Mabinogi is an interesting little mmo that is about you the player being sucked in your computer and ending up in a world called Erinn. You are called a milletian by the worlds people and as you discover more things about yourself, the story unfolds into this tragic and sad conflict of many different people. This is the main focus of the story and I will say that its decent. It will keep you interested but the story mission lines are short. Though at this point in the games life, there are tons to complete. And speedrunning even at low level will only take a couple of hours to finish.
Now on to the Mechanics. Mabinogis combat is simple yet hard to master. It is a lot like rock paper scissors and every skill has its counter. Smash> Defense Counter>smash. Theres many different skills to choose from and you will always feel unique from other people.
The skill leveling on the other hand is somewhat similar to UO (Ultima Online). You have to use the skill repeatedly to rank it up. For example Smash would require you to kill 10 enemies using smash, smash a critical on ten enemies to rank from rank B to A. These are just examples, but the number of times you would have to repeat using this skill increases to hundreds or even thousands depending on the skill. Some rank themeselves up and you won't even notice it as you play. Other skills will require you to go out of your way just to train them and could take hours of your time just doing that. Life skills like blacksmithing could take you about a month to do if that was what you had spent your time on for a whole month.
To rank skills though, you need Ability points. Ap (for short) is given by leveling. I level up to 80 per rebirth for example. After you hit say 80, you will want to rebirth. Rebirthing removes the stats you gained from levels but you keep your stats that you gained from skills. You can only rebirth once a week but you can rebirth for free every three weeks. If you would like to buy a rebirth once a week its about 10 bucks.
This is actually one of my problems with mabi is that its very grindy. Its a very unique game with huge amounts of character customization. Just very grindy. The questing is totally fine with not much grind at all. Some of the story quests mix it up with puzzles. Its just the actual building of your character.
If you are looking for an mmo thats different and you can waste a ton of time on but stay engaged, then this is the game for you. Game has quite a bit of sandbox features such as housing and character customization with tons of outfits and skills to mix in. There is even farming.
If you are looking for a game that will not waste your time but still give you a great experience then this may not be what you are looking for. Mabinogi has to much grind hidden under those colorful cartoony graphics to justify playing only 1 hour a day. You can very well play the game for free without spending a dime, but you will want to. They offer limited edition pets constantly, Various limited edition clothes, and rebirths to make your life easier.
So all in its a very unique mmo and its hard to lie and say that it isnt. But playing an mmo like this or wow really worth it to you? After all of the fun is said and done and you have seen everything it will turn into a job. Every mmo that is currently out in america will have you grinding for hours. Even guild wars 2 has grind at the end. So is it worth it to you?