I’m really hoping Trion Worlds will provide those interested in ArcheAge with an in-depth look once E3 goes into full swing. At the same time, I’m a bit terrified because, as stated in an earlier piece by Garrett Fuller, E3 will be the first place anyone will really get a look at a western build of ArcheAge.
Since I’m too far away from E3, and I’ll likely wait for the MMORPG.com report on ArcheAge at E3 as well, I’m in the same boat you’re in. That said, I thought it’d be important to go over some nuances that will likely need to be addressed at E3 proper or as soon as E3 closes and media outlets have written about the game.
One impression I get whenever I visit the Korean ArcheAge site is how it’s strongly community focused and willing to not take the game too seriously. I find the ability to take a PVP-enabled sandbox and create something light out of the game extremely refreshing, given that... well, it’s a PVP-enabled sandbox with krakens in it.
This also plays into the idea that the culture behind the games is different. For one thing, the impression presented by statistical data is that South Korea looks to be a high stress sort of place, with South Korea also having a high suicide rate.
Of course, that’s a bit of a logical leap, but the premise I want to point out is that games that don’t take themselves too seriously are likely to be better received as stress diffusers in societies that appear to have more stress.
When Kumapon posted on the MMORPG.com forums about how ArcheAge had a tool that allowed people to import pictures for use as a sort of “wallpaper” for items they’ve created, I had to smile. Someone had basically built a roleplay-able Starbucks (Starbox) in the ArcheAge world, and people were basically modding real world items like fake vending machines into a techno-fantastic world with magical panthers and cars.
Of course, some of you found it immersion-breaking, and that’s fine. The point I’m getting to is that Trion Worlds’ version of ArcheAge will likely need to address such cultural differences with the way they present the game to players. If they’re keeping the picture import function, for example, will they allow that sort of parodying to occur on their servers? Will character names or race names be changed for ease of understanding? There are levels of attention that can be raised with regard to cultural shifts in the game, and I’m hoping Trion Worlds does a good job of opening up in this regard.
The Issue of Pricing
This is going to be a short bit. Simply put, if I want Trion Worlds to take my money, how will they get it?
I’m really hoping for something as Robust as the RIFT system they’re putting into place for the Empyrean Assault patch, but that will likely depend on what can be monetized in-game. I wouldn’t mind a cheaper subscription akin to Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn either, but that may be wishful thinking.
All in all, this is a simple thing. They just have to come out with the facts and work with gamers.
Perhaps the most noticeable question that I want answered, aside from basic gameplay and stylistic changes, is a matter of the update cycle between the western and Korean versions.
Much like Aion before it, ArcheAge will likely have to deal with some kind of delay between what shows up in Korea versus what occurs in the western versions. What needs to be discussed is the schedule of how a Korean update gets turned into a western update, and the timeframe for such changes.
I’d love for the turnover to be really short, but chances are there will be a delay of a few months. Knowing the process they take to make these updates westernized, therefore, will be an excellent development blog piece that would assuage fears given Trion’s recent troubles.
In any event, we’ll learn more in a day or two, so MMORPG.com readers, myself included better get ready for some interesting goings-on in the next few days.
ArcheAge beta sign-ups are now live at http://www.archeagegame.com/en/.
Victor Barreiro Jr. / Victor Barreiro Jr. maintains The Devil’s Advocate and ArcheAge columns for MMORPG.com. He also writes for news website Rappler as a technology reporter. You can find more of his writings on Games and Geekery and on Twitter at @vbarreirojr.