Sooo ArcheAge… The reason why I’ve missed two regular posts now that I swear will.. Maybe… Could be done tonight. Add the compelling nature of mmo’s to the addictive nature of farmville and that’s the kind of trouble I’m in right now. Can’t stop thinking about my grapes… MAH GRAPES!
As far as a large mmo launch title goes it’s been pretty standard but then, I had higher expectations for this launch considering it has been released official in two regions now… Or is that 3 and has had countless months and even years of beta to work with. Just basic things that I thought even Trion should have learnt by now with their fee releases but yet are still a rather large issue here.
My greatest issue has been with their glyph client, I think, although it’s hard to point out the reason for all these disconnects. Servers maybe, or that archaic hackshield BS they’ve got running behind the hood. Something has been creating issues but I’m not sure what. It has been quite obvious during this affair that the glyph client just wasn’t ready for such a large-scale test. It’s not optimised properly, the bugs are still plentiful and it still doesn’t work with a variety of basic system programs and essentials. Where the troubleshooting section is asking you to turn off virus protection and the firewall then it’s an issue that needs to be fixed internally, not something the player should have to deal with.
Saturday morning when I wanted to get on was spent in many frustrated hours of troubleshooting on the new PC. The tiny little update was bringing back errors every time and not actually updating. Messed around with settings, exceptions in the virus stuff and the firewall. Setting compatibility and admin settings. Changing folder names. Porting over what I had from the laptop yet nothing worked which meant spending 5 hours downloading it all again when all I wanted to do was play. Checking the laptop and it patched fine but due to a download in process trying to log in just involved getting kicked out again as it wants a constant stable connection at all times..
Once it was all installed and good to go there it was, the expected queues of a release but quite a bit larger than expected. On Kyrios we were looking at 2-3k player queues of over 2 hours quite easily. This time was the most productive of my life with getting so many odd jobs around the house done that hadn’t for a while. I’d prepared the night before getting the usual things so it was more like weeding the entire patio.. That sort of thing. It was a weird feeling because you know a lot of gaming is coming so you want to get as much done while waiting so as not to do it later but you end up getting less gaming than usual.
In Game Issues
Once in I was lucky to have a pretty stable experience although, even now I’m hearing about people getting dc’d quite often then straight back in the multi hour queue. I get the random one here and there, the one on Sunday kind of sacked as that involved an hour and a half to get back in but there is a 5 minute timer being brought in soon to allow skipping the queue after a dc. basic shit Rift had to do back years ago and other mmo’s have now but forgotten. Oh, and it needs to stop booting straight back to the desktop after a dc, at least go back to the server select.
In game it was the same old issues. Not enough mobs to progress. Named mobs in short supply on a longer respawn to wait to kill or try to spam first to get it… Not a possibility on Aussie ping. Luckily the server was being rather social and having raid spam invites at near every part of the map, for named mobs and even the larger kill quests which made everything go quicker and even eventuated in some parties going on for longer. You could easily drop one and move to the next zone and get another invite too. Bit silly not having open tagging, especially when you lack of any interesting drops beyond those stupid bags you need to open with labour points individually in order to get coin come out of it. Stupid bastard bags.
I think the worst bottleneck was a certain npc that could only be interacted with one at a time to complete and get rewarded. A large mass of players originally that turned into a long line that was an hour wait or more. Luckily we found you could push in and get past quickly by setting a macro toggle to right click every second so you could pretty much always be first… God bless the guilds ingenuity.
Surprisingly though with how many people were involved the Lag wasn’t too bad in-game. Quite manageable for such a large release with skills and abilities going off in the way they should and even very minimal to no rubber banding of myself or other players. The issue seemed to be more with logging in itself for a lot of people during play with many error codes going off and even the whole login server going down on and off over the weekend and even into the week which let people continue to play but no others to get in. Apparently another DDOS attack but… I’m getting suspicious of that claim now as it seems to be brought out every time there’s an issue with a recent release
Hilarious Housing Hate
The biggest whinge I’ve seen from the release though has been about the lack of land for houses and farming. I knew this was going to be an issue from the start and once I was having issues and only got in several hours later I was resigned to the fact that housing would be in a limited quantity and I was right. There were a lot of people who had planned, with many others to guilda rush (a form of currency) the beginning in order to buy houses and then reserve large swathes of land in the safe areas. And, they did. Most safe spaces filled up with housing plans within an hour apparently and it spread outwardly across the land. Once in it was filled up spots as far as you could see and while I could have squeezed a farm in certain spots here and there the space for a house was gone.
