Now as the Open Beta just ended a while, I thought I'd take my time to write.. well, lets say a little "review" of my experience in ArcheAge so far.
Now, right og the bat, I want to emphasize that I only made it to level 26 i the beta, so I dont really have much to any experience when it comes to the end game pvp and sandbox elements which really is what makes ArcheAge, but i'll share with you, what my guildmates have shared with me, but I'll focus mostly on what I personally have experienced in ArcheAge.
Now let's start with Character Creation, as that was the first thing I got to experience after the log in screen and server selection.
(oh yeah, the log in screen is beautiful btw ;P)
Now the Character Creation has it's strong points and a few weak points aswell, but let's start with the goodies whall we?
First off, the Character Creation ha a lot of choices and sliders. Which is a very good thing for people like me who can customize their character for hours. We got:
- A fairly good har selection
- make up (for both boys & girls)
- skin color
- eyebrow types,
- lip color
- blush color
- facial hair (for men)
- face paint
- and facial scars (which you can customize size and position).
On the other side you can choose from pre created faces, then eyes, nose, mouth, and pre-created head morphs.
After that you can go into "advanced mode" and change the head morph, eyes, nose and lips to your liking with sliders.
It's fairly easy to create a unique looking character and I have yet to run into someone who looks just like me.
Then we got the weaker points.
The Hair selection is quite good enough, but I would have liked to see a couple more to be honest.
The face paints looks really over the top, and I've actually yet to see a character in game yto use any of them.
There is no body sliders. and no selection to choose from, everybody got the same body as the rest of the same race and sex does. The best comparison I can think about is the Tera Character Customization. Lots of head/face options, no body options.
The last thing is just a personal preferences, and it is that since ArcheAge is semi Anime inspired, it's quite easy to make a Anime face. Even though you choose to create a fairly realistic character, you will see some Anime-ish characters running around. And while it's not really a big problem for me, seeing as I am an Anime fan and it's a korean game, this might be a turnoff for others.
For those who have'nt seen the Character Creation here
is a link.
Okay then, off to the starter experience.
I want to start with saying that the graphics and aesthetics are truly Gorgeous in Arche Age, while the graphics aren't as pretty as they are in the trailers XLGames have released, the game is still beautiful. The only problem I had was that the graphics were much better in the Character Creation screen than in the actual game, so I had to remake my character numerous of times before I was satisfied with how she looked in game.
(But to be fair, I am a real perfectionist when it comes to how my character looks, and I usually do spend more than enough time remaking my characters in any game).
I started of as a Ferre (a cat person) played until about level 11, got kind of bored with the looks of my character, started a Nuian (a human) and played it to level 9, before I got bored again and created a Hariharan (mini humans, more eastern influenced) and was more or less satisfied with that one and played it to the end of the beta.
My Huriharan girl Kazumi. Hard to believe that goes as a plate armor, hm?
I am just going to talk a little bit about the races and my take on them.
there are 4 races divided by two factions,
There were rumors about there being 8 races at launch,
- The Returned
But as we haven't seen or heared anything about them during the open beta it's fairly sure they will not make in to the game to Launch. Read more about the races here
While personally, I find 4 races to be just a little weak, they all have their own story trough the story quest (their own mini cinematics here and there) and they all have their own starting areas, as their own mounts. The racial skills are not giving any of the races any serious benefits over the others, they are more practical, f.ex; Ferres can climb faster and Hariharan can harvest faster, etc. While the races aren't that unique (with an exception of the Ferres IMO) they still do look good and fit the game.
When it comes to classes ArcheAge really shines bright, there are a total of 10 different skill trees, and you'll be able to choose 3 of them. While the game does recomand trees for you, you'll be able to choose which ever playstyle you like.
Take my "class" for example, My first tree was melee dps, my second tree (I got at level 5) was a more assassin/rouge style tree. Last (at level 10) I choose the healing tree, which turned out to be one hell of a combination. You'll get a skillpoint every second or third level, and at level 5 and 10 you'll get 3 (I believe this to be correct, but don't quote me on this though). Same goes to your armour and weapon choice, you can use any type of armor and weapon to any of the skill strees.
Check out an English Skill Calculator here
, originally created by a russian fansite, but translated by Termy on ArcheAge Source Website.
Okay sorry about that spin off, and back to the game.
Trough level 1 to 25 the game have been really on rails, or a Quest Hub or whatever you'd like to call it. Small Zones, (no loading between them though), go from one quest giver 'til another until you've finished the zone and then on to the next one to do the same. I've been told by guildmates that the game is pretty much this until cap level, but I don't have any experience after level 25 so I can't really state that as a fact. You can however go around harvesting and earn XP through that, but it's really slow that way.
