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Lost Continent

Lost Continent: Carebearing your way through ArcheAge

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

ArcheAge is, in part, an open PvP MMORPG. "In part" is the key phrase there, and I've had a few people ask me if it's possible to play XL's sprawling sandpark opus without getting ganked or otherwise forced into an ill-fitting playstyle.

Not only is it possible, but PvE has made up the overwhelming majority of my gameplay for the past month.

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Massively's ArcheAge launch diary: Day six - P2W and the early verdict

Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, First Impressions, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Lost Continent

Is ArcheAge pay-to-win? That's a question I've been asked several times in recent days. Before I answer it, let's get something out of the way up front. And by "out of the way," I mean that this is the most important part of the article and needs to be emphasized in the intro.

Pay-to-win is 100% subjective.

There is no scientific or universally accepted definition of pay-to-win. Some things in this life are absolutes. Pay-to-win is not one of them.

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Massively's ArcheAge launch diary: Day five - Random knowledge

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Hands-On, First Impressions, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Lost Continent

Today's diary entry is going to skip around a bit, as I'm still dabbling all over ArcheAge and finding it nearly impossible to convey everything important inside of a few thousand words. If you're just joining us, this is day five of Massively's launch chronicle because even though the game "launched" yesterday, it really launched last Friday via the founder head start.

I'm aware that some people had disconnect issues and nightmare two-hour login queues on the 16th. I did not have much trouble with either, presumably because of my Patron account status regarding the latter. Trion does have some work to do, though, as I noticed a lot of slow-down in high-traffic areas throughout much of my play session last night, and I also logged into a black screen more than once and had to re-queue as a result.

In other words, it was a typical MMO launch day. I've seen better, but I've also seen far, far worse.

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Massively's ArcheAge launch diary: Day four - Trade runs, sea beasts, and pirates

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Hands-On, First Impressions, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Lost Continent

I got ganked in ArcheAge last night, and believe it or not, it was one of the most enjoyable experiences I've had in an MMORPG in quite some time.

I'm usually apathetic about MMO PvP. I mean, I will PvP with friends, but I don't think I've ever sat down to play an MMORPG and thought, "Hmm, maybe I'll go kill some players tonight!" PvP factors heavily into ArcheAge's design, though, so I knew going in that I'd be doing it more than in most of my other MMOs.

I just didn't know it would end up being as fun as it was on last night's trade run.

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Massively's ArcheAge launch diary: Day three - PvE, quests, and story

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvE, Opinion, Hands-On, First Impressions, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Lost Continent

Welcome back to Massively's ArcheAge launch diary. I can't believe we're already on the third installment because there's still so much to see, do, and learn. That's a good thing, though, isn't it?

Yeah, it is, and while ArcheAge has its share of issues, its breadth and depth is incredibly welcome in a genre that's gotten far too comfortable repackaging the same tired experience.

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Massively's ArcheAge launch diary: Day two - Classes, skills, combat

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvE, Opinion, Hands-On, First Impressions, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Lost Continent

Welcome to day two of Massively's ArcheAge launch diary. Technically, by the time you read this, it'll be day three, but you know how these things work. And I know, I know, it's not really launch; it's head start. But Trion's not wiping this weekend's progression, so I'm going to keep referring to this as a launch diary!

Thanks to a bunch of virginal script kiddies who thought it would be cool to DDoS the ArcheAge servers on Saturday, I didn't get to play all freakin' afternoon as planned. That's OK, though, because we've got a lot to talk about with regard to the game's basic mechanics.

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Massively's ArcheAge launch diary: Day one

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, Hands-On, First Impressions, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Lost Continent

I'm standing on a sun-baked rock along Nuia's northern coast. The waves lap at my feet, little bubbles are visible just off shore. Wispy strips of white cirrus float overhead, framing a baby blue sky that meets the ocean somewhere beyond a hazy horizon I can't quite see.

I've been standing here a while because there goes the sun, melting into the water and leaking red-orange streaks across the purplish waves as I watch. Up the cliff face behind me, a gaggle of green-named newbs mosh about in the newb area doing what MMO newbs do.

A couple of them make their way down the cliff face to join me. One of them jostles my character and apologizes. He didn't realize there was collision detection and he's very sorry and wow, this game is pretty, isn't it?

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Lost Continent: On the 'failure' of ArcheAge

Fantasy, Business Models, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Lost Continent

Lost Continent - On the 'failure' of ArcheAge
This week's rumored XLGAMES restructuring brought with it a predictable cascade of "fail" catcalls from pundits and commenters who never climbed on board the ArcheAge hype train to begin with. Leaving aside the fact that it was a rumor as well as the fact that post-release game teams routinely suffer staffing cuts, I have to wonder at the cocksure I-told-you-so crowing with which some folks declared ArcheAge dead well before it's even arrived on Western shores.

While some starving sandbox gamers may have prematurely labeled ArcheAge as the second coming, anyone who has actually played the game or followed larger MMO industry trends could have told you that it's a niche title regardless of how much money XLGAMES gambled on its development.

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Lost Continent: Should we worry about ArcheAge's crafting?

Fantasy, Economy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, PvE, Opinion, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Crafting, Lost Continent

Lost Continent
It finally happened. XLGAMES did something to ArcheAge that I really don't like, and while I'll stop short of labeling it a deal-breaker, it's definitely made me think about the game in a different light. To be fair to the company, this particular gameplay tweak was made to the Korean version several months ago, so it's a) not a certainty for the American version and b) not exactly breaking news.

It was breaking news to me when I read a recent high-level review of the title, though, because I'd been purposely steering clear of the Korean release in order to more fully enjoy myself when the game finally lands on U.S. soil.

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Lost Continent: ArcheAge needs a business model, too

Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, Opinion, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Subscription, Buy-to-Play, Lost Continent

ArcheAge - Lost Continent map header
Massively's Eliot Lefebvre recently speculated on what WildStar's business model might look like, and even if you're not a huge fan of the upcoming sci-fantasy opus, it's worth a read. It's also a column topic worth stealing, and I'm going to do just that this week and apply it to ArcheAge.

Like WildStar, ArcheAge is largely an enigma when it comes to its western business model. Unlike Carbine, though, Trion Worlds -- AA's western publisher -- has plenty of experience with all three of the major MMO models currently in use.

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Lost Continent: About that ArcheAge automobile

Fantasy, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Lost Continent

Lost Continent - About that ArcheAge automobile
I owe ArcheAge an apology. A couple of weeks ago, when XLGAMES released a trailer featuring steampunk-powered hot rods and an impromptu beachfront drag race, my kneejerk reaction was a boisterous what-the-funk!

After I watched the clip a second time, I realized not only that the cars fit neatly into the world that Jake Song and company have created but that they tickled my fancy in the same way that numerous other elements in the game have done over the years.

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Lost Continent: An ArcheAge community guide

Fantasy, MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Lost Continent

Lost Continent - ArcheAge Adventures: Community guide
Is it me, or has ArcheAge been a long time coming? I don't think it's me because it was three years and thousands of posts ago that Massively introduced ArcheAge to western gamers. Heck, it was six years ago that Jake Song and company started building XLGAMES' upcoming sandpark.

And it's been two years -- two years! -- since I first got my hands on the game's seemingly endless closed beta. Now, though, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Trion recently and famously signed on to publish ArcheAge in the West, and despite the silence following the announcement, I'm still optimistic about a beta before the end of the year.

Even if it that doesn't happen, we've still got plenty to talk about, which is why I'm taking the wraps off Massively's newest game-specific column. Join me after the cut for the traditional first-issue community roundup.

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