Archlord: An Age when Games were Challenging
By Remko Molenaar (Proxzor), OnRPG Journalist
ArchLord is a free-to-play 3D fantasy MMORPG developed by Webzen. The game was first released in March 2005 in South Korea and a year later the game also was published for North America and Europe. Unfortunately due to the poor reviews from the gaming press the game had to undergo changes and the game became free-to-play. The game is still running successfully under its new publisher Webzen, and I decided it was time to give the game a new shot. There have been plenty of expansions released over time and the game is currently on the seventh expansion called Heaven & Hell.
Of course the first impression of any game (other than perhaps some flashy cinematics) comes from the character creation menu. I had to choose between 4 races which are the Human, Orc, MoonElf and DragonScion. Each race has 3 classes to choose from, bringing the total number of classes to 12. I chose to go for the MoonElf race and the Swashbuckler race because I wanted something different from my typical elementalist class. The Swashbuckler wields Rapiers and Daggers which make them more effective at close combat. Their excellent Attack Speed and Dodge rate makes them a devastating force when in close quarters against another player.
Once finished detailing my Moon Elf Swashbuckler I was ready to go on my journey to get as mighty as possible. After introducing myself to the elder I got a quest to slay Young Barricks near Norine. These weird mutated rats would take no effort to dispatch.. or so I thought. Even though these beasts were only level 1 they were still quite hard to slay. I knew then I wouldn’t be able to take this game lightly and get out alive.
Now I played this game during its initial release and the graphics at the time did not impress. However it seems over the course of their expansions and updates that the game now looks quite good and has much stronger support behind it than in the past.
To move your character in any general direction you can choose what suits you best. Do you prefer to point and click to your destination or do you prefer to use the keyboard along with the mouse? You can choose whatever you want and it works out perfectly. Although in my experience the keyboard controls are a bit sloppy and you are better off mastering point and click.
If you are a player that likes to annoy others by killing them you are free to do so. Archlord was made with PvP oriented players in mind. After reaching the level of 6 you are free to attack players who are not in a safe zone like villages and towns. But be careful! Once you attack a player that was not flagged as a villain you will receive a first attacker symbol and basically everyone is able to attack you without receiving any penalties. Once receiving the level of fifteen a player is able to go to dedicated PvP combat grounds also known as battle squares. Players will not receive any penalties or villain points here and the expected free for all is usually in full swing. If you belong to a guild you are able to do Siege Warfare. In order to siege a castle two guilds must go to war. The winning guild will rule the castle along with its area and the guild master who leads the winning guild will also be compensated.
Archlord also provides a lot of side features to keep players busy. One of the most notable of these is the crafting system. The player is able to upgrade items in unique ways by gathering materials from carving, skinning and ransacking any defeated monster in the game. This will bring up valuable materials which then can be used to craft any other items with professions such as Alchemy and Cooking. The player can also use the refinery for several purposes. To refine an item simply drag it into the Refinery and press the Refine button to start the process. The refining process is permanent and you will lose all materials in the process so make sure you know what you’re doing before checking out this system.
To play this beauty of the game you need the following specifications in your computer rig running in order to play this game.
Windows 2000 Service Pack 4
Intel Pentium 4 – 1.4 GHz or better
512 MB or More RAM
Geforce FX, Radeon 9600 or better
DirectX 9.0c or More
Windows XP Service Pack 2
Windows 2003 Service Pack 2
Intel Pentium D 915 (2.8 GHz)
2 GB or More RAM
Geforce 6x00, Radeon x600 or better
DirectX 9.0c or More
If you aren’t familiar with computer specifications or you are a bit unsure of what kind of computer rig you are running, then be sure you bought your PC in the last 6 or 7 years to be safe.
Even though Archlord had a sloppy original launch it has done what most games fail to do and renewed itself under a F2P model. Over the years the game has received many updates and expansions and it is truly a great title in the genre. The game has a lot of features to keep players entertained. If the storyline, challenging PvE, and a diverse roster of classes are major selling points of a game to you, then Archlord is a must play. It has a little something for everyone and great customer support to boot.