My Personal Review of ArcheAge
This is going to be a very long post discussing my view on the game with my experience with it. You may agree or disagree with my views or you may not even read this entire post. I do hope that it is a good read for those interested; I would appreciate any feedback or thoughts on my post.
Please! Do not quote this entire post if you reply!
Before I begin, my experience with ArcheAge is of somewhat short time period of playing the game in comparison to some, and a long time period in comparison to others. I bought the Archeum Founder's Pack the week it came out after much deliberation, and I dropped the subscription of my favorite game up to that point. Before this I had been following ArcheAge and its progress in Korea and Russia for nearly 2 years, but only started playing as an alpha tester.
I want to start off saying that this is one of the best games I have ever played, and that is saying a lot. I have always loved “sandbox” genre games, and ArcheAge truly embodies all that I have wanted in such a game of that genre. The combination of the open-world of ArcheAge, its player-driven gameplay, and not to mention the ability to choose your own path, are something I have never experienced before in a game. The world feels real.
Creating your own story with nearly no restraints is a massive boost to the already great role-playing capability ArcheAge is able to host. I have yet to experience this side of the game, but when I do I am certain that I will not be disappointed.
The trading portion of the game has really caught my unbridled attention. The feeling of taking a trade pack from one part of a continent to another is calming and enjoyable, and feels very real. Traveling the open sea is just as great, and I’m very much enjoying just how big this game is. I enjoy trading nearly more than anything else in this game, but there is a problem.
Inter-continental trade routes have always been profitable, but they are not as enjoyable as a trans-continental route along the coast. Such a trade route is calming and enjoyable, something you can do any time. However, there is absolutely no reason to do them, and there is even less of a reason with the newest Gilda Star change. I enjoy trade routes along the coast, across the continent, but I have no reason to do them and so I hoard my trade packs until I can take them on an inter-continental trade route. I do not know what can be done to make this enjoyable activity worth-while, but something should be done.
Furthermore, I believe that pirates are a necessary part of the game and should be profitable if you choose such a path, however the ability for any person to “camp” trade docks, waiting for someone to come by with a trade pack, just to kill the trader and steal their pack for minimal effort is something that is a problem that needs to be fixed. My suggestion is that if you steal someone else’s pack you cannot turn their pack into the trader in that area. Perhaps a black market trade could be established, but the current system does not seem to work well.
Leveling in ArcheAge is not as enjoyable, but I am certain that it is a necessary evil. In most games that I play I pay more attention to the game’s story most of all, but in ArcheAge I have completely ignored it, skipping over every conversation and cut-scene I come across. This could be improved greatly by re-voicing everything in English rather than relying on broken English translations, if even that. However, I see that ArcheAge is not about its own linear story, but making your own.
On the convenience and controls side of the game, it could be improved.
I am a player that prefers, or perhaps almost needs to have the A and D buttons set to strafe, but for some odd reason strafe does not control boats, vehicles or gliders and because of this I have had to set my turn keys to SHIFT+A and SHIFT+D in order to control vehicles or boats at all. This is a workaround to an issue that can easily be fixed.
A highly brought up suggestion is allowing players to choose the option of a windowed full-screen mode. It would be highly beneficial to the game, as it adds more convenience and enjoyment to those playing it.
Last on this topic, the ability to choose names for your character and your possessions needs to be changed, or fixed, depending on how you view it. Currently our naming system is limited, as we can only have a single name with no spaces. Expanding the system to include spaces allows us to have surnames and gives us more freedom in naming our boats, vehicles and pets. I would like my name to be “Pingonaut Antilles,” but I am limited to just “Pingonaut.” I would like my boat’s title to be something like “Nuia International Freighter,” but I am limited to simply “Freighter.” This change would be greatly benefit a majority of the community and would increase the immersion of the game, benefiting role-players even more.
Overall, this is a $150 well spent for me. After buying the Archeum Founder’s Pack I have gotten more out of this game than I would have ever thought, and certainly have received more than $150 worth of enjoyment out of it. If you read this entire review I applaud you and your skills of reading and patience. There is so much more to this game that I have not covered, and those items that I have discussed were barely touched on to their fullest. ArcheAge is a game with a lot of potential, and I am happy to be here to see it blossom.