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ArcheAge

ArcheAge 

General Discussion  » Archeage CBT5 review - (my first two days and about 10 hours in)

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  Enerzeal

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/27/10
Posts: 332

There is no good or evil, only power - and those too weak to seek it.

 
OP  8/28/12 2:22:06 PM#1

 

Firstly something about my MMO history. I've played MMO's since roughly 2000. I started with 2D isometric indy games like Ashen Empires, a distinctly sandbox game. I moved on into Everquest and then jumped into Final Fantasy 11. Once I finished in Final Fantasy 11 the great game hop began and has only rested for roughly a year or so in world of warcraft, a game I enjoyed for the challenge the vanilla raids gave me as a guild leader.

Since my first solid world of warcraft play through I have been jumping around from game to game, not resting long. I am currently subscribed to WoW, TSW, and also Eve Online. My Tera subscription just ran out - and I will be canceling my WoW and my TSW accounts shortly.

I am a sandbox gamer at heart. I want all of the hardcore elements that only the niche seem to want also. My hopes for Archeage were always going to be that of building a city, pvping with some adrenalin and fear of losing my stuff, the general favorites a sandbox gamer wants.

I like to think my opinion of games has evolved beyond "Ohh lol themepark garbage" which I have been guilty of before, so I will be writing this as openly as I possibly can, but it is opinion and not everything can be seen as fact because, well, it's all in Korean so I might be missing some key points! 

Anyway onto the review, I shall target everything I can talk about in detail, with a summary at the end, enjoy and thank you for reading. If you want to watch some of my play through then http://www.twitch.tv/enerzeal/b/330122496 should take care of that nicely. This is my Live stream of an almost six hour play through. Thanks.

Graphics.

The graphical style is one that heavily reminds me of Lineage 2 and of Aion, which would make sense as jake song made Lineage 2 and Aion was made using an older version of the Cry Engine. At times the landscape can look a little bland, a little "wrong", as if something isn't turned on. I do play on ultra settings so I am getting the best out of it. The bad textures however are significantly overshadowed by sheer beauty that the world can muster. It is probably best described with me telling you about my mount I have. It's a reindeer looking thing. It is the single most beautiful looking mount I have laid eyes on in any game. It looks exactly as it should do, its fur is real almost, it's posture is perfect - the armor I can equip on it looks perfect for it. I can only imagine some people taking issue with the style of the games playable characters and same race NPCs. Some of them do look very Korean, one of the human races looks under aged, the male elf looks very delicate, and the female ferres looks frankly strange in my eyes, but as I said a moment ago it's purely down to taste, the graphics for them are still as beautiful as my fluffy reindeer mount.

as it stands I would say 10/10.

Animations.

This game shines on it's animations. I have only taken issue with the ferres run right now as it seems a little odd, otherwise the game is alive. Going back to my lovely Reindeer, from his mouth you can see mist as it breaths. When it approaches a steep climb you can see it change animation as it digs in for a surer footing to climb with. When I back up on my mount it's head drops to the side and looks down and it prances backwards. My character will randomly perform idle animations that look stunning. There is an overload of emoticons as well, all perfect looking if a little asian in style, which isn't a problem in my mind. Attack animations are flawless, bows look brilliant as do weapon attacks and charges, magic casting and death animations all making the game more real than any to date. 

If I give graphics a 10, then the animations can only be 10/10 as well.

Sounds and music.

Before the server came up I decided to click on the credits button, I say decided to click the credits button, what I actually did was click some Korean just to see what happened. When the music began playing that accompanies the scrolling Korean had a profound effect on me. I was moved. I could not explain why I was moved but it just triggered something in my chest, I had nothing to associate this music with yet, no memories or emotions, yet I felt a strange familiarity with it. I would say that the music of Archeage is most reminiscent of Final Fantasy.

Now the sounds and ambiance are also truly perfect. I moved close to a burning torch and listen to it as it roared, for as long as it took my fellow guildy to come on over and put the torch out as it was "day time and this doesn't need to be on!". When I drop from a high height I can hear the wind rustle past my ears. I can hear bushes move as I wade through them. It might seem like a fanboy ranting but again these sounds and the music cannot be faulted, the team at XL games seems to have gone above and beyond the call when it comes to immersion, as a result two hours of exploration doesn't feel like wasted game time, I'll talk more about that later.

Sounds and music easily take another 10/10.

Quest grind.

