ArcheAge: Unchained Launches with Thousands in Queues

Today marks the launch of ArcheAge: Unchained, the buy to play version of the MMORPG and though it has only been live for a short time queues with thousands of people have started forming on the North American servers. The EU servers which went live before the North American ones have also faced massive queues. Some people have reported on social media that they’ve been stuck in queues for 4 hours. These queues are likely to last all night and continue throughout the week, getting worse on the weekends when more people are available to play.

It has also brought with it the Shadows Revealed update. This update has brought in a number of graphical enhancements including the new and improved looks for the Elven race. Plus, thanks to the graphical updates combat looks more vibrant and vivid than ever.

Shadows Revealed also introduces the new skillset Swiftblade which enables shadow warriors to prove their might in dashing duels. Speaking of combat, for the first time ever in ArcheAge pirates can now participate in PvP. This is thanks to the new Siege and Territory system.

This is an exciting time to try out ArcheAge if you never have before or if you haven’t played it since it originally launched back in 2014. If you’ve played ArcheAge before it is important to note that you cannot transfer anything to these new servers, you will have to start fresh along with everyone else. With all-new servers opening this means there is a new opportunity to get your hands on land for housing. There is however a landlock put in place until Saturday the 18th. This means you won’t have to fight to get one right away. Though do keep it in mind for this weekend. You can buy ArcheAge: Unchained on the official website or get it on Steam.

 

Source: Press Release and Twitter

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ArcheAge Unchained Interview: Executive Producer Merv Lee Kwai on a Play-To-Win Future

Gamigo is taking a massive step forward with ArcheAge Unchained, an overhauled release of the sandbox MMORPG with a buy-to-play business model. Severing ties with the notion of pay-to-win and yet keeping the Legacy servers running simultaneously, this is an ambitious plan that comes with big risks, but it could also yield big rewards.

We decided to learn more about ArcheAge Unchained straight from the mind of executive producer Merv Lee Kwai. Read the interview below to discover how Unchained started, how the new ArchePass works, and what measures were taken in order to turn housing into a fairer prospect, among other things.

 

Before Gamigo purchased Trion Worlds in 2018, the plan for ArcheAge Unchained was already underway. Was this something that Gamigo fully supported from the start, and could other games follow the same path?

The desire to revamp the ArcheAge business model was something my team talked about for as long as I can remember. About 2 years ago, under Trion Worlds, the initial concepts were born. The idea was initially met with some expected skepticism when we were acquired by gamigo. Shortly thereafter—and much to my appreciation—our dedicated team members began to shape the dream. ArcheAge was in a unique position due to heavy past criticisms. Our genuine want to do it better, combined with the support of the community, is what brought it all to life. I don’t think it’s possible for all games to take this approach and be successful.

 

Ultimately, what makes you believe that Unchained will be successful? We’re used to seeing premium games going free-to-play, but the other way around is unusual.

It’s really simple: our players want it. I can’t count the number of times where I’ve heard someone say “ArcheAge could be one of the best MMOs in history, but….” The pillars of the Unchained project are built around meeting the demands of our players headfirst: the perception of P2W, client vulnerabilities, lax policies, and lack of communication. Nothing is taboo and everything is laid bare. That’s a story people can get behind.

ArcheAge Unchained interview Shadows Revealed update

Judging by the overall excitement surrounding Unchained, do you feel ready to tackle the stream of players and avoid long queues during the first launch days?

We’ve doubled the amount of time that we typically run our Public Test Server and are iterating rapidly. A multitude of issues have risen but our dedicated teams work in shifts around the clock to solve them – that’s a huge benefit we have now that we’re a more global-focused organization. Our teams stand at the ready to address any issues that arise.

 

By saying that “ArcheAge Unchained is focusing on a fair monetization system,” and I’m quoting official marketing material here, don’t you think that you’re corroborating the players’ claims about a pay-to-win system?

Everyone’s definition of Pay-to-Win is different these days. ArcheAge has historically had a liberal business model and I absolutely understand why it’s referred to as P2W. If you want to call that corroborating then yes, sure, we were. I like to think of it more as acknowledging our previous approach and putting forth best effort to transparently meet expectations.

 

Can you give us a brief description of the improvements that Unchained brings in order to level up the playing field for everyone? And exactly how does the ArchePass works?

Unchained has a static up-front cost, we sell cosmetic items in the marketplace through direct sales, and we offer a premium season pass model that provides additional cosmetics as a reward. This version stands in contrast against the Legacy model that offers a monthly subscription (and provides gameplay progression benefits), a tradable premium currency known as “APEX,” items that enhance progression in lockboxes, and a large amount of RNG on monetization dependent systems.

Up to 3 ArchePasses run simultaneously for a 3-month season. Players complete daily objectives, earn experience, and progress in ArchePass Levels. Each time they gain a level, they get a free reward and if they purchase the premium version of the pass, they are awarded a cosmetic item at milestone levels.

