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ArcheAge - A new CryEngine3 MMORPG hit?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by romtim, May 8, 2011.

  1. romtim

    romtim Guest

    Article taken from this International community of ArcheAge.

    Today we will talk about the new generation in MMORPG, to be precise - about ArcheAge.
    To begin, lets name the authors of the game. Archeage is being developed by a Korean company XLGames, which by the way has affiliates in USA.

    The head of XLGames is Jake Song. He is very known in the circles of MMO development. To be straight, it is his games, that became the first milestone in the evolution of the MMORPG genre. Although there were other developers of course. Jake Song worked on projects like "Nexus", "The Kingdom of the Winds","Lineage", "Lineage 2", "Tabula Rasa", "Aion", etc. Thanks to him, NCSoft published a lot of popular MMORPG's, and became so famous. In the year of 2003, Jake Song left NCSoft, because of some tensions with the direction, and founded his own company "XLGames". He is currently developing the first next-generation MMORPG. The project got named Archeage, and was announced in February 2010. The first closed beta test was successfully completed this summer, and the second - in November. (The budget is over 60,000,000$ Based on the company's own money, investitions from Giga-Media and money from selling localization rights to Japan and China. Archeage was also tested on many computers (i tested on 3 different configs myself), and it ran smoothly even being in CBT2. So there is nothing to worry about, because CryTek failed to optimize their game. The game can run good on most configs, the minimum requirement for comfortable play is geforce8500gt and a duo core (tested myself). Do not forget, that the game will be released in the end of 2011 in Korea, so you still have plenty of time to enjoy i83 cores and geforces780s :D)

    The developers try to include the best parts of all modern MMORPG's in Archeage:
    A huge, detailed game world; Quality graphics; Massive PvP and sieges; interesting quests, which will be based on a big plot rather than regular grind; Raid dungeons; A possibility to build your own houses and towns! Archeage is created as a Sandbox - kind of games, where the player is free to do anything he wants in the game world. There will be a plot of course, but the developers want players to create the most vivid events.

    There are 8 races in the world of Archeage: including humans, elves, dwarfs and ferre (Catlike humans). The races are divided to 2 fractions, East and West. A long time ago, all races lived on a single continent, but after a cataclysm, the world got divided. The player enters the game a few thousand years later after the catastrophe. If you follow the quest plot, you will learn the history part by part. To write it and the quests, XLGames hired a famous Korean novelist Jeon Min-Hee. So we can expect a lot from the quest lines.

    The most amazing part, is that Archeage is made on CryEngine 3. When you look at high res screenshots, made on high graphic levels, you simply can't believe that THIS will be a MMORPG! The developers already released some video clips showing the physics of the Cry Engine 2. Unfortunately, at this moment, the environment destruction physics are enabled only in instances, while you can still interact with other players in the open world accordingly. If enabled for the whole world, it will open great opportunities for tactics in the genre of MMORPG.

    The size of the game world exceeds the size of the world of WoW including all expansions. The interactivity of the world in Archeage is very high. There is a day-night cycle. One should take a torch with him in case he gets caught in a dark place during the night. The developers have promised to implement season cycles. In one of his interviews, Jake Song asked to imagine a lake, created after someone casted a meteor to hit the ground in a battle a week ago. It is possible, that things like this await us in Archeage.

    Control of the character is also innovated compared to other games. For example one can fight mounted on his horse, climb walls and trees, ropes and build houses. The trees in Archeage grow independently. They have many stages of growth, and you can see them increase in size in real time. Players can then cut these trees and build a house. You can also plant trees, but its way more fun to cut them down. You can place a scout on the top of a large tree. Then watch your enemies approach and cut the tree down with the scout!

    Its pretty interesting how the in-game transportation works. There are different types of public and private transport. For example you can ride in a public carriage or on a horse, sail your own boat between islands. The developers don't want to implement ways of teleportation, because that will ruin the feeling of a magnificent world. This can also help solve a problem with top guilds dominating all over the map - it will be way harder to hold castles situated long away apart from each other simultaneously.

    XLGames have a goal to solve all the problems in the MMORPG genre. There were many issues in all MMORPG's, for example a dominating clan wouldn't let any other player develop, because they controlled all the lands totally. Or for example, the existence of an external market made it possible to buy game items for real life currency. XLGames say that in modern MMORPG's such problems aren't solved but bypassed - ignored. For example, to bypass total chaos in pvp, World of Warcraft made fractions. As another example, World of Warcraft has instances of the game's world, many copies of the same dungeon, so that there would be no guild that dominates the entiere world, so that every player has a chance to get good gear. Modern MMORPG's are Amusement parks - so says Jake Song. You ride on one attraction with your friends, and the developers invent a new one for you. But players don't have an actual choice to make, no freedom. They can only follow the scenario set by developers.

    The main goal of Archeage is to push these limits. Players will make their own world. If i don't like some player - I will kill him. If he doesn't understand the lesson, I will set fire on his house, trample his crops and eat his horse's corpse for weeks! The social aspect benefits from all this. Archeage is made FOR players, not to get alot of money instantly. If you want a sweet ride and get top gear doing nothing, you better pick another game. However, even a casual player, that wants to spend his time with pleasure, can find his place in Archeage.

