Here is a perspective from someone who plays AO regularly for the past year and also for many months on the live Test server they have there (which has hundreds of dedicated testers who pay their monthly AO fee but CHOOSE to live on the test server where there is a different sort of family community, they have a chance to improve AO, and also to preview changes before they hit the live server, and help provide final QA feedback as a reality check for Funcom QA.
* This beta has not even been seen by most of the Testlive community yet. I'm sure that will change, but basically it has gone through only internal and a VERY private beta for invited participants
* Therefore it is early beta code, likely quite unbalanced still.
* The release appears timed right as the Star Wars Galaxy beta is winding down with SWG's imminent release.
* AO is an amazing game, very involving on many facets. Shadowlands is basically another game on top of it that hopefully will give already satisfied players another couple years of fun.
* So I hope that a tremendous amount of you who are considering Star Wars Galaxies give it a try for a measly $7 fileplanet fee (or who knows maybe it will go to free fileplanet trial, maybe not)