This first area seems like its totally insane for pvp.
Probably because everyone is condensed into the same place wanting to run the same area. I would play it offline for now anyway to get the "authentic" feel. It is the only way to avoid messages telling you where everything is etc etc.
It doesn't do a good job of sending you to an area around your level. I've been sent into a level 8 area as a level 3 and a level 2 area as a level 8. There is no way of previewing what you're going to get before you accept the mission.
Not exactly true. The icon displayed at the beacon when you use your ghost does in fact tell you what kind of mission it is going to be. I was going to update this on the Destiny page with pics later but... The triangle thing means it is a gathering mission where you have to kill stuff in the area of where the beacon is to get the items. The ghost looking icon means it is a scanning mission where you just have to run somewhere and scan something, you don't have to kill anything on these missions. The icon that looks like a compass is an explore mission where you have to go somewhere and stand at a fixed point sort of like in pvp control until you have "surveyed" it enough, again you don't technically have to kill anything. The best missions to do are the ones that look like circles with stars inside them, they are kill missions where you are being sent to kill a specific target. They give the most rep, reward some glimmer, and give materials like spinmetal.
There is one other type too where you are just needed to kill XYZ amount of dudes in a given area, but these are stupidly rare for some reason and I am not sure what their icon looks like. It might be the star one too but if it is the reward is much lower than when it is a specific target.
I think the main question is "what movement ability do you like best?". I know that sounds silly but this makes the biggest difference to me. Like @tennmuerti said, most of the time you are firing the same guns anyway. The only thing they all three do all the time other than fire guns is move around. I really like the Hunter because it is a straight up classic feel character. No weird jetpack, no funky glide mechanics, you just double jump.
To further my point about Hunter being more a "classic" type character the base grenade is just a grenade, not an aoe mine, not a shock bomb that does low damage but stuns. Hunter's base super is just a gun that does a crap ton of damage, not a charge attack or a thrown bomb. The Hunter is just a more classic FPS character that handles more similarly (at least at first) to the stuff you have played before and I like that familiarity.
Come to think of it, I'm genuinely confused by the skill system. At the end of a skill tree, there's the option to "Lock in" your skill. When I got to level 8 in the Beta, I never really had to pick one skill over another. I would level up and a skill would be ready for me to use. That only did seem to be the case for the top row of skills. I actually never did unlock any of the lower row skills. Jeff mentioned they seemed to be tied to how often you use the parent skill, don't know if that's true. Are the lower tier skills when a choice has to be made? What are you locking when you max a subclass? Are you able to switch between subclasses once you've completed it? Or are you abandoning it once you switch? Is 20 levels per subclass? AAAH!! SO MANY QUESTIONS!!
1: Jeff is right, killing things with your grenade will cause grenade abilities to level faster for example.
2: As you unlock skills each line represents a "choice" with the top of the line sometimes being the ability itself. For example a Hunter gets Double Jump, but one ability under there gives you greater control during the jump so you can better aim them and have easier navigation when falling. Another ability lower just makes double jump a triple jump. You can activate the control skill to get better jump control, but if you do that you only get double jump. Activate triple jump and you can well... triple jump but you don't have the control ability anymore.
3: When you "lock" a subclass then you can no longer change your ability choices on that sub class. If you picked the triple jump above when you did it then you will never be able to change it again, that subclass is stuck with triple jump. However locking the subclass gives you bonuses to one, some, or all of your armor, regeneration, and speed stats when that subclass is in use. Weapons actually have the same locking mechanism and spec options your subclass does too, just you have to have like a blue or better weapon to see most of the stuff on a weapon.
4: Yes you can switch your subclass out as long as you meet the requirements for the other subclasses you may or may not have. You don't get stuck when you lock your active subclass and you can swap them whenever locked or not just like any other piece of gear.
5: Your level is just your character level, has nothing to do with your subclass. Max level in beta is 8, the retail game max will be 20.
I like the Ghost Monk the most. It takes a ton of getting used to but once you really learn the timing on his moves he hits like a truck with a good weapon, can stagger enemies easily, and has some really neat moves.
@lego_my_eggo: No they are definitely considering letting people keep their beta characters. They just haven't decided if they actually will allow it yet. I would think they would because what is the point in letting people get 20 epics from Iron Banner and cool rare class items if you are just going to turn around and take them away. Besides.... this isn't a real beta. It is a stress test. For all intents and purposes this is the final game we are playing now.
@fattony12000: They aren't ACTUALLY invincible, they just are far higher level than you (I think level 18).
Heh, me (level 8) and a level 6 went at that group for like 10 minutes and didn't even dent 'em! Supers and rockets and grenades and heavy weapons...nothing! Were they there in the alpha?
Yes. There are lots of locations to find mobs like this. You can find a Hive Ogre in a few places. There is one place you can go to that is a secret area and all that is there is a ghost you can revive and a hive that wields a sword who is level 20 and will one shot kill you if he gets in melee. This game has a shit ton of secret areas you could play for hours and never notice.
@andrewboza: If you do the time to find Maurice's tapes around the city and listen to them (I find it interesting these tapes are not actually something you find in normal missions) you discover he actually has a lot in common with Aiden himself. He was a former crook who got out of the life. He did not actually "want" to do what he did to Aiden. Ultimately he was forced to because his bosses threatened his wife and even then he still did not intend to kill the niece and was suffering from horrid levels of guilt over it. He is actually a pretty sympathetic character in the end.