ArcheAge Is Out, Launch Trailer Has Sky Boats

ArcheAge is out! It’s– No, not acreage, which I imagine might be a game about measuring land to settle territorial disputes. Why do you always interrupt me? It’s instead a free-to-play fantasy MMO in the Lineage mold, but merges yer trad-questing with something supposedly more sandbox-y. There are pirate ships and flying ships and player housing and all the things, as seems to be the way with the modern massively multiplayer sort. Launch trailer below, featuring a few highlights.

Although it’s published by the familiar Trion Worlds, makers of Rift, it’s actually developed by XL Games. They were previously responsible for the Korea-only Civilization MMO, Civilization World.

The word I heard from the head-start period – where early subscribers get access to servers early – was all positive and optimistic. People seemed surprised by the game. But since its proper launch earlier this week, I hear ill-word of long queues to enter servers. Which perhaps means that it’s more Line-age than Lineage inspired.

Yes, this whole post was written to support that joke.

Have any of you given it a try so far, and if so what were your experiences? Should we send someone in to investigate, or is it better left ignored?

49 Comments

  1. Orija says:

    So, opinions from those who’ve tried the beta? The game kinda fell off my radar after Black Desert got announced.

    • Boothie says:

      Bear in mind ive only gotten to about lvl 20 both since launch and in beta but i had a lot of fun, its a game with a wealth of options in what you can do and is very fun. I actually bought into the beta and as such i have the subscription pass which alleviates the games biggest issue which is the labour system basically any kind of crafting requires you to spend a resource called labour which slowly resupplies, its not impossible to play as a freeplayer but prepare to put off a lot of things until your labour refills. Personally id treat it as a buy2play mmo with a liberal trial system, give it a try if you like it subscribe.
      EDIT: Also the game is currently quite congested and as such it will take you a very long time to login since there is a queue, i would wait a few weeks until the pressure drops before trying it out.

    • 0positivo says:

      If you care about my two cents: I am not someone who enjoys MMORPGs. Took me a very long time to realize why, while playing stuff like WoW, Guild Wars, Aion, EvE, Ragnarok, etc I was never having fun once my friends logged off and I found myself grinding on my own

      So I got into the beta very skeptical, the only last MMO that I really managed to enjoy for a while being Guild Wars 2 (because it resembles more of a classical RPG than a MMO. For one, I was glad that game had content all along, and not just at the end).

      What I found was a very lackluster setting, with mildly uninteresting story, combat as easy as you can expect from any themepark MMO under the sun, and a surprising lack of sandbox elements that were otherwise the elements everyone got so excited about. I played about 20 to 30 levels in, and all throught it was just same old, same old, grind through as fast as you can, don’t bother with any significant choice or crafting or anything of the sort as it will be all invalidated and rendered obsolete in 2 more levels (sigh… I wish more games took example from EvE to avoid that…)

      I was also greeted with what is most likely one of the worst F2P implementations and restrictions I’ve seen in an MMO since early F2P Old Republic was remade. In fact, I could argue it’s even WORSE.
      Because while Old republic limited you across the board, but still allowing you to access a bit of everything, in Archage non-paying players are basically LOCKED OUT of ANY kind of sandbox element, the few bits in there. All you can do is level up, fight PVE, and fight PVP. THAT’S IT. Forget owning land, forget farming and trading, forget any kind of meaningful territorial play. In addition, crafting is shafted, money-making is slowed to a crawl. Not only that, but even the subscribers (!) have limted access to those elements, only regenerating the infamous “labour points” (used by any kind of money-making action, from looting bodies to farming to crafting to anything else that isn’t pressing a key to make baddie die) at double speed than non-paying customers. But don’t worry! Just buy our handy labour potions, for just Whatever.99$! That will surely fix it, right? Ughh.

      It did have some very good points in its favor, however. The class building is fun and open to a lot of experimentation, what with its semi-open ended nature (choose 3 subclasses and mix them together to obtain your “metaclass”), ridicolously large selection of weapon types (each with its own specific use, bonus and very different stats), boats (that I admit are a LOT of fun, even just the lowly rowboats), and sufficiently meaty combat system based a lot around the idea of skill synergies and comboes.

