I hope that 74 hours alongside some very good and enamored friends was enough to give this game a fair shake, but ultimately I just can't really recommend it.
The game is an attempt to be a semi-faithful recreation of the 3.5 D&D experience, although unlike, say, the old Neverwinter Nights, the game adds some concessions to MMO playability between things like talent trees and the fact that you get Spell Points instead of myriad slots. The concept is set in Eberron, which is a kind of high-magic crystal-punk sort of setting, and the game is played almost entirely through instanced dungeon work.
There are reasons that D&D is not played in realtime, and this game demonstrates exactly why. An instant save-or-die death spell on the tabletop can have a dramatic buildup leading the clattering of that 20-sided die; in a realtime game, you just die suddenly for no readily apparent reason, which engenders neither tension nor "what could I have done better" counterplay thoughts so much as it simply engenders stunned contempt. The same can go for high end blast spells and traps, many of which can kill characters instantly.
They'll often do so with little more than a 'klick,' too, because the sound assets in this game are the poorest I've heard outside bad indie games. Your mighty two-handed sword will do little more than sort of lightly 'dink' while it slices a devastating critical hit through a gnoll; your entire team can be killed by a sonic trap that strongly reminds one of a rather shy doorbell, while, conversely, the discovery of secret doors leads to a deafening CLUNK that overshadows the din of any battle. The upshot is that there's no feel of impact to pitched melee battles. The music has been added to in the many expansions, but never replaced, meaning the early-game music is poor and repetitive.
Between that and lacklustre animations, the combat - which is what you will be spending the overarching majority of your time in Stormreach doing, this being a fantasy MMO - feels weak and ephemeral. By aiming for a more quasirealistic if colorful fantasy look, the character art assets might have been good in 2006, but have not aged wonderfully. While I hate to contrast to WoW, WoW's cartoonier style certainly helped preserve its original, dated models for a longer functional time; these assets currently sleep at the bottom of the uncanny valley.
The dungeons are pains to navigate, the quest UI is poor to nonfunctional, power (even if not strictly necessary power) is sold via the game's microtransaction system in the form of stat-boosting Tomes and field self-revives.
Is there anything positive to say? A little. The game does, unlike many MMOs, have more comprehensible mechanics to those experienced with the D&D 3.5 system, and so it's easier to see what's going on under the hood. The game also manages to successfully break the Holy Trinity (tank/healer/DPS) so prevalent in many other MMOs with a very fluid and diverse class system. Character customizability always was a strength of D&D 3.0/3.5, and that’s unquestionably present. The Dungeon Master, a voice who narrates things your character is ostensibly experiencing, is a welcome nod to the tabletop.
Outside of that, though, it’s hard to recommend it, even to fans of the D&D 3.5 system. Fantasy adventures are not in short supply at the moment, and it’s probably best to seek them elsewhere.