‘ArcheAge’ is just finishing up with its open beta. Sadly, I didn’t get to play it as much as I would have liked to, but I did attain level 15, clear the first two areas, get a mount and a glider, and became a wife. Not too shabby, I must say.
So, what is ‘ArcheAge’? It’s a new F2P MMO (fun fact, almost just typed MOO – lol) from Trion that promises open world sandbox play in a world filled with angst and vengeance. You have your run of the mill mobs – ogres, spirits, small animals – and a basic quest line, with side quests to keep you busy. And of course, there’s crafting. Oh My God the crafting. This is sincerely the most crafting intense game I’ve ever seen apart from games like ‘Minecraft’. Aside from crafting your normal armor and weaponry, you can craft houses and everything that goes in them, boats and ships to take to the sea, and even better gliders so that you can bomb your enemies from above.
By enemies, I mean the other faction. This is a very PvP centric game – if it’s red, it’s dead. There’s no option to go to a strictly PvE or RP server, as there is in ‘WoW’ or other MMOs. PvP is everywhere. However, you better make sure that you’re fighting with honor. If you’re caught doing dishonest warfare (slashing down low level players, for instance), stealing, trashing other people’s farms, or other various offences, you will be taken to trial.
Now, this trial system is a bit different than, say, ‘League of Legends’. You’ll be taken to trial while you’re still online, and you’ll get to see what the jury has to say in the chat log. An interesting take on internet justice. Seeing as how this was open beta, I have no idea how well this will actually work once the game goes live. I’m hoping it cuts down on serious griefing infractions, but we’ll have to see. If it goes too rampant, they may have to scale it back a bit, or leave it for the worst offenders. Pirates, take heed, you may want to stay on your ships.
Overall, the game is beautiful. To be honest, I had the graphics scaled way back on my machine, because my video card isn’t all that great. I did peek over at my husband’s screen, and the detail was much better. But, even with my lowest setting graphics, I was still pulled in by how well done the graphics are. It’s still not as realistic as, oh y’know, real life, but it’s a major step up from some of the cartoony looks of ‘WoW’ (I’m aware they’ve cranked up some of the graphics. I haven’t played in a couple years, though, so I’m basing off of that.) and demands your attention. The sound is beautiful, and the ambience is also realistic with the chirps of birds or the sound of water.
A few things that could be improved, though — The UI is almost a complete ripoff of ‘Tera’, and could use a little more “oomph”. The map starts out HUGE, but you can choose between small, medium, and large. It’s slightly annoying, though, in that it’s a HUD map with a clear background. That’s okay in some areas, but when you have 50 buildings around you, it’s a little too chaotic. I also had a hard time getting my abilities to go off (I’m a clicker, so sue me.) during battle, or even selecting targets. TAB targeting is basically the only way I could get things done. Something that I like, but other people may not, is the lethargic controls. Just like ‘Tomb Raider’ slowed down the speed of movements to make them more realistic, so did ‘ArcheAge’. Movements such as running, jumping, swimming, and fighting seems slow. But, it does increase its authenticity. You don’t just appear on your mount, you take hold and vault yourself up on that mofo.
If you’re looking for an MMO that offers a true OPEN WORLD experience, I highly suggest trying ‘ArcheAge’. I know I’ll be playing it when the launch happens. And, hey, if you want to get a headstart, you can always become a founder.