      Oh, and a dance stance. No, not just an emote. It’s a modifier, that you can apply to any action. Want to walk around dancing? Why not, go ahead. Best feature in any MMO, truly GOTY worthy

      • Martel says:

        Thanks for taking the time to write up this post.

        • 0positivo says:

          Thanks for reading!

          And for being awesome and supporting RPS.
          Kinda wish I had the possibility to do that myself right now

      • tumbleworld says:

        Thanks for this. Shame about the regressive monetization.

        • rusty5pork says:

          Yeah, and that’s surprising from Trion. Rift’s monetization seems pretty fair. It’s like GW2, but minus the initial purchase.

          • Smoky_the_Bear says:

            I’m guessing that Trion had to fall in line with the way the game is monetised in Korea as set by the original devs. Remember they did not make this game, they just translated it/westernised it. I’m guessing the Korean players wouldn’t be too happy if it became 5 times cheaper to do everything for the western customers.

      • hawken.grey says:

        The TRUTH (and this is after playing Alpha extensively for several months) is that they shouldn’t be calling it a F2P game. Just get that out of your head, because it’s not.

        What it is is a subscription MMO, with a really nice trial that let’s you see a ton of the game – so much that you can level up to max level, run all the PvE and really get a taste for it.

        But as you’ve said above – as a so called “F2P player” you’re locked out of a lot of systems. Just don’t go into it expecting that you’ll be playing the game for free, because it’s not really the case.

        However, as a subscription game, it’s really fun and has a lot of great, immersive, fresh ideas.

      • Vin_Howard says:

        A lot of the glaring f2t p2p(free-to-try, pay-to-play) issues can be alleviated, to some degree, if you join a nice guild. You’ll be sure to find paying guildies who will lend you farm land and their houses (you can do that), help you with your crafting, and just help you in general (this is a VERY team-minded game).

        But yah, if your curious, here is a more factual representation of f2p restrictions:

        5labor points/5mins online; 0lp generation offline(labor points are used for any and all economic actions [gathering, crafting, and even turning in trade packs]); [patrons get 10lp/5mins online and 5lp/5mins offline]

        You can’t list items on the marketplace (you will have to trade in person; also, you can effectively buy permanent marketplace access with in-game money)

        You can’t place farms or houses; (guildies and members of your “Family” can, however, share access to their farms and houses with you).

        You can also buy premium currency from other players off the market; thus you can effectively buy any cash-marketplace item (including subscription) with in-game money.

        Besides that, there are no restrictions. Besides that, there are no restrictions. You can own a boat, sail the high seas, get involved in massive pvp battles (I’ve already heard of one 1k+ battle on my server), play “endgame,” and enjoy everything else archeage has to offer.

        • 0positivo says:

          While we’re at it, any guild suggestion for eurpean servers? Between the queues completely stopping me from even creating a character, and the forums being… not that useful, I’ve haven’t been able to find any decent looking one. This is a game I’d really love to play, because that combat system and combo classes I really dig, but no way I’m going to slog through it alone…

  2. RedViv says:

    It’s Civilization Online, Civ World was a Facebook game. What poisonous magic is working that makes you confuse Civ things yet again this week?

    • Orija says:

      Do you mean to say that he’s been acting uncivilized this week?

  3. jack4cc says:

    10/10, best Waiting In a Line Simulator ever.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      Haha this is the truth. Since it went live for the general public I have yet to see a queue under the 2400-3000 range. No way I’m going to sit there in that line, even if I walk away from my computer for an hour.

  4. djbriandamage says:

    This article mentions “subscribers” but the official site says “play for free”. Is this a F2P game with optional subscription? Or something else?

    • gattsuru says:

      You can create an account and enter the game for free, but there are payment options that provide in-game bonuses. Subscription payment is probably the most significant, increasing passive Labor (an energy resource) regeneration and max values, allowing Labor to regenerate when you’re offline, and allowing full access to the auction house and land claims at 15 USD/month.

      It’s not strictly necessary to subscribe — and I’d definitely recommend trying it before subscribing — but it is playable as a free player.

