First off, before I get into discussing my impressions or thoughts on the game, I wanted to ask that anyone who is getting 7 day passes tomorrow -- if you don't need them, feel free to send them to me (the codes or however this will work). I have a handful of people interested in the game, and I figured I'd give them some 7 day passes. I have 3, or 5, or however many the Conqueror's package came with -- but if anyone isn't using theirs, I'm sure I can find people to take them to try out the game. The passes should be arriving tomorrow, unless they get delayed. Now with all that being said, my impressions:
Quick info about the game: It is buy to play -- no subscription, you buy it, you play it. There are two purchase options, one that is $29 and one that is $49. There is NO premium subscription like in AA, there is however going to be a cash shop -- they say it will not be pay2win in this cash shop, we will see. The shop hasn't been implemented yet (which I feel is good, AA made sure they had their cash shop up and running right at the start).
So let me go ahead and say that despite the game looking as good as it does, it seems to be well written as I can run it on ultra on my home PC smoothly (maybe not once I get in a massive PvP fight or something) -- and my PC is due for a big upgrade this summer (Radeon HD7950, or something like that, 8gig of DDR3 RAM, I forget the speed, AMD Kaveri A10-7850K (3.7ghz quad core), and a Crucial SSD is what it is running currently). It also runs quite well on my work laptop, which is a mobile i7, 16gb ram, SSD, and an NVIDIA Quadro K1100M -- which is decent, but the Quadro is NOT made for gaming. I could also get it to partially run on my old Core 2 Duo 2.1ghz dual core, 4gb RAM, NVIDIA GT 130M craptastic old laptop, but I wouldn't have considered it to be playable -- on low settings it looked like crap, and technically worked, but I would not have been able to play a game like that. So if you're in doubt about if your machine can handle BDO, I'm sure myself or someone can let you try it out on your machine and see how it runs.
My first impressions out the gate were good, the game has a slight learning curve in terms on the normal stuff (adjusting to keys, learning combos, learning how to do the general stuff with your character), and a large learning curve in terms of crafting and all the other features -- there seems like there is A LOT you can do in this game besides go kill monsters.
Grinding appears to be the fastest way to level, but, you need to do the quests as they unlock additional space in your backpack, increase your energy maximum (this is use for a lot of things -- similar to labor in AA, but not nearly as important, and you can still play the game without energy -- it also respawns a lot faster and you don't use as much to do stuff, as you would have in AA), and also increases your combat pts exp, and contribution pts exp so you can gain more of those points. I won't go into detail explaining what all of that is, but in the long and short -- contribution pts are used to buy houses, assign workers to gather materials, etc. -- you invest them into things, and you can retract them later. You never "lose" contribution pts permanently, you just invest them in something -- then uninvest to get them back later.
The combat is quite fun, it can get a little bit repetitive if you pick a class that has repetitive combos (I'm playing Witch. It is a little repetitive, but still fun) -- I've been streaming most days -- www.twitch.tv/saeculasob -- for anything who wants to watch some combat.
Combat skills are pretty in-depth and fun, but I've only messed around a little bit with crafting. I usually spend the night auto-fishing, so my fishing is slowly getting up there.
One thing I'm not too fond of, but will probably be okay -- PvP is not activated on your account until you have a character hit lvl 45, after that, it is activated account wide so any character on your account is then PvP enabled. The game is technically FFA, so I guess that isn't so bad -- it lets ppl adjust and get spread out, rather than just having a blood bath at the starter area on release day.
Because I don't want to turn this into a massive report, and I'm at work and would like to get stuff done, I will throw in the stuff I know.
The game has housing, it is instanced -- housing has many different purposes -- IE crafting, storage, residence, lodging for workers. Housing is purchased with contribution points. There are boats, mounts, and pets. Pets and mounts level up, have skills -- there is mounted combat. There is NO fast travel system, you walk/ride/boat everywhere -- but there is an auto pathing system so you can tell yourself to go somewhere then AFK.
I might add more to this later, but, my first impressions are good, and I'd recommend the game -- either package is fine, for those skeptical -- grab the $29 package, or ask me for a 7 day pass. Hopefully we will start to see more of you in game starting tomorrow.