ArcheAge

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ArcheAge
ArcheAge logo
Developer(s) XL Games
Publisher(s) Tencent Games (China)
Trion Worlds (NA, Europe, Australia, NZ)
Mail.Ru (Russia)
Engine CryEngine 3
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) ROK 20130115January 15, 2013
JPN 20130723July 23, 2013
RUS 20140216February 16, 2014
EU 20140916September 16, 2014
NA 20140916September 16, 2014
Genre(s) MMORPG
Mode(s) Multiplayer

ArcheAge is an MMORPG developed by Korean developer Jake Song (former developer of Lineage) and his development company, XL Games. The game was released in Korea on January 15, 2013, Europe and North America on September 16, 2014, and has also had a closed beta in China. ArcheAge is described as a "sandpark" MMORPG, which the developers say is a hybrid of the open content style of a "sandbox" game and the more structured play experience of a "themepark" game.

Development[edit]

Initial development of ArcheAge began in 2011, and closed testing of the game took place over two years. Before finally being released in Korea on January 15, 2013, the game went through five closed beta tests and one open beta test.[1] In 2012, an XL Games studio representative said he expected ArcheAge to be released in North America towards the end of 2013, or the beginning of 2014.[2] In 2014 a newly hired CM stated the game will be transitioning into beta phase and will release for North America and the EU in 2014.[3] Announcements made in July, indicate the launch of the beta phase for July 17, 2014.[4] On April 24, 2014, Trion began to offer founder packs, for early alpha and beta access.[5]

Game updates[edit]

On April the 28th 2015, Trion launched an extensive content patch (1.7), called The Dread Prophecies. The new content patch features new zones, ship customization, and modifications for more realistic sea combat.[6]

Gameplay[edit]

Typical in-game scenery with player using a glider (upper right corner).

Archeage features a zoneless world with first or third person view.

Combat[edit]

In addition to traditional combat settings, ArcheAge offers naval combat in such settings where players have to secure trade routes or engage in sea-land battles. Ships need to be built and equipped with weaponry and manpower and fights can be between players or against sea monsters.[7]

Player vs player (PvP)[edit]

Player ships can be attacked.[8] Player constructed buildings, including castles, can be destroyed with siege weapons. City founding is possible by erecting floating city stones which can in turn be attempted to be captured by enemy forces.[9]

Crafting[edit]

The crafting system in ArcheAge is extensive, allowing crafting of, among other things, equipment, food, vehicles, and furniture for the player-owned homes. Crafting grants players "proficiency" levels, which unlock new crafting options.

Housing[edit]

The housing system allows players to construct buildings in designated, non-instanced zones throughout the world using a free-placement method. These buildings allow players to decorate their interiors/exteriors with both cosmetic and functional furnishings. Housing options range from small one-story cottages to large three-story mansions with their sizes directly affecting the amount of space required to place their foundations. Players must pay taxes on the land where they place their houses or run the risk of having them destroyed and losing some or all of the possessions therein. Most houses have a small area surrounding them that serves as space for farming, with the Thatched Farmhouse having the most farmable space of any structure.

By purifying an Archeum Crystal on the northern continent of Auroria, player guilds can claim land upon which to construct castles. These castles grant lordship over the surrounding area with taxes paid on the property within being collectable periodically by the guild's leader. A castle's primary focus is the defense of the Archeum Crystal during sieges. Should the Archeum Crystal be overtaken, the attacking guild gains ownership of the Crystal and the surrounding castle.

Land ownership is limited to "Patron" status holders and thus unavailable to free players.

Farming[edit]

After completing a quest early in a character's development, the ability to place a garden is obtained through the use of a scarecrow design. Further along in the character's development, a larger farm design becomes available. Using these designs, players are capable of claiming plots of land, typically in designated areas, where they can choose to raise a variety of plant and animal life. Only the owner of a farm, or those given permission by the owner, may access the farm and manage its contents. Players may also choose to plant their crops/trees/livestock in the open world but run the risk of other players stealing the contents, for which the transgressing player may receive crime points and eventually stand trial.

