I have played this game for 8 years now and I want to see this game grow, but I only want to bring players in who will stick around, so I will be brutally honest in what new players should expect with two of the bigger problems so that people don’t sign up and then quit because it wasn’t what they expected.
This game is definitely pay to win. The microtransactions aren’t just cosmetics. The items in the cash shop are a necessity for all players in endgame. There are ways to get them outside of paying real life money. You can get them gifted by other players for ingame currency or you can buy them with another currency you get from doing daily quests, but both of those options require a lot of in game effort (either grinding and selling stuff for money or creating a bunch of accounts and doing the dailies on all of them, respectively).
The game has bugs. There is a memory leak which causes the client to crash. The game was never optimized correctly and you shouldn’t expect the developers to ever fix the memory leak. Some areas are worse than others. So expect to crash and have to log back in. Most bugs you will experience have also been in the game for a while (if not forever) and likely won’t receive a timely fix to them (if any).
Ok, now for some of the good…
First unique thing is that you can have a main class and a secondary class equipped at the same time. Each combination has unique elite skills that make them each different to play. There are three races (Human, Elf, Dwarf) and each one has 6 classes to pick from, though they share some classes (example, you can be mage as a human, elf, or dwarf, but only elves can play as a druid). Not all classes are created equally. Some classes are good a PvE, some are good at PvP, some are not good at PvP or PvE, and few are good at both. Do some research before investing into a class to make sure it is something worth doing. Your character gets three free classes to pick from, but you can only equip two at a time.
For PvP, guilds participate in siege wars, where they will fight for an hour against an evenly matched guild in a fight to control towers on the map. Each guild has their own guild castle and there are 6 towers that they can control, as well as a crystal in each castle. If a guild can break into the enemy castle (yes, often with the use of rams and catapults) and get their crystal and hold all 6 towers, the siege war will end early. Otherwise, it will end an after an hour. There are signups for these every 4 hours, but a guild can only participate in one every 12 hours. This means that guilds are likely only to sign up once per day. Lower players can help in siege without actually fighting higher level players, so don’t be afraid of trying to help. Most US guilds that actively compete in siege will siege at either 6PM or 10PM Eastern every day.
There is also instances (dungeons) that normally are either 6 or 12 man from level 15 to level 100. Most have different difficulty levels with varying gear for rewards. Most high levels can take lower levels through the lower instances with no problem, but there are some bosses that require strategy no matter the level.
For questing, there are plenty to do. Currently on the high scores, the highest ranked person has 6,800+ quests completed, but a more appropriate goal for most players would be around 5,000. There are side quest stories in almost every area, but most of them are the same quests over and over again (Kill x, Collect x, Talk to x) like most MMORPGs. You’ll likely just grind through them mindlessly. There is also a story quest line from like level 55+ that goes all the way to current cap.
Finally, I’ll just give some general information to people who read this far for general advice. You’ll probably find more active veteran players willing to help on the official forums for the game than the discussions on Steam if you are looking for advice. The American server is kind of mislabeled. It should be the North American-South American-Oceanic-(unofficial) Turkish server. The American server and Aussie/NZ servers merged many years ago. Many Turkish players played on the American servers from the start. There are also many Latin players from Mexico and South America on the US server. The server currently labeled “new” is brand new. I wouldn’t expect many veterans to make the jump over, so I would consider which one to join when you are choosing. You’ll likely get more help on the non-new servers, but you also might enjoy starting on an even playing field. I expect that server to be severely less populated, at any rate.