    Jake Song has a nice opinion about the economy system. As far as you can judge from his words, there won't be auctions in Archeage. However everything can be bought and sold - from houses to crops; from food to weapons, armors and ingredients. This makes the game pretty unique. There are people, who want to get known not by their skills in PvP, or their gear, but by their wealthiness and business connections. You can even sell the world map! This means, that you draw the world map yourself: as you travel, you discover new lands, and mark different townships, created by players, interesting places. As there is no mini-map in ArcheAge, maps will be needed. You will have a set of tools to help you make markings on your map. This aspect of Archeage gives alot of opportunities.

    10 skill schools form up the class system in ArcheAge:

    School of Combat Consists of different melee combat skills. Powerful blows, buffs that increase characteristics, aoe skills and stuns. This school is oriented on warriors.
    School of Witchcraft Consists of many different types of control. You can slow your enemy or chain him to the ground. This school allows to cast damage over time spells and summon minions. Looks like THE magic PvP school.
    School of Stuttering has many different abilities, that help the character survive. Those are skills that increase HP of the player, that stop the enemies from casting, that aggro monsters. So, evidently, this is the tanking school.
    School of Will consists of skills that increase the characters mobility. Teleportations, magic resists, silences, hp to mana spells. Looks like a neutral magic school, that can be used for many purposes. It seems less aggressive than Witchcraft.
    School of Death is interesting thanks to the amount of assault spells. There is also an AoE skill along with a possibility to summon a wraith.
    School of Wild is unique. This is the only school that fits an archer. There are many different abilities you use from a large distance, a way to tame animals, and to increase the speed of your character.
    School of Magic is the "classic" magic school. Fireballs, meteors, ice arrows, magic shields etc. It seems it will be needed for raids mostly.
    School of Assassination is an analogue to the Rogue class from World of Warcraft. For example the ability Raided resembles to "Shadowstep" from WoW. Different nuke abilities, invisibility and all sorts of tricks that help survive.
    School of Romance has a big list of buffs. Every single ability from this school magnifies the character and his companions. Maybe there will be more opportunities for this school in the future.
    School of Love ends this list, with a large variety of heals. However some skills can damage your opponents. For example "Light and darkness" heals your group members and damages your enemies.

    We should let you know immediately, that most schools don't have a clear focus. The majority of schools have similar abilities. This will greatly facilitate the selection of the characters build. You can pick only 3 schools out of 10. This way there is an overall amount of 120 combinatins. Of course not all combinations would be in demand, for example when you cross a mage a tank and an archer, you won't get something extraordinary. You can switch between these schools in-game. The process can be done in the city for a fee. You would need to train your new schools from zero, so it will make your character more vulnerable than usual, until the level of the new school meets the level of all other schools. Your character becomes stronger each time he levels up, however, not only your character will have levels, also your abilities, schools and your mount. Apart from independent choice of schools, you will be offered few premade classes. This will be very useful for beginners.

    The combat system works by target. The player has a target, and he will hit it, heal it or control it. However, there still are aoe abilities, that are used on the ground. The developers have announced, that the game's engine already holds a battle of 100 players with no lags. I can't even imagine how beautiful would the sieges be in Archeage. We don't know yet, how will the clan wars wark, but we know, that they would be able to create kingdoms. But there is a small problem. On the moment of the release, there will be enough housing space for only 50% of players, as far as XLGames estimated. But thats just a reason to fight for, and is more of a benefit than a minus. By the way, you can hire NPC's for your house, so that they sell different stuff or guard it.

    Not much information about PvE however, but if they want the best from each MMORPG, we can suppose, that there would be dungeons with many interesting bosses. Jake Song repeated many times, that he doesn't like instanced dungeons, and that he likes a freedom of action. So a question stands - will small guilds survive in Archeage? If you would need to fight with other players for each raid boss, it would be very hard for small PvE guilds.

    The developers regularly publish answers to the questions of players on the official website of the game (Archeage.com). XLGames doesn't want to disappoint players, so they do not talk a lot about aspects of the game, which are still in development. However, many information is wandering around the Internet about Archeage, so you can form up your own point of view on this game, if you read our website as an example. The only thing that Jake Song said straight - is that he wants to make a world like in Ultima Online - where players can create their world and make history. The developers of Archeage listen to the player's opinions very closely. Jake Song underlined that XLGames won't do whatever the player says, but they will take into account the opinion of the players and implement the most interesting ideas.

    Expectations for ArcheAge are already sky-high! Many articles have spread in the internet on this subject, that tell about freedom like in Ultima Online, PvE like in World of Warcraft and PvP like in Lineage 2. This is of course very good, but the developers haven't said anything specific on this part. A variety of interviews can be interpreted in many ways. So far, we don't have any information about sieges and raid dungeons - so you shouldn't draw hasty conclusions. However, in total, Archeage is a very promising project. A very strong team of developers, who are mostly natives of NCSoft. A very interesting model of game's mechanics, which includes all the charm of modern MMORPG's. And most importantly - freedom!

    The release of ArcheAge is announced to be at year 2011. However, the developers can postpone it, if they feel that the game isn't ready enough. It is very difficult to talk about the game's success. We are taught by bitter experience. A lot of promising games failed miserably. However we still place our hopes on ArcheAge, to become the next-gen MMORPG we all waited for. All we have left is to wish luck to XLGames.

    All information about ArcheAge can be found only on AAportal.net. The administration of this project are experienced MMORPG players, have relations with XLGames and spread the latest news on regular basis. Registered users can also upload their own news about ArcheAge, communicate with other players, who wait for ArcheAge, and of course put forward their ideas and proposals on the forums, which will be reported to the appropriate departments of ArcheAge development.