And I was hooked.
The introduction to the actual game was great: having a few cut scenes really made the beginning interesting. The UI is a spitting image of that from EQ2, so I'm bound to describe it EQ2 Lite.
Ok, granted, the character graphics are awful, the toons are downright ugly, but then again, you don't have to look at your avatar. What really pleased me was the ability to colour the gear the way you want to.
Me being the sucker for content, surroundings and lore, the game delivered the weird sense of wonder. Many times over during the initial session of few hours, when I levelled my first warrior to level 5 I experienced the 'Whoa!' and 'WTF?!'-moments. The initial area is generally an introduction area, and the tutorial works extremely well except for the combat. Which in turn is a gem on its own.
My honest opinion is that this gem of game is being neglected for no real reason. The comments I saw ingame from people who came to test it -originating mainly from WoW- was that it was too complex and too different from what they had gotten used to. For me that was exactly the point which made the game so compelling and intriguing: you learned new things on every combat, every quest and every encounter. Your range of choices broadened while your character evolved instead of min-maxing like in WoW: your gear really doesn't matter, but the way you use your skills. All the weapons you start with -with any of the three initial classes- deal the same basic damage: the skills and their combinations in combat do the rest.
If I had to choose one thing from the game to the ultimate MMO, I'd choose the PeP system: Personal Experience Points. The basic idea is that you gain both generic experience -Fame- and PeP from each combat you win. They both have their own gauge and own levels. But if you happen to die, PeP is reset, and you lose all the benefits the PeP levels grant you. So you learn to flee from combat very early on, if you really want to keep your speed and damage buffs on!
And this incited the idea of real Achievements in WoW: gain level 20, 40, 60, 80 without dying one single time. Why not? Gain level 80 without dying in the selected raid dungeons. And so on.
Then again, WoW is the watered down MMO for the people looking for few hours a week entertainment with appropriate reset button at the end of the session. Much like TV series nowadays: continuity from reset to reset and the past has very little influence to the present.
People are lazy, gamers even more so. The Chronicles of Spellborn is too strange, difficult and different for the current WoW addict. Sadly so, because it's a full package for the one who wants to change the pace.
Besides, the world looks great even at the low end 'puter.