Rift – Nightmare Judgments

One thing I’ve noticed in Rift’s Nightmare Tide is more pressure to spend money. I don’t mean in terms of a sales pitch; I mean in terms of making the game less tedious.

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Losing my head over Nightmare Tide! (Not really, it’s a Halloween costume mask.)

For example, two new things in Nightmare tide are Earring Slots and the Planewalker “attunement” which allows you to wear some of the new gear. Each of these costs 100,000 Void Stones (the new zone event currency) in the Rift Store. The Planewalker attunement is account-wide, but the Earring Slots must be bought for each character. It is technically possible to grind out the Void Stones to buy those two important things without spending cash to unlock them, but keep in mind that there is a limit of 35,000 Void Stones you can collect per week, so you have to grind zone events for a minimum of six weeks to get both of those items for one character.

Me? I happily paid to get the $50 Collector’s Edition so I don’t have to do that for any character. (Even the $25 edition comes with them, so I highly recommend it.) Did I have to pay to get those things? No. Did I have to pay so that I didn’t die of boredom getting those things? Abso-freakin-lutely. (For reference, I don’t think I’ve picked up more than about 5,000 Void Stones in a week yet, and I’ve been playing a lot, so the amount of effort it would take to grind out 35,000 a week is mind-boggling.)

Now technically, you don’t need to wear earrings or have Planewalker attunement gear. You can still do everything in the game (I assume). I’m a relatively new level 65 and I’m only wearing two Planewalker items, and I’m not having any trouble with world quests and zone events. (Mobs are more difficult at 65 than they were at 60, though.) But obviously, you’re not going to be invited to any high-end Raids without earrings, and it’s going to be that much more difficult to meet the Expert Dungeon requirements without the stats from two extra items (and two extra rune enhancements).

The other area I’ve felt pressure to spend money in is Crafting. Crafting materials are abundant in the Plane of Water. However, it costs a lot of platinum to level up your crafting skills from 375 to 450, in the form of training recipes and store-bought materials. It costs so much money that it would be super convenient for me to drop $10 for a REX thingy, which I could sell for about 1250 platinum. The most platinum I’ve ever had on my main character is about 450, and that was when Attanium was selling like hotcakes. Alternatively, rather than taking your chances with REX prices, you can now, for the first time ever, buy the store-bought crafting materials for 3 credits each instead of spending the expensive 1 platinum each.

Savant-tier crafting materials as compared to the Grandmaster-tier crafting materials from the last expansion.

Savant-tier crafting materials as compared to the Grandmaster-tier crafting materials from the last expansion.

And lest you think you don’t need the store-bought materials, I can assure you that nearly every single crafted item going from 375 to 450 requires at least 1 store-bought item (essence, wax, string, etc.). The least expensive way to level from 375 to 450 seems to be to save up your materials and level up all at once with a +160% Transcendent Skill Sphere, which if you don’t have one costs 1000 credits. It’s credits well spent, though, in my opinion, because of the savings you’ll reap from not having to spend so much on materials. (I happen to have some from previous giveaways, and I plan on using them.)

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind spending money on Rift at all. But this is the first time I can remember feeling any kind of pressure to buy. Pressure in the sense that it’s better and/or more enjoyable to spend money than to play for free. In the past, I’ve felt that spending money is only necessary once you’ve grown bored of a particular activity that was inherently fun, whereas now the activity is so tedious and time-consuming that you don’t even want to start on it.

Despite all of that above, Rift is still a cheap game in the global scheme of things. If you’re keeping score, so far I have spent $70 on Rift Nightmare Tide. $50 for the Collector’s Edition and $20 for some Credits which I used on Minion slots and some Minion cards. I could have gotten away with spending only $25 for the cheapest Collector’s Edition and had much the same experience. Considering I just paid some $90 for Warlords of Draenor and a 3-month subscription (and I still haven’t played more than a few hours of it), what I’ve spent on Rift so far is a bargain and for me, it has a lot more bang-for-the-buck.

A November Kitchen Sink Post

Hi! You may remember that I used to write blog posts. At least occasionally. Unfortunately this month two things have happened: Rift Nightmare Tide and NaNoWriMo. Those two things, particularly the former, are way more interesting than writing blog posts. But I thought I would take a break and quickly write down some stuff about things.

