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The Stream Team: The art of ArcheAge bot wrangling

Fantasy, Video, Free-to-Play, Livestream, ArcheAge, The Stream Team, Player-Generated Content

What do you do when rampant ArcheAge bots are littering your landscape and lording over the mining nodes? Why not make them sleep with the fishes? It seems as if the devs aren't doing enough to help stem the bot problem, so Massively's MJ and the Minions took matters into their own hands and developed an amusing new minigame within ArcheAge: Bot Wrangling. It takes a bit of skill mingled with some luck, but unlike PvP, this game can be played in peacetime zones. Join us live at 8:00 p.m. to see who can rustle up the most bots.

Game: ArcheAge
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, December 10th, 2014
Time: 8:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Leaderboard: Would B2P or a sub-only server bring you back to ArcheAge?

Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Leaderboard

I've been thinking about ArcheAge a lot this month, and most of what I've been thinking about it is pretty negative. XL's fantasy sandpark has more problems than any single MMO should, but despite all of them I would still enjoy it if it weren't for that godawful cash shop.

Yeah, the bugs are annoying as are some of the more pervasive exploits (flower dance griefing, really?), but underneath all that is a feature-rich virtual world I'd love to keep playing. At this point, though, the only thing that would bring me back is some sort of subscription-only server, or failing that, a buy-to-play-with-a-cosmetic-cash-shop server that doesn't sell labor potions, tax certificates, appraisals, and the like.

What about you, Leaderboard readers and disgruntled ArcheAge expats? Would you come back for a subscription-only server or a less invasive cash shop? Vote after the cut!

Ever wish that you could put to rest a long-standing MMO debate once and for all? Then welcome to the battle royal of Massively's Leaderboard, where two sides enter the pit o' judgment -- and only one leaves. Vote to make your opinion known, and see whether your choice tops the Leaderboard!

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ArcheAge reinstates APEX purchases

Fantasy, Economy, News Items, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge, Sandbox

Just wait for the next issue, because it'll happen.
The time since ArcheAge's launch has been a cycle of allowing cash shop purchases, discovering exploits with those purchases, and disabling those purchases, usually APEX. There have been a variety of other goofs hither and yon, but the important one right now is APEX. After a long period of being unavailable, it can be purchased once more, hopefully without a need to disable it again in the future.

APEX, for those of you unaware, is essentially a way to purchase subscription time and sell it in-game, a la EVE Online's PLEX or WildStar's CREDD. The exploit issues caused by use of APEX items without actually consuming them have led to the items being removed from the store on multiple occasions. Hopefully this reinstatement signals the end of that particular cycle for the game.

The Stream Team: Fishing for danger in ArcheAge

Fantasy, Video, Free-to-Play, Livestream, ArcheAge, The Stream Team

ArcheAge has a plethora of activities players can partake in. If you don't feel like doing one, go do another. And this time, Massively's MJ feels like jumping into a fishing frenzy! While she doesn't have the skill (or labor points) to fully participate in deep-sea sport fishing, hopefully she can catch a raid and head out into the open waters to cast her line alongside other anglers. Failing that, she'll see about joining a PUG for a little dungeon diving. In either case, there's definitely danger aplenty. Join us live at 1:00 p.m. for this foray into fishing.

Game: ArcheAge
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Saturday, December 6th, 2014
Time: 1:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Lost Continent: Yep, F2P sucks for ArcheAge

Fantasy, Business Models, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Lost Continent

Thus far I've put up with quite a lot of crap in my quest to like ArcheAge. There was the launch debacle in which no one realized that many millions of people will show up and expect a working service if you yell "come play for free!" Then there was the Auroria debacle, in which no one cared about server accessibility during a competitive launch event.

And of course there's ArcheAge's easily exploitable code, the ramifications of which include hacks, cheats, and bot-related problems that continue to be visible to anyone taking Trion's really-guys-it's-only-a-tiny-minority spin with a grain of salt.

Finally, there's the grossly intrusive monetization plan that prevents subscribers from playing certain parts of the game unless they spend additional money in the cash shop. ArcheAge has a comically long list of problems, but it's this last one that's finally wearing me down.

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Trion compensates ArcheAge players with cash shop potions, play time

Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge, Sandbox

Are you still playing ArcheAge? If so you might be interested in the stuff Trion's giving away as compensation for this week's lengthy server outage brouhaha.

