This has proven to be an interesting game. There are no classes, or rather you are what you wear. In a system kinda like a merge between Guild Wars 2 and Secret World, whatever clothing and weapons you equip determine what abilities you can chose from. Each weapon has different spells and abilities that you can use – for instance a Novice Fire Staff give you the abilities: Fire Bolt, Ignite, Fire Bomb, and Pyroblast. You also get the passive abilities Burn and Energetic. You don’t have to be a mage to use this weapon either – you simply need to unlock the requirements, which are pretty basic for this particular item – you need to achieve the Novice Adventurer achievement and be a Trainee Fighter. Once you get one of these weapons and use it to kill MOBs, you can advance to the Journeyman Mage achievement and start using even stronger staves.
The main idea of “leveling” in this game appears to be that you need to use the items you want to get better at using. So, if you want to be skilled with a broadsword, you kinda have to use a broadsword to kill things. And not just rats and chickens, you need to kill things appropriate to the level you are trying to attain. To get to tier 4 you need to kill MOBs of tier 3 or higher with your tier 3 items. I think it’s a good idea – it keeps you moving along in the game and pushing you to see more of the world as you get better with your items.
A similar pattern emerges if you want to get into any crafting and gathering. You can gather the low level tiers with the tier 1 tools but to start gathering the things you need to craft higher tier items, you gotta have a tier 2 or 3 tool. And this keeps going till you get to “max level”. The thing is, you aren’t getting better at swordplay if you’re making swords, you gotta be killing things to get better at using a sword. No pet battles are gonna make you a top level wizard.
But I also think that’s part of the fun. You really have the choice to do almost anything in this game. You can raise the best horses or craft the finest crossbows in your town or you can gain fame by slaying dragons and healing friends through dungeons – however you want to play, there’s a path.
The game also looks like it can be a bit overwhelming. With no defined path, you have to make the decisions on where to go and what to do. There are very few quests in this game and they’re mostly completed at the start of character (from what I can tell) building so that you can get your basic tools, weapons, and a mount. After those initial quests, I can see people making a beeline for particular skills and hopefully they’ll like what they get when they arrive there. For me, I’m gonna take things a bit slower and perhaps be a bit more of a jack-of-all-trades. I enjoy the crafting and gathering but I also want to heal and do decent DPS.
One thing that I’ve heard helps new players a lot is to join a guild. With a guild you don’t have to try to do everything yourself. You can contribute material to your guild and someone who wants to be a crafter can make your sword or staff. Not only that, but since so much of the game is player driven, there’s bound to be some fun Guild vs Guild battles.
In any case, I started up a character last weekend and have been having some fun in the game. Sure, I haven’t gotten very far, but I tend to go much slower than many early adopters and I intend to explore this game to get my founder’s pack $$$ outta it.