Is there any way to select powerups/levels in quickplay? It seems to be completely random and that's kind of annoying. I'd like to be able to pick what tracks I'm racing on when I have friends playing waveracer with me for instance....
While it's ok to like and enjoy this game, it is an all right game, I just feel that your review is off the mark a bit. You say you don't see the MMO as finished, but saddly, we as consumers ARE paying for a finished game, not for the hopes of what it might become in the future. As such a review should be critical of a games issues instead of paying fan-service to a company, otherwise it will never become what it can potentially be. The developers will just say "well, people aren't having a problem with it so there must not be anything that needs be changed." And as an MMO, the single-player experience should have not become a focus(IE locking people in phases away from their groups, each player in a group needing to do puzzles on their own).
Gameplay: The combat is floaty and doesn't have a weighted feel to it. You mention the single-player experience again, but this IS an MMO, not a single-player game. I agree there is a lot of room to expand on, and also hope it survives to see it through, but again we can't review games based on the hopes and mights. Also we need to look at class balance, which there isn't any. A sorcerer character can go into PvP and wreck a zerg just by chugging mana pots. They can also chain-teleport away from combat if they get into a hairy situation. Nightblades on the other hand get a 2 second invis, while the tanking classes have little to no tricks at all. Then we add into that vampire players, who again can wreck zergs while regenerating more health than can conceivably be done to them if built right. I know some of this is kind of going to be addressed(limiting AoE spells to 6 players), but that's sticking band-aids on amputations. Wont even touch on the running simulator that is PvE. You gave this section an 8, I'd say a more realistic estimate would be a 5 or 6. I'll go with 6 because it does seem there is an effort to improve.
Presentation: I agree with you mostly here, the game does look gorgeous, even the rare moment you notice some of the lower res skins on rocks and the like. These can be overlooked by the sheer beauty the game has. I notice some people knock on the aesthetics of the game, but for how undemanding it is on system specs, it's amazing what they pulled off here. And the music is reminiscent of Elderscrolls in general. My one complaint is some of the voice acting doesn't seem finished. You'll come across NPC's in game where the voice doesn't match the model at all. This deserves an 8, which when/if they fix the small voice-acting issues would be bumped to a 9.
Value: ...this I disagree strongly with. The value of this is not good at all. The whole thing feels like a cash grab, and I know I'll get some flack for expressing this but sometimes we need to just call a spade a spade. Pay walls galore. First you have the base game at $60, which limits you to 1 of 3 factions. For an extra $20 you can unlock the imperial race(a practice of f2p/microtransaction models) and a middle of the road horse. And while you get a free month, you can only pay that free month if you plop down your credit card for another $15, with no game-time card option available(nor one looking to be in the future). If you only want to play your free month without committing to the paid sub until you know for sure, you must cancel immediately after signing up, otherwise you will be billed for the next pay period, as Zenimax Online requires a 30 day advance cancellation. Then to add insult to injury, the game has opened up day 1 with a cash shop(again, f2p/microtransaction model). And again you say that it's worth it for what you hope the game to become, not for what it is, and that is not the purpose of a review. Wish in one hand, spit in the other, and see which fills up first. You gave this a 9, I'd give it a 2. There are just too many other games out there that do the things this game does which aren't trying to be both a subscription game AND a cash shop game. To expect both without repercussion is hubris.
Fun Factor: You expressed my feelings near word for word, though even with a group you're going to run into problems with the phasing. That said all too often, you can't properly get through quests unless you're playing specific classes/builds(not going to touch on the bugs), and at end game grinding out VR becomes saddly repetitive. While the questing deviates from the fetch questing, it doesn't do anything innovative for the genre, and the writing goes anything from good and fairly original, to just plain cliche and blatently ripped from other IP's. Another complaint about endgame is that at the end of the day, PvP is the only endgame. Yeah, they're adding some small dungeons, like the upcoming Craglorn, but if you think that's going to fill the hole left by not having raids, you're going to be disappointed. And with the problems in PvP balance, it just seems weird to make this the sole focus of your end-game, especially when the road to getting there is near entirely PvE. You CAN go into Cyrodil at level 10, but you're not going to accomplish a whole lot by doing so, and it feels almost like a punishment trying to do so before you hit the level cap(and even the VR cap). You gave this an 8, I'd say a 5. There's a lot of rebalancing that needs to be done before it deserves an 8.
Average that out and you get a 5.25, and since you gave the game a tilt I will as well and round up to a 6. That's a fair assessment of what the game is, not on what we hope it can be. But I do agree with you, the potential is there, and I hope the issues are fixxed because I want to like this game and justify the purchase.
I have used quite a few different gaming headsets but, the best resource I found to get an impartial view on them can be found at http://www.gamingheadsetreport.com, they are constantly adding new headset reviews.