If you're a patron or former patron, you'll be able to claim a patron pack that contains five days of patron time and a bunch of cash shop potions that will help you bypass some of ArcheAge's more annoying gameplay restrictions. And of course they'll whet your appetite for more cash shop potions!

If you've never been a patron, well you get fewer potions and no patron time.

[Thanks David!]

ArcheAge servers are back up; Trion is sorting out in-game timers

Fantasy, Bugs, News Items, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Subscription

For a given defintion of feature-rich.
If you're following the ongoing saga of ArcheAge problems, you probably know that the game had all of the servers shut down over a holiday weekend, which could theoretically solve the game's exploit issues in the same way that setting fire to your house solves any problems you have with your wallpaper. The server issues were stated to be a result of emergency maintenance, with community representatives denying that it was connected to servers overheating, DDoS attacks, or exploits. The good news is that out of the game's 21 servers, 16 were up and running last night, with the last five brought online early this morning.

Players are promised compensation, which will be revealed later today. Unfortunately for players who had taxes due, the timers for all services continued to roll while the servers were down, so crops, housing plots, and the like were all still affected by time during the lengthy maintenance cycle. Trion says it is "definitely aware this is an issue for players with taxes due and is talking with XLGAMES about the best way to resolve it while the servers are offline." A server rollback is not in the cards.

But at least the servers are back online. We'll have more updates on the compensation for players when it is announced.

Some of ArcheAge's servers are back online this morning

Fantasy, Bugs, Events (Real-World), News Items, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge, Sandbox

Trion's FireCait addressed the latest ArcheAge downtime crisis on the official forums just before 5 a.m. this morning:
Hi all! Here's the latest update for everyone. You can log into the following EU servers: Shatigon, Kyprosa, Eanna, Dahuta, Aier, Orchidna & Melisara. We continue to work on Nui, Janudar and Nebe. In North American, you can log into Aranzeb, Naima, Kyrios, Ollo, Tahyang, Salphira, Enla, Ezi and Lucius. Inoch and Calleil continue to be offline as we work to resolve the issues on those servers. Please note that the servers that are being worked on will show up on the server selection, and vanish from the server selection screen, as they are being worked on. Their visibility is not an indication of their status until we indicate that they are fully online. We expect to have another update for you in the mid-late morning (Pacific time). Thank you all for your patience.
The servers were down Sunday and Monday for what Trion called "unscheduled maintenance." The studio told Massively yesterday that players will be compensated for the extended multi-day outage, though exactly how hasn't yet been announced. Queues are reportedly still keeping many players from logging into the live servers on Tuesday.

Oh yeah, and that rumor about the servers catching on fire and being in a state of desperate salvage? It's not true. "This did not happen," Trion's Scapes declared to forumgoers. Ocho likewise dismissed the idea that exploits are responsible for the downtime.

ArcheAge's 'unscheduled maintenance' stretches into day two [Updated]

Fantasy, Bugs, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge, Sandbox

Would you like to play ArcheAge today? Well, good luck with that! Two of the fantasy sandpark's North American servers are currently up but sporting a queue, which wouldn't be that big of a deal except for the fact that they've basically been down since November 30th along with several other shards.

Trion community manager Evan "Scapes" Berman first posted about the outage -- due to "unscheduled maintenance" -- yesterday morning, and he continued to update the post as instability and latency issues occurred throughout the day and into the evening.

Massively has contacted Trion seeking comment.

[Thanks everyone who tipped us.]

[Update]: Trion provided Massively with the following statement. "The team's been working all night and has already made a lot of progress improving things and are currently working on fixing the remaining problems with XL GAMES' help. We should have updates coming to the community in the next few hours."

The firm also mentioned "extra generous" compensation for the downtime, and said it would have more info on that once the problems are fully resolved.

ArcheAge launching in China in July 2015

Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge, Sandbox

There are always new regions for the game to not make the impact its fans want it to make.
If you want to relive the experience of ArcheAge's launch again or just love seeing the game come out in new regions, you'll want to keep your eyes on the game's Chinese version. Tencent Games recently announced that the game will launch in China in July of 2015, complete with some exclusive content to entice players who may have already heard of the game.

