The Hasla Herald: Exploring Auroria

The first major content release for the North American version of ArcheAge is here. Conquest of Auroria adds six new zones, a new ten man instance and 30% more housing. This week in the Hasla Herald, we take a look at some of the new additions to one of our favorite sandbox MMORPG’s. We will be taking a look at Serpentis, the new 10 man dungeon, in the coming weeks. This issue will be a general overview of the content and its short term effects on the Meta game.

So What is Auroria? Those of us who played Alpha and Beta are already pretty familiar with most of this content. Auroria is the northern continent and currently consists of six different zones. Each of the six zones contains elite level  50 monsters as well as additional housing areas. Beyond new zones to explore, players can acquire tier two and three of the Hasla weapons as well as several new vehicles.

All of the Auroria content was removed for the live version of the game. As far as updates are concerned, it is pretty huge in size, but I have a hard time considering this a true “content update”. Almost everything in Conquest of Auroria was content that was openly available during Alpha and beta.  I was slightly frustrated that this content was not included at launch. It has already been localized and I am not sure I buy in to their reasoning as to why it pulled for official launch.

Trion has stated that they wanted the player base a chance to mature before releasing Auroria. They claim they wanted to give guilds the opportunity to get organized and players’ time to level their characters and gear before releasing what is considered to be ArcheAge’s “end game”.  I feel sort of conflicted, on one hand that response makes perfect sense, and on the other it feels like a cop-out.

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The western localisations for ArcheAge are significantly behind the Korean version of the game. There is even another zone in Auroria, called Diamond Shores, which isn’t even open yet. This zone, as well as its dungeon were also included in the Alpha and Beta releases. I would have much rather them release the bulk of Auroria on launch, even if it meant I had to wait a little longer for Diamond Shores.

One of the selling points of Auroria was that it contained “thirty percent more land”. From the beginning I kept hearing things like, “oh if you didn’t get land just wait until Auroria, there should be plenty”. This content update was advertised as another big land rush. It’s not, the lodestone mechanic creates a barrier to entry. It’s not as simple as running to the continent and placing your farm.

Before anyone can use a lodestone, a guild must first claim it. To do that a guild leader must cleanse an Archeum Lodestone using a Purifying Archeum Trade pack. To obtain some of the materials for the trade pack you will need to mine nodes in Auroria.  After that, the guild that claims the Lodestone owns the housing area around it. They get to see all of the taxes for the surrounding area. Once the area has been secured the guild can build a castle to defend their land and players can set up farms.

Occasionally, a castle siege scroll for each claimed zone will appear on the Auction House under the “Scroll: Siege Base” category. The winning bidder can use the scroll to begin a siege of that specific zone’s Archeum Lodestone at a specified time.  The worst part, if the siege is successful, the new owners of the land can demolish any houses they see fit.

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Hasla Weapons are a hot button topic in the community right now. Prior to Conquest for Auroria, only the Tier 1 Hasla weapons were in the game.  As of the new update, Tier 2 and 3 Hasla weapons have now been implemented.  This has caused some backlash amongst the player base. The Hasla weapons were originally designed as “catch up weapons”. Due to the RNG factor required in creating high end crafted gear, it is very difficult to create the final tiers available.

This influx in high end weaponry has created a bit of an issue in the meta game. For most players, grinding out Hasla weapons is currently quicker and more efficient than attempting to get Magnificent or better weapons. Players tend to be quick to complain. In the long run, the crafted armor should catch up to Hasla tier 3 weapons. Right now though, PvP has largely turned in to a “kill or be killed” situation. Battles seem to end before they even begin, and it has made the PvP experience less enjoyable.

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Obtaining Hasla weapons is another issue in its self. Yes, Hasla weapons are very powerful and don’t require much money or RNG to acquire. All you need is time and a group. The latter can be very frustrating. The mobs that drop the tokens only spawn in one specific part of Hasla. Finding a group for the particular token you need can be a grueling process, I have logged off several times in frustration after spamming faction chat looking for a group. It’s a bit of a catch 22, it’s hard to find a spot in a Hasla group and crafted weapons are probably outside of your price range. To add to the frustration, Hasla is a PVP zone and peace times last roughly two hours, making it a hotly contested area.

Conquest for Auroria hasn’t been all roses, but it’s still a pretty decent update. I have a few main concerns at this point. The majority of me feels that they will naturally address themselves in time, such as the Hasla weapons. My biggest worry at this time is that it will be six to nine months before we see another large content update. As much as I like ArcheAge, I will admit, the game is in a bit of a volatile state.  I’m not sure the community morale will hold up if Trion chooses not to release a steady stream of new content.

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