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SummaryA very sad, sad game...
The GoodThis game doesn't really have any good qualities that would distinguish it from other games. After the "combat update" the game plays like a bad clone of Everquest.
The BadEver since the combat "upgrade" the game has been turned from a unique, slightly unfinished gaming experience to a bug-ridden, clone-ripoff of better MMORPG's.
Gone is the skill based combat of the Star Wars Galaxies of old, now we have a "combat level". Having a higher combat level than someone else gives you gigantic damage bonuses, getting higher as the gap between the combat levels widen. Your armor, weapons and other equipment are now mostly just for show. You don't need that high powered rifle and heavy armor. All you need is the higher level.
The variety of skills and professions you can choose are completely out of balance. Before, you could choose to focus only on combat, only on crafting\entertaining or a mix of the two. Now, without combat skills, you can literally be killed instantly. The reason is that you don't get a higher combat level for being a Master Dancer or Weaponsmith. You can literally be walking along (with a combat level of 1) and then get killed in one shot by some thug or wild animal.
Even combat is skewed. Melee such as swordsman and martial arts are now just target practice for ranged professions, because they can move while shooting as quickly as a melee guy can move. This turns into just "shoot and run while he tries to run after you and get in range to hit you".
Even among the ranged professions, the combat is skewed. The 3 main ranged professions, carbines, rifles and pistols play almost identical. The only real difference seems to be the name and what weapons you can use.
It's not so bad for artisans now though. They can just as easily give up crafting and go to combat because artisans simply are nearly worthless. With equipment all being nerfed to about the same level, there's no point in making higher end weapons. Will you pay 80 percent more for a 1 percent damage bonus to a weapon?
The combat "upgrade" has also made a vast array of formerly expensive armor, weapons and resources almost worthless. The new certification system now makes it so that most players can't even use their armor or weapons, where before you could wear what you want and generally use the weapon you wanted. What mattered was your skill, not your combat level.
The game has also completely changed your health. Before, you had three health bars, mind, body and action. Having any of these three depleted would kill or knock you out. Now, action and mind are just costs for doing attacks. Only your body can actually take damage. This removes alot of the strategy from the game, and alot of the point from the ranged professions, who before specialized in either body, action or mind shots.
The game has also made combat boring and slow. You can't line up more than two attacks in advance, so every 5 seconds, you are clicking on the "attack" button again. No evaluation of the enemy or quick tactical analysis. No time for that. Keep clicking the same thing over and over.
The game is also significantly harder. Even expert players will find it difficult to kill multiple enemies, even those with a much lower combat level. Player combat level is capped at 80. NPC's however can be level 120 and beyond, making large portions of higher end content impossible to progress through, even with the 8 player group, the highest amount of players that can group together.
The combat upgrade not only failed to fix old bugs and balance the professions such as squad leader that needed to be balanced, but it brought a whole new host of bugs and imbalances to add on. Everything from the lair spawn bug (One minute, you are fighting two level 5 kreetles from a lair, the next minute, 2 level 30 kreetles spawn) to the decay bug, which destroyed several of my own items.