Erenor Eternal is a huge content expansion coming to ArcheAge later today. It features overhauled systems as well as new locations for players to explore. I had the chance to chat with Senior Producer Merv Lee Kwai about Erenor Eternal and what it means to players and to the game itself. It's always a pleasure to speak with the ArcheAge team and their love of the game is apparent in the enthusiasm they bring to every interview.
New Locations & Ancestral Skills
As with any expansion, Erenor Eternal is bringing new zones into the game. Three, in fact: Whaleswell Strait, Aegis Island and Whalesong Harbor. Each provides players with new quests to follow, leveling areas and even a new housing location for lucky landowners.
Aegis Island is a snowy location that gives end-game players a place to level. As many other areas do, Aegis Island runs through both PvP and PvE cycles and, depending on whether it is at war or in peace, players have a number of activities to participate in. During war, an event spawns. The goal here is for all four factions to participate by fighting waves of mobs and pushing them away from a centrally located tower. The more effort expended and success each faction puts in, the better the reward. Don't forget that there is also PvP going on at the same time -- it's not all about monsters, after all.
Whalesong Harbor also spawns an event similar to that found on Aegis Island when at war. This time, however, the goal is for factions to keep monsters from reaching the central tower which also provides some unique opportunities for PvP since everyone will be clustered in the same general location. Strategy, as ever, will be king.
Whalesong Harbor is also the home to a new housing zone. It can fit about 200 medium-sized houses. By the by: Housing across the world is being updated with the ability for players to add a second level to their 16x16 homes and planter boxes underneath.
Both Aegis Island and Whalesong Harbor give players a chance to add to and level their Ancestral Skills as well as be able to collect crafting materials for the Erenor gear and wing illusion. These new Ancestral Skills are augments to existing skills across all ten classes. At any given time, a player can choose three abilities, and, later, can "imbue" one with on of the game's eight elements. For instance, a fire or lightning effect can be chosen on a given Ancestral Skill to best suit the fight a play may be in. Respeccing these abilities is also a snap with a very low cost.
Merv described it this way, "Augment the class you play based on the content and the way you want to play."
Customization is always good!
Crafting is being simplified in all the right ways in Erenor Eternal. Gone is the over-reliance on RNG to get the gear that players truly want. These changes have come as a direct response to player feedback as well.
Crafting process for the core has changed most notably through simplified tiers in the middle tiers in particular. Illustrious + Levels no longer have to be unsealed, thereby reducing RNG. When an item is crafted, it is now “Cloaked” so players can choose the version that comes out of it. Furthermore, it can be upgraded to the next tier. RNG has been removed from the crafting process and provided with more flexibility.
A new tier of gear is added for the first time since early 2015, the Erenor level. With the new simplified crafting, it is an attainable goal and looks great too! Every armor, instrument and weapon has its own Erenor version. Anyone putting together seven pieces receives a wings VFX to show off with. Lastly, Regrading allows players to pick a specific weapon or armor to improve its quality. Regrading also had very heavy RNG. With the new system in place, players will see the actual chance of success before making an attempt to craft the item. This is in place of guesswork. Regrading is 2x easier in all aspects and is much, much easier than before. This helps new or returning players catch up easier.
Trade System Upgraded
The trade system in ArcheAge has been the same since release. With Erenor Eternal, it has been totally overhauled and streamlined. When a player creates a trade pack, they can drop it off at any one of three locations where the outlet keeps track of how many have been brought in. Once a certain threshold has been reached, players can opt to purchase a Cargo pack (or later Certified Cargo) to transport across the ocean. Of course, this has its own dangers for those who choose to go it alone. But risk has reward in gold acquisition for hardy folk. The journey can take from 10-20 minutes of time if a player is uncontested along the way. Players can also purchase a captain’s protection and ride on a ship and become PvP immune on the journey across the ocean. This can happen once per hour. Certified Cargo has its own unique reward with Charcoal Stabilizers, a necessary crafting component for just about everything.
A really wicked new car has been added - the Rampage B200. It seats four and carries three trade packs. It also has a radio that plays music. I’d say it’s a must-have for those who love overland travel in style. It can be crafted in silver or purchased in black in the collector’s pack available later today.
Returning and existing players who participate in 3.5 can earn a special costume for free just for taking part. It’s modeled after Lucius’ gear, a reminder of bygone days for players. A bear mount can also be earned. In addition, for those who may have been away awhile, a gear ticket will be provided to trade in for a set of items up to about a 3.5k “soulforged” gear score. Brand new players get a Day 1 supply crate that is opened over 15 days and is filled with potions, teleports, vehicles, etc.
Wrapping It Up
All in all, it's a great time to head into game for current players or for former players to check in to see all of the improvements and what's new. With the catch up gear and simplified systems, everyone from current to returning to brand new players will find a lot to like.
Will you be playing Erenor Eternal? What are your thoughts on the changes? Leave us your comments!
Thanks to the ArcheAge team and to Merv for their time! It's always appreciated!