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ArchLord takes place in a fantasy world controlled by a great conqueror known as the “ArchLord”. The entire goal of this MMO is to become the ArchLord thus unlocking great powers and special armor. The concept behind the game seems very similar to Lineage 2 as are the graphics, gameplay, skill bars, XP loss, PVP, and quite a few other features. So much so that being a veteran of Lineage 2, I pretty much already knew how to play from the moment I logged on.
The controls in ArchLord are simple with clicking the mouse on a location causing your character to walk there and double clicking a mob causing you to attack it. Most of the interaction with the game includes simple right and left clicks. The only other controls needed are for using skill bars by pressing numbers 1-9. Overall this makes the game extremely easy to get used to control wise. The annoying part of gameplay is spamming healing potions making almost any fight winnable with enough healing pots. It made the game as a whole into “who can spam healing pots faster”. The combat in ArchLord is a sit by and watch type experience at least at early levels. At this time my character is level 8 and I have two usable skills one that is basically a power shot and one that makes you run faster.
Each time you level in ArchLord you gain 1 skill point. These skill points can be used to get skills from a skill trainer and skills also cost gold. The skill system forces players to decide between certain skills available and is the only real character development in the game. Although the large number of skills and upgrades that become available will leave a lot of options and combinations open for characters it just isnâ€™t enough. The large annoyance is looking through all the skills. Each one is spaced out wide enough meaning that you will have maybe 4 or 5 skill points when you can buy skills and maybe 6 skills to choose from. So the skill system, even though it requires choices, still is a very limited customization. There is really not a lot you can do to get more powerful, at least at the beginning of the game, because everything you can buy in the game to enhance your character has level requirements spaced out about 10 levels apart.
One of the coolest aspects of ArchLord includes the ability to turn into a monster using special potions. Each monster adds power to your character and changes your appearance. I only had the chance to get one low level potion while I played and it would turn me into a spider for 4 minutes and add 32 damage to my attacks. It is a cool idea and I imagine some of the higher level potions can turn players into amazing creatures. Another feature in the game is the bounty system. The bounty system is used to find player killers throughout the world and if you are able to defeat them you get their bounty. Player killers are players who â€œmurderâ€? other players and by doing so earn a bounty on their head. Getting killed by another player is extremely discouraging but is a large part of the game. The player who gets killed loses XP and must resurrect back at town. It is even worse to die from a mob outside of the noob area. Dying outside of the beginning area the player receives the XP penalty as well as he may drop a random item from his inventory leaving it behind for a random person to snatch up.
Code Masters has decided to implement a purchase plan system. When a player buys gameplay time they can also choose to purchase credits to use in game. The credits are used to buy special items such as orbs that resurrect you right where you die with no XP penalty and keys for chests that randomly drop in the world as well as items that increase XP gained per kill. I believe this is a good way for the company to make money but a lot of gamers who are more casual will most likely never buy in-game credits. This will also reward people for how much money they give out instead of how good you are at the game or how much time you spend playing. Overall, I think it ruins the in-game economy allowing people with real money to pass those casual gamers easily.
ArchLord is visually decent compared to most recent games. However, the mobs in the game are bland and boring with â€œeliteâ€? mobs looking identical to other mobs a lot of times and other times the color of the elite mob is the only difference. This was a major and rather big downfall of the game because it made the grind even more monotonous. The sound in ArchLord has major problems especially with sound FX. The sound FX in the game would create an annoying constant pulsing noise at various times in the game. When I would disable and then enable sound FX the annoyance would go away for a short time before coming back.
ArchLord is a fairly new MMO that has a lot of kinks that need fixed. At this time it sadly is a sub par MMO compared to the majority of MMOs out there. The game really lacks variety as well as the fun factor. I suppose it is always possible for future patches to turn this MMO around, but right now I canâ€™t recommend it. The most the majority of people will get from it is about 7 or so levels of enjoyment before you outright get bored.