Archeworld Review: It’s Broken Garbage

Literally can’t even install the game.

Continue reading “Archeworld Review: It’s Broken Garbage”

ArcheAge: XL Games Promises Revamp, Stay Tuned

Stay tuned.

Continue reading “ArcheAge: XL Games Promises Revamp, Stay Tuned”

Kakao Games Absorbs ArcheAge Publishing

Starting in December in North America and Europe.

Continue reading “Kakao Games Absorbs ArcheAge Publishing”

Civilization Online Goes Civilization Offline


XL Games has announced that Civilization Online will be closing down, with servers shutting off on December 6th. Initially soft launched into beta, XL Games drew criticism and disappointment from western gamers with the announcement that the plan was to only launch the game in Korea, at least for the time being. With the news of the service shutting down before it even launches in its home country, the hopes of seeing the game come to the west have been effectively dashed.

(Source: Massively)

MMO Rant: Vote of No Confidence In Trion Worlds

ARCHEAGE 2014-10-10 12-02-23-78

I’ve been sitting at my computer trying to come up with a word to describe Trion Worlds, and so far the best that I’ve come up with is “impressed.” Not impressed in a good way, if you’ve noticed that this is a rant, but more impressed in the sense that you’ve walked into your home to find a man with a flashlight and your finest jewelry, and he impressively tries to convince you that he’s actually a jewelry cleaner who does house calls. Actually, the word would probably be audacity. As in, I can’t believe the audacity that Trion Worlds would, once again, lie and assume that nobody would notice or care.

So what am I sitting here fuming about, you’re probably asking. This week saw the release of ArcheAge’s new continent Auroria, and the launch went about as well as you’d expect. Hackers, gold farmers, and big guilds scooped up most of the new land, server problems meant that many players couldn’t even log in until after the land was already taken, and the response from both the developer and publisher on land hoarding has been nothing. Really, there’s too much to talk about with the expansion, dealing with things I don’t fully understand like item consolidation and the usual Trion tactic of nerfing drops and expanding the cash shop, so I will forward you instead to Massively’s “It’s Getting Harder To Like ArcheAge” article to better explain those aspects.

Instead, I am going to focus on the bold faced lie that has been the ever-delayed 10% discount on marketplace purchases for founders and patrons. During its alpha/beta stage, Trion Worlds listed a 10% marketplace (cash shop) discount as a bonus to purchasing patron status. When it was obvious that the feature wouldn’t be ready for launch, due to relying on XL Games to code it in, Trion Worlds quietly slipped an “after launch” into the advertising and, in the first wrong move of this ballad, played it off as the post-launch implementation having been the plan all along. I didn’t cover this discrepancy because, while questionable, the discount was still on its way and we were assured that it would be applied retroactively.

At this point, Trion starting talking about an “equitable” alternative, one that was never mentioned in the game’s advertising. With this week’s update, the company revealed that the 10% discount has been replaced with a 10% bonus to credits purchased in credit packs. And oh, it gets better. Just read the forum post by Scapes:

A few months ago when we first discussed the ArcheAge Patron Program, a 10% discount on Marketplace purchases was mentioned as a perk of being a Patron. While an “after launch” caveat was included in this perk, both XLGAMES and Trion Worlds have determined that the time to develop this perk would be significant, delaying the benefit to our Patrons longer than we’re comfortable with. Instead, we will be implementing an equitable solution that Trion Worlds can execute on its own.

Today, all Patrons who purchased Credit Packs after Head Start began (September 12) will get a 10% bonus of those sums granted to their accounts. This bonus will only apply to accounts that purchased Credit Packs after their Patron Time was purchased, are in good standing (not banned, no chargebacks), and have not had their Patron Time or Credit Pack purchase refunded. It does not apply to the Credits from the Founder’s Pack and Starter Pack packages. The 10% bonus Credits will apply on future Credit Pack purchases by Patrons.

Just so we are crystal clear, let’s go over just who has been stranded out in the wilderness. The 10% bonus applies retroactively to credit packs made after patron time was purchased, after the head start. Those of you who purchased founders to use the 10% discount in conjunction with your credit stipend get nothing. If you spent money on credit packs during alpha and beta, you also get nothing. APEX buyers also receive absolutely nothing. The only way to receive the altered terms of the deal is to have purchased credits, after head start began (September 12th), with active patron.