ArcheAge Unchained interview Fight

By deciding to keep both ArcheAge versions running, don’t you fear that the Legacy version may see its player count drastically reduced, as players make the transition to Unchained? If this scenario happens, what is your stance regarding the original ArcheAge?

ArcheAge has a solid core of heavily invested legacy players. We intend to support them in the same capacity we always have. Unchained is targeted at players who loved the concept of ArcheAge at release, but fell off somewhere along the way for any number of reasons. Sure, there’s some overlap between the two, but we wouldn’t have made this decision if we believed it would put us in a place that wasn’t sustainable.

 

Housing is always a sensitive subject in any MMO and ArcheAge is no exception. How do you plan on making this system fairer for this fresh start?

As you know, our player housing occurs in the open world and is persistent. The competition for owning land is fierce and we’ve learned a lot from the rush process over the past five years. Unchained servers open on October 15 but the ability to claim land doesn’t occur until October 19. The 4-day grace period gives players more time to earn in-game currency to buy housing designs. Lastly, the rush occurs on a Saturday to ensure we include the wider audience. Players aren’t permitted to buy tax certificates (a cash shop item used to maintain owned property week-over-week) on Unchained servers and that inherently restricts the amount of land owned.

 

Do you think that Unchained has some sort of competition in WoW Classic, or at these substantially different MMORPGs with very distinct player targets?

I think there’s a base level of overlap for all MMORPGs. ArcheAge focuses on player interactions on the large scale: our raid bosses, PvP, and housing all exist in a seamless, persistent, open world. The nature of our gameplay is more sandbox focused and players truly create their own personas in a living, breathing environment.

ArcheAge Unchained interview

What is the plan regarding content updates? Do you plan on rolling them out simultaneously for Legacy and Unchained, and does this in any way affects the workload for the development team? Will Unchained get any exclusive updates?

Content updates will occur simultaneously for both service types. Unchained has some features that Legacy doesn’t like the ArchePass, but Legacy has 5 years of mounts, costumes, and battlepets some of which may never be available on the Unchained service.

 

The Shadows Revealed update is getting a frankly positive player reception. Did you plan to have this ready for the Unchained release, or was it a delightful coincidence?

It was planned. Every time we’ve released a Fresh Start server it’s been positioned next to a massive content expansion. The “rush meta” changes from release to release, and this time we’ll add the new Swiftblade class to the mix.

 

Is Shadows Revealed merely the beginning for ArcheAge graphical updates? After all, it’s nice to have revamped Elves, but what about poor old Harani and Warborn, to name just a few races?

All things in stride! I have a feeling we’ll see a rollout of these awesome graphical enhancements over the next content updates.

 

Thank you for your time! Anything else you would like to say to our readers?

I can express nothing but appreciation for all the love and support we’ve received as we work to deliver ArcheAge: Unchained. Without our community, none of this would be possible. Truly, thank you.

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Twin Saga and ArcheAge Anniversary Events Coming This Month

This month Gamigo is celebrating both the Twin Saga and ArcheAge Anniversary with fun-filled events for both game’s communities.

This month Twin Saga turns 3 years old and to celebrate the event this weekend players will receive significant Gold Boosts as well as enjoying a number of different activities. This includes a tricky hide and seek contest.

ArcheAge is celebrating 5 years since its Western launch with a challenging anniversary event on Mirage Isle. Adventurers will have to make their way to the top of the floating platforms with their Glider Boots. Plus, on September 30th ArcheAge will receive the Shadows Revealed update. This massive update will include the newly revised Elven race and a variety of graphical improvements.

On Twitter, ArcheAge is offering the chance to win a valuable ArcheAge: Unchained Archeum Chainbreaker Pack or Echoes of Hiram Archeum Pack for free to play players. To be in for a chance to win one of these make a tweet using the hashtag #CelebrateArcheAge to express their love for their favorite game in a video or stream.

There’s also a new ArcheAge trailer for you to enjoy that shows off some of the graphical updates that are coming to the game at the end of this month. You can see that trailer below.

Source: Press Release

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ArcheAge Unchained Announced as a Buy to Play Version of the Game

For the last week, ArcheAge’s website has had a countdown and now we finally know that it was counting down to the announcement of ArcheAge Unchained. Usually, that sort of announcement comes when a game is going free to play, but ArcheAge already is free to play. So in an odd twist, and by player demand, ArcheAge is getting a buy to play server.

On this server, players will have access to the entire game without having to worry about subscriptions or other purchases. According to the FAQ, this is what you can expect, “In ArcheAge: Unchained there is no longer a subscription model. With a onetime purchase, you can enjoy the content as often as you want. You will be able to purchase vanity items via Credits and we will implement seasonal ArchePasses. We are focusing on fairer gameplay which is why we decided to change a few monetization features for ArcheAge: Unchained.”