Chatting with Akva near the end of Draumheim.

Chatting with Arak near the end of Draumheim.

Overwatch. Blizzard is making a role-based shooter (cough Team Fortress cough). This is probably a great idea that will make bazillions of dollars. I personally have less than zero interest in yet another shooter in a crowded, stale market. The only way I could possibly become interested is if they find a way to solve the ridiculously unbalanced gameplay that usually occurs between casual newbies and hardcore veterans. Most shooters are not fun unless you decide to dedicate your life to them and start on day one. I can’t tell if they are addressing any of that from the information I’m seeing, but I’m guessing that if it’s Blizzard, there will be progression in it, so they probably aren’t addressing it.

ArcheAge. Sorry everyone whose ArcheAge searches bring you to my blog, but I’ve totally lost interest in ArcheAge. I couldn’t care less about the new Auroria continent. I’ve seen a lot of controversy about the cash shop, but I haven’t been paying attention to it, and that’s not what will drive me away from the game anyway. (Aywren has great posts about the problems with ArcheAge.) For me, it’s basically too time-consuming to fully experience and enjoy the game. All I do in ArcheAge now is log in periodically to make sure my geese haven’t died and to pay my taxes. That is probably all I’m going to do until my Patron status runs out, which could be in a few days or a few months. I can’t tell by reading any of the information in the game or on Trion’s site. (That is another problem with ArcheAge.) After my Patron status runs out, there’s no reason to keep playing because if you can’t own land, ArcheAge has very few interesting features. (I mean, unless you want to run around with a guild doing trade runs for, I don’t know, bragging rights I guess.)

FFXIV. I’ve played a little bit of the new Rogue class in FFXIV. To me, it feels a lot like the Pugilist class, which is not really a selling point for me. I doubt I’ll play very much of it, although I will level it to at least 15 like every other class. But first I need to stop playing …

Rift Nightmare Tide. Pretty much playing this every possible moment, doing all the things, including the Harvest Whatever event. My mage is almost to level 65, but I’ve also spent a lot of other time leveling my rogue from 51 to 55, and building up his survival and fishing proficiency. I imagine this is what you WoW enthusiasts will feel like when Warlords of Draenor comes out. (Actually many of you WoW enthusiasts apparently already feel like this.) The only real problems I have with Rift are that performance is considerably slower than I remember, and there is a weird camera problem when you walk beside things.

My mage in his Ravens football uniform, standing before the junk pile of dimension items I've been collecting.

My mage in his Ravens football uniform*, standing before the junk pile of dimension items I’ve been getting from minions.

NaNoWriMo. I’m seeing a lot of people in my Twitter feed participating this year, which is cool. I’m on pace, which is better than I expected to do considering I didn’t have anything like a plot or characters when I started. My novel is a post-apocalypse story (but not a young adult dystopian or a zombie apocalypse). I’ve wanted to write a post-apocalypse story since I was a teenager (although this one doesn’t look anything like the Mad Max world I had envisioned back then).

Now to find some pictures! And then get back to Rift!

* Note that I am not a fan of the Baltimore Ravens (though I don’t particularly dislike them either). Also note that I do not have permission from the NFL to use the term “Ravens,” “Baltimore,” “football,” the color purple, or a picture of shoulder pads.

Rift – Nightmare Tide

I’ve been playing nothing but Rift since the expansion came out.* If you even remotely like the game, you should definitely check out Nightmare Tide. I’m a little biased though, since I think Rift is the best themepark MMO out there, far surpassing WoW in every possible way. (Except in the amount of available content and player population.)

Just thought this was a nice vista in Goboro Reef.

A nice vista in Goboro Reef.

Good things about Nightmare Tide:

Ridiculously Plentiful Gathering Nodes. In Storm Legion, mining and foraging nodes are pretty few and far between. In Nightmare Tide, you trip over them every two steps. My mage started with Foraging at 375 but Mining at only around 50. (I had decided much earlier that I was going to add all of the gathering skills to my main, but hadn’t gotten around to leveling them.) So I went back and leveled up Mining before I spent too much time in the Plane of Water. It only took a couple of hours to get from 50 to 300 in the “old” zones. But then I hit the Storm Legion zones and progress ground to halt. It took most of the day wandering around to get from 300 to 350, because suddenly you couldn’t find any mining nodes, and on those occasions when you did, you only got like 1/3 of a point! Once I got to 350 it was easy to get to 375 by grinding on some mobs up in Dendrome. I also leveled up Butchering and ran into the same problem. Huge dead zone between 300 and 350. Then you go into Nightmare Tide and you can’t move an inch without hitting a plant or a mining node or something to butcher. This is what I call a good adjustment by Trion. (It would be nice if they could go back to Storm Legion and double or triple the number of nodes.)

