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Temporarily on Assignment in Telara
Emily, lest I commit the crime of realm disparity, what realm do you dwell within amongst the rifts?

I happened to start a character, for experimentation purposes, on Wolfsbane, the highest population PvE server listed.  His name is Gildan and he is a defiant fauxfox dude.  He is level 3 so I will gladly abandon his plight for another character, unless your character is of sufficiently high enough level to render that option pointedly moot.

Also, do you know how long the ally key gives me to play?  I did not look hard for the answer, but it was not handed to me on a plate by the game, either, so I do not yet know.

I made a mage and went with the stormcaller and elementalist souls during the starter quests.

The game, so far, is a flagrant homage to all that is WoWcraft.  Because of that, learning the controls is unnecessary, but the overfamiliarity of the interface also reduces the immediate sense of wonder.  Another wonder reducer is the fact that I haven't switched from the "low end rendering" to the high end yet.  I was playing before I had to study at the library and I wanted to see how smooth the performance could be with the low end renderer, which was very smooth.  It still looks more intricate than WoW, though.  I definitely like the character models the most of all the art in the game I have so far experienced, both player character and NPC are pretty impressive and differentiated from one another.

The one part of the game that did not impress me, though I blame my aforementioned graphics timidity, were the spell effects.  I know it's early in the game and I don't expect the most impressive looking spells immediately, but at my current graphic settings they looked pretty tame.  I am going to experiment with the high end rendering when I play later today.  If I play later today.  I have a lot to study and we have a book club meeting tonight.

All in all, though, I was very impressed with the apparent polish and even love the developers put into the game, even if one of the thoughts that went through my head pertained to their marketing slogan being ironically incorrect.  I thought, often, that it was more of a mantra that needed to be repeated in your head so that you weren't lulled into thinking that, indeed, you WERE still in Azeroth.

Still, I think on a technical level the game exceed's WoW's everything, from character art, so far, to UI.  Pretty slick looking game and, as you said before, Emily, the engine does a great job and runs the game very smoothly, especially as compared to LOTRO.

That's my "30 minutes of playtime" review, so far.  I started downloading it last night and activated it today in anticipation of playing it after my precalculus final, to celebrate.  So I will definitely be playing it more.  Unless I only have 48 hours or something... ugh.

Oh, also, I am intrigued by the defiant/guardian conflict in regards to Regulus, the cool looking bad guy dude.  That's my current story review.  The story seems interesting at least.  I also like the defiant side starting in the future.  I haven't traveled to the past yet, but they have spilled the beans on that secret already in the game.  So the starting zone storyline is cool, too.  I'm excited to see old Telara as opposed to "Condensed Despair" Telara.

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MissDoomCookie? That either gave them +10 or -10 points in my opinion. Not sure. I finished studying at the library, so after the book club tonight I think I WILL play the game.

But, I am, myself, more interested in LOTRO, probably because it is free and I see myself continuing to build Blondo into a noteworthy hero.

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