ArcheAge RU – Growing On Me

Note: Apparently you’re not supposed to be able to play ArcheAge RU from the U.S. anymore, but for some reason I’m still able to.

ArcheAge is growing on me. I feel like I was too harsh on it in my first report. The graphics actually aren’t bad at all, and better than Fallen Earth, at least color-wise. (The first time, I had played AA after FFXIV, which has drop-dead gorgeous graphics, so my perception was probably skewed. This time, I did not.)

(The animations however are still somewhat primative. By which I mean your character only has about four frames of animation when they jump, run or get on a horse.)

I also made another error in my first report: I said that the flame spell looked like pitching a flaming baseball, but upon further review it looks like tossing a flaming softball. Ie. It’s an underhanded throw.

Here’s some new things I’ve discovered that made positive impressions on me. They are all little things, but anything that is "different" in an MMO makes it more interesting to me.

You can climb trees. It’s cool, but I’m not sure what the point is, unless it’s another gathering resource. Speaking of gathering, I found ore to mine, trees and plants to dig up, bushes to … pick? I guess. I like that I don’t have to train any skills before I can start gathering. (Especially when I can’t read the NPC dialog to even know where to train these things.)

Gathering appears to be a very complex activity in ArcheAge. After a couple of playing sessions, I finally realized that you can only gather a limited number of resources before you run out of "gathering stamina" (a name I completely made up because I don’t know what it’s actually called). You regain gathering stamina slowly over time. The end result is that you have to pick and choose what you want to gather. You can’t just stop and pick everything you see. Also, sometimes gathering nodes appear to be on a cooldown timer, so you may have to wander around a while to find one that’s "ripe."

I came across a beehive and clicked on it, and then a bunch of bees came out and stung me until I ran away. That was pretty cool.

I found a plate of food on a table and was able to eat it. I don’t know what it did, but it looked like some kind of effect happened. I’m assuming it was something good. Anyway it’s neat that you can interact with the environment like that. You can also sit on chairs. Once there was a mount standing there that I could get on. I thought it was someone else’s so I quickly got off of it. Not sure what that was all about.

Speaking of mounts, I got my first mount in a pretty interesting way. One quest gave me a little fawn cub that looked like a miniature Bambi. When I summoned him, I could interact with him, and over time he "grew" bigger and bigger until eventually I could summon and ride him. There was a vendor nearby where I could buy other baby mounts, which I presume I could then grow into different kinds of mounts.

I see a lot of animals just kind of sitting by the road as if they are waiting for something. When I click on them, there’s a chat bubble that might have instructions but obviously I can’t read it. It makes me wonder if they are tamable pets that I can acquire somehow.

My character had a flute and there’s an action on the bar that plays it. I have no idea what its purpose is but it makes a jaunty musical tune. At some point I got a lute (as loot, har har) and "upgraded" my musical instrument. I still don’t know what it does, but it’s a neat idea, whatever it is.

My spell-caster can use a sword and a bow on auto-attack. Neato. They aren’t as effective as the fire spell, but I got a new sword that came close. I like the idea of spell-casters that can do more than just stand around throwing spells.

In one of the newbie villages I came across someone who looked like a priest of some kind. After talking to him, or when I got near him, or something like that, I started to see these little pink hearts floating around me. Then when I would go near other NPCs, they would get little pink hearts floating around them too. It was like a floating heart infection that I was spreading around to people. I don’t know specifically what it meant, but I gather it was some kind of charisma effect that made NPCs more friendly toward me. (At first I wondered if I had accidentally accepted a marriage proposal from a troll or something.)

Back to gathering and crafting, you can buy seeds and plant them in the ground. After ten minutes, the seed grows into a plant that you can harvest. (Thankfully you don’t have to stand there for ten minutes; you can go do quests and come back to it. I think only you can harvest it later.)

These are all things I’ve seen and done in the first eight levels of the game, not even going that far into the map. I think I might be a third of the way down the "path" of the first map.

It’s really interesting to play a game in a foreign language. You really depend on visual cues to finish quests when you can’t read what you’re supposed to do. Maybe I should be nicer to those people in chat who keep asking how to finish quests. Maybe they can’t read the quest text.

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