I just got the game at the last weekend sale, but you must know I played 50 hours of Age of Chivalry (the love I had for the mod made me buy the game). I also brought in 2 friends with me.
At first, joining a random server, we got severely stomped. Hopefully, my friends not being dicks, they understood the game was a skill-based and they’d need training to get better.
For my part I spent my first 9 ranks in duel mode to learn how to fight decently, and invited my friends to do the same. I was lucky and met a high-ranked player who took the time to teach me a few things (mostly mouse-dragging timing).
I went through some very, VERY frustrating phases. Especially since I went through duel mode and had some 0 - 8. I looked for some low-rank servers, but the only one that was online was for ranks below 30, which still got us stomped.
Now, having accumulated some knowledge and dueling with each other, we got better and play some objective maps together, trying to combine our skills as much as possible. It’s fun, but it took us some will to get there (and we still have a long way to go !).
The tutorial is handy, but you definitly need low ranking servers, or maybe a duel mode that puts you with people of your rank. This way as you slowly rank up you accumulate more skill with players of your skill level.
Graphically the game is a blast. Dismemberment is awesome, and the maps are really cool.