Unfortunately, current ArcheAge players won’t be able to transfer anything to this new server. It will exist completely independent of the current game, though also running alongside it. So yes, you will be able to keep playing as you always have. This is just an extra new option for players who don’t want to deal with all the subscriptions and headaches.

There isn’t a release date for ArcheAge Unchained yet and we also don’t know how much it will cost. But the FAQ promises that more information will be released in the coming weeks. They also have new content coming this fall that includes a new skillset called Swiftblade, a revamp of the siege system, a new naval arena, and more.

We’ll be keeping an eye out for more news on this server. But we’re curious, are you going to play on this new server? It’s an opportunity for a fresh start, a chance to get some housing.

 

Source: Press Release

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ArcheAge Community Manager Replaced After Racist Comment

Just a few weeks after Trion was bought by Gamigo the ArcheAge community manager has been replaced after a racist comment on Discord. The community manager at the center of these events was Chemy, the German language community manager for the game. The incident took place over the weekend on an unofficial Discord where Chemy was responding to being called a dumb…N-word. In response, they responded and also used the word.

Gamigo responded quickly to the event taking place and on Monday posted to the official forums that Chemy is no longer a community manager for ArcheAge. Bonny, the Lead Community Manager stated that while Gamigo does want to be close to their players and approachable what happened over the weekend was unacceptable and that she should have “exercised restraint, professionalism, and intelligence.” Bonny then apologized on behalf of the community team and Gamigo, adding that she hopes the fans can forgive this first bad impression.

There has been no word yet on who will replace Chemy as the German community manager. Here’s Gamigo’s response to the situation in full.

 

Message from the Community Team

Dear ArcheAge players,

I would like to address what happened this weekend on Discord to you all. I have read your reactions in the forum. They are legitimate and understandable. I would like to tell you how we see things on our side.

We at gamigo want to be close to our players, we want to be approachable, here for you, and listen to you.

However, what happened this weekend was unacceptable. Chemy wanted to let you express your frustration and get to know you. Bonding is one thing, but we all agree that the CM should have exercised restraint, professionalism, and intelligence. It was never our intention to cause anyone distress.

We guarantee that her behavior is not representative of our company values nor of the quality of service we want to provide. Therefore, we took the necessary measures internally and Chemy is no longer CM for ArcheAge.

On behalf of the whole Community Team and gamigo, I sincerely apologize.

I hope you can forgive us this first bad impression.

Best regards,
Bonny
Lead Community Manager

 

Source: Official Forums

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Chinese Regulations Result in Tencent’s Market Value Dropping By $20 billion

There’s more bad news for the gaming industry that expands well beyond the borders it was intended for and has resulted in Tencent’s market value dropping by $20 billion.

Regulators in China have recently been putting a lot of strain on the gaming industry and they just hit the industry with a massive blow. China is cracking down on online games specifically in an attempt to combat screen-related myopia, that’s nearsightedness. There isn’t any scientific proof that online gaming has and an impact on myopia, however. In addition to this move to limit games, they’re also going restrict the amount of time young people spend playing games and they’re exploring an age-appropriate restriction system as well.

League of Legends

As you would expect this news didn’t go over well in the stock markets. This is where Tencent, a company that has been spreading its wealth far and wide to international game companies. These deals with them have also allowed Tencent to publish many of the games in China. But, since China will be restricting games…it looks like those deals aren’t going so well for Tencent anymore. The $20 billion loss is actually only a drop of 5%. In all though, Tencent has lost more than $160 billion in market value since January because of all of the recent regulation changes in China.

Tencent mobile financials - MMOGames.com - Your source for MMOs & MMORPGs

While the BBC speculates that Tencent will continue to invest in markets outside of China it is equally possible that they won’t given the fact that they won’t be able to release the games they invest in for Chinese audiences. This lack of investment could very well have a snowball effect that has a massive impact on the gaming industry as a whole. We may see Tencent and other Chinese gaming companies shifting gears to focus more on single player, offline games.

 

Source: Reuters, BBC

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ArcheAge Announces the Relics of Hiram Expansion

ArcheAge 5.0 has been officially unveiled. Players of the sandbox MMORPG will get a new part of Auroria to explore full of new secrets, new gear and a brand-new skillset in the ArcheAge: Relics of Hiram expansion.

archeage: relics of hiram

In Relics of Hiram, players will be going to the Western Hiram Mountains, a new end game zone where they can expect to face challenges that will reward them with new Hiram gear to awaken and ways to increase their character’s Ancestral level.

Relics of Hiram will also introduce the game’s 11th skillset, Malediction. As the name suggests, Malediction is a form of powerful dark magic that lets wielders enfeeble their foes and empower themselves. Malediction’s arrival will herald a total of 45 new class combinations for ArcheAge players.

