Okay I joined the combine I joined a faction I got out of the hq and I didn't know what to do. i saw "tutorial NPCs" and dedcided to walk over to them. It said the ETA to walk down the street was FIVE hours!!! (and about 21 min). I aborted and got back inside the building. Is it really going to take 5 hours to walk down the street? is there a way to go faster? and what do I do now that i've joined a faction and am just sitting in the Hq?
Vehicle travel is faster than walking, and starship travel is faster still. You will quickly find that very little goes on on the ground - your faction should contact you with instructions, and should also assign you a ship and will arrange for transportation for you.
Bear in mind, however, that while hyperspace travel is comparatively faster than ground movement, you will still embark on trips lasting longer than a week. That is the normal pace of things and is to be expected, as everything occurs real-time and must account for people not constantly being logged on.
In short, this is not the sort of game where you log in and spend the entire day playing; instead you would likely log in to check on things once in a while and do something else while you wait to arrive. It is, after all, a browser game rather than a live MMORPG.
Also, it's probably only taking five hours because you skimped out on your speed stat (like many people do, as most of the time they're be flying around).
As Syn said however: playtime in the Combine is slow. This isn't WoW or Evercrack where you can grind for loot/xp (well... you can sort of "grind" for xp, it just takes longer). For instance: I just spent basically two weeks in hyperspace. I flew halfway across the galaxy and back again. But it took two weeks.
We didn't have tutorial NPCs when I started out in my faction. We started out in an embassy or senate or something and went outside. It probably is best to talk to the tutorial guys. I didn't so look at what happened to me! :)
Tutorial NPCs are only available in starting cities on race homeworlds. They are intended for new players who don't join a faction right away to learn about the basics of the game. If you joined a faction, you should be able to contact your faction's players for help ...