I originally thought DMS was going to be a lot harder than it actually is.
I remember that in that first week, I was super boss, and leveled quickly. Also, there was a lot of people QQing about how they couldn't find a crew, and they'd get super mad if my crew wouldn't bring them along. s**t was lulzy.
Nothing beats being one of the first six to find Kamila, though.
I got on the first day DMS was released and no one knew anything so there was a lot of trial and error, much like the initial massive dev spawns (especially the ones where JK filled the Lake with Giftboxes).
I don't really remember what I thought of or was expecting from DMS when it first came out, tbh. I suppose I expected at least part of it to be soloable, like everything else, since I can generally solo elsewhere without too many problems. I certainly didn't think of it as a maze; I first thought of it as a fairly standard progression from point A to B, also like almost everywhere else.
I didn’t buy the amulet or the gem when DMS first came out and was too lazy/busy to stalk the forum to see if it was open (before the days of the automatic bar). I played for like a few hours the very first weekend it was open since it was announced to be so. I leveled up from CL10 to CL10.2 or something. I remember it being lulzy because it was the oddest method I’d ever seen (lots of cat and tape), but not difficult.
I got totally caught up in the desire to be CL12 though, and I told a friend of mine that I’d level up over my spring break since it looked like the area would open up that week and that I’d buy a gem if I could make it to CL11.4. I went from being CL10.2 or something to being CL11.3 in just three days because I would form my own crew and aggro for them, buff assign, debuff assign, CC assign, etc. rather quickly. For a long time my crews would only farm the first room because it seemed inevitable that we would be killed by a Night Fright in the second room (like, every single freaking time until someone gave me a rough idea of how to aggro NF and I started to figure it out on my own).
I was a DMS newb and I crewed with other DMS newbs until I was like CL10.7 and CL11+ crews started sympathizing with me. I decided CL11.3 was close enough to CL11.4 to buy the gem. It wasn’t long before people were like, “You need to be tuna! You need to GR! You need to Kam! You need to BL!” I just went along with it without much time to be surprised at things. All I remember thinking is that I expected GRs to be well...more green, and from the way someone described it to me, I thought HPR would make my avi look gigantic and pixelated. I also didn’t know Bloodbats actually existed for a long time - I just thought it was a cool item recipe drop thing.