Realms Online (RO) is essentially a remake of Dark Age of Camelot ("DAOC") back in the days when DAOC was very very popular. RO replicates the look and feel of DAOC but drops all the crafting and focusses very much on the faction pvp aspect of the game. So RO is really for people who want an mmo with low system specifications and is very fast to get you into pretty intense human vs human team wars. Also, the combat/magic abilities are simple to understand and use. RO bases itself on giving simple combat abilities but precisely because they are simple, players can spend a lot of time dreaming up really interesting ways to use them to kill your enemy.
Now the spell and combat abilities are no way as indepth or as diverse and of long duration as say, Neverwinter Nights or other rpgers, but they are effective. So if you as a barb use your high speed and damage boost abilities, you will kill many opponents in 2-3 blows (especially weaker classes like mages and archers). A warlock can do masive damage at range with magic. A conjurer can do really good heals. So, each class has very effective abilities.
That largely sums up the game because it really is about just going out there and enjoying hunting and killing other players in fairly large wars. On high population servers, I think the game could easily go 30vs30vs30 on one screen or even more, simply because the gfx are kept low. I However, the gfx themselves remain very pleasing and gentle on the eye and senses. some other mmos i have played are too "glossy". While every scene is beautiful in other mmos, the screen is too busy for my eyes and I cannto enjoy the game as fully as RO. RO's environment is also full of ambient sound effects (best quiet spooky forest of any mmo I have been in) and the lighting changes subtly for almost every shade of weather. Probably the best mmo i have seen capture these tones of colours of sunlight and weather. The personality of the battlefield changes tremendouesly as the weather and environment changes.
For beginner players, I would recommend the Raven or Horus International servers. Both are english dominant servers. Raven is good because it has GMs on 24/7 and tif you speak in the realm chat (not "General" which is actually only local chat) you will be answered. Also Raven hosts XP boost events frequently so you should get to lvl25+ pretty fast. Above lvl25 you can participate in pvp though 30+ is much more effective. Most levelling below lvl 20 is done by quests but you can kill monsters as well.
In terms of pvp, like DAOC, RO does not allow you to communicate verbally with any players or NPCs of opposing realms. At first I found this puzzlling but I believe the rationale is to cut down on verbal griefing by players. It does seem to help keep emotions in check.
NGD the developer has decided to delegate out the right to runs servers largely on a language region specific basis. So there is actually a Frnech server (Nemon) and a German server, a spanish server (the original named Ra) and then two international servers named Raven (run by Gamesamba) and Horus.
In conclusion, I find RO an enjoyable and simple mmo to get into with the strong propsect of very fun and fast pvp which can get very big and strategic. I find myself regularly in substantive team pvp matches and feel able to enjoy adopting many roles such as assassin, poowerful mage, annoying healer, rampaging barb and solid knight. I recommend the game to all who want to enjoy pvp and who is bored of the old cookie cutter mmos where 90% of content is made by the developers. In RO, 90% of the content is made by players. Here's hoping to see you in game :)
| Fast and easy to get into Pvp and Team PvP
Simple classes well able to carry out their roles
Content is mainly made up by player interactions
Very big map with lots of nooks and crannies
Simple & atmospheric graphics and environment
| Not really for role players though it can be done
Not for people who want the developers to provide the content
Not for traditional mmo players
Not for those who just want to gawk at beautiful gfx
Not for those who want their games to fill 1 or more DVDs