Carnage Quests A-OK Now. In Storm Legion, I became pretty irritated by all the Carnage quests. It got so that I actively tried to avoid killing things so another stupid quest wouldn’t attach itself to my already-huge list. I guess it’s not that I didn’t like the quest objectives, it’s that you could never finish one before two new ones popped up. In Nightmare Tide, I’m not seeing that anymore. The Carnage quests seem to be just right. (Or maybe I’ve just gotten used to them.)

Zones Appropriately Sized. In Storm Legion, the zones are enormous and they seem mostly empty. Except for the accursed Carnage Quests. In Nightmare Tide, the zones seem to be just the right size. Or rather, they are still enormous, but there is stuff in them all over the place.

Gyel Fortress, the location of a new dungeon in Nightmare Tide.

Gyel Fortress, the location of a new dungeon in Nightmare Tide.

Leveling Pace Exactly Right. Unlike Storm Legion, where leveling from 50 to 60 was a rather daunting grind-fest, leveling through these three new zones seems just right. I have not yet gotten Patron status, and I don’t feel any need to do so. Without any bonuses (other than the 25% bonus they gave because of the outage) I’m still plugging along at a decent clip, even out-pacing the zone quests a little bit. So if you end up using a lot of bonuses, you’ll probably zoom to 65 in no time. So 5 levels in 3 zones seems like the right call. Good expansion size. Now if we could get one of these every six months instead of every year, it would be even more awesome.

Minions. At first I was befuddled by the minion system. I didn’t really know what it was good for. But then a weird thing happened. I kept sending out minions on adventures even though I didn’t fully understand the appeal, and then I still kept doing it, and then later, I still kept going back and sending out more minions on adventures. I don’t exactly love it, but there is something really compelling and interesting about it that keeps me coming back. I even bought two more slots. It seems to be the only way to get Artifacts in Nightmare Tide zones, because I haven’t run across a single Artifact out in the wild yet. Also you get just crap tons of Dimension Items, if you’re into that. I’m not particularly into that, so I just keep dumping them into my trash heap of a dimension to get them out of my inventory.

76 stages in a Silverwood Nightmare Rift is the best I've done so far.

76 stages in a Silverwood Nightmare Rift is the best I’ve seen so far.

Nightmare Rifts. These things are awesome. The only problem is that some jerk wad will inevitably try to sabotage the group’s progress by pulling mobs away from the center. (Public Service Announcment: Make sure everyone is on board with pulling the mobs to the center so everyone can AoE them down faster. If you’re a DPS and you get aggro, run to the center and stand there, don’t run away like a dufus.) If you’re in a big guild or whatever, I think you can open private Nightmare Rifts so you can avoid that.

By the way, if you’re afraid that the expansion is all about swimming, don’t worry. You only have to swim for about the first 15 minutes. Then it’s mostly land again. (Which also means you mostly wasted your money if you bought that shark mount.) There was much, much more swimming in the Song of Dreams mini-expansion last year. (Last year?!? Good lord I didn’t realize it was that long ago.)

* I almost killed off my geese in ArcheAge.. I logged in to find them starving and half of my fruit trees had already died off. By the way, I have heard people say they think ArcheAge is somehow similar to the look and feel of Rift. I just can’t see it. They are totally different to me.

WoW – Level Cap At Last!

I haven’t mentioned Bragtoberfest yet because a) I haven’t really had anything to brag about and b) I’m not a very braggy sort of person to begin with. I’ve never been one of those people that parade around banks riding high-end mounts and wearing raid gear to make everyone jealous. I usually wear rag-tag outfits that don’t match.

But this is undoubtedly the braggiest thing I will accomplish this month so: I dinged 90 in WoW! First time I’ve gotten to the level cap in WoW since I started in 2006!

