ArcheAge Went Live and Everybody Went Crazy or Something

Normally I note when MMOs that are popular in our little corner of the web go live, if for no other reason than to track dates and such.  Somehow I missed my cue when ArcheAge went live… um… the other day?  Last week?  There was some sort of head start and such.  I sort of lost track.  But anyway, it went live and people went crazy.

ArcheAge_logo_450

Certainly, lots of people in the neighborhood seem to be playing it.  You can find all sorts of posts about it at:

As far as I can tell, Trion launched the game at exactly the right moment, in the lull where WildStar has begun to fade… erm… set out to create MegaServers(tm)… whatever… but Warlords of Draenor is still a couple months out.  And so ArcheAge became the oasis to which everybody flocked.

All servers queued, some with restrictions

All servers queued, some with restrictions

Being too successful is the best problem to have, but it is still a problem.  I even downloaded it over the weekend to take a peek.

I finally bit the bullet and let Trion install their Glyph gaming sales portal so I could log into Rift, and once I was there it was just a couple more clicks to have it install ArcheAge as well.

I was a little annoyed that they installed HackShield, an anti-hacking root toolkit, without bothering to warn me in large, flashing red letters, as I would have stopped the install right then and there.  I understand the need for such things, but I will avoid them if I can based on past experience with things like PunkBuster and such.  Basically, to play the game there is now another company in the mix, AhnLab, Inc., that can cause problems.  And there will be problems.  Some portion of legit users are always hit by these measures, so they basically send the message that it is okay to screw over a few of the innocent so long as we catch more hackers.  And then there is always the possibility of it being used as an attack vector.  Bleh.

And I wasn’t even going to have the potential to hack.  Being non-Patron scum, I was only able to check out the queues to get onto a server.  There was some variance, with the older servers being queued up past the 3K mark, and even had restrictions on what characters you could create.

More than an hour indeed...

More than an hour indeed…

More than an hour was a pretty light touch compared to reality.  While I am sure that patrons were being shown to the front of the queue that held me back, I let the whole thing sit there for a couple hours and it seemed that the queue moved me up about 700 places an hour.  The newer servers were at about half total queue it seemed.

Just 1,400 or so...

Just 1,500 or so…

The calculation eventually resolved to tell me my wait time would be about 20 minutes.  That was clearly optimistic in the extreme for prime time on Saturday afternoon.  Not that it mattered all that much to me.  I was just there to kick the tires.

But for others it has be a problem, and the whole queue situation has plenty of people talking about what ought to be done.  Hardcore Casual, Blessing of Kings, and Keen & Graev have all piped up on that front.

All of that has masked, to a certain extent, worries about the land rush in ArcheAge.  With housing being in the actual world rather than in some form of instance, the supply would seem to fall far short of the potential demand.  That has people worried and a whole side topic about illegal farms, which aren’t actually illegal has popped up.  However, stealing from them is illegal.  Go figure.

Anyway, it has all been an interesting read from the sidelines so far.  Trion is promising compensation for patrons over the whole queue thing and has worked to get more servers online.  But will this all end with them announcing the formation of MegaServers a few months down the line?  I suppose we shall see.

7 thoughts on “ArcheAge Went Live and Everybody Went Crazy or Something

  1. qyte

    They cannot merge servers in a game with open world housing. Who will keep his/her house at spot X?
    As for megaservers it would be a nightmare (there needs to be a viable land/players ratio).

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  2. bhagpusss

    I’m not convinced that open-world housing makes a server merge impossible. Vanguard managed it although I imagine that’s an example Trion would hope they never have to follow. I can’t see how you could move from single servers with housing to a Megaserver model though.

    I’m enjoying AA so far but I’m playing it exactly as though it was nothing more than a traditional quest&level MMO. Seen from that perspective it feels *really* similar to any number of F2P Eastern imports I’ve tried. Even though Trion did the quest and dialog translation the text retains the unmistakeable, distinctive rhythms of the original.

    The game it reminds me most strongly of is the much-missed Zentia. Indeed, this afternoon, after I’d been playing for four or five hours in total, I found myself wishing quite strongly that it was Zentia I was playing instead of ArcheAge. The mob models also remind me very strongly of Argo.

