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ArcheAge Begins: My First Impressions

Kitsu289

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On March 23, ArcheAge Begins started their closed beta on their mobile rendition of their original MMO from 2013. I was a bit late start, but I still wanted to play it and was very intrigued with it. Though I did not completely test everything this game had to offer, I wanted to deliver my first impressions on the game and perhaps things they could've improved on, and say some things that I felt made this game special.

STORY
Without spoiling the story, this game occurs before the original - 2,000 years ago. You begin to follow twelve
heros that are journeying to find secrets of the world’s creation within a garden that is said to be the first expedition (called the “Library Expedition” from Gene in the beginning). Each of the characters vary races, skills, personalities, and appearances to make each of them have their own quirk that’s oddly refreshing to add more diversity in the story.
 
In the beginning of the game, we are introduced to four heroes off the bat, with others (with the exception for the tutorial unlocking of characters) being locked : Gene,Tahyang, Kyprosa, and Aranzeb explaining they are currently at “The Mother of the World,” the ancient rift, and the door to the garden is what would be left for them.As they venture down to find the garden, a dragon stops them and attempts to stop them until Orchidna appears and the dragon refers to her as the “God of Misery” and “Lord of Destruction.” She opens the seal on the door for our heroes.
 
Suddenly, a bright beam emits from the door and before we know it,Orchidna gets taken and bound to a throne. When our heroes catch up with where she was taken, a Fairy Queen explains she must sit there for all of eternity. Kyprosa requests to take Orchidna’s place, however, the queen declines and explains to them they must find the “Throne of Power” to save Orchidna. So, the true adventure begins!

GAMEPLAY
This game off the bat should not be compared to the original since these two are vastly different in gameplay - the original is a theme park MMO, and this game is an RPG. That being said, there are only a few MMO-like features to this game such as multiplayer PvP, territory battle, boss raid, dynamic co-op dungeons, crafting, and trading, etc.

There is no x2 or “auto” button for combat in the beginning. This might draw or bore you slightly if you’re into faster combat, because it can get slow at times. However, it does appear later on. After most of the tutorials and onto the stages. You can choose up to four heroes to fight and manage their cards to deal heavy blows, magic, or heals for your team. As I said in “story,” each of the characters are different, which makes it a lot more interesting to me and allowed me to become more interested to see what happens next.


Rendermax made a great gameplay video to just show you the cutscenes and battles, showing how the game is played at a low level.

The heroes are able to equip gear and level up “talents,” so you need to progress through the stages more and have enough materials necessary. You also need to progress to unlock many of the heroes and grind to create them to become a higher tier and increase your overall combat power in the team. As I continued playing, it just ended up getting a lot more challenging and upgrading them became a bit of a hassle, so I took a break and came back to it later on.
 
If you ever get bored of the story or need a break from it, you can always enact in PVP, a boss raid, a territory battle, annihilation battle, or even just go play a cute mini-game with fishing and raising livestock after realizing you need more materials. With these materials, you can craft, trade, and sell items at the Auction House, which means more money~
 
170324_arche_10.jpg
There’s one more thing you can do in this game: attack and loot other players’ merchant vessels. With all of this packed into a mobile game, there genuinely seems like there is a lot to do - and then there comes the stamina requirement that ends up limiting you slightly depending on how you use it.
 
Most interesting things you can do in the game requires stamina, just like other mobile games that usually limit you after doing a number of work, so choose how you use your stamina wisely.

Related: ArcheAge Begins Beginner's Guide, Leveling Up Faster

GRAPHICS, MUSIC, AND ART
The graphics are good but not the best, but considering this is a mobile game it isn’t exactly top priority. However, there are games out there that look a lot better than this. This doesn’t change the fact though that it does look rather good for a mobile game compared to the original game, and many of the environments are nicely made along with monsters. They fit with the environment overall.

 
The music is very well composed and does give you the feeling you’re in this awesome fantasy world on an epic quest filled with danger. It’s very well done and I very much enjoy it.

The art, on the other hand, feels very streamlined and kinda bland. There’s nothing that really stands out very much. In my opinion it kind of looks the same as any other dark fantasy game out there. For mobile it is fine but there are better options out there if you play games for aesthetic reasons. I feel like there should be something done to make the genre fresh and new again.

 
SHORTCOMINGS
  • The game felt a bit laggy for me on my android and even crashed on rare occasions, my issues mostly being out-of-combat in the hero management for example. At some points, the game has random lag spikes and it seems as if this game needs a lot of RAM to run overall.
  • For certain content in the game, there seemed to be a lack of a tutorial like with crafting and fishing. If there was a way to also keep the tutorial just in case you forgot how to play, it would be most helpful to many players.

WHAT CAN BE IMPROVED
  • The auto-raid party system needs to be worked on and tweaked so that it runs faster and finds people faster so raids can be completed. 
  • The tutorial needs a definite improvement. There are some functions in the game that definitely need a tutorial.
  • The HUD needs to be refined. Some may want more information, like their exact EXP percentage to other things, but others may not. Perhaps a toggle could better this situation.
  • Optimization for Android a bit more and a fix for the lag spikes that occur due to the amount of RAM the game uses.

OVERALL
I did not look at the cash shop as of yet, so I have yet to pass judgement. For the majority of the game though, while there were a few issues, this game was fun to play and with the many things you can do on mobile, it feels like it would be fun and different to play. I'm genuinely happy to have taken a look at it, and hope when it comes out live the bugs will be diminished. Will you play this game when it comes out?  
Thank
You!
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