The quest grind doesn't really move from the normal system and is simple enough that without any knowledge of the Korean language I can figure my way through most quests, some more difficult than others but I've not skipped one yet and I would say I have completed roughly 100 or so quests. Although the model doesn't differ in any way from say WoW, what it does is take the same neat packaging of quest hubs that WoW has, which at least makes the going more streamlined. Couple up the immersion of the world and the scale and beauty, quest grinds are less mind numbing than they are peaceful. The over achievements you can gain by killing more than you need to really feel nice as well, you can choose after a point when you feel you've had enough and hand it in.

Now what I really think brings up the quest grind is the fact that grouping won't kill your exp. I played through to level 12 solo. By level 8 I had obviously missed something as I had begun to drop behind the levelling curve, quests were over leveled and I was finding it more difficult to continue, you can see from the stream I posted above I was sometimes three levels to low. Well when I played with my friend through the same area, by the time I moved into the third zone I was easily a level or in some cases two levels higher. This for me is vital as it means soloing is viable, but grouping is rewarded.

I would say 5/10 for the questing, it's not great but not bad, its "what we expect". I would then add on another point for a streamlined system and a good growth curve, and another two ontop for the grouping elements.

Quest grind gets an 8/10 for being a relaxed, group friendly experience.

Combat.

Combat in Archeage is combat in most other MMO's. In fact I would say that it's identical to rift or WoW. Take an ability move within range and use. React and rotate as the situation requires it. It's reactions you can before based upon what affects you have already stacked makes for a slightly more tactical game. Especially considering that these share between those in your group. All I can say that is without an onslaught of flashy particle effects and over the top attacks what we have is a stylish approach to the traditional game with a nice overlay of increase tactical play. Fights are over quickly, they do not however take the easy approach adopted by say, WoW, where you can fight many at once, but a more reserved 1-2 at once dependant on build, which adds a whole new layer to the combat, your build dictates your tactics and how you respond to a monster. Alone however I would score combat based on it's traditional approach with a point or two extra because of the animations, tactical gameplay and for the fact that I personally enjoyed it.

So combat gets 8/10.

Skills.

Skills are unique in the MMO world, most closely the system would relate to Rift, with more freedom. In Archeage we have a number of trees, I have counted thirteen of them. Each has it's own specific focal point, be it healing, buffing, archery etc, any of the main types. I can take three of these and equip whatever armor or weapon I choose and invest points into these trees as I see fit assuming I have hit the perquisite over all level. What this does is create a palette of options as to how I build up my character. Though there may be plenty of paladin types (healing, armor, combat), each would invest his or her points differently. What this creates is on the downside possible flavor of the month builds, but on the up side we have choice like we haven't had in years. If you haven't enjoyed a system like this before then this will be a true awakening for you.

Any skill system with this much freedom easily earns a 10/10 from me.

World.

Now I haven't explored nearly as much as I could of done, although today me and a guildy decided to strike out and check out some new towns, ports, an arena, some locations from concept art - I feel I have seen enough to give an opinion on the world its self. First off, it's massive, it is truly massive. It has size like the older MMOs had. Around every corner is something new, something beautiful to look at. Trying to keep this section contain with rambling on would be difficult so I will simply say this. The world is just that, a world. When I log off it continues around without me, if I had any gripes, it would be that NPCs could be more animated, walk around more, interact, talk. Perhaps however this is beta talking, perhaps it's a Korean divide, who knows.

What I do know is that the World is a 9/10.

Misc.

This section I will not score but I will mention a few things I have had the opportunity to mess with. Firstly mounts, great fun, they level with you, can be equipped with armor. There are plenty in the game so a collection is possible. You can carry passengers and use several attacks from your mount. 

Fast travel is brilliant but broken currently. The carts that travel around a zone look great but are very choppy and have a habit of getting stuck. The city transport I used today suffers the same issue but again looks very cool. The airship would be the most badass if it didn't suffer from major clipping issues and a ride that you spend more time worrying you'll fall off. My channel also has a video of the airship ride so you can see for yourself. http://www.twitch.tv/enerzeal/b/330226647

The glider is fantastic fun, really nice for getting around. The vistas and scenery that the glider opens up is also a plus point. It's a great gadget which I think I'll miss in other MMOs when I play them as I wait for this game. Head up to a cliff, activate it and sore over the land and watch you shadow skip over the landscape or your reflection over the water.

Interactive scenery! Ladders! Robes to shimmy along! Trees to climb! These are all fantastic for immersion.

I've had an opportunity to look around and inside the housing we'll have on offer and I cannot wait to have a guild hall. Clapping eyes on that beast was a nostalgic moment when I thought back to UO and their towers. Then I opened the windows and had a moment. The housing is all so interactive!

