No one is more excited for tomorrow’s update than ArcheAge’s Merv Lee Kwai. Called “Dread Prophecies”, the update is the largest yet for the game since it launched. The plan is for players to be able to log in on EU servers at 3:00 pm GMT and NA players at 3:00 pm Pacific (6:00 pm Eastern). There’s a huge feature list for Dread Prophecies and what makes it especially cool is that it affects all phases of life for players. There is literally something for everybody.
The focus of Dread Prophecies is the new sea combat and lore. In fact, so much was added in the Korean version of Dread Prophecies that Trion opted to divide it into two parts. Today’s half is to “get players’ feet wet” (get it!?) with the new seafaring content and the other new features and improvements before deploying the second, deeper, half of the update currently targeted for mid-June.
The most notable part of Dread Prophecies is the ability for ship captains to drastically individualize the appearance and performance of their vessels. It all comes down to one thing: Appearance is solely determined by how the captain chooses to customize the vessel. Ships aren’t static anymore. Things can be added, taken away, upgraded and more and all in real time. To do so, players will need to travel to any one of a number of the newly added lighthouses. Each lighthouse sports a large green circle around it and, once inside this area, considered the “customization zone”, players can start giving their ships fantastic and very personalized new looks.
Each ship inventory slot is customizable. Players can drag and drop components and swap them out as desired. Things appear in real time.
“You can customize it to how you want to play the game. Players are starting to assemble their fleets in more of a navy perspective. We’ve seen a lot of interesting ships. There’s a lot of fun stuff to play with.” Merv said at one point as he opened his incredibly packed inventory of items.
By upgrading ship components, they can deal a lot of damage if that is a player’s focus. In addition, piloting takes more skill than before. Buoyancy limits have been added that limits the number of players that can be aboard before it begins to “sink”, or move very slowly.
As an example, Merv explained. “Clippers are more of a scout ship now than previously. They have a very tight turn radius and, while it doesn’t have as many options as a galleon, there are still sails, harpoons, trade pack storage, a canons, and more. You make it as you want.”
Dread Prophecies also comes with a new set of high end ocean objectives. There are Ghost Ships roaming the seas which, if defeated, can drop trade packs that are worth thousands of gold. The Abyssal Attack is a lighthouse and players work together to stop it, or each other, and are rewarded with crystals and shards to turn in for gold.
Speaking of trading in these items for gold, there is an island in the center of the map that once supported player housing. Those houses have been removed. That option to teleport and turn in items for gold from the special vendors has now become strategic. Turning in wares will require navigation to get to the special trader that appears for only two hours per day and who gives insane amounts of gold for items.
Sounding very excited about the prospect, Merv explained. “It creates a great synergy with PvP and guilds ensuring their ships arrive safely or are on hand to pirate goods from other ships.”
There are also two new zones that give players an alternate way to go from 50-55. The Golden Ruins is one of the new zones where Obsidian shards are dropped and players can work up the tree to make awesome gear. Monsters are tuned for the journey from 50 to 55. The second zone, Mist Marrow, is more of a PvP area that cycles on a wartime basis to earn new tokens for loot.
But wait! That's not all! Achievements have been added as well.
“We’ve added close to 2000 achievements from the very simple to ultra-complex.”
There are a lot of things players can do for achievements too, something to suit everyone. There are Merit Quests that give an objective when logging in. According to Merv, it’s sort of like daily questing but with more of achievement-related feel to it. The reward is that players earn merit badges for completing these. Merit badges can be spent in the marketplace in the Awards tab.
“You can get a Lord of the Dance token with a unique dance animation when it is equipped. It even makes players dance while walking. Merit badges are cosmetic rewards for players to earn.”
The best news is that veteran players will be retroactively awarded earned Merit Badges going all the way back to the launch of AA.
Merv went on. “In proficiencies, we have an exploration category. As you travel to certain locations. You earn exploration experience that ramps up to special achievements. These places will have to be discovered.”
Windshade is the NPC crafting hub and here, again, Dread Prophecies offers something for everyone.
“One of the cool things we added are vocation badge items. The rewards are bundled items that can be purchased with vocation badges by completing life activities. These bundles have huge yields and it’s something that players can finally spend their badges on. It’s a good outlet for those massive vocation badges.”
There’s a new farm that’s a combination of a workstation and the normal 16x16 farm too. Farming also includes the Blue Ribbon Farming Contest, where players can be ranked on a special leader board especially designed for farming.
“When you plant a plant that has a chance to become an award-winning blue ribbon edition. It’s a contest to see how many can be grown in a certain time.”
There are a lot of smaller scale things coming too:
- Skill balancing – All skills were reevaluated with 70 adjustments to skills across all classes.
- There is a Marketplace update coming too. There are some new mounts including a Pegasus and a giant Rabbit, Lord Cottontail (there are also others for loyalty -- Lady Flufftail and Lord Hoppington), a special storage chest that keeps all bound items in one place inside a player’s house.
- Jewelcrafting has been brought in line with other crafting professions to give crafters more of a chance to create high end jewelry. Most players are wearing jewelry that is significantly below their level. This will help with that.
- Success rates for item upgrades are more likely to improve and less likely to fail. Evolving gear is almost as important as evolving the character
All in all, Dread Prophecies is bringing some fantastic new features and improvements to ArcheAge. Will you be logging in to check it out? If not, what could bring you back to ArcheAge?