Tuesday, July 12, 2011

ArcheAge - Finally a successor to UO?



ArcheAge has been getting a lot of focus lately, freakishly coming out of left field in terms of popularity. Looking at the game, it does appear to be at first glance a new version of UO with some graphical and gameplay changes as expected with today's MMO scene.

ArcheAge will allow you to more or less make your own class with a set of schools available. While not as open ended as UO's skill system, it still sounds as if it is more open then Rift for instance. The ArcheAge website says as of right now there is more or less 120 various combos you can have for classes. I have to ask the obvious question though. How many of those combos are actually valid? UO had over 200 skills you could use, but you hardly ever see someone trying to make a hybrid fighter/craft/caster/spellcaster as it simply deluded the over all effectiveness of that character. UO, with it's excellent skill system was just as prone to cookie cutter builds as any other MMO.

The race choice is rather disappointing thus far considering the game is supposed to be a modern MMO. All the races have been seen somewhere before, and usually in rather big name MMOs (Elves, Humans, and cat ladies were all present in FFXI). I would like to see a much more open ended system like Aion in this regard. Let the player completely design his/her character the way they want. Races are becoming a crutch in the modern day MMO gaming environment it feels, and eventually that needs to change in order for the genre to expand and grow.

PvE seems pretty standard in this game, with your 'Kill X of Y' and 'bring me X' type quests. not sure what to expect here honestly to keep you wanting to push forward, I am hoping for some type of deeper story with cutscene and whatnot, like FFXI though. Something to keep you drawn into the game and wanting more. this seems lacking in a lot of games released in the recent years. I do like the fact that mounts have their own special attacks. Unlike other games where you just sat on the back of your horse and swung your sword, in ArcheAge your steed can kick at your foes as well. Am curious as to  how much damage and accuracy the steeds can have while you are mounted though. In the open world, this could potential mean mounts will become part of people's cookie cutter classes.

The idea of the game's current PvP is interesting, if not a bit hard to understand. Apparently PvP will be FFA on only one of the land masses in the game, and consensual in the other land masses. The death penalty I am slightly confused about. Something about when you die, you drop your blood and have to recover it. I need to look further into this honestly to see what in the world they are talking about or if it just so happens to be a translation error. I haven't see anything that would really make me want to PvP, so am curious what they intend to do to draw people to that island that can't be done on the other two land masses.

The idea of play built towns, boat, ect is nothing new. Once again, UO did this years ago. I remember my first boat in UO, and it was great fun in the various options it opened up, as well as the dangers that came with those options. I am really hoping for the same feel for ArcheAge in both housing and boat aspects, but have this sinking feeling I will be left disappointed if I go in expecting to find that UO feeling again.

Considering my overall love of UO, I hope ArcheAge is a true successor unlike Mortal Online. I want the game to be successful in the market, and bring back some challenge and difficulty to a genre that is being drowned in WoW clones.
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