ArcheAge: Sandbox, Themepark, or Farmville?
Alright, let’s continue the ArcheAge commentary. I’ve put in several more hours and I have a ton to say about several of the core game mechanics.
An Ode to
Farmville ArcheAge Farming
Oh little strawberries so tiny and red,
I thought I would eat you but then suddenly read,
I need one effing hundred of you to complete this quest,
According to that annoying NPC’s demanding behest.
No big deal, I’ll just wait a few,
I had no idea how slowly you grew.
Five hours later, my coin purse destroyed,
Only then did I realize THIS is when I should get annoyed…
I think I missed my calling as a poet. Anyway, that poem describes one of my first experiences with farming in ArcheAge. I was tasked with making Strawberry jam to prove my worth as a
hero adventurer farmer. I was given a tiny little plot of land (8×8 or something) to use for completing these farming quests. Farming in ArcheAge takes real time and requires planting, watering, harvesting, etc. It’s really neat for a MMO, and though I give it a hard time for reminding me of Farmville I think it’s fine.
This quest in particular had me plant about 30 strawberry bushes in order to harvest 100 strawberries. They take about 2-3 hours per bush, so I was able to plant them then go hunt and come back. Long story short, I then had to run pretty far away to craft the jam, then realized I had to travel almost 40 minutes to turn it in at a location several zones away. It takes so long because they slow you down while you carry the stuff.
The fun just begins, though. Now to prove myself worthy of a donkey (to make these errands faster), I must obtain goose down. To get goose down I must raise goslings that only eat beans. Well to get beans I need to plant them much like the strawberry experience. I need enough of them to feed enough goslings to grow into geese that will, one day, provide enough down to complete this quest. I think I’m going to make a spreadsheet to manage the whole thing (3-4 down per goslings at 3 hours per harvest + beans).
For those of you who love farming, ArcheAge has you covered.
Quests, Quests, and MOAR QUESTS!
This is the part of ArcheAge I do not like at all. The questing extremely shallow and really quite boring. The quest text can just be skipped, it’s that good. You just follow arrows around or look on your map for the indicators and do whatever it wants you to do. It’s always click this or kill that. Really too bad since I wanted ArcheAge to be a sandbox. This questing-to-level system breaks what could have been a very, very good time. I wish the questing was removed completely in favor of a big open world. The zones are definitely linear, and you progress THROUGH the game rather than living in it as you grow as a character.
Ahoy there! A Ship!
I finally made my way into this zone where, if you can wrestle one away from someone else, you can try out the ships. I sailed around for 45 minutes. That was a really neat experience. I loved boats in UO, and to think that the same type of experience can be had from this perspective… that’s easily the main draw for me. Imagine just finding water and sailing out and fishing. There’s combat out on the water, other people acting as pirates, etc.
If I could find a way to skip all of the questing and just get my ship and sail off into the horizon I would.
There might be a sandbox in here somewhere…
I’m starting to think the game as a sandbox doesn’t begin until level 50. 1-50 is just a filter and time waster. At level 50 you’ll be able to afford the good ships, build castles, siege people’s property in wars, sail out into the ocean and live the life of a real pirate, drive in race cars, etc. Until then it’s this weird quest grind. I’ll keep you updated as I progress as far as I can during the alpha and beta phases.