Tobold's Blog
Friday, October 17, 2014
Still undecided about ArcheAge

I am generally interested in MMORPGs which have a strong virtual world element, where I can have my own property with actual activities, and where there is a player-run economy with crafting. Given that ArcheAge has all this, that people repeatedly tell me that at least at the start I could be safe from ganking, and that it is possible to try the game for free, I should be all over this. But then the kind of people who tell me that PvP isn't so bad in ArcheAge are the same kind of people who think that Darkfail is a game perfectly suitable for carebears like me. And in my newsreader I constantly see posts of people quitting ArcheAge.

Apparently ArcheAge has a huge hacking problem, which ruins the player economy. Hackers control the available land through cheats, and drive up the prices of everything by flooding the economy with illegally obtained gold. And while people can't gank you if you stay in safe places, they can very well grief you with other methods, like pushing a cart onto your farm and thereby preventing you from planting. If there is really no way to burn down somebody else's cart on your land, what do you do? I also hear a lot about the toxic community. Some people say it is because it is a PvP sandbox game, others say that it is because it is a Free2Play game. I really don't care. I simply don't want to play with assholes all day, regardless of their motivation.

So with all this negativity about ArcheAge, I haven't had the motivation yet to download the game and try it out. Hell is other people, and I don't have much of a desire to enter that particular sort of hell just to test out whether I like some game mechanics.

Some other points that I encounter in the same situation.

1) It is a high cost decision. AA is not a simple/casual game. That is a good thing yet with real costs. It's not just try AA; IMO it is spend X hours researching AA then/while trying it.

2) The schizophrenic break at level 30 - If I found I really like the game 1-30 and found it was not worth playing after that due to the "Lord of the Flies" boys, then I think I would be more frustrated than pleased that I tried AA.

3) If I want an in-depth game with sophisticated crafting and am willing to endure owpvp for it, then would I be better off in EVE, whose game is more mature without the launch issues that any new game has?

4) Or is the game to give in to your inner juvenile-jerk? Join a SomethingAwful style guild and go be the griefer. Or find out what is involved in being a botter. IMO, if you are a griefer (I mean a HTFU hardcore, GB2W elite) who is complaining that your enjoyment of farming carebears is being ruined by evil botters, then you lack an appreciation of both irony and karma.

5) We have the Korean game showing us the future. Perhaps one should wait until 1.7 when the level cap is raised, the meta is changed, and perhaps the "land rush" has died down.

tl;dr: interesting, tempted, but my analysis of risk/reward is it is not worth it for me.
I will not comment on the PVP, did that already earlier, just say that you can play this game completely safe with just a very miniscule amount of planning.

You can level by crafting / farming / safe trading only all the way to 50. Actually, you can level better this way than with purely questing. I did it also this way too, I only quested for some starting gear and if I was labor starved.

That said, I would not recommend trying the game out right now if you are looking to participate in the crafting / farming / housing parts. Wait for Auroria to open up (Nov 4th), the PVP guilds will embark to there, while the 2 main continent will possibly have a lot more housing space opening up for less than right now.

Also, F2P will be considerably harder as you can't own land, but only public farms, etc.

So just let me know if you want to try the game, I'll give you access to my farms so you can see the economics game as well and I can also be your proxy for the AH if you want to sell your products there.

If having a house is important to you, then it is far too late to begin playing ArcheAge, unless you plan on buying property from some gold farmer. Also you have to be a Patron to own land.
it is far too late to begin playing ArcheAge, unless you plan on buying property from some gold farmer

That is what I understood from all those hacking stories: The gold farmers have hacks that alert them of any free land, and allow them to teleport there instantly to buy it. That makes it impossible for regular players to get property. So I won't play ArcheAge until Trion got rid of the hackers.
I envy you your optimism that you can still be undecided. From even the first two sentence synopsis of the game I knew it was the type of game I would never find pleasant to play.

Like the other day I saw some images from a different game where when you kill another player you not only see them die, but get an xray picture of their bones breaking as you kill them. So you don't just win, you get to relish how badly you damage them while winning.

