ArcheAge: What We Know So Far Pt. 1
By Darren Henderson (DizzyPW), OnRPG Editor-in-Chief
ArcheAge, for those unfamiliar to the name, is among a special club that veteran MMO gamers either love or loath. That club is the ‘Next Gen MMO’ club and its membership seems to be growing larger each month. ArcheAge in particular seems to be taking a rather gigantic leap over its predecessors and, if successful, may provide one of the most fulfilling experiences on the MMO market today. Of course with ridiculous titles comes epic fail potential and the pessimists of the Internet are watching with great anticipation to see this one flop like all the others. Let’s talk about some of the features that make this game worth all this pre-launch hype.
8 Races: Out of the eight races in Archeage, six have been confirmed with actual screenshots. They are the Dwarves, Elves, Ferres, Hariharan, Nuians, and Warborn. Although unconfirmed, the other two races seem to be visible on the game back story page as a type of undead mystic and a human sized fairy. Luckily the English page and interviews has given us the important hint that each race carries specific traits so let’s explore the Ferres, Elves, and Nuians in greater detail.
Ferres: This race is quite beast-like and looks like a mix between humans and jungle cats. As a nomadic race they have perfected their skill at hunting and specialize in defeating their prey with swords and bows. They are best known for the grand snow lions they ride into combat.
Elves: Don’t expect anything out of the ordinary with this race. They are the stereotypical elves perfected from generations of lore. Isolated? Check. Forest dwellers? Check. Oh they primarily use bows and magic? Go figure. Their appearance is generally fairer skinned than the human-like Nuians and their bodies appear much slimmer as well.
Nuians: The Nuians seem well rounded but most trailers and screenshots I have seen portray them as a race valuing tradition and strength (and swords, big ass swords). They hold their religious faith in Goddess Nui in the highest regard and are known to only break from their harmonious nature when their beliefs are threatened by outsiders.
Beyond the racial inherent bonuses, your character can learn up to three of ten ability sets to determine your overall character build. Think of this as a more concise version of RIFT’s skill system in that it gives you freedom to design your own class but not so much freedom that the prospect of balancing the game for PvP becomes a development nightmare.
The ten power sets are combat, fortification, death, magic, artistry, conjury, will, wild, calling, and devotion.
Standard Warrior Build
Combat: This archetype is the core on which the warrior builds his entire strategy. Combat symbolizes Kyrios, god of destruction. Kyrios ensures victory to those who have faith in him, but is cruel and destructive to enemies. You can use destructive attack skills in a rage to various surrounding enemies at the same time and your attack speed can be temporarily increased to a great extent through haste.
Fortification: Much like combat, fortification is vital to any true warrior. You can’t dish out tons of damage if you die from focus fire by the time you reach your enemy. Fortification symbolizes Shatigon, god of wealth. Shatigon has the power to bring wealth and creates impregnable fortresses. You can use skills to increase your health and defense or to temporarily become invincible, and sometimes protect your allies by switching the surrounding enemy’s aggro to yourself.
Will: This archetype grants incredible support power and mobility. You will likely see it commonly on both warriors and priests. Will symbolizes Sal, god of portal and sealing. Using the power of Sal, players can heal allies, protect allies from damage, seal enemy skills, and even teleport around the battlefield.
Standard Priest Build
Artistry: This archetype is needed for full support priests. Artistry symbolizes Lucius, the wanderer who has greatest wisdom, but always hides it in his jokes. Using the power of music, you can increase the recovery rates of your allies and bolster movement speed on the battlefield.
Devotion: Represented by Kyprosa, the gatekeeper of dreamworld, Devotion is an archetype trained completely in the arts of defensive magic. Not only will you unlock the strongest healing skills in the game, you will also be able to control the veil between life and death.
Death: The death archetype is an incredibly dangerous art to master that only the most wise (or foolhardy) mage should attempt. By utilizing the Goddess Nui, overlord of the underworld, you can deal immense damage to your foes and break their will with raw fear of your might. The ability to detach your soul from your body also comes in handy for playing a trick or two.
Standard Wizard Build
Magic: The magic archetype is represented by Aranzeb, a mage who remains calm no matter what storm of war brews around him. This is the more stable tree of magic that contains a well balanced mix of fire magic and defensive shields.
Conjury: Conjury is an archetype with much utility that is useful for both wizards and chasers. Goddess Dahuta, master of the sea and change, grants her followers the ability to seep deep into the minds of your foes. This archetype focuses on disables and summoning evil spirits to haunt your crippled opponent.
Wild: This archetype is the calling card of chasers. Not only does it provide you with excellent ranged bow skills, it also gives you the ability to tame wild beasts to protect you at melee range.
Calling: This archetype is extremely important for chasers and essentially represents the rogue build from standard MMOs. It represents Melisara, who dared to try killing a god. Just like Melisara, you will train in stealth arts to overcome foes much stronger than yourself through sneak attacks, long range strikes, and some of the fastest dashing ability in the game.
Standard Chaser Build
As mentioned before, classes are not set in stone, and you are free to experiment with any combination of the above abilities to create a hybrid class that works for you. Personally I think an assassin that utilizes Calling and Will would make an incredible force on the battlefield. Teleportation, fast dashing abilities, and clutch heals to protect allies all in one class sounds pretty fun. Perhaps combine it with death to gain some insurance against fatal mistakes and you have a class that will drive your foes mad.
Unfortunately I’m running late for a meeting but I plan to continue this discussion of ArcheAge tomorrow with a look at the basic features that make up the game world such as castle construction, territory control, and the evolving debate on an open PK system.