Hello everyone. With the SEA (Thailand) client currently in a non-wipe open beta (soft launch), I thought it may be important to leave some feedback here for Kakao and players to think about as we may be approaching a North American and European test date. These opinions are my own, and I do not claim to represent the majority of the player base, so please do feel free to leave your own feedback down below as well. Cash Shop I will start off with the most controversial and focused part of an MMORPG that many western players are afraid of, the cash shop. As of 2019.4.27 the cash shop includes the following types of content. (Here is a list of all the cash shop items + description on a Google Sheet) Inventory & Storage Expansion Slots Cosmetic Vouchers & Character Expansion Voucher Traveling NPC Storage & Megaphone 30 & 90 Day 'Membership' (EXP +5%, Drop Rate +3%, Market Tax Fee -30%, Inventory +16 slots, Storage +14 slots, Home Teleport Cooldown -10minutes, Earth Aura +10%, Death Penalty -50%). Home & Crafting station upgrade tickets (doesn't cost any in game gold) Revive scroll & EXP Restoration (after death) scroll & Gear Repair Hammers Pets & Pet vouchers (name change, skill reset, slot unlock) Lifeskill Labor potions To put it simply, the cash shop is looking good. It may look like a bit concerning for those who haven't played the game yet, but it's truly a relaxed and generous cash shop. My cautions and opinions with the cash shop, and concerns I believe players should have: Pets loot and have stats, similar to BDO. At this moment it does not appear like they are a necessity, but rather a convenience. You do not grind or kill mobs at an intense speed, so you are able to manually loot quite easily so far. This is a great cash shop item that offers convenience for players who want it, and isn't a necessity for those who don't want it. You can purchase 24 hour pets with 15 Reconstruction tokens [In game currency]. So it's very easy to obtain free as well. It should remain this way. As of right now the Lifeskill Labor Potions do not appear to be a concern, but they have the potential to end up in a scary situation for players. I have not yet experienced the need to constantly keep my labor points up, but if that situation comes and there is no alternative option in the game- this will be an issue. Right now labor points seem to be working more like Black Desert than they do in Archeage, in terms of necessity. Be very careful with this Kakao. The membership benefits are looking reasonable. The importance of Earth Aura +10% and Market tax fee -30% has yet to be verified, but the rest is a nice buff for those who want it, but not a necessity for those who don't want it. It should remain this way in NA, or altered slightly. Overall, it's looking good like this so far. A:IR Pass There's a really cool system they have in place called an "A:IR PASS". Think of this similar to how battle royale (Ex. Fortnite) season passes work. You purchase the pass, and then have access to about 3 months(?) worth of cosmetics and creative loot such as flaired footsteps, special emotes/clothing, etc..There's a free path with limited rewards, and then the paid pass which gives an abundant amount and obviously more exclusive. In my opinion, this is the best type of monetization an MMORPG- or any game in general, can have. If this allows them to gain profit without monetizing the game in an unfair (P2W) manor, I believe it's an absolutely great idea, and the first of it's kind in an MMORPG. I'm all for this. The Targeting System As of this moment A:IR uses a free action based camera. It feels smooth and aims well. But, the problems begin to appear in PvP outside of 1v1. There is no option to hard-lock onto a player, so if you are aiming at one player, but another player walks in front, you will no longer be able to target that original player unless you can get a direct view of him. This becomes even more so important when Mystics or future healers need to heal a specific player, but end up getting their skills absorbed by another team-mate who walks in front of them. PvP will not be at it's full potential until this is fixed. There NEEDS to be some form of hard-lock, and luckily there are a few easy fixes. 1. When a player targets another player, upon pressing TAB it should become a Hard-lock onto that player. 2. Allow target cycling with TAB Target. 3. Allow the option for traditional TAB-Targeting and RMB mouse camera view (Pressing TAB to target various enemies and holding RMB to move the camera around- similar to Archeage/other MMOs). Combat & Skills General combat feels very smooth and good. It's nothing amazing, flashy, or genre-breaking. It does combat just good, which in my opinion is exactly what the MMORPG market needs right now. Outside of the targeting system I mentioned above, there isn't much to complain about. There is a cool combo system where some skills will have bonus effects when done together, and the animations flow nicely. Switching between stances feels nice as well. Combining various skills from the two stances makes for greater combos. Skills have add-ons which can change the effects of how they work such as cool-down time reduction, damage increase, move while casting, altering effects, etc.. Overall, the stance swaping and skill add-ons bring more depth to the skill system, and everything just feels enjoyable. Leveling & Content The main form of leveling is through questing, which you will breeze through quite quickly up until level 30. Think of level 30 in A:IR similar to level ~50 in Black Desert. You will unlock your instanced home at level 30 (free), and can then even purchase open world land (1400 OW houses per realm). At level 33 you will unlock PvP battlegrounds, and once you hit level 34 you can start crossing into the enemy faction's map to continue leveling. Once you hit level 35 you can begin doing 3-player party dungeons as well. The current max level is 45, although according to various sources level 45 is the soft cap, and you can continue leveling afterwards slowly, similar to how BDO's leveling works. The highest level in game right now, after 3 days of launch, is level 40- so we have yet to confirm this ourselves. Overall leveling is a bit of a grind, but for those who have played Black Desert it's easier. For those who haven't played games similar to Black Desert, it may be a bit grindy for you, but I don't believe it's intolerable. MMORPGs aren't meant to be complete within the first couple of days either way! Miscellaneous Opinions & Feedback Mounted air combat is much better than expected. Skills and animations flow nicely, and it doesn't feel awkward. As Kakao should know from experience on Black Desert already, servers are important. Please do not go cheap on this. The SEA client is currently experiencing a rough start in terms of server stability, and we have been limited time to play the game (5am est - 1pm EST), until they resolve the issue. This is partly due to the foreign player rush on their servers, but this should not be unexpected for A:IR in NA & EU. PvP is great outside of the targeting problem mentioned above, it's the closest PvP game to Archeage I've played. The world feels quite bare and textures are blurry in quite a few areas. The graphics aren't bad for MMORPG standards, but they are lacking in comparison to the new standard set by Black Desert. Optimization is pretty good, and only gets bad when the server starts to experience overloading. Overall pretty consistent FPS and quality for an Unreal Engine 3 MMORPG.