It’s also hard not to laugh at how this is being spun as pro-consumer, when the new deal just so happens to benefit Trion Worlds most of all while giving founders and those who bought their credits early the middle finger. It also doesn’t acknowledge the fact that if you buy credits from Trion Worlds, you already get at least a 10% bonus regardless of your patron status.

I’ll wrap up by saying this: In one of my previous jobs, a co worker was fired after their cash register came up $150 short for the second time. In his infinite wisdom, the manager declared that this worker was either stealing or dangerously incompetent, but either way he couldn’t be trusted with money and had to be let go. I feel the same can be said about Trion. Whether they meticulously lie and justify it with the idea that by the time customers figure out that they’ve been duped, Trion already has their money, or whether the team is honestly this out of touch that they don’t see the problems with their decisions, it is evident that Trion Worlds cannot be trusted to stick to their word.

Just remember that the next time Trion Worlds is advertising a new game, anything mentioned in the perks is subject to unannounced caveats. Otherwise I have no opinion on the matter.


One Hour Of Civilization Footage


Civilization Online is an upcoming MMO by XL Games and currently enjoying a closed beta in South Korea. While the title isn’t currently dated for a western launch, you can take a peek at the Korean beta by watching the video embedded below. The footage was recorded by Youtuber Surreal MMO.

Diaries From ArcheAge: Endless Review Queue

ARCHEAGE 2014-09-17 15-30-35-42

I feel like I’ve gotten a lot done since ArcheAge launched just a few days ago. Don’t believe me? I got my homework done in a timely fashion for my journalism class, and I even managed to level in Destiny to 23 with rank 1 in the Vanguard faction. At the rate things are going, I should be level 25 by the end of the week and might even have some coveted Vanguard armor. I’ve also been able to catch up on some reading and on the overwhelming list of podcasts I subscribe to. I also can’t even describe the amount of napping I’ve gotten in.

This must be a testament to ArcheAge, but rarely do I come across a game that I still want to play after sitting in a queue for an hour and a half, and that is with patron priority. By that time, I’d probably be doing something else, like fixing the neck muscles I’d strained by falling asleep in my $15 computer chair that has no back support. The more I venture into ArcheAge, the more I find things that I like.

ARCHEAGE 2014-09-17 16-19-30-52

ArcheAge has a great sense of freedom, on public land at least. You see, XL Games created an atmosphere where they shuffle you into the world and say “do what you want. You probably shouldn’t do all of it, but go ahead and do it anyway.” You can plant your crops on “illegal farms,” which is just anywhere that isn’t your property or public farming land, but other players can then harvest your crops or simply dig them up and destroy them, resulting in nothing for anyone. I’ve destroyed at least several gold in Yew trees around my property, but in my defense they shade my sunbathing spots.

The very idea of this introduces several play styles that need to be considered. For planters, this means finding out-of-the-way areas to plant your crops when your private land and public farms (which only allow a certain few crops to be planted) aren’t enough. I managed to plant a string of turmeric and strawberries right near a starter town by hiding them in the bushes. On the other hand, players looking for free stuff are almost guaranteed to find unguarded fruits and trees if they look into the deepest and darkest corners.

ArcheAge does offer a certain amount of protection for crops and animals. For players who don’t own property, there are public farms that will only allow a small selection of crops to be planted and only protect them for 24 hours. Owning property means finding an open piece of land and keeping up on said property’s taxes.

This leads to the game’s crime system, which is similarly handed to the players to take care of. Stealing crops, digging up plants, and murdering your own faction are all crimes in ArcheAge, but you have to be reported in order for anything to happen to you. Committing a crime leaves footprints that need to be activated and reported, and when the offending player is hauled into court, they are put in front of a jury of their peers to determine their guilt. Sentencing in prison can range from just a few minutes to, in cases where the player has stacked many many charges, hours in length, and you have to remain online for that whole time. Even prison is its own game, with the option to break out and become a pirate.

I’ve found, in my server at least, that having a good sense of humor can often get you a lenient sentence with the jury. One player started off his trial by saying “convict me, I’m guilty,” to which the jury members all called him a liar and subsequently declared him innocent. If you’re a smooth criminal, like myself, you can simply avoid the whole thing by running out the five minute clock on your footprints.