The Rift server Wolfsbane was down for some mysterious reason this morning, so I jumped into WoW for a bit. I had roughly half a level to go, so I spent roughly 35 seconds on some Krasarang Wilds quests and made it to 90 while killing some random mob.

(I’m kidding. Leveling in WoW is super fast, but in reality it was more like 45-50 seconds. Ha! Still kidding. I actually don’t know how long it took but it couldn’t possibly have been more than a half hour to get half a level with the help of rested experience.)

Thoroughly unimpressive screenshot of the Level 90 milestone.

Thoroughly unimpressive screenshot of the Level 90 milestone.

It would be nice if the screen would do something more interesting when you gain a level. Because screenshots of leveling look quite bland. At least that was one thing WildStar was good at. The entire screen filled with the “ding” message so it would make a great screenshot.

You may or may not notice from that screenshot that I am not running a single addon for WoW right now. Weird, huh? I would like to say that the interface changes Blizzard made in 6.0.2 make addons much less necessary, but um, yeah, not so much. WoW still lags far, far behind the curve in basic quality-of-life.

I also noticed that my Aspect of the Hawk was gone, too. The class changes that Blizzard makes seem entirely random sometimes.

So yay! I guess I can do endgame stuff now! For like, half a month. Although honestly I never wanted to do endgame stuff with my hunter. I’d rather be using my mage, who is my second-highest level character now at somewhere around 68. I wonder if I can get him to 90 in dungeons before Draenor launches.

Ping-Ponging My Way To Nightmare Tide

I took a little break from ArcheAge and it turned into an unintentional gaming ping-ping-a-thon. Don’t worry, I still log into ArcheAge to gather the fruit from my trees a couple times a day. Also, I finally destroyed my Scarecrow Garden to make a Farmer’s Workbench. I hated to do it, though. I wish I could rotate my house to face a different direction.

FFXIV

First I dropped back into Final Fantasy XIV again because I had an active subscription. I didn’t really have a goal but it turned out that there was a Halloween event going on so I went through that quest line. Seasonal events in FFXIV are very quick and easy, so it didn’t take more than an hour and I ended up with some neat-looking scary barding for my Chocobo. (I think it’s the only barding I’ve gotten so far.) The rewards this year were far better than the silly ghost costume we got last year.

Speaking of FFXIV, an upcoming expansion and nailing consistently high-quality content every quarter reaffirms my belief that FFXIV is the best subscription game to have right now, if you have to pick just one.

WoW

Then I went and got 3 months of subscription for WoW so I could take a look at 6.0.2 and be ready for Draenor. My night elf looked only slightly different, but when he runs around now he sort of hops spryly instead of what he used to do, which looked a bit like someone running with scuba flippers on their feet (or maybe clown shoes). If I hadn’t known that they changed the models, I might not have even noticed it was different. It’s too bad they couldn’t up-res the textures on the armor, though.

My main hunter was 88 when I left him, so I quested around in Krasarang Wilds until I reached 89. (Not surprisingly, it didn’t take long.) Right away I noticed that my Serpent Sting DoT was gone, which caused some confusion for a while. I didn’t realize they were making class changes in this patch. Not that it was a big deal or anything since I can still mow through anything while questing. (Usually I don’t even have to do anything; my pet can handle everything by himself.) But I’m not sure what I’m supposed to use for a DoT now. I’ve never taken the time to “learn my rotations” with my hunter since it doesn’t matter a whit while questing.

Anyway the point is that I only have one more level to go before I get my hunter to level 90. I still haven’t bought the expansion yet, though. But I probably will. Probably.

Rift

Lastly, it came as a total surprise to me that Rift’s Nightmare Tide dropped! It shouldn’t have been a surprise, because I knew it was coming. It’s just that I didn’t realize that The Day was actually upon us. October has been flying by apparently.

I panicked at first because I thought that I wouldn’t be able to buy any of the Collector’s Editions any more, but thankfully they were still available. I logged in first to verify that buying one would be a good decision (the items cost a ton of some currency I didn’t have), then I went ahead and bought the $49 starter pack. I debated getting the $25 one, because I don’t actually need an insta-60 boost (I already have two level 60s), but it might be handy to boost my alt rogue or cleric from 50 to 60, and anyway I wanted to reward Trion for making new content.

