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Official Site: ArcheAge
Studio: Trion Worlds
Launch Date: September 16, 2014
Genre: Fantasy Hybrid Sandbox
Business Model: Hybrid F2P (Optional Sub, Cash Shop)
Platform: PC

One Shots: Wedded bliss

Have you ever gotten married? In game, I mean. Well, if you haven’t screenshotted it, it didn’t happen. Fortunately this Final Fantasy XIV couple saw fit to capture the moment of wedded bliss between a bear-man and a child-woman.

“With Final Fantasy XIV now offering weddings, here’s a shot of my wife and me celebrating our in-game nuptials,” reader Phubarrh said. “We particularly love the range of expressions and emotes offered by the game.”

From soaring heights to creepy revelations, we’ve got a great selection of MMO player screenshots for you in One Shots this week!

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Lost Continent: ArcheAge’s dolphingate was much ado about nothing

I’d like to play devil’s advocate about this whole ArcheAge dolphingate thing. First, though, let me start with a disclaimer. If you’ve read this column for any length of time, either here in our new home or over the years on Massively-that-was, you know that I don’t pull any punches when it comes to Trion’s ArcheAge buffoonery.

But this was not that.

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ArcheAge is finally on Steam

I’ve had ArcheAge on my Steam wishlist for at least six months. I forget exactly how long it’s been, but I’m pretty sure that I put it on there prior to the North American launch in September of 2014. And then the game’s store page went dark even though Trion sold founders packs through Valve’s ubiquitous app.

Anyway, the firm has announced that the title is now officially available on Steam.

If you’re curious, this particular F2P MMO features DLC packs ranging from $24.99 to $149.99. Steam user reviews currently number just over 400 and display as “mostly positive.”

[Source: Steam]


Massively OP Podcast: Episode 7

The Massively OP Podcast crew learned many lessons from the MMO industry this week. We learned that players will get upset if you offer dolphins to some but not to all. We learned that VR is still a thing. We learned that the end of one MMO might mean the beginning of another. And we learned that sharing really is caring!

We also have a very special giveaway for podcast listeners, so tune in or read onward!

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One Shots: Memories of those long lost

Sometimes we start silly, and sometimes we start weird, but today we’re going to start somber and reflective. Reader Becca made a discovery that touched upon the passing of real-life players, which I’ll let her explain.

“I recently joined a new guild in EverQuest II and was checking out its wonderfully decorated hall,” she sent in. “I came across a cemetery — which is fairly common in guild halls — except when I clicked on the player written book, I found it was actually an area dedicated to some of their members who had passed. It was incredibly touching as I also lost a gaming friend last year and a ‘feelsful’ reminder of the wonderful communities we have in MMOs.”

Enjoy your brief trip to a western MMO because from here on out it’s going to be all eastern titles, all the time. Well, at least for this week.

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Trion makes amends for ArcheAge’s dolphingate

During its official ArcheAge stream earlier today, Trion Worlds explained just how it will make amends to its players for the dolphingate fallout — dolphingate being, of course, what the internet has decided to call Trion’s controversial decision to bestow arguably excessive gifts on former players, including a rare dolphin mount it insisted was merely cosmetic. Last night, the studio agreed it had “missed the mark” with the promotion; today, it’s outlined its plans going forward.

Reddit user Vyntares transcribed those plans: Community appreciation rewards will be given to all players regardless of their status. Free players will receive a number of items including chests, labor tickets, tonics, and library indexes, while paying patrons are walking away with all that and then some, with a stack of potions, lucky points, essences, plus starlight glider customization and naturally that cyanfin mount. You get a dolphin and you get a dolphin and we all get dolphins!

Reddit is pleased with Trion’s tribute.

[Source: Reddit. Thanks again, Kinya!]


Trion says it ‘missed the mark’ with ArcheAge promotion

Yesterday’s revelation that Trion was handing out significant gifts to former ArcheAge players to entice them to return to the game — gifts in some cases worth $100 — didn’t sit well with current subscribers; some of them even started a petition to demand that Trion grant them the same gifts. Last night, Trion admitted that it “missed the mark” with this promotion and is currently discussing how best to rectify the situation now and in the future. Producer Khrolan penned this explanation on the official forums:

I’d like to be transparent about what’s happening with our recent win-back program to encourage returning players and what we’re doing for our active ArcheAge community.

