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Grimvald
11-26-2017, 01:17 PM
I have not actively played an Mmorpg for years but really want to start. I have tried a couple recently GW2 and ESO & I just can't get into either of them for some reason. When I was an active gamer I was a die hard DAOC'r due to liking the game play, classes and PVP. I have also kept my LOTRO account for many years and jump in just to quest for a bit here and there. Now Its time to find something that I might like to play a bit more full time maybe a couple hours a day. So, I am researching this game and hoping someone out there can help me out. I've read posts, watched Youtube but still feel like most of the info is dated. What is the current state of the game, Server population, best USA servers to start as a newbie, etc.? If I could get just the most basic & current advice because this is a very complex game that has recently or will soon have some major changes. Thanks in advance for any input.

wooglemoogle
11-26-2017, 07:42 PM
General Rundown of ArcheAge's History
ArcheAge was presented as being a sort of return to the classic type of MMORPG during a time when action combat and non-targeting games were big crazes. Ideally, it would be able to have the PvE of WoW, the PvP of Lineage, and the social mechanics of Ultima. But ArcheAge went through some troubled development, it took from 2006 -> 2010 to go from concept to game, then 2011-2013 to the game we're looking at today. For whatever reason (supposedly due to financial and organizational troubles), ArcheAge kind of switched gear from its original vision. The P2W controversy (not only in our region, but Korea as well) really did some damage on the game's playerbase. New systems were added over time, but development of actual content was slowed significantly. Core issues didn't really get addressed and continued to pile up over time.

Last year after completing some unfinished content with 3.0, XL Games started an initiative to look over ArcheAge's problems and the various concerns the community had voiced over the years. The overall goal was to try and bring the current ArcheAge more in line with its original form while not just hitting a huge reset button and destroying everything. The changes started coming in with 3.5 and are continuing on to this day. Based on XL's current pace, the initiative will almost certainly continue throughout 2018.

Current State of the Game's Population
There aren't many new players on ArcheAge because it's been out for a while. One of the core issues ArcheAge has is with power gaps; both players that have paid more and/or played more will have a significant advantage over lower-level players. This isn't as big a deal in games where PvE is the focus, but because PvP bleeds into many elements in ArcheAge, a lot of new players find it too difficult and time-consuming to get caught up. As a result, it's likely that we won't see a surge of new players until next year, when some form of a new server is being planned.

If you still want to continue, most players now on NA will suggest either Conviction or Thunderwing for their population (they arguably have the highest now due to being formed from the merge of 6 servers). Reckoning and Vengeance were the fresh-start servers (newest servers), but as mentioned above, the population of new players have kind of bled away due to the progression gap and lack of new content. It likely still has the best ratio of "newer" players, but they're all technically veterans at this stage since the servers have been up for almost a year.

Things to Note for General Play
ArcheAge currently has a relatively quick early period. For more interesting side quests, picking an older race like Nuians, Elves, Harani, or Firran is advised since their quest development happened during the game's earlier stages. The newer races, Dwarves and Warborn, have an expedited leveling pace with their quests as they were kind of "catch-up" races. Leveling should be fairly brisk up to level 30, then it acquires a bit more of a grind up to level 50. From there, 50-55 is the grindiest yet and will probably be less exciting since you're not traveling through the whole world to do quests. You also gain EXP from Labor usage as well, so that's an alternative some people use to level with around 30+ to get around or supplement the grind.

ArcheAge incorporates a unique system called Labor for its life activities (farming, fishing, mining, etc). You'll generate a certain amount of Labor points per day (a subscribed player has a more generous stream of Labor than F2P), so you can only do so much work at a time on a single account. Raising proficiency levels and participating in the economy is usually about lowering Labor usage while maximizing gains. It helps keep the economy in check (gold acts as the alternative for Labor) and scales well to group work since everyone has limits on Labor. That said, the intent has kind of gotten twisted with the monetization model, so a lot of newer players have viewed Labor as a restrictive cash gate.

Conclusion
It's recommended to try the game out if you want an MMO that errs to the classic side. Perhaps best to play when the 4.0 patch comes out in the upcoming weeks since there'll definitely be at least some players coming back. Try it as an F2P first since Labor isn't as important for the game's early stage. If you end up liking the systems and the way the world feels, then you can look into either getting a subscription or busting your ♥♥♥ off to buy it with in-game gold. Feel free to ask any additional questions about more specific topics.

Grimvald
11-27-2017, 11:50 AM
Wow, thank you for this informative and very thorough reply to my post. I will take your advice and give this a try with a bunch of difference characters at low level in anticipation of the 4.0 release. I can't thank you enough for the time you took in this reply.