Second: After roughly a kazillion phone calls, I finally got a copy of Wings today! Yay! So many bad bad bad experiences with Gamestop, but the last (and most important) one was good! The manager of one store (not even the one I reserved at) took down my phone number and said she'd call me if they had a copy. UPS arrived, she counted out the reserves, found she had one extra, and called me! Yay!
Hours and hours of stress (well, days actually) totally not worth it. So amazingly, totally, 100% unimpressed with the expansion. I recall when ToAU came out and we stepped off the boat into the new city. The wonder, the amazement, I actually fell in love with a fictional city. The music, everything, it was so complete and wonderful and real. Wings? Nothing like that, nothing at all...
No story spoilers since I haven't seen any, but general reactions, some details of the world, and linked screenshots. Behind a cut because some people still don't have it and don't want to know anything at all.
Went through the Maw for the first time and saw the short CS (okay, everyone knows I hated CoP, but the first CS in that was really long and nice! With Wings it was like 'meh, that's it?'.). Colorful and pretty, but otherwise boring. Not much story, nothing we hadn't already known.
Landed in the past. Said to myself 'Hm, the plants here are different. That's kind of nice.' and that was about my biggest reaction of the whole day. It was kind of sort of semi-interesting seeing things in the past, but for the most part it just made things more annoying.
Annoying things about the past/bad parts of the expansion:
* You have to walk. Everywhere. One end of the zone to another, over and over again, zone after zone, on foot. No birds, no aketon-speed, and I didn't dare go as BRD in case I had to fight. (Which turned out to be ironic, since I later died on DRK because I got aggro.) I literally spent hours just walking.
* Fricking walls and gates everywhere. Okay, people from the past, sure you're in the middle of a wall, but do you really have to build multiple walls one right after the other? Wall, take ten steps, wall, take ten steps, wall... and you need to find the gate in the wall each time.
* Maps do not represent the zone. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over. Was this meant to be the anti-Thistle expansion? I have zero sense of direction, I check my map every couple of steps I take. If the map does not represent the zone, what good is it!
* Aggro to 75s makes Thistle sad. :(
Good things about the past/expansion:
* Those mandies that follow you around are the nicest part of the expansion thus far. (And what's that say about Wings as a whole?)
* I Love Lynxes! For serious! I love coeurls, and they're coeurls with outstanding coloring! I could hug them forever! And the white on their feet makes their feet look fluffy! It's so cool! And their face markings are so nice!
* Smilodons look really, really cool, too. I love the tiger model, and that's a wonderful reskinning of it.
I spent hours in GC (well, okay, fricking hours walking to GC, shorter time in it) doing the quest for a map. It was kind of interesting to see it whole and not blown up. I felt kind of bad for the NPCs, like I wanted to tell them what would be happening in the future. :/
In some ways, this expansion shows how little of a gamer I am. On the rare occasions that I buy a game, I buy the guidebook as well and follow it step by step. I like knowing exactly what to do, and following instructions to the letter to do it. For me, it's amazingly frustrating to be dropped into this whole new world without any guides to follow. (It was a mistake for me to try to stay unspoiled, I should have been reading every message board I could before I got the expansion.)
One of my least favorite things to do in the game is to sneak and invisible through aggro, and that's what I have to do tomorrow. A very long trip to get to Sandy so I can do whatever I have to do to sign up for the Besieged-like Campaign. I'm hoping that once I can do Campaign that I'll start liking things more, but I'm really not holding my breath.
So all in all, I'm totally not surprised that Besieged zones are still full even though Wings is now in most players' hands.