Each plant or animal has a set length of time required for it to mature and become harvestable, with expedited growth in suitable climates. Usually, once matured, these plants and animals can be maintained for sustained yields, or picked/slaughtered/chopped down to clear the space and gather base materials. Upkeep involves feeding and occasionally medicating animals, watering plant life and gathering from trees with failing to do so in a timely manner resulting in the withering and eventual death of any plant or animal life. Some animals are capable of mating, producing offspring that may be capable of being raised as a mount or battle pet, though the chances of this happening are extremely rare. Players may choose to uproot plants or needlessly slaughter animals before they are fully matured. Doing so will result in the removal of the plant or animal and has a chance to yield a small return, though typically will result in a loss of the initial item.

As with housing, farms require a tax to be paid in order to maintain ownership of the plots upon which they are placed. Taxes increase exponentially with each additional property owned. Failure to pay these taxes will result in the scarecrow being made vulnerable to attack, allowing players to destroy it and claim the plot for themselves.

Mounts and pets[edit]

ArcheAge has a pet system with pets being bought as babies and trained to grow into mounts or battle companions.[10] Pets/mounts level up with distance traveled or experience gained during combat. They can be killed in battle, resurrected and suffer resurrection disease which can be healed at a stable. Pets/mounts have equipment slots like player characters.[11]

Politics[edit]

ArcheAge contains a Judicial system with player run courts. Players can choose to answer jury summons and judge players who have committed crimes of theft or murder. There are minimum and maximum sentences that are determined by vote among the jurors. The system is a fundamental game mechanic, and not built to combat intentional "griefing" by players. Criminal players are imprisoned and can pay off their debt by working in the prison or trying to escape through digging their way out. Players are able to escape from the prison, however they are unable to use any abilities for the duration of their sentence. The development team has stated they may introduce a bribery system that would enable the accused player to bribe jurors.[12]

Questing[edit]

Swimming in the ocean, a typical in-game scene.

The early-bird system lets players submit quests which are not yet completely finished, in exchange for reduced experience rewards. The opposite effect is overachieving, by gaining additional quest objectives, resulting in bonus experience. Hidden quests are available too, which can be unlocked by reaching special achievements.

Skills[edit]

The skill system of ArcheAge is very flexible as one chooses three basic skill types from a selection of ten and can thus can create one's own "class" which is then leveled based in improvement. These classes can be changed at anytime at a specific NPC however it does cost in-game currency to do so and can become expensive.

Trade Routes[edit]

Trading routes are a very effective way to make money or if one chooses "Gilda Stars" to unlock building or castle plans. A player gathers or farms specific materials in order to craft resources at a destination specific terminal and walks or rides them to a corresponding trading post merchant. Upon creating the resource (example: farm strawberries to create strawberry jam), this resource is then placed in a pack on a player and the player is unable to walk at full speed. This makes using the public transportation system (automated bus carts and airships) essential for the fast transportation of these goods. The further the trading post is from the crafting terminal, the higher the reward a player will receive. Be warned, however, that if the player is in neutral land, other players are free to kill him and take his pack. A player can place the pack on the ground whenever he wishes to fight and pick it back up. Using a mount while carrying a pack will slow it down too (the fastest mount with a pack being a donkey), but they can however store packs in player-made vehicles (farm cart, ships).

Travel[edit]

There are many options for travel in ArcheAge, including walking, climbing (ladders, vines, trees), swimming, personal mounts and personal boats (from row boats to catamarans to galleons), as well as personal gliders or car-like machines such as tractors for transport of larger amounts of goods. There are predetermined travel routes by airships, taxi-like vehicles and portals too.[13][14] Travel is fully 3-dimensional in ArcheAge; thus swimming and diving are possible. Diving can be improved with diving equipment. There is underwater planting, harvesting and gathering of resources along with underwater treasure hunting.[15]

Some mounts allow players to backpack with another player upon invitation. Boats can be used in a similar fashion to transport other players with one player acting as driver.[16]

Gliders[edit]

A unique mode of transportation is gliders, which can be equipped and upgraded.[17]

Game technology and special features[edit]

ArcheAge makes use of modern graphics effects like tessellation and ambient occlusion and contains a physics engine.[18] Interaction with the game world from mobile devices is possible too.[13][19] ArcheAge uses player collision, unlike many other MMO's, thus player movement can be blocked by other players or NPC's.

