Sure. As far as how it compares to EQ, I think this game is a lot more fun to play (even in its alpha stage). Basically the game revolves around quests. Quests are intergral to the game, not just an add on bolted on. The level grind, at least to 30 (which is the current limit) is much easier. I have to admit, it was pretty rare that I was out camping mobs just to kill to make level. Mostly you simply do the quests, which are the major form of exps in the game, and this gives you some fairly cool items too. Also, you get to see what items you are going for in each quests before you do them…and in many cases you get a choice of items when you complete the quest.
The trade skills are also a pleasure to play. Again, its not a grind like in EQ or DaoC…its actually similar to the old UO tradeskills. For mining, you basically have a "find minerals’ key which will pop up an aproximate location on a mini-map of a resource (copper, tin, iron, silver, gold, etc in this case). When you get to a resource, you simply mine it (if you have a pick and mining skill…something you have to buy in the case of the pick, and something you have to train in at a mining trainer in the later). After you have the raw material, you can take it to a forge and turn it into bars which can be used in other tradeskills (like Engineering, Weapons Crafting, Armor Crafting, etc) or sell it to players with those skills. There are all kinds of trade skills from Fishing to Herbalism and Alchemy, to Enchanting. And they are a blast to play. The Engineering for example lets you make everything from shot for the guns (some of the classes can use old fashioned blunderbuss type muskets) to TnT and other explosives, to googles that allow you to do all kinds of stuff.
The game is really easy to play…there really isn’t a large learning curve, if you’ve played similar games before. The graphics are simply stunning. One of the coolest things is the transport between cities. Imagine flying over rugged mountains or valleys on top of a gryphon…in real time so that you can look down and see other players running about or fighting as you fly by. The cities, the terrain…its all just unreal. You can swim underwater and visit a ship wreck for instance.
Finally, one of the really cool things is that the user interface (UI) is completely customizable (if you are a programmer type). There are several stock UI’s currently available (I use the EverythingScript currently as I have no time or desire to program) which allow you to automate almost any feature in the game. The script I use lets me autoloot mobs, automatically search for herbs, autobuff my characters that have buffs, and integrate quests with other players in my party. Also when I refine ore (on my mining character) or make several potions (on my alchemist) it allows me to simply set the number of whatever I want to make and then makes them automatically, as opposed to me having to click say 20 times to refine 20 copper ore into 20 bars of copper or make 20 heal potions.
This is really just a thumbnail sketch of the game in its current state. Lets see, the current races are Orc, Human, Tauren (a large minataur type creature), Gnome, Dwarf, Night Elf, and Undead. The current classes are Paladin, Warrior, Shaman, Priest, Rogue, Mage and Warlock. All the races have some cool homelands (except the Gnome which shares with the Dwarf) and all are really cool looking. All the races are a blast to play…I’m anticipating the addition of the Hunter soon which also looks cool. In addition, as the Beta goes along they are going to add Realm vs Realm fighting between the Horde and the Alliance, I assume somewhat like DaoC.
If anyone has any other questions or comments let me know.