The siege towers are fun, although I had very little interaction beyond riding them around and firing the cannon. They ride smooth however and look perfect. 

The very last thing I can think off would be the ships. The ships contain two sails for lowering and raising. An anchor, 8 guns, two planks for a walkin, a crows nest with a telescope which adds to the mini map icons for all ships in the area, lastly there is the steering wheel. The ships are amazing, they are smooth, they look amazing, I cannot explain how amazing they play, then there is the guild ship... Ohh the guild ship. It cannot be controlled, but it's a play house in the making I can feel it.

Summary.

In summary I decided very quickly that this game, without even laying hands upon the more important aspects of pvp, dungeoning, raids, and sieges - is the one. I haven't been excited over a game in so very long, and this one is like those early days. It's going to be one painful journey to release, but a journey we all have to make!

This game however has made me angry in one way. I have to ask myself just what all these other developers of MMOs are doing with their time. I have played one of the finest games ever over the past few days made at a fraction of the cost that goes into the bigger named titles, and I have to ask, just what the hell are they all doing?

Thanks for reading if you made it this far, 

    ~ Enerzeal

  wizyy

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/27/05
Posts: 636

8/28/12 2:32:35 PM#2

Thank you, this is music to my ears, from all the AA videos I've seen through the *years* now, I would be rating all of it almost exactly like you.

I would be doing my extensive review of the game if I was in beta :(

  Wizardry

Elite Member

Joined: 8/27/04
Posts: 6831

Perhaps tomorrow will be better.

8/28/12 2:35:35 PM#3

I share some of the positives,but some your scores are overboard lol.

My main concern in liking the game will be it's class/character design.

This design never really works,not in Rift or any game.Points are just restrictedto your level anyhow,so what's the difference?If you spec points into helaing,then are you really a Paladin anymore?See the problem?

The developer knows 100% exactly what makes each class work fluently,so THEY sohuld be the ones to predefine what skills each class gets.Where you allow the player versatility is by doing a design like FFXI that used the sub class.

I do like a lot of the little features and ideas the game will throw at us.What i fear is i will be excited for about 3-4 months ,then after i grasp the entire concept and have little left to explore my interest will fall off.It is simply as i indicated,i need a VERY good class and combat structure to keep me interested.I do like the idea of TEAM work within the group,no game since FFXI has shown me that,however i need to see for myelsef to believe it lol.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Napolianboo#p/u/15/rCYLLQCNc1w
Samoan Diamond

  Enerzeal

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/27/10
Posts: 332

There is no good or evil, only power - and those too weak to seek it.

 
OP  8/28/12 2:45:11 PM#4

The way the skill system works is thus.

I will take Combat, healing, fortitude trees, which would most the tradition paladin.

My stat priorities are going to be somerhing along the lines of strength, stamina, intellect and spirit which is really stretching me to thin for my gear. It's going to need to be platemail as well. So I decide that I will be a healing paladin, combat is just to fill the third tree up with something, with my focus being on stamina, intellect and spirit.

So now I need to pick my skills. Lets say I've leveled up to 50 already and I have my 28 points to distribute.

I can drop them into any of the skills listed. I don't need the prequisites, I don't need to fill up points to get down to the bottom of the "tree" like World of warcraft of Rift.

I'll end up with a selection of passives, and actives which increase my defensive options as well as my healing power.

I, if compared to traditional linear class system, would be a holy paladin.

 

  Enerzeal

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/27/10
Posts: 332

There is no good or evil, only power - and those too weak to seek it.

 
OP  8/28/12 2:46:32 PM#5
Originally posted by wizyy

Thank you, this is music to my ears, from all the AA videos I've seen through the *years* now, I would be rating all of it almost exactly like you.

I would be doing my extensive review of the game if I was in beta :(

Just be happy in the knowledge that so long as westernization doesn't ruin it, then we've found our game.

  CyclopsSlayer

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/31/04
Posts: 532

8/28/12 7:13:00 PM#6
Originally posted by Wizardry

I share some of the positives,but some your scores are overboard lol.

My main concern in liking the game will be it's class/character design.

This design never really works,not in Rift or any game.Points are just restrictedto your level anyhow,so what's the difference?If you spec points into helaing,then are you really a Paladin anymore?See the problem?

The developer knows 100% exactly what makes each class work fluently,so THEY sohuld be the ones to predefine what skills each class gets.Where you allow the player versatility is by doing a design like FFXI that used the sub class.