Players can also look forward to a few quality-of-life improvements such as enhanced house customizations, new achievements to chase and more. It’s all due to the MMORPG at some point this fall.

Our Thoughts

It’s preliminary information, to be sure, but a new end game zone and new skill combinations that lead to new class building options certainly sounds pretty darn nice to us! We expect that there will be more concrete information in the following weeks, so we’ll be sure to keep our eyes and ears open.

Source: press release

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ArcheAge Senior Producer Pens a Letter to Assure Fans

After the wave of layoffs that hit at least one higher level position at the sandbox MMO, fans of ArcheAge might be a little understandably concerned. Enter an ArcheAge producer letter, which is hoping to provide a little context to the whole situation.

archeage senior producer letter

Senior producer Merv “Khrolan” Lee Kwai made a post on the game’s forums, offering both his thoughts on the three people who left the game and reminding fans that the team behind the MMO itself is still very much firmly in place.

“I would ask you pause for a moment and know that many people at Trion pour their hearts into supporting the game, even though you only see a few of us in public,” wrote Lee Kwai. “Another 60+ people at Trion and the entirety of XLGames remain committed to delivering and improving the game and world you love.”

To the point of improving the game, Lee Kwai promised that players will get word of what’s next for the MMO as soon as possible. In the meantime, he has a meeting with ArcheAge’s creator Jake Song later in the week to discuss the game’s current state, incoming updates like the 5.0 patch and the MMO’s content plan for next year.

Our Thoughts

While the positions vacated and the timing of the CM’s departure definitely is a head-tilter, we agree with Mr. Lee Kwai in that it takes way more than those people to keep a sandbox MMO like ArcheAge up and running. We appreciate Mr. Lee Kwai’s candor and are looking forward to whatever information may come out of this face-to-face meeting with Mr. Song and the other folks at XLGames.

Source: official forums

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Trion Worlds Layoffs Include ArcheAge Associate Producer (UPDATED)

A round of Trion Worlds layoffs have hit the MMO dev and publisher, taking among others some members of the ArcheAge staff including an environment artist and the MMO’s associate producer.

trion worlds layoffs

At the time of this writing, the number of jobs lost is unclear. Early reports do count customer support and environment artist Jessica Pate and associate producer Seraphina Brennan.

Trion’s community relations director Linda “Brasse” Carlson expressed her dismay at the news of Brennan’s job termination and her ardent support of her work. “Seraphina is one of the best colleagues I have ever had the pleasure to work with, and there is NOTHING she cannot do,” wrote Carlson in a Facebook post. “Hire this woman, she is a worthy investment in skill, dedication, grace and personality.”

Meanwhile, ArcheAge has also lost community manager Joe Brogno, though this is of his own volition than part of any layoff wave. “I’m off to pursue one of my other passions,” wrote Brogno in his outgoing forum post. “If I am successful, it’s largely because of all that I have learned from being your CM on ArcheAge.”

UPDATE – July 20th 11:41am EDT: We’ve gotten word back from Trion Worlds CEO Scott Hartsman about the layoffs and have included his full statement about the matter below:

“We’ve had to make the difficult decision to eliminate 15 positions throughout the company. We are extremely grateful for those who have been impacted for their hard work and contributions to Trion Worlds, and will be offering each of them severance benefits and job placement assistance. This is not related to the performance of the individuals affected nor of Trion Worlds as a whole, but was necessary to enable us to develop the upcoming projects that we have planned in the best ways possible.”

Our Thoughts

We want to wish any of those affected by the layoffs the very best and hope that they land on their feet soon. As for ArcheAge itself, while these layoffs do seem pretty imposing, all that can be done is to wait and see what impact, if any, they’ll have on the game’s operations in the future.

Source: Massively Overpowered

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Creator Jake Song Returns to ArcheAge

The original ArcheAge creator Jake Song has made his way back to the sandbox MMORPG and he’s got some plans. The announcement was shared on the game’s page today, including an interview video where Song talks about what’s next as well as his feelings on the game.

archeage creator jake song

In the video, Song reveals his return to ArcheAge as the game’s executive producer early this year. Under his leadership, several new update plans are heading to the game. For instance, ArcheAge is going to ramp up its update cadence to once a month instead of every 3-6 months, even if that means those monthly updates are smaller in scale.

Song also brought up the potential for Returned and Faeries to become playable races; the addition of new zones to Auroria, Epherium, and Delphinad; and changes to the game’s trade system, which will first arrive to the game’s Korean version in April. You can watch the complete video below for all the details.

Our Thoughts

It looks like ArcheAge is in for some interesting new directions. We certainly hope the game’s apparently much-maligned trade system does see effective adjustment and that Mr. Song’s plans make the MMO an overall better game.

Source: official site

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