ArcheAge’s patch 2.9 is here! It’s called “Ascension.” What do I think of it though? That’s a question that’s been posed to me. In all honesty? A mixed bag of emotions. I haven’t truthfully kept up as much with it as I’d like, though I did meet some of their devs back at Pax East, and had a blast hanging out with them. So I’ve been doing some reading to really get down what I think about the direction the game is going. I have to say, I’m actually pretty interested. At first I was confused about how every player will be able to have their own kingdom. My initial thought was that of horror: “Everyone can have a kingdom? How will that map even look?” So I did a little more reading. Now it makes more sense. The way it reads to me is it has to be done with a guild that is invested in their castle. The idea of building a castle and developing a player-run nation intrigues me. It reminds me of Warhammer’s ill-fated MMO, or possibly something that would happen in ESO.
“Player nations welcome any race under their banner, as long as you’re invited to the ruling guilds and are not a pirate.”
This is a concept I like. The idea of unity of all peoples [that aren’t criminals anyway] is a really nice, pleasant concept. So I read on. There’s a quest chain that goes with it, because this is still an MMO. It’s incredibly taxing and time consuming, just by reading the requirements. That makes sense, because it’s a damn kingdom, not a guild. You’re going to be making diplomatic relations, representing your own faction in PVP instead of a regular faction, collecting taxes, and gathering followers, depending on how many Castles are in your kingdom. But, part of it really stands out as something horrifying. You. Need. Over. Fifty. People. At. Once. To Swear Fealty. Sure, the American Declaration had 56 signatories. But this is a fantasy MMO! We don’t have to re-enact Hamilton, no matter how much I love it.
You receive taxes, which is awesome. Well, the Sovereign receives them I believe on a daily basis. It’s a pretty ridiculous process, but you do get Lord’s Coins for it, and that’s a positive for sure. It’s up to Sovereigns, Lords and Ladies to distribute these coins, so I do have a fear of bias and favoritism. Nepotism exists in MMOs too, folks. I doubt every person in the Kingdom will be a Lord or Lady. Are Lords and Ladies people who built their own castles? Is it a promotion system? One person sure does seem to wield a fair amount of power in this system. Do I think it’s cool? Of course, I love being in charge of other people. But what I do fear is that the system is going to be ludicrously complex, and leave a lot of people with hurt feelings. I know that’s not what they’re aiming for, but I’m seeing the potential for butthurt coming out of this. I think the patch and the new content is fantastic. I love the bold direction they’re taking. But, I worry: people on the Internet are assholes. Only the Sovereign can have the Golden Wyvern mount. That’s bound to make people upset that they can’t have one too. Especially if the Sovereign doesn’t put in as much work to make the kingdom great as his closest lords/ladies. That boils down my ultimate fear: small amounts of people having TOO. MUCH. POWER. Other than that, I adore the concept.