ARCHEAGE 2014-09-17 15-23-51-69

There is a ton of stuff going on in ArcheAge that I barely comprehend at this point, but it all leads to the fact that player interaction operates at a much deeper level than in other MMOs. For instance, you can run trade packages as a method of obtaining gold and gilda stars (used for purchasing houses and other goods). Trade packages must be crafted in one area and taken to another, generally through open-pvp areas where the trader becomes a soft pinata for greedy thieves. The idea is to make piracy a constant threat in ArcheAge, and the system works quite well.

At the heart of ArcheAge, and the root of some of the game’s controversy, is the labor point system. You need labor points to craft, labor points that do not come fast for non-patrons. If you are a patron, you have little to worry about. Patrons receive ten labor points every five minutes while online and five while offline. Non-patrons, on the other hand, have to be online to receive labor points at all. You can still quest and kill creatures at zero LP cost, but the higher tier crafting is going to cost an arm and a leg for non-patrons.

ARCHEAGE 2014-09-17 15-42-17-98

ArcheAge also has a very strange method of reporting bots, one that you probably aren’t aware of unless someone has specifically pointed out to you. Reporting a rule breaker (bot, hacker, afk player) is a skill in your ability window that you use on a targeted player. Reporting a player costs 25 labor, as to keep people from abusing the system, but if you report a bot and it is eventually banned, you allegedly receive a stipend of labor as a reward. Being reported, meanwhile, hampers that player with a debuff that must be removed by talking to a judge (which is simple enough).

Combat and questing in ArcheAge is standard enough, which makes me relieved that the questing apparently only runs until around level 30. You slot abilities, you tab target, and you hit numbers until the enemy is dead and you are not. I honestly have no idea what is going on with the quests, I stopped paying attention to the game’s numerous cutscenes when they started introducing the standard lineup of deities and how I am the chosen one set to save the world, blah blah blah.

At level 20, I feel like I’ve only broken the surface of what ArcheAge has to offer, and it certainly isn’t in the questing. There is a violent rift (get it?) that has shown up between patrons and non-patrons, with clans from both groups only ganking members from the opposite. Trion Worlds actually made a post on the forums asking players to tone down the f2p/p2p vitriol, although they won’t stick their hand in the game because pvp is pvp, and there are courts to handle that sort of behavior.

This is the first part of what will certainly be at least a three part look at ArcheAge, so if there is something in particular that you’d like me to have a look at, feel free to do so in the comments below.

XL Games Layoffs Coming, Says Report


MMO Culture is reporting via Media IT that XL Games is about to undergo restructuring after the poor performance of ArcheAge in Korea. According to the report, recent updates including siege equipment were not received well by the community, with many complaints focused around ongoing balance issues between classes. The company’s decision to move ArcheAge over to free to play was apparently not successful enough to turn over the declining revenues.

How this will affect ArcheAge in other territories, where the game has apparently met success in Japan and is set for launch in China with no release date in sight for North America and Europe, will have to be seen. The reports are, at this point, unconfirmed as no layoff has taken place yet.

(Source: MMO Culture)

Look At Civilization Online, Don't Touch


Civilization Online sounds like an amazing game: Players take the role of citizens in one of four civilizations and work together in order to achieve victory status for their respective faction. A mixture of A Tale In The Desert in a procedurally generated world, with sandbox elements and an emphasis on cooperation and exploration.

You can watch, but you cannot touch. According to the game’s developer’s, XL Games, there are no plans to release the game outside of Korea at this time.

Civilization Online is developed by South Korea-based XL Games in partnership with 2K, and will be available first in Korea. No release date has been set. There are no plans for a North American release at this time.”

(Source: PC Gamer)

Look At Civilization Online, Don’t Touch


Civilization Online sounds like an amazing game: Players take the role of citizens in one of four civilizations and work together in order to achieve victory status for their respective faction. A mixture of A Tale In The Desert in a procedurally generated world, with sandbox elements and an emphasis on cooperation and exploration.

You can watch, but you cannot touch. According to the game’s developer’s, XL Games, there are no plans to release the game outside of Korea at this time.

Civilization Online is developed by South Korea-based XL Games in partnership with 2K, and will be available first in Korea. No release date has been set. There are no plans for a North American release at this time.”

(Source: PC Gamer)

%d bloggers like this: