I haven’t done a post on my site for quite some time. Been busy with classes and work. I am taking a moment to write today however because I am progressing with my thesis of highlighting the limitations of using virtual worlds such as World of Warcraft for research because they follow a “theme-park” layout, and speaking to the value of “sand-park” worlds that allow players a much greater degree of freedom and interactions with one another. One upcoming title I will be using extensively will be ArcheAge, developed by Korean based XLGames and being published here in the US by Trion.
This game simply has a stunning amount of activities you can participate in. The class system is based on selecting 3 different classes (at lvl 1, 5, and 10) from a large variety that can result in the combination of well over 100 different classes. There is 15 professions, two unique ones being Husbandry (where you raise mounts from babies) and Composer (you actually compose music). In fact, you can actually progress from lvl 1 through 50 by merely gathering and crafting and progressing professions. Beyond that, there is open-world housing, farming, building ships, being a pirate, conducting trade routes, castle building, sieges, and so much more. You are able to steal from not only enemy factions, but your own faction as well! This leaves behind clues which other players can then discover and submit a report. Obtain to many, and you are sent to trial! The Jury consisting of other real players! Not only do mounts and ships (and steam-punkish vehicles even) serve as transportation, but there are also hand gliders that you use to get from place to place. And These gliders, your ships sails, your homes, and even your avatar are highly customizable! You can set your own images for your sails, there’s a huge variety of unique mounts and hand glider designs, everything within your home can be hand placed, and a lot of them are actually intractable and have effects! I can’t even begin to describe my excitement, and I haven’t even grazed the surface of the features.
There is a wonderful article available here that is talks about first impressions of ArcheAge shown this week. There is also a great Trion livestream by the community manager and others available that I would highly recommend viewing.
Perhaps most importantly to mention (assuming you didn’t bother to read hte article or watch the video) this game will be FREE TO PLAY! So there is no excuse not to try it! And it will be launching 2014! I am looking forward to not only experiencing the virtual world, but to see if it can live up to my research expectations.