I do like a lot of the little features and ideas the game will throw at us.What i fear is i will be excited for about 3-4 months ,then after i grasp the entire concept and have little left to explore my interest will fall off.It is simply as i indicated,i need a VERY good class and combat structure to keep me interested.I do like the idea of TEAM work within the group,no game since FFXI has shown me that,however i need to see for myelsef to believe it lol.

 

Part of the draw to me with the char design system is the synergies between schools. A skill in one school may add 'bleeding' as an effect to the target, then a different schools skill may capitalize on the bleed for increased damage, or duration of the bleed. Plus, the schools are not trees, like Wow or Rift, so if the only skill you want is the single L50 one, feel free. So vastly different there. 5 different players could all create their flavor of Paladin, some of which may not even duplicate any skills. Now, this will lead to chaos as players with exactly the same 3 schools have limited enough points to have chosen different skills and functions entirely differently.
  DaezAster

Novice Member

Joined: 6/18/12
Posts: 790

8/28/12 7:23:46 PM#7
Sounds great, question is the combat action based, can you move while attacking/casting, any dodge? I have seen a good amount of footage but there doesn't seem to be much combat footage. Really hoping this game hits the states in 2013, even if the combat isn't 100% to my liking the world looks amazing and I am looking forward to living out my pirate fantasies on the virtual seas. I agree on the feline races run on all 4s looks awkward as hell, think it's the legs are to long and it makes there bottom poke up to much.
  Enerzeal

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/27/10
Posts: 332

There is no good or evil, only power - and those too weak to seek it.

 
OP  8/28/12 9:50:46 PM#8
Originally posted by DaezAster
Sounds great, question is the combat action based, can you move while attacking/casting, any dodge? I have seen a good amount of footage but there doesn't seem to be much combat footage. Really hoping this game hits the states in 2013, even if the combat isn't 100% to my liking the world looks amazing and I am looking forward to living out my pirate fantasies on the virtual seas. I agree on the feline races run on all 4s looks awkward as hell, think it's the legs are to long and it makes there bottom poke up to much.

Don't expect anything like dodging in the game. It's WoW mechanics in combat at its core, the skill comes from reaction time, planning, and building a good build. The true satisfaction comes from being able to piece together something very specific to your tastes of gameplay, I'll name a similar game with similar-ish systems and why it is better or worse.

Lets start with worse, Tera is way worse, it's so incredibly limited in it's skill building and selection that two of the same class are incredibly similar. It's combat style however crushes Archeage and rightly so, fully reactive twitch will always be superior.

Another one that is worse, but with a better combat mechanic. Guild wars 2 has a specific dodge feature that I know you can use to get out of combat slightly, and you might move with more fluidity in that game. Again though Archeage crushes it in skill system design, where two thieves might differ in weapon choice and specific skill sellection, again you KNOW you're fighting a class that will utlize movement, range and attack speed + strength to bring you down quickly, in Archeage you might encounter a thief style class, but an element so significantly different could change the entire class completely and throw you off your game.             (Please note I haven't played Guild wars 2 my self just going off what I've read, please correct if wrong and I'll rewrite this section)

There are a few with more twich based combat I could name, I believe DC, Invictus (not exactly an MMO). I could name more that involve more twitching, jumping and manovering but none of them come close in skill system depth.

------

Now let's look at WoW and Rift combat. These two only gain merit on Archeage right now due to my ping. My attacks were not responsive as I clicked them due to 500 ping. (I am english.) But the skill system is without equal, UO still trumps it.

  Nizur

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 5/15/09
Posts: 1428

8/28/12 10:13:56 PM#9
Nearly everything I read on this game is positive. This game is one of the very few MMOs I'm looking forward to anymore. I can't wait until this makes it over here in the US.

Current: None
Played: WoW, CoX, SWG, LotRO, EVE, AoC, VG, CO, Ryzom, DF, WAR
Tried: Lineage2, Dofus, EQ2, CoS, FE, UO, Wurm, Wakfu
Future: The Repopulation, ArcheAge, Black Desert, EQN

  DaezAster

Novice Member

Joined: 6/18/12
Posts: 790

8/28/12 10:17:00 PM#10
Thanks for the reply and info op, I apreciate it.  ;)
  Enerzeal

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/27/10
Posts: 332

There is no good or evil, only power - and those too weak to seek it.

 
OP  8/28/12 10:26:20 PM#11

http://www.twitch.tv/kindred_rising

and

http://www.twitch.tv/enerzeal

 

Both streaming for a few hours now. I am Enerzeal and the guild is basically my guild, one of the founders/head honchos is streaming that.

