You can avoid slow moving projectiles, including some CC effects, and properly combining your abilities allows for a deeper gameplay experience. It should feel familiar to seasoned MMOers with some fun intricacies that will keep you on your toes
And as far as quest progression goes - I've really enjoyed the way our friends at XL Games have set it up as a way to introduce me to the world, the geography of my home continent, and the wide range of systems and world interactions.
I've been exploring and learning the Korean release of the game for myself and last night I went pirating for the first time with an Expedition/Guild. With the help of level 50 guildmates I was able to fully explore the open oceans at level 20 and engage in high-seas high-jinx against other max level (50) characters without feeling too low man on the totem poll. I was manning the harpoon and reeling in our enemies vessels as they tried to flee and avoid capture of their precious resource crates.
I really liked though, that after all that, I could return to the area I was questing in and keep progressing my character in a more streamlined way. All the more motivated knowing that the taste of open adventure was just an epic boat ride away
It's going to be a real pleasure getting to alleviate concerns and introduce everyone to all the depth and complexity (while remaining super accessible) that ArcheAge has to offer!
While I couldn't find an awesome video of harpooning in action, here's another great one just showing off piracy: