I actually have mixed feelings about this episode. On one hand, they adapted roughly 70 pages worth of material from the novel. On the other hand, they cut some important scenes that would add flavor to the characters and some much needed information about what is happening in the story.
The first 8-10 minutes were almost a page-by-page adaptation of the very same scenes from the novel. However, some things have been glossed over, like the rewards of Dryfe empire for every tian that its players would kill. Meanwhile, Altar has no rewards for its players, hence why no one wanted to join the war on that side.
Now the next 10-14 minutes is where the pacing starts to get a little rushed. During the grinding scene in the grasslands, Ray actually saw a lot of newbie players and the various appearances of different Embryos. But that was skipped here.
The meeting with Rook and Babylon was there, but the interactions with them has been trimmed. In the novel, it was longer and even went to show more of Babi’s attitude. In truth, she was a succubus, but because of the game’s age restriction, she acts way more reserved than what she should have been.
There’s also a scene where Rook and Ray were simply geeking out over the various game mechanics, which this episode did not obviously show.
The PK scene was almost spot on, but Ray’s resurrection was rushed. In the novel, it showed what he did during that 1 day login ban, which is to buy food, do errands, etc, and also browse the game forums for any information about the PKer.
The last few minutes were almost the same as in the novels, though I will admit that the Ray x Nemesis scene was a bit better in the novel version.
Overall, this is a little bit rushed, but not really bad. A 7/10 for me.