  Enerzeal

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/27/10
Posts: 332

There is no good or evil, only power - and those too weak to seek it.

 
OP  8/29/12 12:38:16 AM#12

Here is a really nice stream of me and vunak figuring out just how the hell the skill system works with other abilities, excuse my mic sounds, but you can hear a lot of out thought proccess and how we came to the conclusions about damage and how the skills work together.

 

http://www.twitch.tv/kindred_rising/b/330324706

  Aodhan

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/08/11
Posts: 35

8/29/12 1:06:06 AM#13
Thanks for the review Enerzeal. I am looking forward to the release of this game, as you said, lets just hope they change nothing other than language for the other countries.
  CyclopsSlayer

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/31/04
Posts: 532

8/29/12 1:34:14 AM#14

From our friends at Advaita, 1080p lusciousness...  A highlight video that speaks for itself.

 

No Comment

  coretex666

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/03/12
Posts: 1824

"I shall take your position into consideration"

8/29/12 7:42:38 AM#15

Thanks for the review. I am glad we have some input from a person that actually got to play this game. It is the game I have been looking forward to the most for quite a long time.

I kind of expect the graphics and animations to be really good. It is built on cryengine 2 / 3. I saw a video which demonstrates physics which I believe is unprecedented in an MMO (the one with character rolling down the hill).

Sounds and music are not so much of a concern for me.

I do not mind that the quests are done in a traditional way. I do not think it would be so easy to implement something like scripted DEs into a game like AA. Mainly it would not fit in this type of game, I think.

If the combat is like in WoW, then I am happy with that. I am still actively playing WoW and its combat kind of suits me. From the videos, the combat looked quite slow and tedious though. I guess I will have to try it myself. It is difficult to have a clear idea based on watching videos.

The skill system looks promising. I am looking forward to making a unique character. It seems to provide players with a decent level of freedom.

I have quite a good idea about the world from various videos I watched. It looks really nice. I do not mind the asian art style. I used to play Lineage II for several years.

I think that ArcheAge will have to be really good if the devs want it to succeed. I think it is quite possible that in 2014, it will compete with some heavy weight MMOs, such as project Titan. I still wonder if Titan will be so amazing that it would make even a game like AA look like old gen MMO.

I wish AA devs the best luck :)

Currently playing: L2 Chronicle 4

  Eir_S

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/07/11
Posts: 4703

GW2 socialist.

8/29/12 7:46:22 AM#16
Originally posted by Enerzeal

The graphical style is one that heavily reminds me of Lineage 2 and of Aion

Ugh...... why....

  Theocritus

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/15/08
Posts: 3616

8/29/12 7:49:24 AM#17
    Theres no NDA for the beta testing in this game??
  deniter

Elite Member

Joined: 9/06/08
Posts: 662

8/29/12 7:51:36 AM#18

Thanks for posting this, AA really sounds like the game I've been waiting for years :)

This is what WoW should had been after several expansions.

  Enerzeal

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/27/10
Posts: 332

There is no good or evil, only power - and those too weak to seek it.

 
OP  8/29/12 12:41:54 PM#19

Originally posted by Theocritus
    Theres no NDA for the beta testing in this game??

Originally posted by Eir_S

Originally posted by Enerzeal

The graphical style is one that heavily reminds me of Lineage 2 and of Aion

Ugh...... why....

Nope there is no NDA in place, information is free to share, so ask me anything, in the next two days the CBT5 is down and my source is dried up!

 

Eir_s I must say this comment confuses me. It reminds me of those two games, two distinctly korean made games. I am sure you have seen the screen shots. Unless you prefer styalized graphics then these are equalled maybe only by The Secret World. That's just fact. 

We can say that the great and mighty Guild Wars 2 has the most beautiful graphics but in actual fact in terms of pure polygon count Archeage sits ontop of the pile.

In my mind Lineage 2 has massive landscapes with sharply lined artwork for their buildings. Aion on the other hand has very realistic character models, somewhere just below eve online character creator and APB creator. Archeage has both of these and yet it also has wildlife that just shouts out skyrim. 

Though I may be reminded of those two games as I play, never doubt that Archeage has its own very distinct style. The armor people wear to the way greenery walls in paths, it's all very new and interesting and something that only Archeage boasts in the MMO realm.

  Gamefun

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/30/12
Posts: 291

Long Term MMORPG'er. 1999-2012.

8/29/12 12:46:04 PM#20
Enerzeal from Darkfall?.
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