Nice landscapes to look at.

Nice aquarium, but where are the fish?

So far I’m enjoying it. It’s nothing radically different, so if you didn’t like Rift before, you probably still won’t like it. I’m starting out with my Mage, who has always been my main, and I think I might create a new build with a mixture of Harbinger and Arbiter to see if I can make an even more indestructible soloing build. The mobs in the first new zone actually hit kind of hard compared to the level 60s in, say, Hailol, so it’s a good thing they gave us more health.

The Minions are nothing like what I was expecting. Somehow I had it in my head they would be similar to Battle Pets, but it’s not even close. It reminds me more of gathering resources in Star Wars The Old Republic. It’s also like the adventures you can send your retainers on in FFXIV. That is, you task your minion to do stuff and then wait for him to complete it. When he gets back, he’ll gain some experience and presumably he’ll bring you cool stuff. (I haven’t seen any yet, though.)

Now that Nightmare Tide is out, Rift is probably what I’ll be playing for a couple weeks. It’s too bad more people don’t play it. A game like ArcheAge, to me, can be played with a basically empty server, but Rift is much better when there are a lot of people on the servers to gather together for Rifts and Instant Adventures and Zone Events. So all you people complaining about the ganking in ArcheAge, go play Rift!

ArcheAge – What’s Wrong With It

I feel like I’ve been giving the impression that ArcheAge is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but it isn’t all sunshine and roses. I’m mainly playing it just because “it’s the new thing.” And I do enjoy the fact that you can progress by doing “non-standard” MMO things. But pretty soon, Rift’s Nightmare Tide is going to be “the new thing,” and then a bit later, Warlords of Draenor is going to be “the new thing.” Anyway, here are some things I don’t like about ArcheAge.

Flying around in an invisible glider.

The invisible glider. You will believe a man can fly.

I’ve said many times before that the questing is average at best. Actually that’s being kind. It’s terrible. I have never played another MMO where I have had so little interest in reading anything the NPCs have to say. (Admittedly, perhaps it’s because I was conditioned to ignore them from way back when I experimented with the Russian version.) I feel bad saying that because most of what Trion did to the game was translate all the NPC dialog, and I generally like what Trion does with their games. All in all, the questing is probably my least favorite thing to do in ArcheAge. I only turn to it when I have nothing else to do. In many ways, it’s superfluous anyway because I feel like I get just as much experience progression from commerce activities.

In many areas, ArcheAge doesn’t seem to be “finished.” There are so many places that you can visit that are essentially empty. There are no monsters, no NPCs, no houses, no ruins, no nothing. Just empty landscape. It might as well have a big sign on it that says, “This part is still under construction. Come back later.” These empty areas are often not very far away from the main roads, either. So exploring the terrain turns out to be a bit pointless. All you’re likely to find out in the wilderness is other players trying to hide things, which is not very interesting to me.

Wouldn't it be great if we could put houses on all that empty land at least?

Wouldn’t it be great if we could at least put houses on all that empty land? Or maybe find a chest with cool stuff in it?

Empty, empty space.

More empty, empty space. So much space that could have had houses or mobs or just about anything on them.

Some places in ArcheAge quite literally have an "under construction" sign on them.

Once, I came across a place that quite literally had an “under construction” sign on it.

I find the trial system to be a bit of a joke. It does nothing to deter criminal behavior. If anything, it incentivizes people to behave badly so they can appear in court and have a big public forum for their buffoonery. In other words, people seem to want to be caught. To me, there should be more incentive to avoid being caught for it to have any kind deterring effect on anti-social behavior. Being sentenced to jail for a handful of minutes is not exactly a hardship. It should deduct levels of experience or something. Otherwise why bother having it in the game.

The graphics and animation quality of ArcheAge are sadly not up to the standards of today. Technologically, it looks and feels like a game from five years ago. Rift, Guild Wars 2, Neverwinter, WildStar, Elder Scrolls Online, and definitely Final Fantasy XIV all have far superior game engines, in my opinion.

One of many texture problems that you may encounter in ArcheAge.

One of many annoying texture problems that you may encounter in ArcheAge.

