I didn't care for the Norn starting area at all, they just weren't my thing. A few of the events were poorly paced (the transformation ones). I think my favorite was the Charr starting area. I really like how they don't coddle you with whole zones dedicated to newbie stuff, I wandered a bit into some cave and promptly got my ass handed to me stuff over my level. Charr Warriors are pretty ridiculous BTW, I love the greatsword skillset, it's just very satisfying and fun. I really need to give rifles a shot for PvP though, people say its a great for kiting.
I liked the crafting system but I think newbies will be a bit puzzled by it.
Playing: Dark Souls 2: Scholars of the First Sin Watching: Mr. Robot