Players in the Chinese version can look forward to what appear to be panda-styled gliders, special pets, some new costumes, new ship designs, and traditional Chinese house designs. No word has been released on business models, although it's almost a given that the game will be free-to-play as it is almost everywhere else in the world. Let's hope for a smooth launch for Chinese ArcheAge fans free of bugs and game-breaking exploits.

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Lost Continent: Why so impatient with ArcheAge?

Fantasy, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, PvE, Opinion, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Lost Continent

It's kinda silly, but I feel like giving up on ArcheAge. It's silly because the game launched in mid-September and we're currently in November. The fantasy sandpark does have more than it's share of problems, but logically I know that it's way, way too early to start piling dirt on its imaginary corpse.

That said, there are so many MMOs clamoring for my attention nowadays that the idea of being patient with one of them is almost laughable. I'm not alone here, either, as many gamers I know look for the first available reason to leave an MMO and cross it off their to-do list, simply because they're wired to complete tasks and the ginormous glut of games long ago passed the point of overwhelming.

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The Stream Team: Enjoy a heaping helping of pre-holiday ArcheAge adventures

Fantasy, Video, Free-to-Play, Livestream, ArcheAge, The Stream Team

What do ArcheAge and Thanksgiving dinner have in common? A plethora of turkeys, ducks, geese, pumpkins, yams, corn, cream, and more. Tonight, Massively's MJ is taking a break from holiday preparations to dive into more ArcheAge adventures. (OK, let's be honest here -- she's been taking a break from ArcheAge to actually try to prepare for the holiday!) What's on the menu? It could be the Minions in a dungeon, some sneaking around the Nuian continent, or maybe just having a few hauler races! Join us live at 7:00 p.m. to enjoy a slice of ArcheAge life before your yearly turkey coma.

Game: ArcheAge
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, November 26th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Global Chat: Gamers Secret Santa

EverQuest II, Culture, Events (Real-World), Dragon Nest, Global Chat, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, WildStar, Neverwinter

One of the yearly traditions in the blogosphere that I always look forward to is Stargrace's Annual Gamers Secret Santa. Currently in its sixth year, Gamers Secret Santa accepts any and all who want to sign up to be a part of a gift exchange. You'll end up sending a gift ($20 maximum) to someone and will receive a gift from another person during the month of December. There's even a digital exchange for more remote locations.

It's always a blast to see what gifts I end up getting (and they are always geeky), and I wanted to encourage others to be a part of this. You'll need to sign up by December 1st if you do, however! It's grown every year, but this year I'm giving a bit of Massively publicity, so let's see if we can make this the biggest year ever!

Another blogger-driven Christmas initiative is Syl's Blogosphere Xmas Countdown, during which she's assigning various blogs a day to write about the theme of positive gaming and community. Keep an eye on MMO Gypsy to see this advent countdown progress!

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Trion shuts down ArcheAge APEX purchases again

Fantasy, Bugs, News Items, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Subscription

Another exploit with currency ♪ / So much for this game's economy ♪
Good news, ArcheAge fans! APEX purchases have been disabled again following reports of another exploit! Wait, did we say good news? That's not good news. That's bad news. Familiar bad news, but bad news. Community manager Evan "Scapes" Berman addressed a thread calling attention to the exploit on Sunday, stating that the development team was looking into the issue to determine whether or not an exploit existed while disabling APEX purchases as a preventative measure.

This is hardly the first time APEX purchases have been disabled due to exploit issues; the same problem was being dealt with last Wednesday, with various hotfixes rolled out to prevent the issue. No ETA has been provided for when APEX purchases will be reinstated, nor have any declarations of rollbacks for characters been made at this time.

[Thanks to Siphaed for the tip!]

The Stream Team: Poking around in ArcheAge's PvP lands

Fantasy, Video, PvP, Free-to-Play, Livestream, ArcheAge, Sandbox, The Stream Team

ArcheAge has had a rough week, and some players are already crying the game is dead. Is it, though? Massively's MJ still sees plenty of signs of life; her adventurous activities have not been curtailed. Since players seem to be drawn to red names like a moth to the flame, what better way to go and scout out the population than poking around in PvP-enabled lands? It may not be the most accurate of testing methodologies, but it's bound to be fun. Will she stay on the Haranya continent or venture deep into Nuian territory? And what about Auroria? Survival is definitely not assured, so join us live at 9:00 p.m. to see just how long she makes it!

Game: ArcheAge
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, November 19th, 2014
Time: 9:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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