In our last column on ArcheAge we had some announcements, random experiences, and PvP chatter. This week we're here to discuss Trion World's Glyph and why some feel it is a big deal with regard to ArcheAge. In addition, I have a few other comments to offer about my experiences in the game thusfar so stay a while and listen if ArcheAge is your game!
Last week Trion Worlds, the company behind the westernization of ArcheAge, officially launched their “digital hub for PC games", Glyph. MMORPG had a discussion about it with Scott Hartsman the CEO at Trion. While it's been being used for the ArcheAge alpha as a launcher, it will now be used as a digital retailer similar to platforms like Steam and Origin. Conveniently Good Old Games also announced their own spin on a digital retailer last week called Galaxy. Personally I've been with Steam for a long time and as far as PC gaming goes, Steam has been my go to platform. That said, however, it seems it's going to become difficult to rely on just one platform when there are publishers like EA forcing you to download Origin in order to play their titles. Fortunately, Ubisoft allows people to buy their games through Steam and then it starts Uplay from there, but it's still just another platform to install.
Are there too many platforms?
While these platforms aren't clogging my hard drive (with Steam being at 1.5mb and Origin at 150mb), it's just another thing to download or run while playing a game. I'm all for competition in the market, but to quote a comment on our news post regarding the Glyph announcement, “I just find it so annoying that when I want to download a game I have to download and install their (likely) shi*ty software first. And a lot of the time you have to keep it running which is even more annoying.” I won't say I'm against companies getting additional markets and opportunities to distribute their titles, but if every publisher has their own platform it gets frustrating.
Although there are good things about Glyph right off the bat that I won't ignore, Trion has stated that any titles that make their way onto Glyph will be, “...delivered free from the Digital Rights Management (DRM) utilities that cause so many problems for gamers, while single player games will not require an always-on connection in order to be played.” Thus far they have a few titles along with their own on the platform and intend to continue adding games that 'players will want to spend time with'. The titles range from indie to well-known games.
What's the big deal?
Now that we've discussed the Glyph launcher thoroughly let's take a moment to discuss ArcheAge considering this is indeed an ArcheAge column. I've been writing about ArcheAge since April and have been playing it on and off, but for some odd reason it just hasn't grabbed me. When I was first asked if I wanted to write a column about ArcheAge, I think I had heard of the game maybe once before. Looking back at my first column post I remember the chaos I walked into with the 1.0 nonsense just having been announced. Then I got to play the alpha and from what I can tell ArcheAge is the typical theme park grind until you get to a certain point to experience the fun stuff.
In my time playing I've gone from quest to quest and to an extent, certain ones work as a tutorial to get you to experience all the features that ArcheAge has to offer. I'll be honest, the questing has been a miserable grind in my opinion. At no point has the questing really made me say, “Oh my god, ArcheAge is the best game ever.” I've mentioned previously and I'll say it again: people have continued to inform me that the questing is not a strong part of the game. What's unfortunate is that if you want to get to the fun stuff, such as PvP, sailing, crafting, and more, you have to work your way through the questing. I'll admit, most of this I've been running through solo trying to find my way to the next cool feature I'll discover along the way. Other times I'm just trying to find something fun to toy with in the meantime like stealing someone's ship.
While some people do in fact enjoy grinding, it's not for me. People have even stated that the lore and story following the questline hasn't helped. What I really have trouble getting behind though is the farming. I can understand people farming in order to help them get resources for other parts of the game, but man, the amount of people that have told me their favorite part of the game is farming throws me off. I remember getting a short questline to try out the farming system and it was essentially like "hey, go plant this seedling, wait 10 minutes, now water it, wait a few more minutes, and now harvest". It brings me back to the days of playing browser MMORPGs like Evony where you find yourself waiting hours for a building to upgrade.
I'll be honest, I've been working my way through the questing at a slow pace since I have found it to be a drag. Although I still believe there are parts of ArcheAge that will appeal to me, I just have to get past the questing to enjoy it. I think I'll like the PvP and sailing most if I can find a good guild. I gave joining a guild a go, but it's difficult to find a good one. Generally you'll find a ton of guilds recruiting in the global chat that aren't worth your time.
Another thing that bugs me a bit about ArcheAge right now is that I had a realization while playing the alpha that the seeming majority of players have bought into the alpha spending $150 and yet others have gotten in through alternate ways. You realize that these people are hardcore fans and many will act as if they like the game simply for having spent so much real world cash from the get go. When the game hits a broader audience, and as the betas arrive, I'm sure we'll get more mixed opinions and different feedback on the game.
Right now though, I will say ArcheAge isn't grabbing me, but it has the potential to. My words are not golden so take them for what they are worth. You are, after all, your own best judge.