      • 0positivo says:

        if by playable you mean “looking at peope around you building houses, farming land, trading around, having money, crafting and doing all sort of new and exciting things that make this game interesting, while all you can do is press 1, 2 and 3 at baddies”, yes, then it is very much playable

        I really cannot fathom why they would lock the new things, the ONLY things that differentiate this game from MMORPG of the year # 27, completely for anyone that isn’t willing to put money down every month. At least allow some limited form of it, so to tease and show a “you see all of this? You find it fun? Well, you can have it much better!” sort of approach

  5. Ashrand says:

    Did anyone else hear a Clang when the narrator lady said “…and elves” or was that just me?

    • Guy Montag says:

      As my first experience with ArcheAge, yes, I had a hearty laugh at that line.

  6. Volpe says:

    Played around in the beta for a while, tried to get back on last night but an estimated two hour line prompted me to play some Dotes instead.

  7. Hydraulic Meerkat says:

    Gonna give this a shot to scratch my nautical itch.

    I see you have to be a ‘patron’ to own land and build things, but does anyone know if you lose access to your land and whatever you built if you become a f2player?

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      To keep your land you have to pay taxes, if you don’t you lose your land so I’d assume going F2P means you cannot do this, hence you cannot keep your plot. I could be wrong though.

    • mr.black says:

      I think you lose the land, but get everything in it back. I think you won’t lose e.g. the materials for the house. It’ll be stored in your global storage closet, or similar..

  8. Premium User Badge

    heretic says:

    send Philippa!

  9. aliksy says:

    This game uses Hackshield, and Hackshield appears to be a piece of shit. Specifically, on windows8, ArcheAge seems like it will not launch if the user is not an administrator. It will ask for admin permission, and you can grant it, but then it dies. It then helpfully opens a FAQ in Internet Explorer (not my default browser), and the FAQ is in some asian language I don’t speak.

    Games should not need administrative rights to run.

    Anyway, when I changed my user type to admin it worked and put me in a queue. I can only assume hackshield has compromised my system in some soon to be revealed way.

    • Danley says:

      I thought this was sketchy, too. But I don’t think it’s the game itself but the ‘anti-hack tool’ that launches when you start up the game.

      Though after seeing a level 33 guy pretty much solo an instance boss like he was CGI Yoda (when we almost lost a level 49 tank in a group of 3 in my first attempt) I’m guessing there’s still some ‘hax’ in there. But maybe my latency just made his use of skills seem different.

  10. Jubaal says:

    I’d love to try this, but unfortunately it has no invert mouse despite it being one of the most requested items since beta.

    • Arglebargle says:

      Yep, I made two characters (the character builder is not bad), tried it for a little bit, and then, like most games that don’t have reasonable UI elements, I deleted it. Got two good names though. Fortunately I paid zippo to do this. No inverted mouse, no chance at getting any of my money. To me it’s a sign of a poor design ethos, that will only lead to discovering other little things where they didn’t deign to do the work.

      Not my style anyway, but I wanted to give it a reasonable whirl. But bad interface trumps even good games.

      • tormos says:

        sometimes I realize that I share a website with people who won’t play a game that doesn’t have inverted mouse and at those times I get a little bit sad

        • Arglebargle says:

          I think it’s sad that other folks feel they should tell you how to play your games.

          A small continual irritation, one that effects every single moment you play a game, is not minor in my book. And it IS my book.

          Doesn’t help that it’s a dead simple adaption for the devs to do.

  11. h4plo says:

    Whether or not you like ArcheAge is really going to depend on your level of patience, and if you’re willing to throw a bit of money at it. Full disclosure: I didn’t play the beta, but I did play the headstart, and dropped the $50 or 60 or whatever for full access.

    I think it’s fucking awesome: my first evening playing, I came across two gentlemen sitting on a boat one of them owned. I didn’t know them, but I got on their boat anyway, and we sailed across the sea. It was generally uneventful, and I passed the time saying weird things to them. I learned that they were moving goods (which have a physical presence in the world and can be stolen by other players) from one continent to another, and that their destination would be extremely dangerous. So dangerous, in fact, that we all died, destroyed by the opposing faction.

    The whole of the game seems to revolve around trading routes – taking goods on them, guarding guild caravans and ships, and murdering the shit out of other PC caravans. Once you’re in open water or in “danger” zones, anyone can attack anyone else. Since transport goods have a physical presence, there is a real consequence to death, and a real perk to victory.

