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

Jef Reahard
09.17.14
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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.


With that out of the way, let me provide you with some random bits of useful knowledge about ArcheAge. These aren't really secrets, but the game doesn't exactly beat you over the head with them, either.

Skill points

Much has been made of the game's flexible class and skill point system that allows players to combine three skill trees into one class that (hopefully) rules them all. Did you know, though, that you have only 23 total skill points to spend all the way to level 50? I didn't know that until very recently, and it definitely would have affected the way I was scarfing up Archery skills last weekend.

There are 11 possible actives in Archery and 7 possible passives, so taking all of them means I'd have a grand total of five additional skill points to spend on the 36 possible skills in my other two trees (Battlerage and Vitalism, in the case of my Warpriest).

Fortunately you can respec, and also fortunately XLGAMES has added an additional five skill points with its level cap bump in Korea. But 28 total still isn't very many considering all the tasty skills I want to learn, and we also haven't heard any timeframe from Trion about when the West will be getting those additional five levels and additional five skill points.

In short, choose wisely and save those respec pennies for a rainy day.

Mounts

ArcheAge mounts are pretty damn nifty, from the quick and cute raise-your-baby acquisition quests to the full grown mounts that essentially act as additional avatars complete with their own skills, gear, and progression.

Most of them are gorgeously rendered and animated, too, even that goofy Leomorph thing that looks like some sort of overly caffeinated Cookie Monster. Each race gets its own unique mount via a newb quest around level 7, but you can also buy the other races' mounts for cheap, not to mention acquire a sweet donkey via the trading quest lines.

Some mounts carry two players, so feel free to hit your H key and hop a ride on your friend's Snow Lion if you don't feel like driving to the next quest objective yourself. In fact, feel free to hop on anyone's mount in this fashion, but also be prepared that he or she can kick you off by pressing R.

If your noble steed is incapacitated by opposing players intent on preventing your escape, you can revive it at a stablehand NPC.

Don't forget to name your mount by right-clicking its health bar and opening the appropriate input box. And don't forget to pick up a battle pet at level 20. You can use this handy-dandy forum guide to see particulars like skills and quest locations.

"Illegal" farms

This is a bit of misnomer, since there's nothing illegal about planting your crops almost anywhere in the game world. The term illegal farm has basically become the accepted short-hand for what are more accurately called unprotected farms.

If you're still having trouble finding that perfect spot of land for your newbie farm, but you want to grow all of the essentials you'll need to complete the newbie trading quests, you have a couple of options. You can ask to use a friend's farm. You can make use of public farms near many of the game's villages. Or you can take your chances and plant stuff in the wild that anyone can harvest or destroy.

The key to this last one is patience, as you'll need to spend a little time finding a good spot that's hidden from general traffic streams. The other key is flexibility because the moment you're seen by another player, it's a good bet that your spot has been marked and your stealth farm will be visited later on by thieves and brigands.

You can also turn the tables and be one of those thieves or brigands yourself. I have it on good authority that some players do watch and wait for unsuspecting stealth farmers and either message them about their no-longer-secret location or simply go in and uproot the place when no one's looking.

We'll talk tomorrow about whether or not AA is pay-to-win, and I'll wrap up this launch series with something resembling a verdict. Until then, happy hunting, crafting, farming, trading, sailing, PvPing, queue queuing, and whatever else you're doing in ArcheAge.

For our complete AA launch week diary series, see the links below.
  • Massively's AA launch week diary, Day one
  • Massively's AA launch week diary, Day two
  • Massively's AA launch week diary, Day three
  • Massively's AA launch week diary, Day four
  • Massively's AA launch week diary, Day five
  • Massively's AA launch week diary, Day six
Massively's not big on scored reviews -- what use are those to ever-changing MMOs? That's why we bring you first impressions, previews, hands-on experiences, and even follow-up impressions for nearly every game we stumble across. First impressions count for a lot, but games evolve, so why shouldn't our opinions?

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