During our several hour time window with Trion Worlds at PAX we were treated to a nice preview of the upcoming 2.0 patch for ArcheAge. Bringing the NA and EU versions right behind the KR original, 2.0 packages loads of content and upgrades for all AA fans.
As Suzie pointed out in a recent press release: "Trion has announced that the v2.0 update to ArcheAge is set to take off on September 12th. Called 'Heroes Awaken', the update will bring the political system online where players can take up leadership roles on servers that have direct impact on populations. In addition, upgraded crafting houses, guild expeditions and wars and the usual bevy of bug fixes and enhancements will be released."
The server merge and creation of two "fresh" servers will begin on September 10th. During this period of about 48 hours, the AA servers will be completely unavailable. Then everything will come back online at precisely 1pm PDT on Saturday the 12th... and that's when the land rush begins as the Diamond Shores are being reworked majorly and all houses will be cleared out and must be reclaimed once more. In short, 2.0 is almost like a brand new start for a lot of ArcheAge players, and Trion's taking a lot of care in the set up. You can read about how it could affect you here.
First off in our demo was the brand new Hero System. Essentially a competitive ladder for players to duke it out with the opposing faction and earn points towards being one of a few dozen heroes on a given server, the Hero System comes with an epic cape, title, and gear that makes you not only revered by your friends, but feared by your enemies. The stats on the hero capes stack with other heroes near you, and spreads to other non-hero allies... even NPCs like cats can get the buff. The top 20 players in each faction (including Pirates, who Amanda and Merv claim have the BEST capes) are elected and serve as Heroes for 3 weeks. During the three weeks of reign, the process to elect the next 20 is ongoing, and it is possible for a player to stay a Hero for a prolonged period of time as long as you keep playing and earning Leadership points via PVP, grouping and so on.
The Diamond Shores are being majorly overhauled too, as part of an effort to make the area the main elder game focus for PVP and PVE. There are now two sides of the shores, one for each main faction, and you'll fight each other and build up your fortresses there. Why this matters is because without your fortress fully functional, you won't be able to craft the Archeum packs needed for your guilds to build their castles elsewhere.
Speaking of guilds, the guild system is getting a major overhaul. Not only will members now be able to earn prestige and spend it on cool loot, but guild leaders will be able to send their members out on missions to earn said prestige and help the faction and overall guild progress. There's now a system in game for finding, recruiting, and advertising guilds which is a long-awaited feature in its own right.
Housing is getting some major love too, as every house is now getting a brand new villa upgrade. The tradesman's villa will allow you to craft trade packs without having to run to the trade-pack maker, the armorer's villa will let you smelt iron and mass produce it very easily, and the gardener's villa will let you plant 50 seeds and harvest them all at once. There are more houses too, but you get the gist. Each house will have daily house quests too, which reward you with gold and gilda stars.
When 2.0 launches on September 12th, it'll begin a new welcome back event. Whether you're new or returning, all players will receive a 7-day version of a wicked looking Griffon mount. If you do the quests tied to the mount, it'll become permanent, no money needed. The event will run for 30 days, and all those returning during the event will also receive a pretty big "Returning Hero" buff which should make leveling up and progressing new characters much more enjoyable.
ArcheAge: Heroes Awaken launches next weekend on September 12th at 1pm PDT (4pm EDT). Will you be giving the game a shot again? Have you ever left?