    I haven’t had this much fun in an MMO since Shadowbane.

    That said: the combat system is /very/ dated, and feels shoddy and cheap at the best of times. The engine is poorly optimized, and my performance fluctuates between 70 and 20 FPS. The game is occasionally gorgeous, but most often passably attractive. It’s not a true sandbox game, and even the really sandboxy things – like pirating and farming and building houses – are all done in sanctioned areas, which is a bit of a disappointment. Questing is easily the worst I’ve seen in a few years, and the UI is about a decade out of date.

    Honestly, I’m very surprised I haven’t seen more coverage on RPS – this game has a lot of potential for awesome, user-driven narrative, and I think you lot should get on board.

    • Fiatil says:

      Well, you just sold me. To try the free version at least! I’m excited for infinite queues; hopefully the new servers helped out with that a bit.

  12. Tom Walker says:

    How in God’s name is this pronounced? Arc-Age? Arch-Age?

    Were it not for the capital A, I would call it arc-ee-idge. Arc-ee-Age just sounds stupid.

    I shall call it Achey-Arse. Achey-Arse looks alright.

  13. racccoon says:

    It may be out but the dam launcher always has something to say about not being able to join the game.

    I have no idea what the hell is going on on the internet!!
    This COMPULSIVE download this and then have to use that to download again is f u c k’aid! !
    What IDIOT thought I know!?
    I got Idea!?
    Lets get them to download a small part then use our tool to download the rest!!!!
    OH I KNOW……………… S T E A M!!!
    This friggin thing has started a mine slide of useless downloading.
    WHY NOT JUST DOWNLOAD IT LIKE WE USED TOO??? from one point.
    SO anyway from my rant,
    I can’t get in because of the errors that I encounter from the GLYPH another bullshit download follow everyone else tool.

  14. jgthespy says:

    It’s good if you play for free. It’s pretty great if you pay the subscription. There’s a good bit of whining about how much you can’t do if you don’t pay and that’s fair if you’re one of those people who believes that everything should be handed to you for free.

    If you understand that it takes money to run an MMO, you can happily play a generous demo for free where you still make progress. Your guild will probably have some property and a boat so you can even be a pirate or farm on your guildmates’ land if they let you. If you decide to pay for the service that you’re using, you get to enjoy all of the great stuff that sets the game apart.

    Combat is definitely dated but it’s no more boring than every other MMO ever.

  15. Smoky_the_Bear says:

    Overall I am enjoying the game. However there is some clunky/annoying stuff. Unit collision gets annoying after you’ve had your conversation with a quest giver interrupted for the 10th time because somebody ran past and knocked you out of the way. The mount system as a whole feels a bit clunky, you have to use one key to summon the mount, a different key to get on the mount, and yet another key to dismount, it could be much smoother. Also not being able to auto-dismount by attacking a mob gets annoying.
    The biggest bugbear at the moment is of course the astronomical queues, way longer than any MMO I’ve ever seen before. Do not even consider trying to log on in the evenings, you won’t get in, on ANY server. I would honestly say to anyone, wait for a week or two before trying this because not only are the queues ridiculous, even when you get in, the areas are just jam packed, 10-12 people stacking up around a named mob for a quest is a common occurrence and it’s first to tag gets it, anyone who’s played a WoW expansion release knows how tedious that can get.

    There is a lot to like about it though, the combat feels good, the abilities are interesting and there is a lot of room for experimentation with how you build your character. The crafting seems quite deep and unlike a lot of MMOs it actually seems to have purpose and function. I can’t comment on the housing stuff yet but it seems a lot of people are enjoying that aspect.
    The game also looks great but is a bit of a system hog so bear that in mind. I had to knock down the graphics quite a bit to get it running well, it still looks fine though so can’t really complain.

    • mr.black says:

      Erm.. It’s the same key for mount/dismount..
      So you call a mount and if you don’t want to ride him, he’ll follow you (at annoyingly close distance) and get a fraction of XP just watching you do your thing. On the other hand, one button and you’re on him – he’s never too far away.

