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Today we will talk about the new generation in MMORPG, to be precise - about ArcheAge.
To begin, lets name the authors of the game. Archeage is being developed by a Korean company XLGames, which by the way has affiliates in USA. (The budget is over 60,000,000$ Based on the company's own money, investitions from Giga-Media and money from selling localization rights to Japan and China. Archeage was also tested on many computers (i tested on 3 different configs myself), and it ran smoothly even being in CBT2. So there is nothing to worry about, because CryTek failed to optimize their game. The game can run good on most configs, the minimum requirment for comfortable play is geforce8500gt and a duo core (tested myself). Do not forget, that the game will be released in the end of 2011 in korea, so you still have plenty of time to enjoy i83 cores and geforces780s )
The head of XLGames is Jake Song. He is very known in the circles of MMO development. To be straight, it is his games, that became the first milestone in the evolution of the MMORPG genre. Although there were other developers of course. Jake Song worked on projects like "Nexus", "The Kingdom of the Winds","Lineage", "Lineage 2", "Tabula Rasa", "Aion", etc. Thanks to him, NCSoft published a lot of popular MMORPG's, and became so famous. In the year of 2003, Jake Song left NCSoft, because of some tensions with the direction, and founded his own company "XLGames". He is currently developing the first next-generation MMORPG. The project got named Archeage, and was announced in February 2010. The first closed beta test was successfully completed this summer, and the second - in November.
The developers try to include the best parts of all modern MMORPG's in Archeage:
A huge, detailed game world; Quality graphics; Massive PvP and sieges; interesting quests, which will be based on a big plot rather than regular grind; Raid dungeons; A possibility to build your own houses and towns! Archeage is created as a Sandbox - kind of games, where the player is free to do anything he wants in the game world. There will be a plot of course, but the developers want players to create the most vivid events.
There are 8 races in the world of Archeage: including humans, elves, dwarfs and ferre (Catlike humans). The races are divided to 2 fractions, East and West. A long time ago, all races lived on a single continent, but after a cataclysm, the world got divided. The player enters the game a few thousand years later after the catastrophe. If you follow the quest plot, you will learn the history part by part. To write it and the quests, XLGames hired a famous Korean novelist Jeon Min-Hee. So we can expect a lot from the quest lines.
The most amazing part, is that Archeage is made on CryEngine 2. When you look at high res screenshots, made on high graphic levels, you simply can't believe that THIS will be a MMORPG! The developers already released some video clips showing the physics of the Cry Engine 2. Unfortunately, at this moment, the environment destruction physics are enabled only in instances, while you can still interact with other players in the open world accordingly. If enabled for the whole world, it will open great opportunities for tactics in the genre of MMORPG.
The size of the game world exceeds the size of the world of WoW including all expansions. The interactivity of the world in Archeage is very high. There is a day-night cycle. One should take a torch with him in case he gets caught in a dark place during the night. The developers have promised to implement season cycles. In one of his interviews, Jake Song asked to imagine a lake, created after someone casted a meteor to hit the ground in a battle a week ago. It is possible, that things like this await us in Archeage.
Control of the character is also innovated compared to other games. For example one can fight mounted on his horse, climb walls and trees, ropes and build houses. The trees in Archeage grow independently. They have many stages of growth, and you can see them increase in size in real time. Players can then cut these trees and build a house. You can also plant trees, but its way more fun to cut them down. You can place a scout on the top of a large tree. Then watch your enemies approach and cut the tree down with the scout!