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.
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.
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.
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.