    I’m really quite surprised how much interest there has been. I noticed while I was playing to day that both Pandemic Legion and Goonswarm are testing the waters. I can’t help feeling there’s a serious disconnect between the light and fluffy part of the game I’m playing and the scams-permitted (it’s in the EULA allegedly – I haven’t verified it personally), cuthroat PvP that all the sheap-shearing, pony-dancing leveling-up antics supposedly lead to. How many of the currently curious throng will be around in three weeks, let alone three months, is going to be very interesting to see.

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  3. zaphod6502

    It’s actually one of the best MMO’s I have played in the last three years. The player run economy is very interesting and the fact I can grow crops and have land plots in the actual playable land gives a real sense of ownership. The questing and story are a sideline and not the focus of the game. They merely exist to help level you to 50 and generate gilda’s and money so you can purchase blueprints to make things in the game.

    But if you join the game late you will want to find a strong guild to run with. Without a solid base (ownership of farm and/or house) you will struggle to make things in the game which is the key to successfully getting money and other useful items for PvP. At this time most of the existing servers housing and farm land is full and you can only get land by buying off other players. An average small farm plot is trading for at least 300 gold at this time on my server.

    Also you won’t be able to do anything meaningful without at least being a patron. Gaining labor points is key and every trade and farming action requires labor points. A F2P player gains labor points at a snails pace although you can still do quests. A F2P player will also struggle to maintain house and land and will need to use APEX to be able to buy this.

    At its core ArcheAge is basically EVE Online for MMORPG’s. The goal is land ownership, castles, and PvP combat to fight for this.

    As of yesterday the queue problems have been effectively eliminated for patrons as they are doing daily server resets to clear the servers anti-AFK’ers trying to farm labor points. Trion also gave us an additional bonus month of patron time to compensate us for the issues that occurred in the first two weeks.

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  4. carson63000

    Played a little (being in Australian timezone I could get on in my evening with no queues). Wasn’t awful, but didn’t really grab me.

    Combat was particularly poor – it seems that they need to learn the lessons Blizzard learned in 2005 or so about latency, cooldowns, and timing slack, the responsiveness of the buttons is extremely bad.

    Also it seems to have a dose of the EQ2 disease of giving you a bunch of different skills which don’t really distinguish themselves in any way. I have various attacks that cause various status effects and other attacks that benefit from them, but it just seems to lead to setting up your hotbar and hitting 1-2-3-4-5 in every fight.

    Having gotten to level 10 or so in a few sessions I don’t feel any particular drive to log in again. I’m sure the fans would tell me “it gets better at higher levels!” but frankly I can’t really be bothered getting there. Wasteland 2 also dropped last week and right from the start it makes me want to play more.

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  5. anom

    Most of the darkfall players that went to play AA already came back and/or playing Albion and life is Feudal. All I hear about AA is that its wow with farms and boats. So it will pry do well with the wow generation. Sadly those of us hoping for sandbox are SOL

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  6. Vatec

    No interest in open world housing. It just clutters up the landscape.

    I installed AA back when I was invited to a Beta Weekend, but I loathed the art style (I do -not- like androgynous anime-style heroes) and I couldn’t play for more than five minutes before I got sick of perky NPCs and piles of cute dead foxes everywhere. The fact that I would eventually be able to use my two-handed weapon to create a small earthquake pretty much sealed the game’s fate for me.

    Yeah, I know it’s the Next Big Thing. And I know it’s a magnificent sandbox. But hey, EVE Online is also a magnificent sandbox and that game bored me to tears.

    I hope Trion makes lots of money from it. I really hope their success encourages other companies to make sandbox MMOs. And I hope one of those sandbox MMOs has an art style I actually like and combat that bears some minor resemblance to how swords and bows work in the real world.

    tl;dr – None of the vaunted features appeal to me, I hate the art style, I loathe cartoonish combat, and happy NPCs make me want to gag. Even so, I hope it succeeds so that someone else will make a different game that I might actually like ;^)

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