Trion has confirmed the layoffs – we’ve updated below.
Trion Worlds in general and ArcheAge
in specific are going through a turbulent time this week as the studio has levied layoffs in the studio that have affected an unknown number of employees. Among those affected include ArcheAge
Associate Producer Seraphina Brennan and Customer Support/Environmental Artist Jessica Pate
Now that all of ArcheAge’s
fresh start realms have been converted to legacy servers, the community is burning with the question of when — if ever — more fresh start servers will be added to the game.
One player took it upon himself to compile pertinent information from Trion’s recent livestream and put it into a helpful video that addresses this very topic. The answer? We could be seeing some fresh start servers later in 2018. Another consideration for the western version is how the Korean version is working on “remastered” servers instead of more fresh start shards.
“We’re interested in doing fresh start servers this year,” said Associate Producer Seraphina Brennan. “That is definitely something that’s on the table. We pushed it back off from December because it didn’t seem like the right time.”
Batten down the hatches because a big storm hits tomorrow! ArcheAge’s
Maelstrom, with its cross-server navel arena, launches on December 13th. We got to see some of the 4.0 expansion and learn more about it during our demo
and interview at PAX West
this last fall. And on the cusp of launch, I sat down again with Trion Associate Producer Seraphina “Celestrata” Brennan
, Executive Producer Merv Lee Kwai
, and Community Manager Joe “Muzzy” Brogno
to chat more about the upcoming changes. What I learned is that the changes have changes! Lunagems, the raid finder bulletin board, streetlights, and some of the arenas updates have been updated. And one change — the addition of the new turtle ship — will actually not be happening.
There’s been a reshuffling in Trion Worlds’
ranks this past week, as ArcheAge
Senior Community Manager Seraphina “Celestrata” Brennan announced on the forums
that she has been bumped up to become the game’s associate producer.
“I’m really happy to let you all know that I’m your new associate producer,” Brennan said. “I’ll be joining Khrolan and Amary on the production team side of things, so don’t worry that someone’s going to go somewhere. You’ll still see me posting on the forums and Reddit too, though perhaps not as much as I use to. My time is going to have to go towards behind-the-scenes work and planning, after all!”
Taking over for Brennan as senior CM is Joe “Muzzy” Brogno, who transferred over from the Atlas Reactor team back in June.
There’s a new sheriff on ArcheAge’s forums, and his fearsome name is Muzzy.
Trion Worlds announced Joe Brogno, otherwise known as “Muzzy” to the studio’s community, was being transferred over from Atlas Reactor to ArcheAge as the fantasy MMO’s newest CM. Brogno won’t be replacing Seraphina Brennan, as she will remain as the game’s senior community manager.
The team revealed the shift in personnel on a Twitch livestream, which wasn’t exactly received with open arms by the community. On the forums, players expressed indignation over the new CM’s alleged ignorance about the basic concepts of the game and Trion’s decision to ignore pressing issues in favor of promoting some of its cash shop items. You can watch the stream after the break and decide for yourself.
Community Manager Seraphina “Celestrata” Brennan
was on hand at DragonCon 2016 to show off ArcheAge’s
upcoming updates, from the September second anniversary update coming this month to the big 3.0 expansion coming in December. The earlier update may be more known at the moment for the previously announced flashy customizable underwear, but it also introduces an 8-man free-for-all PvP arena and opens up the Auroria zones of Exlock and Sunstone Fields for castle building. ArcheAge
3.0, named Revelation, brings even more to the table, including two new races, six new zones (with tons of housing!), and a way for players to shoot a large energy cannon at the opposing continent.
Senior Community Manager Seraphina “Celestrata” Brennan
has this week unveiled serious plans to clean up her game’s community image. In the first of what she says will be her dedicated series of letters from the CM, she is frank about how folks around the internet are convinced the ArcheAge
community is “a toxic community that should be avoided.”
“Statements like that rip me apart. As a community, we are creative, passionate, intelligent, and bold. We have players from all walks of life who enjoy a variety of extremely disparate activities. We should not be judged by the actions of a disruptive minority in our game. […] We need to move beyond the ‘ArcheAge is a toxic community’ perception, and we need to make some positive changes to get there. We are more than that. You are more than that.”