Bots and hacks are a problem in ArcheAge, although for me personally they haven’t yet affected my gameplay. I actually don’t see very many of them out in the world, but then I don’t spend any time looking for them, and I play on one of the less popular servers. (Calleil doesn’t even have a subreddit!) I’m not one of those players that “plays the auction house” so it’s not a big deal to me if bots ruin the economy. Honestly I don’t even know what a “ruined economy” looks like. Economics is a baffling, un-scientific subject to me so it mostly goes over my head. I’ve heard about hacks in PvP, too, but they could just be ordinary exploits. Every MMO that has PvP in it has exploits, and people flock to them.

It seems like everyone else will be driven away by the PvP, but that part hasn’t bothered me much. It’s the things above that will eventually cause me to stop playing. That and the fact that after a certain point, there isn’t much of anything to do except make more and more gold.

ArcheAge – PvE After Level 30

I’ve been dinged in comments for not having experienced the PvE game after level 30 and misleading everyone about ArcheAge. While the game might be rosey for people under level 30, they say, the “real” game begins at 30, and after that milestone, they say, then the game turns into a PvP gankfest.

Well as of this post I’m level 40, and I’ve spent many hours questing in Cinderstone Moor and Halcyona, and sailing around on the ocean. Naturally, I don’t think to take screenshots while I’m in a PvP situation, so I have nothing to illustrate this post.

On Land

It’s true that the PvE game does change after level 30. The quests take you into zones where it may no longer be safe to ignore your fellow players.

But in my experience so far, I’d hardly call it a gankfest.

Once in Cinderstone Moor I was accosted by a couple of “robbers.” I was out by myself in a crater, and a pair of folks rode up and demanded I pay them. I ignored them, because that’s a silly demand, and then they killed me. It was 2 on 1 so that was pretty inevitable regardless of levels. After that I rage quitted and ran to the Trion forums to post a nasty note about how awful the ganking is in ArcheAge. Just kidding. I actually respawned and continued my day with a shrug. (I did a different quest for a while first, though, and re-thought the idea of wandering too far away from population centers by myself.) That was the sum total of the questing trouble I encountered in the whole Cinderstone Moor zone.

Let me reiterate that unless you’re carrying a trade pack, there is absolutely no reason to fear death in ArcheAge. Particularly a PvP death, because you lose no experience or even health. All you have to do is run back to where you died. Or run somewhere else. Exactly the same as if a PvE mob killed you.

For me, I think of dangerous enemy players as elite world bosses wandering around the landscape and treat them accordingly. You wouldn’t run up to a boss that’s twenty levels higher than you, so you should also steer clear of reds or purples if you see them. Keeping your eyes peeled and watching your surroundings actually adds a little bit of mystery and excitement to the otherwise relatively dull questing grind.

But I get that not everyone wants questing to be exciting. I know all too well that sometimes you just want to mindlessly tune out everything and blindly kill mobs until you reach a zen-like state of meditation and calm. (This week I am in exactly that mood.) If that’s the questing mood you’re in then yeah you might want to steer clear of contested zones, or play a different game for a while.

Keep in mind, though, that the contested zones also have occasional Peace Times. During Peace Time, which lasts 3 or 4 hours I believe, it’s completely safe to quest. All those reds wandering around nearby won’t attack you, and you won’t attack them, because you can’t target them. Peace Times appear to occur at roughly the same time every day, too. For example, during my evening play time, the Halcyona zone is usually in Peace Time.

Even if you’re questing in a contested zone, there are a few things you can do to make yourself less of a target. One is to stay close to others, as I alluded to above. If you’re one of those people who actually has gaming friends, if you quest in a group you’ll probably be completely safe. Gankers usually look for individuals to target. Another is to make sure you keep your health topped off as much as possible. Gankers will look for somebody with low health. I would also suggest not engaging any mobs if you see anyone standing around suspiciously nearby. They might be waiting to take you out while you’re busy.

At Sea

The ocean is a different story. From my experience so far, nobody is your friend on the ocean. If you see someone, you should be prepared to turn and run, or fight them if you’re able. Reds will almost always turn to follow you, and sometimes greens will, too. They tend to gather around ports and trade destinations, and roam up and down the coastlines.

