When I am not spending time in Mabinogi (making millions from simple mining), I sometimes re-visit games that I had not played in a while. I took about a month and a half break from Vanguard shortly after Rikoo died, played around with my Goblin Monk (she is a BLAST to play) and then ventured off into other game-worlds.
I have become addicted to many, many games, one of my favorites being Mabinogi (best skill based system ever...seriously!) but I kept thinking about my time in Telon. Also, I kept thinking about Rikoo and how fun it was to play him. Also, I never went all the way through the newbie trial, the Isle of the Dawn. I re-subbed quickly, a month and a half was too long!
Since I had to get rid of a ton of stuff on my old PC (VG being one of the HUGE programs that had to go) I had to get the trial and download the rest of the game again, all 18 gigs. Turns out the trial downloads really, really easily and the entire thing took about 5 hours. Luckily, as soon as I deleted Rikoo before, I had made an alt with his full name JUST IN CASE.
And I am so so glad I have returned Rikoo. Normally, playing through the same lower levels (that you have re-visited a few times) is boring as all get-out, but this was literally like returning a good friend to life! Also, I had only gone through a few levels of the island, so I was excited to see areas I hadn't before!
The island is worth the trial, period. If you have not tried it, go get it NOW. It takes maybe an hour to download, and soon you will be in game fighting hobgoblins and following a really good story. Compared to the "old" starting areas, the Isle of Dawn feels much busier, being that all races are starting out together in one place. In the older areas, you felt slightly alone, but it felt much more grand, and felt like you were playing at a slower pace.
So, if you want a slightly more immersive experience, one that feels darker, more epic...go for the old starting areas. Be aware that you can only go to the old areas once the full game is installed, so at very least go back later and see the older areas. Don't listen to any players that tell you that the items you get from the Isle make the Isle the only choice. At later levels the items mean hardly a difference, if any. I have talked to at least 20 players that have told me "meh" when concerning the whole matter.
The Isle feels faster, but take your time and read the story and you will truly facing an adventure.
Some might be able to burn through the Isle's content within a day or two, but slow down..enjoy yourself. Practice and explore. Talk to other players, make friends. The isle seems like it tells you when you are ready to go, but take it at your pace. I have been enjoying it just like I did when I first played VG, which is to say that I am having a very, very good time. I can't wait until the new Rikoo sees Khal for the first time (with his new eyes.) The game truly feels different, smoother, tighter.
Also, have fun with the appearance slot. As you can see in these screenshots, it looks like I am not wearing any gloves, but I am. I can have the same minimal look for the rest of my time as a player.
Me and Leala recently discussed which I liked better: the Isle or the old starting areas. I would have to say that they are just two completely different experiences. The Isle does, however, feel more like a "modern" mmo, a little more linear, a little less epic. Still, they are both a blast, and both deserve a look at.
On a side-note, I suddenly realized today that my ranger can now shoot at enemies down to arms length (I rarely read patch notes)! I had talked on the show about how much I loved this old "bug" from before, allowing me to use ranged most of the time without having to switch to melee. Unfortunately, they removed the old ranged reduction, and that actually made my game less fun.
Now, it's back all official-like. I can shoot at a mob and continue to shoot it until it gets as close as melee range..and then I can shoot it some more. I LOVE that. In real life, if I had a bow and arrow, you would be pretty dead if I shot you from 30 feet away or from 3 feet away. A sharp stick ramming into you kills you dead, from whatever range.
Supposedly there are some that are unhappy with the change because it nerfs those that preferred the RANGE in ranger. I'll let them deal with that, and just hope that they don't change it back. If Legolas could stab things in the eyeballs with an arrow from 2 feet away, so can my half fox/half human.