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I began following ArcheAge right at the end of CBT3. I was impressed by everything ArcheAge and knowing that Jake Song had already helped produce great NA titles, I knew this was bound to get recognition by the west.
I spent a few days making a small fansite, applied for CBT4, and was surprised to get a reply within a week. I quickly turned the site into covering almost all english speaking ArcheAge videos, live streams and the footage I personally gained. (site is now down because FatCow hosting deleted it because of too much bandwidth use, yet I bought unlimited. BS right?)
Here is my North American video series covering CBT4 and CBT5:
I played with my friends and http://archeagesource.com/ guys as well as many other english speaking players who go into CBT4-5
Here are some other video series from other english speakers that have great footage as well:
Amaterasu(played with this guy and hes done wonderful things:
Steparu(he does many reviews on different MMOs so you must search his channel):
My personal thoughts/partial review on my experience in CBT4/5:
I came from MMOs like Asherons Call: Darktide, Dark Age of Camelot, WoW, and Darkfall. This game seems to capture a bit of all those games and then some. Of course each of those games I list have strengths and weaknesses. ArcheAge simply has a strength in every category of an MMORPG + new and inventive features, but doesnt quite exceed in any one (except the awesome optimized CryEngine 3).
ArcheAge is a true sandbox experience, literally with the ability to do almost anything and everything with years of potential to get better since we all knows MMOs are a work in progress even after release(plus expansions). The CryEngine 3 insures that this game will not be lacking in 5-6 years, and is well optimized to run on my 5 year old dual core laptop with Nvidia 105m GFX @ DX9 settings (35+ FPS, max view distance, no recorded video from it)
ArcheAge does not reward grinding as much as it does optional questing (you can under/over achieve quests). The questing not only teaches you the game and its many features, but also rewards you with nice things like gliders, mounts, boats, house knowledge, items, crafting materials, important locations to come back to and tons more. As a newbie, you can see epic uninstanced bosses roaming the land (newbie lands even), you can attempt to kill them but it will be a failed attempt each time. Dying in ArcheAge results in armor durability loss, loss of gold, and a DEATH PENALTY! Havent seen one of those in a while...
The combat is good enough, its mostly tab targeting but more like Guild Wars 2 where you can perform many manuevers to dodge, charge, backflip, teleport, block along with tons more abilities that add to this. There are no classes, but instead there are ability trees. You can spec into a combination of 3 and make hybrid type characters ie. healer/tank/mage or a ranger/rogue/tank etc. Each ability tree having strengths and weaknesses, but combining them together, can make some for some interesting PvE/PvP.
Coming from AC:DT and DF I enjoy partial/full loot from PvP. However, I wouldnt expect their to be full loot in normal ArcheAge servers, but it is possible with a PvP server. On the normal server for beta, players can still lose resources that they spent time gathering. These resources are in forms of backpacks and are a big deal when you lose them. They are used to build castles, houses, farms and more. This also gives Pirates much more meaning to ArcheAge and being able to harpoon a ship and board it is absolutely awesome (Amaterasu has a bit of that in his video series).
ArcheAge has a place for every player, but may turn off some that enjoyed Darkfalls FPS combat, or Asherons Calls amazing crafting system. I hope Trion Worlds can do a great port from Korea as well as make an awesome PvP server. Its good to hear that XLGames and Trion Worlds are agreeing on most things for ArcheAge and im very interested to see how itll come out in the west. If anything just to see it in english!
My most used quote while playing ArcheAge: "Its all the small things that make this game great".