First things first: hi, howdy, what's up. There is the slimmest possible chance that somebody recognises me (and by slim I mean slimmer than your chance of winning a mount from one of this game's many lootboxes) but on the off-chance somebody does: hi, what's up. (Related to that, I can't believe Astrelle is still active in this community, but mad kudos for being the only familiar face I recognise.) Also if you don't like reading, you can just X out of this thread, fair warning.
Second things second: a bit of context. I was playing Ye Olde PWI back in... uh... well, it was a while ago. I saw the dawn of the anniversary boxes. I witnessed first-hand the beginning of the lootbox craze in this game and won't even lie about the fact that little teenage me totally fell victim to it too. (Thanks for that by the way, PWI, really appreciate it. /s) So when it comes to game longevity, I'm something of a dinosaur; I started playing this game before it had the first expansion and I was one of the players that got extremely disenfranchised extremely quickly with the game's sudden swing to Pay To Win and the dawn of 5APS - mostly because I was playing an archer and the dawn of 5aps told me that if I still wanted to be in a party, I had to be an archer that didn't use a bow and that just sucked.
So I quit, and I never looked back.
Until today. And I'm not going to lie about why I'm back either: I saw this advertisement for some dark winged elf lookin' dude claiming to be an Edgerunner and I said "Oh my good god, is this game being developed by fourteen year old children? I have to go look at this" and so here I am, reinstalling a game for little more reason than to probably mercilessly make fun of it and the joke its turned into. Maybe cry a little bit too. This game was my first ever MMORPG, I made a lot of friends on it and then I watched the lootbox craze and 5APS summarily destroy the community I'd loved so much. I can't help the nostalgia, man, this game used to sincerely be one of my favourite games.
So now that you have the context on me, when I played and why I left, I want to ask this community a question: what is this game in 2019? Fair warning: Imma be hella disappointed if you just link me to a wiki. Is 5APS still the standard for every class and his dog and also his grandma? Are hyper stones still a major aspect of levelling in this game? What new noise have they added and what potentially old stuff have they taken away? This noise about reflection and war avatars is going right over my head, to be clear, because the last "new content" that got added when I was playing was R10 and Nirvana and that was it. I told you guys, I'm basically a dinosaur when it comes to this game. Do people still argue about which Chi path to take? (Demon forever, the only acceptable Sage is a Sage Barb.) Also, what's the community like these days? I'm taking a chance on you guys by posting here; the forums were always a little hit-and-miss even ten years ago but I want to believe that we can get more hits than misses. Don't let me down.
I won't bother to ask if the game is any less pay to win, though, because 1) it clearly is not and 2) people will do the whole "it's optional you can buy it with in-game coins" excuse and that excuse is so tired that every time I hear it, I hear my brain cells dying. Don't come at me with that noise if that's all you have to offer.
TL;DR I haven't played in nearly a decade and I am horrendously curious to know how this game has changed or expanded or if it's just still the Same Game Different Day. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go log into my archer and have an existential crisis about what I'm supposed to do with her. Poor Airy.