Well, it just ended a few minutes ago, at noon PST, and I was there from the moment the servers opened on Friday (2, this time) until the moment they kicked us off (in midair, I will have you know!). With only 12 or so total hours of sleep for the weekend, I am a little groggy but otherwise still very excited about this game.
On the first weekend I barely got my sole Elyos Sorcerer to level 16. This time I took one Asmodian of each of the four archetypes all the way to 10 (the cap for weekend #2).
The High Points
Quite a few, actually. The game is really quite gorgeous, and the engine and UI are very polished (which you would expect for a game that has already been out awhile in non-English versions). I often gauge the visual polish by "oh, wow!" moments, and I had quite a few in this game.
The combat system is simpler than some games, and yet the chain system allows for the development of personal style. This is also helped by the Manastone system, which allows you to customize your stats.
The Low Points
Very few, and fairly minor. These are, really, nits I am picking here, but indulge me.
You cannot swim, and if you get in water that is over your head, you will begin drowning instantly. In a game where you can fly, and even sit on chairs, sometimes, or on a summoned cloud, this seems a bit odd. Apparently Daeva are never taught how to swim, or even how to hold their breath.
If the artwork is a bit too... eastern for western eyes, it is not so much a flaw as a difference that you can choose to embrace and experience, or not.
Although we can find out our location with the /loc command, this xyz coordinate is not matched to a waypoint system, but in many places the quest text and in-game dictionary will give you a "Locate" button which will mark it on the map with a purple "X". Text in the chat window seems to indicate that the dictionary is using a waypoint system to pass the mark to the map system, but we do not, yet, have access to that command.
There are still a few translation issues, and examples of "Engrish", like the "Chain Armor of Trouble-solving Broker", but for the most part the translation team did a very good job.
There is no "encounter lock", which is leading to rampant kill-stealing. Also, because the beta weekends are so focused, everyone is in the same area and the monster population is not respawning fast enough for everyone trying to finish the "Kill 10 Rats" quests. For this reason, some quests that should have been quick and easy took forever to complete.
And lastly, my only real, big, negative point. The quest lines, powered by the Racial Campaign series, is very linear with little room for differences in the experience, and so virtually every character you run through the same zone will do the same, exact, quests over and over. Since there are only two playable races, this gets old real fast. I could wish that the experience would be at least slightly different as a Mage than as, say, a Scout. That is the reason I ran all four archetypes this weekend, to see if there were any differences, and there are not. The only uncertainty is a few item-triggered quests, where you simply do not know when, or if, you are going to get the drop to start them. Giver their rarity I would like to see some really sweet rewards from them, but most were just coin and XP.
I have never been real big on the end-game. I want to enjoy the journey.
All in all I am still very impressed with this game, considering we have not seen anything above level 20 so far, and I look forward to playing it in the additional Beta weekends to come, and when it goes live in September.
Edited, May 9th 2014 1:11am by Calthine Unlock Thread