ArcheAge: Tutorial blues

ScreenShot0001One of my gradual goals with this new computer is to load up my MMO-designated SSD drive with several titles to play as my whim dictates. A sample platter of online games, as it were. I don’t want to get so stuck into a rut of titles that I never take breaks to see what else is out there.

So far I loaded Anarchy Online and ArcheAge (am I doing this alphabetically? I do not know). The latter’s been on my list to try out for a good while now, especially now that we’re far past the post-launch drama. Of course, AA never seems to be too far from dramaville, but oh well. I want to see what everyone was raving about eight months ago.

I rolled up a magic-user named Syppi and jumped with both feet into the tutorial. Well, I say “tutorial,” but it really was only that in the loosest sense of the term. What it actually was was a parent who says they’re going to let their kid play, but only does so for about two seconds before grabbing the controller back because they don’t think the kid can handle it.

Seriously, this was the worst tutorial I’ve played in a long time. It kept repeating a pattern:

  • Give me an incredibly simple objective, usually directed with flashing arrows, that could be finished with a single button press.
  • Then the game took over for another three-minute cutscene in which my character fought, flew, talked, and did generally heroic things.
  • Another objective accomplished within a few seconds!
  • Another three-minute cutscene!

This went on for 30 flipping minutes. It didn’t help that often the character meshes didn’t pop in, leaving characters with blank faces and bodies, nor that the voice acting was… lackluster, to put it as nicely as possible.

Maybe there was a way to skip all of that and just play? But by the time I was dumped into the game proper, I about had it for the night. A crash to desktop a minute later seemed to be an omen to play something else.

On the plus side, yes, it’s a pretty game with some nice armor designs, and I still want to dig into it. But as a teaching and interactive experience, the tutorial fails at being engaging and entertaining.

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5 thoughts on “ArcheAge: Tutorial blues

  1. Rowan June 22, 2015 / 9:03 am

    Yes, the “tutorial” is skippable. I was not quite as traumatized by it, but felt no need to repeat it a second time around.

  2. bhagpuss June 22, 2015 / 9:55 am

    I loathe tutorials as I say at every opportunity so I would think I would remember one as bad as that. I don’t. I just looked back at what I wrote when I posted my first impressions back at launch:

    “XL/Trion get bonus points for a tutorial that at least takes place in the main gamespace and uses the character’s regular skills and abilities. It’s a painless transition that morphs seamlessly from handholding to open exploration and foraging if you allow it.”

    That doesn’t sound like the same tutorial you did, does it? Either they’ve changed it or there’s an opt-out right at the very beginning that I took and you didn’t. Either way, persist! It’s a good little PvE game in the first 30 levels (as far as I got) with a lot of very pretty places to see. I must go back one of these days and pick up where I left off.

  3. Dolnor June 22, 2015 / 10:29 am

    *SPOILER* The main story line quests are meh. Really don’t make sense. And end really quick. And are full of cut-scenes.

    The Older Gamers, to which I belong, are on the Ollo server. We are mostly farmers/trade pack runners with some who delve into PvP & Dungeons. If you are end-game/PvP-centric and on Ollo server, perhaps find another good fit. Word of warning…a lot of the larger guilds are PKing-types.

    TQQdles™

  4. carson63000 June 23, 2015 / 5:39 pm

    Matches my experience. One of the poorest first impressions any MMO has made on me in the last decade.

  5. Rowan June 23, 2015 / 8:36 pm

    @Bhagpuss Yes, I didn’t see the tutorial Syp describes when I first played back in September, but it was definitely something that had to be opted out of when I recently returned.

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