It’s our job to continually evaluate what we can do to stimulate the health of ArcheAge. Part of this process is to bring new folks into the game and also find ways to re-engage players who contributed to the game in the past and may be interested in playing again. We’ve seen success with folks coming back to the game with the release of Secrets of Ayanad and wanted to reinforce this trend.

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Das Tal is considering a buy-to-play model

After a careful consideration of the pros and cons of various business models, including those of Crowfall, Guild Wars 2 and ArcheAge, the Das Tal team says that it is leaning toward a buy-to-play model with a cosmetic cash shop. One additional revenue path that the studio is considering is to allow players to pay to launch specific ruleset servers.

“Buy once is still the standard for almost all single player games, as there is rarely any substantial development of the game after release,” the team posted. “It has also become apparent that a buy-once model can be utilised by games with ongoing development by meshing together different aspects of other payment models.”

Whatever the team ends up deciding for its revenue plan, it doesn’t want to hurt the game because of it: “We don’t want to compromise the quality of the game, or our community’s enjoyment of it, because of the model we choose.”

[Source: Dev blog]


ArcheAge patrons perturbed at Trion’s gift to former players

When’s the last time we had a good ArcheAge controversy? Actually who cares, because Trion has stepped up to the plate with a new brouhaha that’s raging on Reddit and the game’s official forums right now. In a nutshell, the firm is doing what all MMO companies do by trying to bribe former customers into being current customers.

The bribe in question is a doozy, though, and it’s ruffled quite a few feathers among those players who are currently paying for patron status. Gifts include a rare dolphin mount, valuable sunpoints and moonpoints, glider wing customizations, and more. Disgruntled ArcheAge patrons have posted a petition in protest.

[Source: Forums, Reddit; thanks Clay and Kinya!]


Working As Intended: Six things I expect from serious MMO PvP

With PvP-encrusted MMORPGs like Camelot Unchained, Crowfall, and even Revival on the genre’s horizon, I have a glimmer of hope that the future of MMO PvP might not be a dreadful dichotomy of sterile MOBAs and psychopathic gankboxes after all. PvP might just have a chance at restoration to a place of honor in MMORPGs rather than be jammed into themeparks as an afterthought or unleashed into empty open worlds as the lazy dev’s idea of “hardcore content.” MMO PvP has been great before — wouldn’t it be fun if it were great again?

This is how I’d like to see it go down: Here are six things I expect from serious MMO PvP.

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Massively OP Podcast: Episode 6

When an MMO delivers an update to nerf difficult content, it can cause a rift deeper than that of the North versus the South. Between veterans proclaiming the doom of carebearism and casuals rejoicing over being included, our podcasters wade in to deliver their thoughts before being overwhelmed by the mob.

Also in this week’s episode, llamas! Er, that should be “betas.” A different beast entirely.

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Labor changes, Pegasus mount coming to ArcheAge

Friday the 13th may have been a lucky day for ArcheAge fans! During Trion’s Friday livestream, Producer Merv “Khrolan” Lee Kwai revealed a move meant to increase the value of patron status: changing the offline labor regeneration rate to match the online rate. Starting about mid-April, paying players will accumulate 10 labor every five minutes whether or not they are logged in; there is no change to free accounts.

The livestream also highlighted more changes to Secrets of Ayanad coming later this month. On land, the necessary number of appraisal certificates will be determined by land size. Additionally, the Hasla raid boss Hanure the Hunter is getting a level bump to 55. In the air, a new gliding Pegasus mount will be available for purchase with loyalty points (approximately 625) or randomly from an Archeum Supply Crate. And in the water, fishing tournaments are slated to start next weekend.

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Lost Continent: In which we race ArcheAge tractors for money

So ArcheAge got five additional levels and a dungeon called The Library this week. To which I say, whoop-tee-funking-doo! Don’t get me wrong — it’s good that we’re getting new content — but I’m so far removed from the bored-at-endgame crowd bum-rushing through this stuff right now that I may as well be playing a different MMO. This is, of course, a backhanded compliment to XLGAMES for producing a title that departs from this industry’s feature-deficient mean.

And surprisingly, given how much I loathe Trion’s business model and its ethics, I’m still having a good time in week three of my return.

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