It’s been almost 3 years since XL Games announced their tab-targeting, sandbox MMO, Archeage, and we are finally growing closer to the release, in the forth quarter of the year. Ever since the game has hit beta in the Korean version, it has been a fan-favorite amongst the multitude of MMOs on the market and it’s no wonder! Archeages’ features are many and are meant to create an immersion that has never been seen before in the genre, so in the seemingly endless world, the player finally feels the impact of his actions.
Archeage features a lot of character customization by allowing players to choose from 2 factions and 4 races available: The spiritual Nuians, the elegant yet deadly Elves, a race of talking felines called Firran and a race of Asian people (boy, someone has a high respect for their culture) called Harani. The class system allows full control over the progression curve of one character by not restricting them to just one class. In Archeage you can create your own class by mixing 3 of any of the classes available: Battlerage, Sorcery, Archery, Shadowplay, Vitalism and Occultism. Any of the 100 combinations are viable and can hold their own against any others.
Though the end-game isn’t rich in PVE content, the PVP is stunning and a lot different from the other MMORPGs. The world of Ark features naval battles, castle sieges and other open world PVP modes. The naval system allows players to band together with their friends and build ships, useful for traveling between the continents and for transporting trade goods that reward tokens. Those who feel like the world and its rules hold them down can turn their back on their respective factions and fight as pirates, delivering chaos left and right like presents on Christmas day. However, this can be achieved only by being found guilty by their faction members in a trial and escaping jail (yes, the game gives you even that right!).
Also, Archeages’ approach to the housing system is well-done and gives the freedom of owning a piece of land anywhere within the leveling zones. Players can choose the architecture of their own cozy home from any style representing the 4 factions and brag about the money they make by building a manor, townhouse or cottage. If you feel like it, you can grow crops, take care of them and rip the fruit of your own labor. The world is enormous, having 3 fully explorable continents and encourages players to discover them to their hearts’ content, making every scrap of land and sea worthwhile to visit. Even the vast ocean comprises ruins that hold mystery and rewards for those well-equipped for any situation. The addition of gliders to the game makes for amazing game mechanics and exploration possibilities. Questing isn’t bringing anything new to the table, being still the generic ”Kill 10 boars” and ”Bring 5 pelts” but adds some flavor to it from time to time with dungeon, crafting and exploration quests, keeping things spiced up.
Archeage will be free-to-play and you can secure a place in the beta by paying 50$ for the ”Founders pack”. Also, if you’re lucky enough to receive beta access you can join the game during weekends and see what the fuss is about. There is no exact release date for Archage as of yet, but the devs are promising a 2014 release date for Europe and North America.