ArcheAge does contain a store with premium items
The highly anticipated MMORPG from XL games is finally sailing its way to a western audience. Although the game has been playable for some time in Korea, Trion has made numerous localization changes for the English launch. Players who purchased a founders pack had the opportunity to jump in Friday. For everyone else, ArcheAge goes live today. At a quick glance ArcheAge may look like a run of the mill “tab target” MMO. There’s a pretty good chance you might even be tempted to uninstall after the first hour or so. It’s understandable that first impressions go a long way, but don’t be fooled the experience is remarkably deep. Riding the line between a “Theme park” and a “Sandbox” ArcheAge does a fair job of blending a lot of concepts in to an enjoyable experience.
I want to start off saying that this is one of the best games I have ever played, and that is saying a lot. I have always loved “sandbox” genre games, and ArcheAge truly embodies all that I have wanted in such a game of that genre. The combination of the open-world of ArcheAge, its player-driven gameplay, and not to mention the ability to choose your own path, are something I have never experienced before in a game. The world feels real. Creating your own story with nearly no restraints is a massive boost to the already great role-playing capability ArcheAge is able to host. I have yet to experience this side of the game, but when I do I am certain that I will not be disappointed.
With all the diversity in crafting, professions, and classes… this somewhat trickles over into character creation. There are so many minute details you can shape your character’s face with, that it may blow your away - seriously, I’d be amazed to find two people with the same exact head. With that said, that’s about where the customization ends. There is no body shape, physique, or height slider. So while your head will look detailed and unique, you’ll look identical and be the same exact height as those of your fellow race. There are four races in total, none of them give off the impression of anything new, and the four races make up two factions. There is also an outlaw-pirate faction but that has to be earned and makes all both the other factions your enemies.
I liked the fact that if your character steals items in ArcheAge, he will be marked as wanted, and then he will have to face trial. This unique and highly amusing system is very interesting, unless you are sentenced to jail. And here comes the funny part, jail time in ArcheAge takes place in real time, which means that you actually need to stay behind the bars. Sure, you can break out, but there will be limitations. Jail time differs based on the crime you commit, but it can be from a few minutes to days. Since this is a game mostly about pirates, exploring the seas is a stunning experience, and not only it looks stunning, but it’s also filled with dangers. You can even find ancient monsters on the sea or, if you are the adventurous type, you can try to dive in order to explore the shipwrecks.
ArchAge features four unique races that all have their own passive qualities, along with ten ability trees that create up to one hundred and twenty different class options, providing players with plenty of choices upon character creation and specialization. Players choose three of ten basic skill types and thus creating a “class” which is leveled upon improvement. Pets can be purchased and trained into mounts or companions on the battlefield, needing resurrection once they have fallen. There are four races to choose from divided on two continents. Both land and naval war is constantly going on between them.
The class system is really good: You have ten possible skill trees, which you can choose three from resulting in about 120 different possible classes. This makes it easier to have unique characters. The ability to change your skills easily whenever you want will let you play with different classes without having to start the game over and over again. The ten possible skill trees are: shadowplay, archery, sorcery, auramancy, occultism, songcraft, witchcraft, defense, battlerage, and vitalism. The story in the game is kind of interesting but nothing special, the quests are a little bit boring when most of the time you have to kill 15 bandits or 20 spiders, and there aren’t many dungeons and boss battles. But that’s okay because the game features a great PVP system.
There is no shortage of free-to-play games, but unfortunately many of them focus on advertising microtransactions or locking content behind pay gates. While ArcheAge does contain a store with premium items, they aren't essential to enjoying the numerous gameplay elements. ArcheAge earns a high recommendation for fans of both online and single-player role-playing games in that players can journey by themselves or join others for cooperative dungeon instances and player-versus-player activities.