**Beta** - I had first seen something about this game at PAX Prime last year. It sounded kinda interesting. Although I had invites to the closed betas along the way, I hadn't had the time to sit down with the game until the open beta this weekend. The game is certainly intriguing. WoW killer? Probably not. Contender? Possibly. *Character Creation* You begin, of course, with the character creation. First, you choose your faction. After choosing your faction, you next choose your base class. On the side of There are the four base classes most people are familiar with: Warrior, Cleric, Mage, and Rogue. From there you customize your character's appearance. The options for customizing your face and hair kind of reminded me of Rock Band. The different faces had names to them, for example, there were "cute" and "oval" (I was making females, of course). The colors for eyes and hair were done in a palette format, which does allow for a wider variety. Overall, I was pleased with the character creation. I wasn't wowed by it, but I wasn't really disappointed either. *Factions and Races* Much like WoW, this isn't so much a good vs. evil, but both sides view the other as the bad guys. While it isn't good vs. evil, one side is definitely more a lighter side, and the other definitely darker. You can see this much in the characters themselves. On the side of the Guardians (the light side) the races are Dwarf, High Elf, and Mathosian (human). On the side of the Defiant, the races are Bahmi (humans), Eth (barbarians) and Kelari (dark elves). *Class System* We'll use Clerics as an example since that's mostly what I played around with. Clerics are the healers of RPGs. But in this game, my cleric may be completely different from your cleric. While I may choose a cleric off the bat, what kind of cleric I become is molded along the way, as I choose my souls that I am attuned to. As a cleric, I have the option to become attuned to the souls of the following subclasses: Cabalist, Druid, Inquisitor, Justicar, Purifier, Sentinel, Shaman, Warden (I may be forgetting one or two). Each soul, or subclass, has its own soul tree, or talent tree, and its own spells available to that soul. By the time I was done with open beta (and I didn't get to spend much time with it) I had acquired the souls of the Justicar, Purifier, and Sentinel. I would be the ultimate healer and smiter. At least that was the plan. *User Interface* The initial UI will remind users very much of the base WoW UI, though the initial scale seems a little too large. Something of note, is that this game allows for more UI customization without the use of a MOD than WoW ever has. Its UI customization is much more like that of Warhammers, where you enter a mode that allows you to play with each element of the UI, even ones you may not see often. You can move them, resize them, do whatever you like. You may then save that profile and import it to other characters if you like. *Starting the game* The game immediately plops you into what feels like the middle of a war. And ultimately, it is. It's a war against these rifts that have opened up and allowed undead and demons and the like to enter the world. Both factions are trying to put an end to this. Of course, you'll get "kill x quests" and "retrieve x quests." And you can skip through reading everything until you get to your first rift. This section played very much like a Public Quest from Warhammer, although when I went through no one else was doing it at the same time. But if that is the case, if they have taken, and improved upon public quests in some way, that would be a boon to this game. Other wise, from my limited amount of time, the game feels very much like most other MMOs that have come out in the last 6 or 7 years. That's both a good thing and a bad thing. The class system may be what sets this game apart. But in all likelihood, like other games, this one will retain a small following. I may end up picking it up at some point for something to mess with. We'll see. One of the biggest problems is that Trion doesn't have the advertising power to make this game widely-known. They'll have to rely on word of mouth.