Ocean thugs are probably looking for trade packs, so they might lose interest if they discover you don’t have one. But some people will attack anyone. Once I sailed too close to another Harpoon Clipper and they snagged me. Inexpicably, they said, “JOIN US OR DIE.” I don’t know if they were role-playing or joking or what, because threatening to kill me in a game with no death penalty doesn’t carry a lot of weight with me. I was thinking, “Um, okay, sure go ahead and kill me then.” But I kept sailing and swerving back and forth and I got away from them. They never actually attacked me so I guess they were just messing around. Maybe they lost interest and detached or the harpoon timed out. I don’t know. I haven’t had a chance to use a harpoon yet so I don’t know how it works.

So don’t expect to have much of a relaxing time on the ocean, unless you go way far out of the way of everyone. I personally can’t imagine how people fishing from a boat wouldn’t get accosted all the time. But then the ocean is really big, so unless you’re on a popular trading route, you might never be found. (Strangely, the ocean is not very deep, though.)

ArcheAge – Calleil Diary, Water-Faring Days

Previously on Calleil Diary: First Five Days, Next Four Days.

Calleil Day 10, Tuesday

After I got home from work, I built my Harpoon Clipper ship! It took about 1700 Labor in total, by the way, which was just about everything I had at the time. Oh also I believe it cost 10 gold just to set up the dry dock, which was an unexpected cost. The order of packs you need to use is Lumber, Iron, then Fabric. And then for some reason there are three steps of simply spending 25 Labor Points each.

Building my Clipper at dry dock.

Building my Clipper at dry dock.

I sailed around Feuille Sound for a while looking at the water, wondering what to do. I passed a few blood stains but didn’t encounter any people and hardly any beasts. The clipper wasn’t as fast as I thought it would be, but it sure beats a rowboat. I hope it sails at the same speed with a trade pack. Anyway now I can troll the coastline looking for people with trade packs in rowboats like everyone else did in Alpha. (Actually I’d be more likely to defend the rowboat people from others if I saw somebody accosting them, but I probably need to level up to 50 before I try anything like that.)

Unfortunately now that I have a Clipper I feel like I’m “finished” with ArcheAge. Once you have a farm, a house, and a boat, you’ve got the basics covered. I have about 100 gold but I don’t really have anything to buy. And leveling to 50 is not all that appealing because I haven’t heard of anything to do at 50 except PvP. I don’t even think there are any dungeons or raids at 50. At least I’ve never heard anyone talk about them.

Anyway it’s much, much more challenging to “level up” your crafting proficiency. You can get your class up to 50 in a week, but it looks like it will take years to get your crafting proficiencies up to the maximum levels. So I guess I will do Blue Salt Brotherhood quests for a while and grow different things.

Calleil Day 11, Wednesday

Long work day, so I didn’t do much that was productive. I think I completed one Blue Salt Brotherhood quest.

But I did get out my Clipper and sail around for a while, and I learned a few things. Firstly, the ocean is HUGE. By which I mean the space between the Eastern and Western continents and the Northern continent. I didn’t encounter a soul in that vast space, and it seems like a chance encounter would be pretty rare. Even if there was a chance encounter between two players, both of you would probably be AFK.

Sailing on the open sea.

Sailing on the open, empty sea.

Secondly, it’s easy to avoid the sea creatures in a Clipper. You can outrun the big Jellyfish and smaller Seabugs. If you sail straight through a bunch of Seabugs, some of them will jump up on your boat and attack you, but they will eventually disengage if you keep sailing away from them. They hit for a decent amount of damage, though, so I wouldn’t recommend sailing straight through them.

Thirdly, there are the people you might encounter on the ocean. Most of these people are not friendly. I had a quest to discover Freedich Island which is just about smack in the middle of the ocean. So that was my first task. I sailed up there without incident and got close enough to fulfill the quest log. As far as I could tell, there were no followup quests after that. But I disembarked and wandered around to see what was actually on the little island. The answer is almost nothing except a trade run destination in the center, and of course all the players hanging out there to defend it. I didn’t get close enough to actually talk to any of the NPCs, because I got killed by some red dudes pretty quick.

And that’s when I learned the penalty for dying in PvP: Absolutely nothing! If you die to a PvE mob, you lose a little bit of experience and you have to pray to the priestess and spend some Labor Points to get it back, and also wait for your stats to recharge. If another player kills you, you don’t lose any experience and your stats are right back at full. Wow. Talk about a carebear PvP game. :) No wonder people like it so much. You can just throw yourself into anything with zero risk. (Unless you’re carrying a trade pack, of course. See below.)

