ArcheAge’s 3.0 Update, Revelation, had a rocky start in the NA region. EU seemed largely problem-free, but the NA servers proved a bit of a bear to get online and thus the actual launch of Revelation didn’t happen until Sunday AM. We’ve spent the past couple days playing a new Dwarf, and have some thoughts on 3.0 and the current state of AA.
In short, ArcheAge today is far and away a better game than it was at launch. Not only is there more to do but with 3.0 it finally has Dwarves. Okay, there are also the Warborn, Abyssal Powers, and a whole lot more to the update, but let’s face it… DWARVES RULE. Most importantly for folks who thought of ArcheAge’s payment model as P2W? The direct and limitless purchase of Labor Potions is gone, as are Thunderstruck Trees. XLGAMES agreed and have removed both from the NA and EU stores.
I still believe that the only way to truly experience ArcheAge is by being a Patron (Subscriber), as without that access to housing you’re not going to have a good time. Housing, farming, and the ownership of land is so vital to the game’s economy and trading game, not to mention it’s just fun, that I really wish one day Trion would just make at least one Patron Only server. The Free Players populate things, but it seems like the game is really meant for subscribers anyway.
Anyhow, the new lands, new races, new Community Centers, Abyssal Powers, plus the new world raid boss – The Thunderwing Titan – make AA feel like a new game. I mean, you’re still playing the same combat, but two new leveling experiences, new powers, and a way to truly invest in your home and area make the game’s many activities have more meaning. I felt good contributing to my Community Center, even if only two of our 9 residents in Ollo’s Airain Rock have so far.
When I reviewed AA at launch, I had trouble finding a house, a plot for a farm, etc. Now, with the new housing from previous expansions and this one’s new zones – you’d be hard pressed to not be able to find a place to live. I’m certain the new zones on the Fresh Start servers are still tough, because of the land rush. But on Ollo, a Legacy Server, I was able to find a spot for my cottage and my farm right next to each other. Something I’m still having trouble believing. If it wasn’t for one enterprising person owning most of Airain Rock, I suspect there’d be a lot of free space left in the new zones on older servers.
Meanwhile, it’s not all sunshine and flowers for the folks wanting to play on those Fresh Start servers. Vengeance and Reckoning are both on constant queue status, and while I’m sure it’ll level out soon it makes me glad I went back to Ollo to play. It’s got to be maddening, and again I think the Fresh Start initiative would have been better by allowing only patrons to start.
As I play AA, I’m reminded (much as I was with BDO) how much immersion, ambiance, and comfort farming, housing, and a robust crafting system can add to a game. I’m level 34 now and I haven’t left the starting zone. I finished my main class story, got my Juggernaut ability, but I’m having so much fun establishing my crafting niche, that I don’t feel hurried to leave. I will say that AA is, as most games of this nature are, the sort of title you can’t play casually. I mean, someone can, I’m sure but there’s so much to do and it’s all so time consuming that other games (even offline ones) feel out of the question on my schedule.
For now, I’m pleasantly enjoying my trip back to ArcheAge. It’s been so long since I played, and while I still need to find a good guild and see how much I love/hate the PVP again, I’m tempted to say that now’s the perfect time to go back and try the game for yourself again. The server issues are mostly ironed out, and Legacy servers seem to have lots of space for housing if the new fresh start servers are too busy.
Yes, the launch did not go as planned. But ArcheAge itself is better than ever, and while there are a load of experiences coming up on the horizon that offer something similar – why wait? Just be ready to become a patron. The game’s F2P option feels like more of a limitless free trial without being able to own land.