Regional versions[edit]

The main version is the Korean client, with version 1.8 installed.[citation needed] The Russian client was launched into open beta on February 22, 2014, and a Chinese localization has been announced.[20] The North American and Europe localization has been live since September 2014. The Western versions vary from the Korean version, and are maintained and adjusted by the local publisher with input from the community.[21] Trion Worlds have stated that they plan to release Archeage with custom version of Patch 1.2. Trion Worlds have also stated that Archeage is going to be localized into English first and then the edited text will be translated into French and German.[22] On April 16, 2015 Trion announced that they would begin upgrading the NA/EU localizations to version 1.7 on April 28, 2015. [23]

Security[edit]

The game client uses HackShield, a set of anti-cheating root toolkits developed for MMOs.

Lore[edit]

The story is based on the The ArcheAge Chronicles, by the Korean author Jeon Min-hee. Essentially the plot outlines the struggle between the forces of good vs evil and heroes who set out to change the future in their favor.[24]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 84.33%[25]
Metacritic 80/100[26]

Archeage has received generally favorable reviews from critics, currently holding a score of 80 on Metacritic and 84.33% on GameRankings.[25][26]

Awards and accomplishments[edit]

In October 2014 ArcheAge won game of the month on MPOGD.[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Reahard, Jef (January 24, 2013). "Trion to publish ArcheAge in the West". Massively by Joystiq. Retrieved January 24, 2013. 
  2. ^ Murphy, William (June 20, 2012). "ArcheAge Interviews: Closed Beta, America Bound, & Siege Warfare". MMORPG.com. Retrieved January 24, 2013. 
  3. ^ Raehard, Jef. "Trion CM confirms F2P ArcheAge coming to Americas and Europe this year". Retrieved March 16, 2014. 
  4. ^ "ArcheAge Closed Beta Starts July 17". 
  5. ^ "ArcheAge Founder’s Packs Now Available!". Trion. February 25, 2014. 
  6. ^ "The Dread Prophecies Have Been Fulfilled!". Trion. April 28, 2015. 
  7. ^ beka puturiidze. "Ship Building & Naval Battle (lower resolution)". Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  8. ^ Amaterasu ArcheAge. "Harpooning Sea Creatures". Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  9. ^ psobb12. "Castle Building and Siege Demo". Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  10. ^ MMORPGHispano. "Pet System". Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  11. ^ Amaterasu ArcheAge. "Pet System 2". Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  12. ^ cinderboy. "ArcheAge – Closed Beta 5 interview". Retrieved April 21, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b Steparu. "Airflight, Town Building, Mobile Devices". Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  14. ^ hzobaba. "Tree climbing and gathering". Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  15. ^ BetacakeNet. "Diving and unterwater treasure hunting". Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  16. ^ SteparuTV. "The Kraken Awakens". Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  17. ^ "ArcheAge Glider Obtain and Upgrade Overview And Guide. You are awarded upgrades to your gliders as you level up. The higher level of glider, the faster is will glide. Some upgraded variants of the gliders feature the ability to attack objects below them or use a quick skill that gives the glider a "boost" beneath its wings so you can travel further.". 2P. June 20, 2013. 
  18. ^ beka vidss. "Nvidia Effect impact". Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  19. ^ Apophis, MMOcast (April 11, 2014). "ArcheAge – Update Preview". Apophis. Retrieved April 11, 2014. 
  20. ^ "ArcheAge Entering Open Beta in Russia on Feb. 22". 
  21. ^ "Controversy with Archeage Patch 1.0?". April 19, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Retrieved 28 August 2014. 
  23. ^ "Omen of Dread Prophecies". April 16, 2015. 
  24. ^ Kumapon (October 28, 2013). "Archeage Lore". 
  25. ^ a b "ArcheAge". gamerankings.com. 
  26. ^ a b "ArcheAge". Metacritic. 
  27. ^ "MPOGD's GAME OF THE MONTH October 2014". Multiplayer Online Game Directory. Retrieved 2 November 2014. 

External links[edit]