After Tobold's review of Real Life (tm), I decided I had to check out this game that is apparently so popular. A glowing review from Tobold is a pretty solid recommendation in my book, so I've been attempting to log a lot of hours in this massive multiplayer game.
First off, you should be warned that it's not always easy to get a response from the developers. The forums are fool of trolls, and it can be very difficult to find people there who are genuinely kind and helpful. In fact, I think sometimes that the developers like to post as just normal players, instead of with an obvious descriptor next to their name. It can make it really confusing to get an honest answer, and it's not always easy to know whom to trust. I've been trying to just have faith that the developers know what they are doing with this game, and in general, I'm sure their plan for the big picture is a good one, there just seems to be a lot of tricky and difficult tasks before you get to the end-game. What is particularly fascinating about the end-game, is that no one knows exactly what it entails - but most of us assume, or at least hope, that it's a damn good reward.
A lot of people like to solo through this game, but I've found that the support of a good solid guild really makes everything a lot more pleasant, and certainly a hell of a lot more manageable, especially for raiding. The best strategy involves creating multiplayer networks for different tasks. For instance, I find that having one partner around can be helpful in managing day to day tasks and personal achievements. I utilize my guild for other, larger, tasks and achievements, and you need to have a full raid for some of the longer, bigger, tasks.
The quests have a lot of variation. Some are these epic chains that seem to never end, with lots of different quest givers along the way. Many of these chains differ based on the stats, abilities, and gear your character starts with from the beginning, but one thing I particularly like is that you can usually mold the chains to whatever rewards you prefer if you are willing to put in enough time and energy. Some chains reward more gold, others more personal achievments. Personally, I prefer the quests for achievements, but to be fair, I was pretty lucky with the random roll with which my toon started.
In addition to these quest chains, there is this really interesting feature based on the amount of gear you have. The more gear you have, the more daily quests you seem to accrue in order to keep that gear. However, unlike in WoW, these are not the same quest every day. In fact, if you skip one particular daily for multiple days, then when you finally get back to doing it, you have to do a lot more to complete the quest and get the same rewards as you would in one normal daily. This is particularly noticeable in quests that are related to player housing. Also, don't expect your guildmates to help you much with your dailies. Even if you team up with one player to go through the mid to end level content, you might find that somehow you get stuck doing their dailies as well as your own.
Your character functions on a limited resource capacity. The more resources you consume, the more you seem to steadily need. Over time, these resources that affect your stats (such as spirit, stamina, and strength in particular) really seem to wane, and you have to recharge. Intellect actually builds over time, unless you participate in some optional quest chains that provide short term buffs, and then give you a massive debuff that lowers all your stats for a significant amount of time. Agility, however, seems to steadily decrease throughout the game span.
Since I know how so many of you really adore raiding, I'll give you some of my perspective on this aspect of the game. I'm currently working on a short duration, but taxing raid. The end-game boss is a very strange internet dragon, who actually looks, strangely enough, like a short bald man who never smiles. We haven't yet managed to take down this boss, and I think it's because I've been in some pretty messy pugs. However, I also have this suspicion that this dragon isn't really the ultimate boss, and that there are others pulling the strings behind him. It's actually a pretty clever design, if you think about it. We keep throwing all our abilites at this boss, wearing ourselves thin, but he seems immune to damage. I'm beginning to wonder if he is simply Mind Controlled, and is being used as some kind of shield for other, weaker but nastier bosses behind him.
Anyway, I think I'd better get back to the game, as I have another raid attempt here shortly. I'll keep you guys posted when I finally defeat this boss, as I'm sure it will happen sometime in the next week or two. In the meantime, you should really check out this game. It has the potential to be especially rewarding, even though you may experience a lot of down time where you don't seem to be getting anywhere. There's a lot of serendipity in this game, and random things that other players do in the gaming universe can create lots of new questing and achievement opportunities for you, so even if you want to take a break from it sometimes, you really should check back in every day to see if any new opportunities arise.