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Thread: ArcheAge Review from a Former Player

  1. #1
    Senior Member Colthoron's Avatar
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    ArcheAge Review from a Former Player

    A little more than a year ago, Gamigo asked for game feedback in this forum. Most good companies will solicit feedback from their customers often. I’ve recently left the game and decided to respond to that request.

    My favorite movie critic was the late Roger Ebert. His reviews were relatable to the common person and he had an entertaining way of criticizing the films he found wanting. He even wrote a book about them. With a nod to Mr. Ebert’s book, I present my review of ArcheAge:



    Your Game Sucks

    When we were in the market for a new MMO to play in early 2018 (we are veterans of World of Warcraft, Guild Wars 2, Lord of the Rings Online, and Star Wars: The Old Republic), we were drawn to try ArcheAge for a few reasons. The game had a complex economy. Farming/gathering turned into packs, packs were delivered intra-continent, then inter-continent, eventually generating Charcoal (now Onyx). Gear could be crafted using basic materials and taken to the end-game in the same manner. In every other game I’ve played, crafted gear (and crafting, in general) was useless in endgame. The best gear was always reserved for loot in the endgame raids. I enjoyed the potential of the naval element. Not only could you fish, run merchants, and treasure hunt, you could engage in ship-to-ship battles with cannons. Finally, the game had a criminal justice system, with input by players, to police itself within the faction. The ArcheAge honeymoon did not last long.

    I’m going to highlight the leading issues with ArcheAge. A game can handle one or two of these if the gameplay is enjoyable. But all of these simultaneously should be fatal to a game. Here they are, in no particular order:


    Labor
    The concept of Labor is ArcheAge’s prime flaw. Whether introduced as a gate-keeper on the economic output or a means to generate revenue for the developer, Labor has led to a cascade of failures that has spectacularly wrecked both structure and gameplay. Structurally, limited labor has led players to compensate by creating legions of Alts (see below), essentially removing the limit on Labor. In gameplay, limited Labor forces players into activities that lead to the acquisition of more Labor. For instance, each and every night, I made sure I did my five dailies, ran Golden Plains on two characters (same account), and completed the Mistsong Banquet (when available). That led to four additional Labor rechargers at the cost of two to three hours, as well as my sanity. This was all the labor I could spend in the remaining gameplay. In essence, I had infinite labor.

    Bottom line is that players have compensated for the limited Labor by other means. These other means are a nuisance to the game and gameplay. If unlimited labor exists in practice anyway, why not remove it altogether? The game would improve immeasurably.


    Community
    To say ArcheAge has the worst player base of any MMO is being generous. Terrorist cells and police states have better people than reside in ArcheAge. I do not know the dynamics behind why this game draws the raunchiest and most malicious. My instinct is that lack of oversight by Gamigo has slowly allowed a descent into society’s darkest depths. Conversation each day includes the dining on one’s nether regions or how many people shared a sex toy at a recent party. It’s not uncommon for bullying in the extreme, or extortion, or griefing to a point where a player leaves the game. ArcheAge is inhabited by the dregs of Gamers. And we all know Gamers weren’t model citizens to begin with.

    Many game companies today will encourage the community to police itself. Unfortunately, this is an admission that they are going to essentially be asleep at the wheel. But nonetheless, some built-in tools can help a community administer punishment to those who cross the line. Blocking players does filter out the raunchy chat. But it also may limit your trading and raiding options given the hefty volume of players you’re going to need to block. The aforementioned criminal justice system was a great idea for jailing players who bullied or griefed others in their same faction. However, the system is broken, perhaps irreparably, as convicted players can escape jail almost instantly, removing any accountability for their actions. This has been a known issue for at least 18 months. No fix appears imminent.

    Please don’t misunderstand, ArcheAge does have some fine people. I counted four. Part of me wants ArcheAge to endure, if for no other reason than to act as a beacon for the worst of the worst of raging nerdom. That will leave the other MMOs free of this lot.


    Sailing & Naval Combat
    A big draw for me ended up being one of its biggest detractors. The game has all of these amazing ships that can sail on a dazzling ocean. But the mechanics of sailing and combat are lazy. Ships move too fast, accelerate too quickly, and turn too sharply at their highest levels. This makes cannons irrelevant in ship-to-ship combat. There are no tactics. Naval encounters are simply ramming one ship into another and letting the hyperbolic physics engine explode or despawning the ship in sight of the opponent and having 40 players fight it out in the water. It’s absurd. Even the Cargo Ship, which provides safe passage between continents is not immune to ridicule. The ship now has nets installed, which provide players a spot to ride. Because that’s how it was in the Age of Sail; mighty ships with empty decks and filled-to-capacity cargo nets.


