(There wasn't a forum spot for this, so I put it here.)
I just bought this game and have been trying it out. While its classified as an MMO, it doesn't feel like one. I have yet to see a single person talk. To be able to use the WoW equivalent of /1 channel or /yell, you need to buy a one time use megaphone. Its a neat idea to limit /yell spam, but it means nobody talks. You can use /say for free, but only if you are near the person, which you never are except in a town. I haven't even grouped with anyone yet because there really isn't a point to - you can control three characters yourself, which everybody does. So pretty much every one has a tank/dps/healer of some sort and don't need to group. Plus everything dies so quickly you wouldn't need 3 more characters.
Controlling three characters is tricky since its all real time combat. They will auto attack, and you can use stances to have the AI decide when to heal for example, but I find that if you want to manually do anything other than auto attack, by the time you find the hot key for it, the mob is dead. Its hard to keep track of three characters as well. I find that there is a lot going on at one time and either my wizard or scout (healer) are being hit and I'm not noticing it. You hardly ever fight one mob at a time, they're so closely packed together that I always seems to have 3 or 4 at least.
The graphics are good and the music is great; unique setting in the colonial era, so the clothing and buildings are all from that time. Makes it unique looking from other games which are typically elves, orcs, goblins, etc in a medieval setting. However, the character customization is very limited. You can only choose male/female and their clothing appearance (roughly 6-10 to choose from). And I haven't seen an option anywhere for inspecting other players.
The game most reminds me of Final Fantasy 8 for playstation, but with real time combat rather than turn based. It also reminds me of an FF game due to its seeming linearity even though in FF you can go where you want, the story will require you to go to point A at some point before you can continue on. While its an MMO and you can go where you want, when you look at the map, it shows you the recommended levels for that area, and there is only one 7-12 area, one 13-17 area, one 18-22 area etc. There aren't multiple options for where you can level. And they're all in a long loopy row, there isn't any traveling to a new continent or a high level area near the start that you have to return for.
Overall, considering the game was only $20 and the first month is free (its actually always free if you cap at level 20, the paid version caps at 100), I'm content with it. At this point, I doubt I would subscribe once the month is up but it will entertain me enough for 30 days to make it worth while. Then hopefully, Age of Conan gets good reviews and I might give that a shot this winter, or just stick with Madden 2008 until Assassin's Creed.