If only ArcheAge Unchained had the foresight to release LAST week, when I actually had time to sit down and play. This week? This week has been nonstop work and cleaning (we are throwing a Halloween party for the kids on Saturday) and generally feeling exhausted. That makes it tough when you want to sit down to try out this new game that you’ve basically never played but your body is screaming at you “SLEEP ALREADY!”
So it was probably a good thing that Unchained’s first night featured a lot of queues and a server that didn’t even go online until much later in the evening. I made a character — Sypsonia — and left her twiddling her fingers on the character select screen while I lumbered off to bed.
Also, the above image that happened in a slowly-loading character creation screen did very little to help me sleep soundly that night. The eyeballs. The eyeballs will haunt me forever.
Hey queues! I remember these things. They are a good excuse to watch an episode of something and surf TV Tropes on important fact finding missions.
Finally on Wednesday night, I got an hour and a half to play. The game was really packed and hopping, of course, but I was quickly relieved due to three things:
- ArcheAge has a very traditional — and familiar — MMO user interface and control scheme, so at least I was starting from what I knew.
- I never really had to fight with other players for mobs or quest objectives. The respawn rates were quick and everything was nicely spread out in the newbie zone.
- I found a pretty cool guild almost right off the bat named Ink. Started by an artist, of course. They were instrumental in answering a barrage of questions from me and other AA newbies.
It also helped that I’ve really fallen in love with the look of my character. I went with heavier makeup on Sypsonia than I normally do on MMO characters, just a touch of goth, and I really like it. I also threw a costume on her at an early opportunity so she didn’t look like a poor newbie. Now she looks like what I imagine Syl does when she goes on adventures.
The cutscenes labored to tell a story here, but that was probably the weakest part of that opening night. Sometimes I heard English, sometimes Korean, and everything happened in weird little story fragments. Plus, a bug kept the game from displaying my character’s name in dialogue, instead listing me as PLAYER_NPC_01 or somesuch.
I was told by my guildies that class experimentation is one of the more fun parts of the game, so I just started to mix-and-match what I thought looked interesting. I’m going with a spellcaster who also has some bardic skills to see how that flows. The magic effects have a nice zing to them, and I was one-shotting stuff all over the intro areas.
One thing I did have to learn — I haven’t done a lot of research on the game, I really should — was how labor works. It’s a little odd, since it’s used for harvesting, crafting, opening loot bags, and who knows what else, but I kind of like how it keeps trickling in and encourages other activities when the labor pool is depleted.
For an hour-and-a-half, I felt like I accomplished a lot. I moved through a few quest hubs, I farmed mobs for a while, I got up to level 7, I started my mount quest (weird looking things, those), I got a second combat skillset, I found a guild, I claimed my founder’s package, and I explored the UI and options.
Next up for me is to buckle down and do some proper research on what I should be doing as a beginner. I really do want a house in the game some day, and I’m sure everyone’s going to be blitzing ahead of me to get theirs, but I’ll just proceed on the assumption that there will be at least one little plot of land that has my name written on it.