So I found myself playing ArcheAge, an unlikely game for me given my standard views on PvP. I don’t do much in EVE for similar Everyone versus Everyone PvP reasons. However for some reason I found myself drawn to this game recently and decided to dive down the rabbit hole to see what could be seen.
What I have found is a game that is almost IMO a next generation MMO when compared to many of the other games on the market. The main features that I find missing which I feel are requirements to be a truely next generation MMO would be the following.
Faction-less Races: So that you can play any race regardless of which faction you end up playing.
More than 2 main factions: There are 3 in game but that is only because the Pirate/Criminal Players are considered to be a faction of their own, so I don’t consider it a true 3rd faction.
Actually the thing that EVE is lacking to be a Next Gen MMO would be a strong PVE side, otherwise it would be one.
So what are the main things that brought me to playing this game while I am completely bored with WoW, even though my accounts are active. The main features of the game are what attracted me. The game is a guided sandbox game. I mean guided as there is a storyline and there is a strong leveling via questing aspect to the game. However if you were lucky enough to get land during head start many crafting professions open up and the in-game AH/Market is almost completely player driven through crafting.
While all of this was interesting the other lesser feature that sold me on it was that the game does not try to force its interpretation of how you should quest upon you, unlike WoW. From level 1 if you buy the items from the RM Market you can get a mount and glider. A form of these items are acquired in game before level 7ish and 15ish of 50 so it is not like either feature is an endgame bonus. Like WoW seems to think any conveniences are only for endgame, where they are nice but not really a major benefit.
The above screen shot was taken while I was heading back to the town on the horizon when coming back from one of the early instances. Not it is gliding and not true flight like in WoW but it is 1000s of times better than how questing feels in MoP currently and WoD on the Beta Servers. There is no replacement for being able to make the active choice to mostly avoid mobs when you just want to get to point B from point A if you so choose. Now it does take some extra effort to do long runs on the glider as you need to find a high jump off point since there seems to be no updrafts that I have found and there is a longish cooldown to the only ability I have found that gives you some extra altitude which then lengthens your glide.
ArcheAge is F2P with paid Patron level which confers some bonuses and is required if you want to actually own land or stake a claim for the in-game player housing. This will definitely be a large distraction for me until WoD launches and potentially even after since the Gliding/Flight in this game makes it one more feature over what WoD offers.