  16. Mr Coot says:

    Was there for headstart. It did not go smoothly. Many technical problems resulting in headstart players being locked out for many hours, after which all the most desirable land was gone. Reports of a bug where players received multiple helpings of the 6 chest reward which was meant to be one per account, leading to a big advantage in the currency (gilda stars) used to buy house designs, and hence ability to places houses. Almost all desirable safe zone land was gone within 2 hrs. I personally did not receive my chest at all until 2 days later when any bonus gilda stars were worthless.

    Game launched with 6 NA headstart servers when it should have launched with 10 straight off the bat. It meant the land availability was worse than the land availability during alpha when the servers were 100% patron players. Currently in launch proper, I started the game during NA peak time with a queue of 2800. For F2P players the queue will be even worse, since patrons are given preference and F2P are interleaved into the game from their queue between certain numbers of patrons eg. 1 per 5.

  17. Crane says:

    I played a little on launch day.
    It was bland and laggy, with nothing outstanding. I would have considered going back and giving it a longer try, as I have heard the sandbox elements are where it shines, but the following day I ended up in a queue of 3800+ players with a wait time given simply as > 1 Hour.

    If I’m waiting for over an hour to play your game, I am, in a very real sense, not playing your game. And while the unspoken caveat to that sentence may be “at the moment”, it quickly becomes “ever again”.

  18. Billzor says:

    So this mixing of classes to get a ‘metaclass,’ does this potentially lead to creating a character that’s not viable to do much if you don’t pick the right skills/abilities/powers?

    • mr.black says:

      Most classes have at least some form of synergy among the skills. Trying to find the three with the least obtainable synergy would be a daunting task in itself. That said it’s fairly easy and cheap to reclass everything. I think it’s encouraged in a way.

  19. Klatu says:

    Nick Wilson is doing a pretty good review in progress over on PCGamesN link to pcgamesn.com

  20. SgtMarple says:

    I am an avid reader of RPS but I had to register just to tell anyone to stay away from AA for now. It is the worst mmo launch period ever. I was there when Everquest 1 launched back in 1999 and have witness some pretty bad launches but this one takes the cake…no the whole bakery actually.

    Now lets not talk about the in game bugs, like a broken Guildsystem, which is suprising since the game was already released 2 years ago in Korea and 1 year in Russia. When they launched in Korea and Russia they had roughly 24 Servers online, each. When EU/NA launched 10…5 for each. The result is alot of frustration and broken up guild communitys. Yes, I am one of the lucky ones, I bought one of the founders backs so my actual queue time on EU primetime is roughly between 3-4 hours. That is nothing compared to F2P players who wait up to 17 hours to be able to log in. Trion is incabable to communicate the issues. After days of massive raging on the official forums, they finally issued a statement adressing the problem….since then they onlined 3 more servers which barely reduces the waiting time for already full servers.
    I can’t really say how the hell this could have happend. They monitored the sells of their founders packs for the headstart they must have known what was coming?

    Sure, there are always queues when a new mmo starts and general problems. I do understand that merging low population servers in AA could be troublesome with persistant non instanced housing, but the solution can’t be letting people wait 4+ hours to play the game especially when they paid good money for it.

    When it comes to AA itself. Yes , the world is pretty and there is much to discover, however leveling is as dull as it can be, especially solo, which right now for alot of people is the only way to go since the rest of the freaking guild is sitting in queues and when they are able to play they play for 1 hr and log off again cuz they have freaking work in the morning or a family to attend to.

    The game media should pick up on this and start reviewing mmo differntly. One review should be about the game the other how the game makers actually treat their customers…after all mmo are more of a entertainment service than any other game type.

    • Danley says:

      I think it’s time to reiterate some of the other comments made here: good signs when it works, but one of the worst launches of an online game I’ve experienced. Which is made even more ridiculous when it’s been over a week and the fixes provide only workarounds, not solutions.

      The rumors of long queues are true, but it’s not just for f2p players. Subscribing helped, as I hadn’t experienced more than a ten minute wait since doing so — before now. As I’m writing this I’m in a 1000+ person queue after the game disconnected me then wouldn’t let me reconnect within the disconnect ‘grace period’ (when you’re supposed to be able to jump the line). At first it was about 180 people, then while I was in queue I saw the server status in the background go from ‘queue’ to ‘Up’ so I refreshed. Maybe it’s my fault, but that would mean the subscriber queue is 1000+ deep after two straight days of server maintenance where new realms were added, but apparently no expansion for existing ones.

