all the zones to 100%, but honestly, I'm not sure I'd want to. I could see that getting very grindy, very quickly.

My second problem, is the sense of progression. I've been playing for nearly three days, not all day, I will admit, but three days of probably at least four hours of play each, and I've just hit 16. In my opinion, that's just slow. I've not even left the first zone, which is intended for 1-15 level characters. It just seems to take forever to get anything done. Your character moves so slowly, it's almost like they're tredding through mud. It takes a bit of time to get Hearts done, your story missions have a tendancy to drag on, it's just annoying at times.

Yet for some reason, I keep going. Don't get me wrong, Guild Wars 2 is a good, fun, game. It was a bit overhyped, and honestly I don't think it's much different when compared to other MMOs, but it's still a nice romp through a very pretty, if slightly generic, fantasy world.