I spent the entire playtime I had available this weekend on one toon, my Asuran Engineer! I felt the initial start land for the Asuran was, at a glance, a little disorganized but once I got my lay of the land, I changed my mind. I spent 85% of the time question and doing my personal story. The other time was spent playing with the crafting system.
As far as questing goes, I absolutely love the mostly open way that you don't need to find quests. You explore the land finding vistas (another really nice extra) and looking for open/public quests to do. I like that it levels you down to the area you're in such that if you've missed some obvious questing exp, you'll still receive full value for doing it later on because of the de-level.
Crafting so far is much better than I've played in other games. I always disliked that the effort you put into crafting can only be measured in gold return but since you earn so much exp for crafting, it's well worth it. I took up leatherworking and cooking. Cooking seems to be the most expensive (and they tell you as much) but also probably the best way to make cash. You can craft dyes from cooking, which I think is awesome.
Jumping back to the personal story - I really like this feature. I was afraid that it would be too cookie-cutter or unimportant. However the exp you gain as you progress is very good. It's rewarding and I feel like my choices matter when I choose option A over B to advance the story.
My one complaint is about a very specific area (the thermal-something-or-other) where there's a giant fire elemental on the loose inside and you need to deal with it. First, this event scaled well above what I thought was challenging into "This is fricken stupid" hard. Basically there's an invisible attack that knocks you down, and the elementals are spawning AoE fire under you. Not a single person could withstand being hit. A hit was almost guaranteed death. A knockdown always was. I must have died 20 times trying to kill it. The scaling was bad here because there were some lowbies who didn't belong here (It's rated 15-16 I believe) so they were increasing the difficulty via event scaling without bringing anything to the fight. Annoying. Next, those elementals dropping the AoE that nukes anything increase in number and seemed to respawn instantly and forever. The only reason we beat the thing is because we just kept running back and dogpiling on the boss. After about 45 minutes of this, it died. I received Bronze reward for my effort? Oh f*** you.
Overall I can't wait to leave work and play tonight
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