I won't ever forget when I saw first the videos about TSW - they showed me exactly the set I was looking for in a MMO game.
I went for the free-trial, but before it expired I couldn't help in purchasing the game. The whole atmosphere, story and style caught my attention and that time i couldn't spent too much time on games - but i still did. heh
The graphics are incredible: there are tiny details everywhere. The water looks very realistic and if your graphic card is recent, you can see the world through directX11 tessellations and many other improvements.
In this game you won't pick any pre-made class, but instead you are free to design whatever you want. There's an ability wheel in which you can pick abilities according to the weapons you feel like wielding and tons of passives that are able to change the tides in a battle. But in this aspect, I could say that TSW has a harder learning curve than many high-fantasy games, which one will be used to the more the game is played. Although it will deliver a better satisfaction after the key points are finally learnt.
The story is in a mature level, in which some people may not feel comfortable with - as it deals with complex ideas and lore and not the commonplaced "save the princess from the dragon", "bring me X number of apples". There are many arcs not yet cleared, leaving a way for tons of story yet to be told.
The missions can be very hard on the encounter level or the complexity of puzzles - for the latter sometimes ancient laguanges and musical skill (and even morse code reading) are required. It takes a time to be used on how to search for clues, but the game brings an in-built webbrowser to help us in finding some information. And perhaps this is where the game shines the most, you can google many names and lore to find out how deep into our modern culture many facts are related in the game. So that many say this is a game for those with brains, in other words, it's not a pure hack'n'slash.
As of now the game is B2P (buy to play - you buy the "box" and can play virtually forever), there's NO PAY FOR WIN as the items in the shop are mainly cosmetics and talking about this, as it's set into our modern time you can wear loads of different clothes and outfits, having a very unique avatar - they keep releasing new clothes, some can be bought with PAX (the in-game currency) while others with FC points only in the website shop.
I recommend for the new players to look for a cabal (guild) right in the beginning in order to get some tips and even make new friends to group for missions. At first it seems people don't like to socialize, but as soon as you notice someone is doing the same quest you're doing, they will rarely decline an invite for a group. The thing is that you can find nice and willing people or just the opposite the same way it happens in every other game.
I read some people complaining about the graphics and I cannot understand it, the only possibility I see for it is that these people don't onw a recent graphic card, but then not only TSW but most of the new games will look very bad in order to be playable.
I've been in this game since the beginning (but after the beta) and so far there are loads of new things to do and to try, plus very soon the main story will be extended with new content. TSW is still new and their decision to turn the game into B2P/F2P is definitely wise. Loads of players are coming back, I've seen a huge number of people in starter areas (and asking things on the general chat).
The PvP can be very dramatic (last sunday we had a big fight against the factions in order to hold control over Fusang wells), but it still needs some tweaking - and FC has been paying close attention to user opinions, which means this "tweaking" will come very soon.
If the modern days misteries with guns and a bit of magic are what you're looking for, then TSW is definitely your game
| Freedom of classes/abilities
Modern days set
Use of deep and complex real-world lore
Very smart investigation missions
| PvP needs more development
Hard learning curve
Needs a high-end pc
Gear based (counts as level)
Complexity may drive away players used to hack'n'slash