Yeah. There's barely any comparison when you put EQ/EQ2 against WoW in basic things like quest and map information, flow of play (EQ/EQ2 both encourage grinding to level much more than WoW's more quest-oriented experience layout), combat execution... Going back to play older MMOs is the best way for me to see why WoW has the kind of success it does by comparison.
Which brings me in a completely non-smooth segue to Lineage 2. My personal internet issues aside, I have to say I'm surprised by the way they've done things. When I played L2 years ago I heard nightmare stories about how much grind was in the game, how slow everything went, so on and so forth. I was playing on an illegitimate server at the time, one with massively inflated gold and experience gain, so I didn't see that firsthand, just stuff I'd heard.
Joining the legit free server, I went from level 1 to 32 in about four hours of play. The tutorial island basically powerlevels you all the way to level 20 and your first class change while teaching you basic mechanics, and the next few quests after that gradually introduce some grindy elements in the form of "kill X monsters in this area" quests. The game seems to lack an on-screen counter for these quests, which is quite annoying: if I need to kill 20 imps, 25 bats and 10 warriors, but I don't have any indicator of how many I killed, am I supposed to just keep track in my head as I go? (The answer, of course, is no - just keep killing everything in the area until you get the ping and new quest info that tells you you're done...but it's still annoying.) On the downside, getting leveled up so quickly means missing out on some travel around that would have been involved in the old L2 world, going from your starter zone to the first town, meeting NPCs along the way, etc. On the upside, who cares, you get to skip ahead!
Considering how incredibly slow character progression takes place in this game (by which I mean I'm level 32 and still have exactly one attack ability, Power Shot, with all my other damage coming from simple auto-attacks; I'd have three or four if I were melee or a caster, but still far fewer active abilities than you might expect to have by your 30's from playing other MMORPGs), I think making your world power newcomers up to 30 or so before even starting to slow down is a great idea. MMORPGs that have been through a few expansions tend to have a lot of layers for new players to learn and climb through before they can reach the "current" new content. Maybe super-fast leveling early on skips early content, but I think giving people the option to backtrack and do that stuff before moving forward is better than forcing them to grind through it to catch up. Interesting choice, in any case; I can't say I've seen something like that in another MMO yet, the closest comparison being WoW's Death Knights getting to start in their 50's.
That went longer than I planned. >.> In other news, movement still feels awkward given it's mainly mouse-oriented, targeting feels a little sloppy compared with tab-targeting in any number of games I could name, actions are on the laggy side (movements take about a half-second to register before you actually start moving), and, as has always been the case in this game, popular teleport/town hubs are absolutely mobbed by player market offers that make it hellish to navigate those areas. Not sure yet whether I'd recommend it (my own internet issues have been frustrating but are unrelated to the game, I think), but it's looking promising for the moment.
Oh, one thing to keep in mind though: it's an open PVP game. Anyone can attack you outside a safe zone whenever they want, and I believe there's some low-percentage chance that you'll lose gear if killed in PVP, but not really sure how that works - I'm not a PVP-enthusiast myself. Just something to know before you decide to jump into this one.