(I haven’t yet learned if you gain anything for killing another player, other than bragging rights. Honor points I guess but I have no idea what they’re for. Probably buying stuff that makes you better at killing people.)

So I got back on my boat and sailed around some more. I sailed all the way up to the Auroria continent, which took forever. I approached the coast of Nuimari, and then the game said I had gone into an area that wasn’t complete and promptly teleported me all the way back down to Freedich Island. Nice. That’s when the realization that the Northern Continent hasn’t yet been released sunk in. Not sure what they’re waiting for. Anyway I sailed back down to Nuia without incident.

After that I did a relaxing donkey trade run from Gweonid down to Two Crowns. (Out on the ocean I felt like I had to constantly scan my surroundings for threats. On a donkey, there’s nothing to worry about. Well, technically not nothing but it’s like worrying about getting struck by lightning or hit by a meteorite.) While I was on the dock in Two Crowns, I decided to see how long it would take me to sail back, thinking that perhaps I could cut some time off this particular trade run by using the ocean.

To make a long story short, it is faster, but the risk is considerably higher. I passed two other Clippers on the boat trip from Two Crowns up around the peninsula of Cinderstone Moor, and into the Fueille Sound. Both of them immediately turned to follow me as soon as they saw me. The first one was someone of my own faction who doggedly pursued me all the way around Cinderstone Moor. Fortunately both our ships had the same speed, so we stayed roughly the same distance apart the entire time. (I can’t understand how that was fun for him, but whatever.)

The second Clipper I encountered was inside Fueille Sound, and this boat was red and obviously looking for victims. Again, he wasn’t able to catch up to me until another Clipper happened to come sailing across my path, forcing me to turn to avoid hitting him broadside. I did a complete circle and of course my pursuer caught up to me, at which point I noticed there were two of them on the boat. I thought I was going to die, but thankfully they bungled the boarding process. One of them started firing arrows at me and tried to jump on my boat, but he fell in the water. The other guy stepped away from the steering wheel and tried to come after me too, but I just kept sailing. I lost about 25% of my health but got away from them again while they scrambled to get back on their boat. I think they lost interest after that because I didn’t have a trade pack.

So I guess the lesson I learned is that while you’re actually on the ocean and sailing at full speed in a Clipper, you’re relatively safe from getting killed and losing a trade pack. But when you arrive at your destination and somebody is still chasing you, you’re going to be pretty vulnerable getting off of your boat. Still, even with the relative safety of the ocean, I think I’m going to invest in whatever that fuel is that gives you a speed boost, just in case. If I can find it.

Calleil Day 12, Thursday

Decided to experiment with carrying trade packs on my Clipper. First of all I can report that trade packs do not slow down Clippers in any way, which is awesome.

Taking a trade pack out for a spin.

Taking a trade pack out for a spin.

Second of all, as I suspected, Clippers do not in any way help with your safety once you arrive at your destination. I went to Austera in the Solis Penninsula, the same trade run destination that you have for the Scarecrow Farm quest, to see 1) How long it would take by clipper and 2) How much gold it would make. Unfortunately as soon as I got off my boat and started up the stairs I spied not one but three red dudes hanging around there on the pier coming down to meet me. At that point there’s not much you can do. I couldn’t have gotten back on my boat fast enough to get away, and I certainly can’t defeat 3 opponents. I only targeted one of them but he was 5 levels higher than me, so naturally I didn’t live very long and lost my trade pack. I didn’t care about losing that money but it sucked that I didn’t get to see how much the Trader would have paid for it. It probably doesn’t matter because of the high risk factor anyway.

By the way, it took me about 20 minutes to get from Gweonid to the ocean by donkey and then about another 15 minutes to sail down to Austera.

Other than boating around for the fun of it, I don’t have any pressing goals right now. I sort-of kind-of want to build a Farm Cart just so I have one, but I feel like finding a Thunderstruck Log is going to be a pain. Other than that I’m just doing those Blue Salt Brotherhood farming quests and occasionally heading back out to Cinderstone Moor to level.