The title of this post is a frighteningly true representation of how my life has gone the last few weeks. While I knew that I was very interested in playing ArcheAge before I even got my hands on it, I did not know that it would pull me in completely, and steal the last few weeks of my life. And I’M ECSTATIC that it has! Anyone who has followed my sad journey from “devoted LOTRO fan girl” to “there will never be an MMO for me” jaded, former MMO end-gamer… will understand just how amazing it is that an MMO (an alpha, even) has held my attention so completely for the last few weeks.
So, what is it that I like so much about ArcheAge so far? Here’s a list!
- Good variety in character creation. I mean, just look at my psychotic harlequin Nuian:
- Crafting (although I haven’t gotten super far) is pretty cool. You can do all crafting professions on a single toon, although later on you will have to choose which ones you want to excel in. It’s really nice to be a tailor/alchemist who can also smelt her own iron ingots!
- The farming options (from size, location, climate, to what you’re going to DO on it) are totally amazing. Want a standard plot of farmland to grow your crafting mats on? Okay. How about an aqua-farm for coral and other sea life? Sure! Small dairy farm? OK! Want to raise polar bears and breed them to create mounts? You can do that, too! (You get the picture… OPTIONS!)
- You RAISE your mounts and combat pets from babies! They also follow you around the game world (and level without stealing your XP) instead of disappearing when not mounted like in most games. Different mounts also have unique combat abilities. And did I mention the CUTE BABIES?
- Adventure on the seas is the most notable aspect of this game to a lot people. And for good reason! You get a tiny rowboat early in the game, but for fast travel, naval combat, and survival there are better options… everything from fast, little clipper ships to galleons that can hold your trade goods, to fishing boats… ArcheAge has it. There are even submarines that can travel quickly and blast enemies from below.
- There are pirates and other criminals! I know that this could turn into a sour aspect depending on how griefy the community gets at launch, but for now, I love that people have the option to choose to do good or bad in this game. You can help defend the innocent, or chop down other people’s trees and steal their lumber. You can even fight among your own faction. And every action has consequences. Criminals end up being reported and sent to trial, where if found guilty, they are sentenced to jail time. Accrue enough points, and you will be kicked out of your faction entirely… becoming a pirate.
- Uniquely exciting trade! To make the most money (and trade currency) you will have to brave the seas, and make it to the opposing continent while carrying trade packs. If you (or your ship) are defeated, these can be stolen from you by enemies (including criminals of your own faction) so you will need to go with friends. This creates a realistic need for teamwork, and a great “risk = reward” feeling.
- For me, the best aspect of ArcheAge is, by far, the truly open world. If you can SEE IT, you can GET THERE. There are no limits and no invisible walls. You might have to use your glider (Did I mention how awesome gliders are? *makes notes for another post*) and jump from an airship, but you can do it! There aren’t artificial limits like most games. In fact, you are encouraged to try to get to specific, secret locations that (if you do) give barter coins and XP.
- You can change your class at will. You won’t necessarily be proficient enough in the new skill line for awhile, but you can totally change your class around. I recently had to do this while leveling my healer. She had none of the DPS lines, which will be perfect in end-game as a healer, but was not so awesome for leveling. So, I swapped out her utility for caster DPS, and now I can actually GET HER to cap.
- I like that XP comes from various sources like questing & mob killing (pretty normal) but also: crafting, planting, harvesting, uprooting, exploration, trade, etc.
- The open world PVP aspect is less scary than other games. After level 30 or so, you will be questing in areas where there is open PVP. There are, however, times when these areas go peaceful, and PVP cannot happen. So, if you are a squishy healer like me, you can choose to wait until peace time to quest these zones.
- ArcheAge has a certain realism — which truly lends itself to immersion — that I haven’t felt in any other game. The world, and how other players act in it, can be as unpredictable as real life. And many of the design and mechanic choices — whether new or odd for an MMO — make sense from a “is this realistic?” point of view. Take labor points, for example. They are finite, and build up over time for your account. Is this annoying to some people who cannot craft non-stop? Sometimes. But it’s also very real. You can only do so much in a day! Even the open world/same faction PVP makes sense from an immersive, realistic standpoint. If I see a guy picking on someone he shouldn’t be, I want to be able to blast a fireball in his face. Or at least heal the hero who does. :-)
That is not the end of my list, but that is where I am ending it for now! Even after 3 weeks of playing this game, I still feel like a very new player because there is SO MUCH TO THIS GAME! I really am still learning the ropes…
I plan to write more in-depth posts (possibly with less horrible puns) on specific aspects as I learn them, but for now, I just want to encourage anyone interested in an MMO that totally lives up to the “hype” to consider giving ArcheAge a chance. Sure, there is some risk… but the greater the risk, the greater the reward!
~Sprinks, Privateer of Blackthorne