It’s no secret that I really like ArcheAge. I personally find it to be one of the most rewarding MMORPG experiences I have played in over a decade. It has nearly every feature I crave from an online game. Open ended game play, player owned housing, intense PvP and an in depth trade skill system. As much as I enjoy ArcheAge, there are some things that drive me absolutely bonkers. This week’s Hasla Herald focuses the things that make me want to scream and pull my hair out.
I know after reading this some of you might think I am just complaining. Please don’t misconstrue, I still stand by my previous statements. In my personal opinion, ArcheAge is still one of the best MMORPGs currently on the market. Like all good things though, there is always room for improvement.
I can sum questing in ArcheAge down to one word. Essentially, it’s Atrocious. Honestly, I am not even sure why the questing system exists. It’s completely cookie cutter and dry. The story isn’t very interesting and makes my eyes dry. Every type of quest you will do in ArcheAge has been done before. From someone who is completely bored of Sandpark MMOs, this was a complete waste of time for me. The worst part, even with the open progression systems, questing is still one of the most efficient ways to level up. and the whole system seems slapdash and tacked on.
There are a few features that make an attempt to improve the experience. Mid to end game, all the quests are done in PvP zones, which add a bit of spice to questing. The overachieve and hidden quests are a nice touch, but a splash of color to a tired mechanic is hardly even a band aid. If I never see another gold exclamation point in an MMO again I will die a happy man.
Inventory and UI Customization
The inventory system is outdated and convoluted. Here in the year 2014 it really bugs me when items such as pets and vehicles take up inventory space. It’s quite annoying and inventory management becomes a hassle when there are ten plus items clogging up your inventory that shouldn’t be.
For the most part the UI is okay. It’s not terrible and it does the job. There is a lack of customization and overall it feels a bit outdated and cluttered. Some standard features we are used to in MMO user interface are missing. There is no Mod support and things such as a DPS meter are completely absent.
Some might argue that the absence of these features is a good thing. Not having a DPS meter helps the game from devolving in to an experience that only appeals to hard core gamers. With a game that boasts 120 different class combinations, it would be a shame if most of them were deemed unusable because some theory crafter decided the “DPS wasn’t good enough”.
Land Shortage and Bots
This is a major gripe for a lot of people. Land is really hard to acquire. Almost all of the spots were taken within the first 48 hours. This by its self wouldn’t be a huge issue, it’s part of the design of the game. What makes it almost unbearable is the bots. Currently there is a pretty big botting issue in ArcheAge. Some of these bots will scour the world looking for spots that are about to expire, instantly grabbing them up. This makes it frustrating for legitimate players who are trying to get a land spot.
We were promised from the beginning that botting would be handled in an aggressive manner. Unfortunately, it still remains an issue. Perception is reality, and it honestly seems to be getting worse. The mining spots are littered with bots. Every time I look at faction chat there’s tons of gold spamming. They have a half hearted bot reporting system, but it seems poorly designed.
Optimization has been an issue for a long time in the industry. Some games do it very poorly, ArcheAge is such a game. Currently right now there is an issue experiencing client lag during fishing. Even people with high end system specs have experienced a nearly unplayable experience when there are several boats in one spot.
It’s clearly an optimization issue as those same users can participate in PVP battles with 300 plus people and experience minimal lag. ArcheAge also suffers from memory leak issues creating poor performance for many users after they have been logged in for some time.
This one might just be me. I am sure not everyone has had the same experience I have. This can be a problem in all games that rely heavily on a social aspect. Honestly, it’s not anything that can really be fixed. That doesn’t stop it from being really frustrating, a game like ArcheAge seems to bring out the worst in people, even compared to other MMOs. C’est la vie though, there will always be issues with other people no matter what you play. It’s best just to shrug them off.
Not trying to hate, game’s still great
Sometimes I wonder if I am in love with ArcheAge or the idea of ArcheAge. There haven’t been a lot of sandbox MMOs in the last decade. Sometimes a scrap can taste like a feast to someone who is starving. In ways it almost feels like a prototype, a proof of concept. In so many ways ArcheAge is pitch perfect and others it suffers from poor implantation and sloppy design.
Compared to its peers, ArcheAge is still a great game. All in all, these things don’t stop ArcheAge from being a wonderful experience. For the most part Trion has been pretty good about listening to our concerns, I truthfully hope that continues. I want to see this game grow and flourish for years to come. It will always have a place in my heart.Related: ArcheAge, Column, Hasla Herald, MMORPG