Some people are just too frightening for it to be pleasant to spend more than a few moments with, let alone share a community with. And occasionally a game comes out aimed at them, and there's nothing in such games that can make it worth playing for the rest of us. There will always be such games, there's always money to make catering to such evil fucks.
Tobold, while hackers are a problem, I don't think you will be able to get land for free anymore on an established server.

However, you can buy land / property through the proper means with safe trades (with appraisal certificates) which cannot be scammed / hacked.

This is the way you can buy property and the market is already thriving, but the prices are very high as of yet. Once Auroria opens up, prices will go down on the 2 continents and it will be easier to make money.

Michael, so everyone who does not play games according to your personal standards are now 'evil fucks'? Way to go man, that is some serious grown-up thinking you got there.

However, you can buy land / property through the proper means with safe trades (with appraisal certificates) which cannot be scammed / hacked.

From what I heard the safe trades are not the problem. The hacks are how the gold farmer acquire the properties, which is why normal players can't find any, but need to buy them from the gold farmers.

If no hacks are involved and it is BY DESIGN that anybody who didn't start on day 1 can't get land, I'd rate the game even lower.
I can only hope other developers are paying attention to the general community response to ArcheAge, which seems to overwhelmingly be, "I would really like this game if it wasn't for the open-PvP/griefing."
People experience games in such a different ways...I started playing as a F2P without having access to any land, and in my opinion it was more fun than having a house. I had to look for hidden spots, gliding in the most inaccessible mountain ranges. I often found other 'illegal farms', and sometimes my farms were discovered. I finally found a spot where I was able to farm without any visitors. At the end, I decided that I don't like farming, and will not be getting the house at all. There is way more fun, and profit from manipulating the Auction House for example.

Overall, I think you would have fun discovering how the world works, even if you don't like it in the end. This is not a 'high cost decision' to me, but a major reason why to play AA.

Btw. Isn't playing the AH a form of PVP ganking? Poor farmers try to sell their goods after farming for days, and we just use tricks to make sure the profit ends up in our pockets. Remember your WoW glyphs strategy?
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By no means are everyone who plays these types of games evil. But bad people are attracted to these types of games. Even if it's only 1 in 100 bad to good, it's not worth being part of that community.
I haven't even looked at the housing or farming yet. There is a ton of stuff to o that has nothing to do with any of the scams/hacks/economic warfare you're concerned about.

There's a big, beautiful, fascinating world to explore. You can get mounts and pets, ride vehicles on land and water, follow a number of lengthy, interlinked questlines, upgrade your gear from quests and drops, fight open-world Boss mobs, visit dungeons, all without ever seeing, let alone engaging in PvP.

So far I have spent only a tiny handful of Labor Points (on identifying armor and weapon drops). When I can't store any more (F2P cap is 2,000) then I will begin gathering and crafting, something I haven't felt any need to investigate so far.

If it's only the Farmville aspects that appeal to you then yes, perhaps you might as well give Archeage a miss, but if you want to play a high-quality, very traditional quest-based MMO for no money whatsoever then I can't see any reason to go on avoiding this one.

For the record I have also never yet seen a Bot in action and the gold spam disappeared from chat weeks ago. I play on one of the newest NA servers and the population there is healthy but uncrowded. It may well be very different on the servers that were there right from launch.
If having a house is important to you, then it is far too late to begin playing ArcheAge, unless you plan on buying property from some gold farmer. Also you have to be a Patron to own land.

Then you aren't looking hard enough. There are servers (the three newer ones especially), where if you pick the non-zerged side, there is tons of land.

For example, on Nebe the majority of the population rolled West, so on the East side there is tons of land, even in safe zones.
re "If no hacks are involved and it is BY DESIGN that anybody who didn't start on day 1 can't get land, I'd rate the game even lower."

Arguably day 1 was too late. While the game is f2p, among other things they sold $150 early access packages. So it was designed so that you needed to start 4 days before day 1 for prime land. Which is why people who paid for preferential access (e.g. patrons > f2p) to the land rush were grumpy at the extremely long login queues.
Tarsoyla, how does public land work in regards to farming?
Further, can you actually make money without owning land (and without dancing into gank territory)?
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