To that end, she tells players that she is hard at work revising in-game public chat rules and forum moderation rules so that Trion is “tougher on chat violations.” The official forums will be renovated with new feedback and social boards, and Trion is kicking off new events too, including town halls with the studio.
Another day, another mess in ArcheAge
. Here’s the scenario: Player A, known for his Doctors Without Borders charity work, and Player B trade on a regular basis. Player C rolls a character with a name almost identical to Player B and tricks Player A into handing over his valuables — i.e., he literally scams the pants off him, during a publicly broadcast stream no less. Let’s say you’re Trion
. What do you do?
In this case, Trion reversed the scam in favor of the victim, Player A, which has, you may or may not be shocked to learn, caused outrage in the ArcheAge community, if you can call it a community.
“[O]ur Customer Service policies do not allow impersonation of another player,” explained Senior Community Manager Celestrata on the official forums. “Impersonating someone else, even if it’s by name, to separate someone from their hard earned goods is not allowed and has not been allowed in ArcheAge.”
Fashion or power: Who says you can’t have both? Not ArcheAge, that’s for sure, because the game is getting ready to introduce costumes with stats
that level up over time.
According to a post by CM Seraphina Brennan, these special costumes have been live in Korea for a while now and have been in demand in the west. The new system will use “in-game methods” to level, including crafting.
“As the base costume levels up, it will gain additional stats. In the initial ranks, the pool of possible stats it will draw from will be very limited,” Brennan writes. “But what’s important here is that the base costume is leveled up and made more powerful by in-game item drops and in-game crafting.”
It has been quite a year for ArcheAge
. As you look back over the past 12 months, you certainly can’t say 2015 was uneventful; from content to controversies, something was always happening with this sandpark title. Not a month went by that didn’t have some good, some bad, or even both! It was always a roller coaster ride!
The year started with a new man helming the operation: Marv Lee Kwai became producer. In his January Producer’s Letter he stressed that the devs were listening to the community. He also outlined issues that were being addressed while laying out a plan for the rest of the calendar year, saying “a multitude of positive changes on the horizon.” One thing he promised was better communication, stating, “One of our top goals for the New Year is to be more transparent when we communicate with you. It is our intention to fix a lack of information or detail, starting now.”
How did that plan go? Let’s take stroll down memory lane and see.
Another day, another cautionary tale in trying to wield lies in the face of a game studio with access to factual records. In this case, it was the recent attempt by a player to accuse Trion Worlds of delivering an in-game suspension in ArcheAge for daring to criticize the studio in chat.
While this claim initially riled players against Trion, new CM Celestrata came on the scene to clear up the issue. It turns out that the suspension happened in Trove, not ArcheAge, and because the player was flinging about gay slurs, not because of any studio criticism.
“CS was able to pull the chat logs, and we can say that this ban was carried out appropriately,” Celestrata wrote. “While the user did criticize Trion, it wasn’t the criticism that caught the ban. It’s the fact that he used a gay slur in said criticisms. The slur in question seems to have been removed from the screenshot provided […] All in all, he had 10 more violations of our rules that lead to his ban, all of them using hate speech or descriptions of sex acts. By the way, all of this happened in Trove, a game that possesses an ESRB rating of E 10+. None of this took place in ArcheAge.”
There’s a new name on the community team for ArcheAge this week. Evan “Scapes” Berman has posted his farewell letter on the game’s official forums, announcing his departure from the game. Taking over for him is Seraphina Brennan, known for handling community relations on Infinite Crisis and various writing duties for some group of weirdos on a site called Massively back in days of yore.
So we’re kind of happy to see it.
Scapes will continue to be taking part in the game’s weekly livestream while Trion’s Austin studio prepares to host livestream events locally, and he stresses that he will still be playing the game as before. “I am joining FireCait on a new, as-of-yet-unannounced project,” he wrote. “You may have seen our teaser for it last week: devilinsideyou.com.” So while it’s sad to say farewell to a community manager who’s been part of the community for a while, he’s leaving for better things, and someone excellent is stepping in to fill his shoes.