The Battle system is not one of ArcheAge strongest points, while I don't really mind the basic TAB 1+2+3 battle system, it can get boring, especially with the enormous amount of kill x amount of this and that quests. While you have access to a wide viariety of skills, it's still TAB based combat. And as ArcheAge doesnt have any evade system like Guild Wars 2, it's pretty much a button masher. But you can move around while attacking. the Character does not stop to swing his or her sword or to shoot an arrow. You only have to stand still to cast spells that requires a casting bar to fill up.
Gathering in ArcheAge is as gathering should be, you can gather special plants, cut down trees (not every tree though) and mine rocks for ores, Crafting on the other hand I didn't reallt get into. But some guildmates told me it wasn't anything spesial, and quite simple.
Mounts and traveling is something ArcheAge has done right in my opinion, while there's not a wide selection of different mounts,
(the racial mounts, horses and Yata's)
(My Character and her Yata)
there are plenty of other ways to get from point A to point B. There are wagons driven by an npc you can jump on aboard, there are the kite wing-thingies which can carry you from high places (a really fun way of traveling if you ask me, think a little more complex system of the Aion gliding), and then we got boats. Boats are a big thing in ArcheAge, there are boats from the little rowing boat you get for free from a quest, to really huge ships.
Trying out one of the bigger ships, I've heard you need to actually have lots of players maneuvering it.
Biggest boat I've seen so far in ArcheAge, not sure if it's even for sale, but it's got a music player and two jacuzzi's on top ;P
Every now and then you'll run into a portal in ArcheAge, and if you go through it you'll end up at the shopping market where you can buy everything sandbox related in ArcheAge. From houses, to castle walls, to siege weapons and boats. You'll buy this with a special currency. The horses and boats you'll get to buy with coins you'll get through the story quest, and the houses and siege weapons and such was bought with a currency I haven't gotten to yet, but it was overwhelming, looking at the houses and boats. It was at this point, when I got to this place, I knew that ArcheAge had so much more to offer than I originally thought.
As of PVP I've allready mentioned I haven't really gotten around to it yet, the closest thing I've encountered was when I started playing on my Nuian and was level 3 I believe, I suddenly met a level 40 Ferre. I didnt know if he could attack me or not, this being the starter area, but I wasn't about to find out so long story short, I ran around the place for 15 minutes, going from one speed buff station to another, with him riding after me yelling in korean. He gave up eventually... :P I've also done a few duels, but with the delay, I got raped hard....
Anyways, I feel like this "review" is getting all too long allready, and I'm sure those of you whom actually have read the whole thing can agree, so I'll just end it with the experience I had today, an hour before the open beta ended.
I ran around doing some quests when suddenly someone in the guild chat asked if any of us were crazy enough to go along and face the Kraken before the beta enden. Brave as I am, I accepted the challenge and met with one of the other guys who decided to tag along. His name was in korean so I called him Captain as he was the boats owner.
For almost an hour we sailed away to the middle of the map, passed cities and shores, and I tell you, it felt like only minutes. This is one of the feelings I haven't had in an MMO in more than 7 years, The feeling of excitement and exploration, watching the beautiful graphics as the sun goes down over the horizon, meeting the guildmates on their boats and, together, sail to what was (for me) unknown. I had a blast, and I can't explain how rare this is for me, having a good time exploring an MMO.
Here are some screenshots of our adventure:
Sailing past a City Meeting up with the other Guildmates
Sun going down Getting Close to the middle of the map Kraken 0.o
1 hit Dead End.
It's been quite the ride, and it's sad to see the Open Beta end.. But if I don't get to play anymore (due to not being my account),
I'll just have to wait for the western release like so many others
Last words about ArcheAge.
While I dont think this is the revolutionary title some want it to be, it's still a very good game. it might be a little casual (guildmate's words, not mine), but it does bring back the satisfaction of exploring, I haven't seen in a MMO for a long long time.
I think a lot of people are going to fall in love with this game if they give it a chance, and if it's not for them, so be it.
I am looking forward to playing with all of you who are just as excited about the western release as I am.
Thanks for taking your time reading this, I'm sorry it's so long, and I am sorry if you feel it was time wasted. I apologize in advance for any typoes and for my not-so-exceptional English, but I tried to make it as readable as possible.
If you have any questions about ArcheAge, I'll do my best to try to answer them. Again, thanks for your time.