    Gamigo
    Why do you have rules on gameplay if you will not enforce them? Why not be honest with the community? Your Terms of Use should merely state, “You can do whatever you’d like, as long as it doesn’t directly impact our revenue. Because then, and only then, we’ll obliterate you.”


    Economy
    Again, another draw that went south very quickly. As we joined, the game introduced Hiram gear. Hiram gear wrecked the economy. Crafted gear requires warehouses full of materials. This creates demand for all types of grown, gathered, logged and mined materials. Hiram gear requires none of that, only infusions, labor and gold. All are easily obtained without participating in the economy and by doing the same dozen quests each day. As a test, I ran a non-patron sorceress. In six months, only playing 30 minutes a day, I reached Legendary/Mythic Hiram gear with only opening loot bags for gold. It’s a different game, completely.


    Grinds
    I once thought World of Warcraft’s Argent Crusade was the pinnacle of grinding. Here, I wish stuff only took 30 days to do. Whether it’s the Dream Ring, the Chrome Steamfish Submarine design, the Enoan Galleon design, or Erenor gear, ArcheAge grinds are epic. Epic isn’t always bad, though. If you do different quests over the course of months, that’s fine. It’s interesting, even. But repeating the same activities each day dulls my sense of enjoyment. And what is with Seabreeze designs? They are the rarest commodity in the game. Who over there thought it was a good idea to make the very first upgrade to a ship component this improbable to obtain? In three years of seabugs and sunken treasure chests, I found exactly one. Either shorten the grinds or diversify the activities. Mind-numbing would come to mind as an accurate account. If my mind weren’t already numbed.


    Alts
    Alts are the scourge of ArcheAge. They wreck instances (Golden Plans) and skew the democratic system. Even the most ardent Alt hater (such as me) has to begrudgingly accept Alts as a means to compensate for Labor. Alts also mean running multiple clients. Which results in video settings minimized as to not melt my graphics card. So I’m playing a game that looks twenty years old. The day I quit, I bumped up all the graphics to max again on a single client. What an amazingly beautiful game! Too bad I never saw it that way when I played.

    And let’s not get into the whole slavery angle of Alts. Seriously, having characters who exist solely to benefit their master? Who the hell thought that was a good idea? There are two simple game changes that will forever rid the world of Alts; eliminate Labor (see above), and make daily rewards bound.


    Lore
    To me, good lore is a bonus, not a necessity. That doesn’t exist here. I struggled early to care about the quest line, eventually giving up on reading it completely. I think the first indication that the lore was substandard was the God of Destruction, Gene. Gene? Guess he wasn’t cool enough to be called Clint? Maybe it’s lost in translation. Or maybe it’s a story not compelling enough to generate any empathy.


    Conclusion
    I’ve played ArcheAge for three years. That was three months of fun and three years of regret. With my experience in ArcheAge there are a few things I will never do again. First, I will never play a pay-to-win game again. While I believe in patron as a means to support the game, I marvel at the amounts of money players drop to skip through the game. Why even play? Second, I will never play an Asian MMO again. The random number generation applied to everything was frustrating. Finally, I will never play a game developed or distributed by Gamigo again. They don’t care.

    Hope this review has helped any of you contemplating playing for the first time or returning. If you have….. run.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Guizmo's Avatar
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    Great feedback.

    I just add:
    Gamigo is the publisher, have hardware server and do translation.
    XLGames is the developer, game code for 7 publisher, 7 version, 7 time more bug.
    6 months delay for have fix/update with the Koreans.

    Since 2014, I continue to play every day, never stop.

  3. #3
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    You're utterly wrong about the lore. ArcheAge has some of the richest and most detailed lore I've ever seen. It's just not shoved in your face, you have to seek it out. And a lot of players completely ignore about half of the game. Guess where the lore is?

    I think the biggest drawback of the game is the heavy emphasis on PvP, which attracts a lot of toxicity.

    I've played for at least a little while nearly every day for the past six years. I still have fun every day. I have no regrets, except that I created my first two characters on the same account. I should have made separate accounts.

  4. #4
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    I totally agree everything you write Colthoron, also this game needs seasonal servers to pull back players as i described at a new post. If everything you write could be fixed with a new seasonal fresh start servers, this game would be one of the best game in the mmo industry

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