ArcheAge: What We Know So Far Pt. 2
By Darren Henderson (DizzyPW), OnRPG Editor-in-Chief
OnRPG is back for round two of our compilation of ArcheAge knowledge. In yesterday’s article we discussed the race and class sytems and how you can combine 3 of ten archetypes to build a character custom fit to your style. Today we are going to focus on the macro by looking at territories, castle towns, and how this all fits into PvP and crafting.
The North Continent, Factions, and Guilds
In ArcheAge there is a rather large area of the world known in beta as the North Continent. The north continent is subdivided into dozens of territories. These territories are extremely valuable to control and many battles will be fought between guilds for ownership, as well as much larger alliances called factions consisting of multiple guilds.
Before getting involved in the territories, players will first have the choice of allying with one of the two major factions. This has the benefit of not only ensuring other players are around to watch your back, but giving you the opportunity to engage and kill players of the opposite faction in various open pk regions with no penalties to yourself. As the game progresses and certain power players rise up in rank, they will be able to claim territories for themselves and their guild.
Labor Points and Guild Towns
Once in control of a territory, a political system is implemented on the surrounding region, mainly involving taxation. However players will also be able to commission an area of land approximately 100 square meters in size to build a castle town. And by build, I literally mean workers will have to hammer buildings into existence using ‘labor points.’
Labor points seem to be a limiting factor placed on crafting in the game. Beyond standard weapon, armor, and item crafting, it is also used for the construction of castle walls, housing, ships, and so forth. For a guild to truly build a successful castle town, they will either need a lot of time or a lot of manpower to not only build housing and shops, but also to build proper defenses to protect said town from invaders.
There seems to be some balance issues in closed beta testing related to the labor points system. XL Games is doing balance work to prevent players from just making tons of alts to use as laborers. One solution proposed so far is to increase the cost of labor points to perform projects and then giving players a way to increase their total pool of labor points in order to make alt laborers less useful. Another solution is to make it so that you can only assign one character on your account to replenish labor points at one time.
Guilds will also be allowed to construct a type of ‘super house’ or guild hall which is larger than standard housing and gives your faction a secluded area to decorate and meet to discuss various issues. Likely this will look something like the castle within the castle town.
The importance of owning a territory and castle town isn’t limited to housing and taxation. Different territories will also have access to rare minerals and herbs useful in crafting endgame items. In order to obtain said resources, guilds must be proper building structures where the resources are and regularly send people from their guild to collect those resources.
Multiple Factions and Criminal PK Penalties
In terms of player versus player content, factions play a vital role. At the beginning of the game when a player joins one of the two starting factions, they will immediately be black listed by the other faction. I mentioned earlier about the open pk zones. In this areas killing players will impose penalties on the enemy killed in the form of item durability decreases and increased respawn times. XL Games views looting systems as too hardcore for their target playerbase and intends to limit penalties to just these two options for now.
However if you kill enemies outside of these zones, or players of your own faction, you will be marked as a criminal and penalties you occur for being killed will be much higher than normal. Interestingly enough, XL Games believes that a two faction system for ArcheAge is too limiting and is going to allow players to found their own factions eventually.
Though little details about factions have been revealed, they have told the press that forming a new faction will require someone to control a territory and revoke their prior citizenship to the other faction. To join a new faction you must first revoke your citizenship and then be given approval from a faction master or one of his appointed regents. Those who revoke their citizenship from a faction without joining a new faction are protected from no one and labeled as pirates!
Pirates and the Open Sea
Speaking of pirates, there seems to be one place in which players can escape the confines of their faction alliance completely for a temporary jaunt on the dark side. That place of course is international waters.
Now in most MMOs you would be thinking ‘What a pain that will be to go swim way out to sea just to fight with people!’ Well ArcheAge has a boat system, and one of the most elaborate to date in terms of seafaring.
After a few hardcore days of gathering materials, players will be able to craft large navy vessels complete with wind sails and cannons. These can be summoned by a player and him and around 18 or so of his buddies can go sailing the open seas looking for trouble. One player controls the helm of the ship while the rest perform various duties such as manning cannons or protecting team members from attack.
As such it’s quite likely to see large scale naval battles between opposing factions or even guilds within the same faction looking to pick a bone with each other. And don’t fret too much about your hard earned boat getting destroyed. If your boat is destroyed in combat you simply take the rubble to a blacksmith and, for a price, he can repair it good as new. Though it will take him considerable time to do this so don’t expect to swim back to port, repair your ship, and sail out to sea in time to rejoin a battle in progress.
If my article series has peaked your interest and you want to jump into this game, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is it’s not released yet, even in South Korea. So sad. The good news is that the last closed beta test confirmed that the game is nearing completion and only needs some fine tuning with the early levels. They also aren’t planning a major overhaul to localize this game in the west so conversion time between the Korean launch and western launches should be relatively short. Some sources more knowledgeable than my own seem to expect a launch before the end of 2012 so keep watching and I’ll provide more info as soon as it becomes available. Until then feel free to join our latest forum discussion about the game.