Being that one of the major draws for getting into archeage early and spending money on these founders packs was to reserve space well, it made many very unhappy. Syncain was right… and it was delicious haha. Those that had paid over a hundred dollars were especially pissed off that they didn’t get their prime positions on the day and went to the forums to cry and demand their refunds. I mean, how dare those that are more organised and with a group get a space they wanted. Probably only paid for the cheap pack too. It is this weird case of buyers superiority being shattered which you don’t see very often.
Of course there were a few issues with this. I find that putting down a house shouldn’t really have been as easy as it was, even such a small one as it should more be something to work towards. There was also a way to get more of the Tax certs needed through the cash shop so people could really abuse the system in the beginning quite strongly.
For me, I wasn’t too concerned. I didn’t need some sort of primo spot of land in the safe zones and during the sunday of play went searching through the other maps for more space and after a bit over an hour of looking (seriously) and found a good chunk of land available down in the Hell swamp. Don’t let the name fool you, I swear its lovely although probably not vacation house material. There was a lot of land when I first got there as obviously people were still trying to find better land.. and I mean a lot. I placed down two houses and two farms with heaps of space around them for growth and if I had more houses at the time I could have reserved a tonne more space. As the days have gone this filled up, I guess as people became more resigned to their fate they began searching out the other spaces.
I still had a chunk of land last night and invited a guild mate to build their big farm over there with assurance this PvP zone isn’t too bad. Having farmed and run around for the last 3 days with only being ganked once it didn’t seem liek a bad space to hang out. I like those odd experiences and once I’m leveled more I’ll appreciate them even more. Well, he got ganked 3 times on the way and, once putting down his larger farm within the minute a pack of reds came along, killed his horse and then him leaving me alive to tell the tale. Welcome to the neighborhood.
AS is the case there is still complaining about having to be here and still missing out when there are still options out there. If all you want to do is farming there is a lot of small spaces in between buildings to find, it just requires you to look. Alternatively there are short-term farm spaces with a seven day lease that you really could make a lot of stuff on over that time. Other than that the main option is to just wait it out a couple of weeks to see who renews their house claims. You can only pay the land tax if you’ve actually built the house and the amount of houses some put down will require a lot spent on tax certs anyway. Should be a fair bit of space then.
I don’t mind and while I’m not exactly happy with the space I did get (not for pvp reasons) it will definitely do for now and I’ve been busy farming for the last couple days now. Planting and growing and working on those first few trade packs. Note to all… don’t shear AND slaughter your poultry at the same time… no meat in it. Let them recover first then come at them slowly with a knife.
A Free Future
As far as the game, it’s growing on me even more and it’s funny how all those traditional mmo elements and combat kind of grow on you with more and more time. Even leveling isn’t too bad as doing the same rotation with skills that lock you down and minimal movement makes for an easy time. Freeing you up to chat and stuff and weirdly it even seems to make people more amenable to getting in a group. performance and uptime.. ehhhhh I’ll put it down as needs improvement in the mmo report card, just expected far better from Trion..
The issue I’m more worried about now is the next stage of release. I would guess that the amount of people actually buying into one of these founders packs would be a magnitude smaller than those that want to try it for free and we are still at multi hour queues for certain servers during US prime time. Of course you don’t want to open up servers now just to create ghost towns later and that issue with merging servers becomes more complicated when people own physical space on the world itself. You can’t really merge that and someone would no doubt miss out. The issue with land availability is just not as important compared to how much the servers can hold compared to the amount trying to play though, land is meant to be a finite resource anyway.
There will be a new server for the ftp release but is that enough, is that the best plan for the long-term as the active daily user count goes down. For a game that kind of promotes daily logins to at least tend your farm I’m not so sure… it seems a lot more powerful motivator here than any sort of regular daily. If players, especially those new free players coming in face such huge queues they might be likely to go elsewhere or then forget about it… Questions that I have no idea on but I bet we’ll find out in the months to come.