I suppose it might be time for me to write this review, considering I've played since shortly after it became available on Steam. Granted, I've taken some pretty lengthy breaks, but I've logged quite a few hours into this game.
TL;DR: A personally nostalgiac MMO that isn't quite what it used to be.
When I started playing this game, I pretty much played solo. There were no missions, nor was the story something you had to experience along the way - back then, all it took was learning the mechanics and diving into it. It was pretty grindy back then, but definitely manageable. As a new player, and with content being released a little more regularly then, grinding consistently paid off. If that were still the case, I'd probably recommend this game.
I got about halfway through levelling up my first set of gear when I realized how quickly things would go if I were in a guild. My first guild experience lasted a day, and I hopped through a few smaller ones until I found my first home. I'm glad to say that a few people from that guild I'm still friends with in real life - and honestly, there are only a handful of MMOs that have actually brought people into my life for an extended period of time outside of game. I suppose that adds to the nostalgia. I got a little more levelled up in that guild, but my interest started to fade and I stopped playing.
When I started again, I hopped around a few more times, settling in for a month or two with some relatively active guilds, but didn't find another in-game group that I clicked with until I joined my current guild. Again, I still keep in contact with several guild mates to this day, not as often lately but it's nice knowing they're there and that they helped me through a time in my life that was a bit troubled. I reached end game with them, and started to feel the interest fade, as well. The mission system took some of the mystery out of the game, but that wasn't too bad. Then energy was replaced with crystals, and the game essentially became pay-to-win. A lot of people stopped playing.
The community in this game has always been one of its strong suits, something that would be a definitive selling point so long as it thrived. However, I don't really see it thriving like it used to. Sure, I have friends that play still, and there are many other great people online pretty regularly. I could go on and on with examples about how changes have impacted the community, though - when I started playing, random clusters of players just chatting away was a regular sight in the more common areas. I don't see that as much now. A lot of community talk has gone from focusing on lore or gameplay elements to constant wondering when something new will happen with the game.
Overall, I concur with what many other reviews say. The Zelda-esque gameplay is really appealing, and the art, both audio and visual, is unforgettable. Yet it has lost its charm. For new players, getting to end-game would take a lot of time or money, or both, and even then, what good does it do? While the journey to the end itself is quite fun, and there is an opportunity to meet some great people along the way, there isn't much to expect after. Even as a completionist, I've pretty much given up on levelling all of my gear - it just doesn't seem worth it, and at this point, things are too repetitive.
Do I recommend this game? A few years ago, sure, but now, I sadly cannot. If that changes, I'll be sure to update my review, but I'm not counting on it.