      All of this would be fine in any other MMO. With one centered around property ownership, falling behind has meant I literally can’t find a plot for even the smallest house plan on the Western continent (and I searched it all into the wee hours of the morning last night). There’s a number of houses scheduled for demolition, but they’re going to turn into an absurd landgrab as many people have been monitoring the few dozen there are here and there. Point of all this being is that, even for those who can buy land, there isn’t any left on the servers we’ve put 30-40 hours into, unless we buy it secondhand, which leads to extensive scamming as you have to finish a structure to sell it using the in-game system. Maybe this will all get fleshed out, but right now it’s a big crash and burn of what I’ve quite enjoyed when it does work.

  21. Lakshmi says:

    I’m not sure who gave you a positive word on headstart. Most of it was spent in queues, or looking for non-spawning NPCs, or 70 people trying to click one quest item one at a time. If you were lucky to find an NPC, or pick up a quest item, you were invariably disconnected to queue again. Then there was the authentication bug, or getting stuck in the looping animation on load, or the lack of any of your pre-order items.

    Remember, a key selling feature is claimable land – claim with your friends and build communities! But no one could, because all plans to meet up were lost with queues and disconnects. The guild of 50+ people I was with had little clumps of two or three together, ruining the long term land plans which the game offered.

    It really wasn’t smooth in the slightest and I agree with SgtMarple above, it’s one of the worst MMO launches I’ve seen in a while. SWTOR was a breeze, ESO launched happily, but AA is a joke. I asked for a refund (for many, many more bugs than I’ve outlined here). Trion said they’d get back to me in 120 hours (very reasonable turnaround time… er….) but it’s long past that and still no response – not even a ‘we’ll get back to you’ type of response. Not great customer service.

  22. Mathias says:

    Friday, I started queuing at noon. 4h later I had gotten from >4k players in front of me down to ~900… then (when occasionally checking in) I noticed the number wasn’t moving anymore at all. Checked twitter… ah, my server got restarted but my client obviously didn’t get the memo. So, to the back of the line again. Busy Friday evening hours. Got to log in at midnight. 12h wait time.

    Pretty much the same story, yesterday, except a lot of server disconnects for the whole queue, it seems. Which means if you catch it you can re-queue fast enough to jump the line somewhat. 12h wait time which you had to pay attention to.

    So, essentially you end up grinding the queue… which is not too dissimilar to your activities in-game: The solo leveling is your run-of-the-mill kill & fetch quests with a small quest hub every mile through a green zone, then a brown zone, then a light green zone, etc. — not much unique art direction/refreshing things to look at.
    And you do it solo or with randos because the queues mean it’s hard to get to play with your friends.

    It seems to have interesting late game & sandbox mechanics. The skill system is also very diverse and seems to invite interesting team compositions but I haven’t gotten to try any real group on group pvp.
    Also: dumb-ass boob physics which are totally ludicrous but that I at least could cover up with full plate armor (it first seems to suggest the game’s female plate armor is belly free in char generation but it seems it isn’t — made for a weird first impression, though).

    In queue since 11:30 this morning now, 1300 in line in front of me, started at >2.5k. Obvious agenda of this comment: To make people who read it and are in line give up their position and play something else.

    Edit: Free to play account, for what it’s worth (actually glad I can try it first and see if the game will stick, so not too much grief for the situation from my side).

  23. Barberetti says:

    “Install Glyph. Play ArcheAge”

    Hmm, ok.

    *Installs Glyph. Creates account. Opens email client. Clicks link in email to verify account. Closes email client*

    “You are on a different PC or have changed address. Check your email inbox for authentication code!”

    Gggrrrnnnnghghghggffffff ….

    *Opens email client. Copy pastes code into Glyph prompt. Closes email client. Loads Glyph store and selects ArcheAge*

    “8.58GB download required”

    *Clears 15GB of space on spare drive. Clicks huge install button*

    “Patching requires 28.33GB of disk space. You only have 25.04GB.(Error #1017)”

    GAAAAHHHRRRGHGHGHGHGFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF ….

    So, I get the game installed, then decide to read the comments here …. only to find there’s no fucking inverted mouse option?! Well that was a waste of an hour.