Is ArcheAge dead on arrival? Is Final Fantasy XIV’s launch bad?

So, i’ve been quiet for a few days due to real life stuff, not much game time and no “hot topic” to discuss. I’ve played some Final Fantasy and will come around to that. For now, i’d like to focus on two impressions i had after reading articles and comments of the two games mentioned in the title.

ArcheAge

It seems XLGAMES go through a restructuring period after Archeage didn’t become the huge success they expected it to be in Korea. This is a rumour, mind you, and it is clearly stated as such in the article’s title. The news itself doesn’t need to surprise anyone- it’s a familiar path newly released games go through: from being a new hope to good sales, dropping subscriber numbers, transitioning to free-to-play and laying off staff- that’s the way things seem to go in the MMORPG business right now. It is unfortunate, but when you take a look at the last MMORPGs that released as pay-to-play products- namely The Secret World and Star Wars: the old Republic; both didn’t make it to one year as a purely pay-to-play game. So it’s not a surprise that ArcheAge shares their fate, right?

In that line of thought, i wasn’t surprised when the game went f2p in Korea, although i still have some worries with a Sandpark/Sandbox being free-to-play. Fallen Earth does a great job with that and i don’t know what Archeage does in Korea. Also, despite AA being one of the formerly 3, now 2 future releases of sandboxes i’m watching out and waiting for, i didn’t follow the developement of the game in Korea – i read two reviews of the game with one’s conclusion being “meh” and the other seemingly having a good time and hopes for the game, but i don’t know how they’re making money now or what changes from the earlier advertised vision were made.

I don’t think steam-driven hot rods are a huge shift in design philosophy, but what i read in the comments of the linked article worries me; for instance, the removing of a durability system for gear. Now, i’ve mentioned it before and i’m going to reiterate that: to have a player driven economy, items need to vanish into nothing just like they came into being out of nothing. If the game’s not doing that, the economy won’t work. In a themepark, it doesn’t matter much- you can do something with interdependency of crafters instead of the markets. But we all know how that turns out: it will be “time” that sells in the auction house- resources, for example, are going to be more expensive than finished products…and why is that? Because they vanish and it takes time to get them back.

Also, nevermind that goats used to be the moneymaker in the game- that happens, design mistakes are going to be made and corrected, but the general impression in the comments seems to be that Archeage got “dumbed down” to themepark levels with sandpark possibilities. I don’t know what these changes would be, but from reading Massively a lot, i know the commentors who stated that and know that they aren’t talking out of their backends.

Archeage went from being the new hope of MMORPGs to DOA in the comments of Massively without even being released in NA/EU. That has to be a new record. Also, this makes me wonder about us, the players and customers in this genre- now we are dismissing games before they even release, and that doesn’t bode well, in my opinion. I’m going to continue to wait for ArcheAge, although i have to say: tough luck, Final Fantasy XIV ARR is great and i like it a lot, so any new game would have to compete with that.

Final Fantasy XIV

Talking about that one, the free trial seems to be extended for 7 days. And also, today marks the day they want to get over their launch issues which are: too many players want to play the game. As with Archeage, it’s the comments that really make this article interesting, since the extension of the free game time is not surprising after many players, including me, had difficulties with playing the game.

To call this launch “failed” and attacking Square Enix for not implementing a “proper queue” or afk timers is a bit harsh, in my opinion. MMORPG launches usually come with their share of problems- in Guild Wars 2, my guild had to invite everybody everyday for almost a week and there was trouble with the guild chat and other stuff. The auction house and the forums were deactivated; you could play the game, but with a guild starting its life the problems with the guild interface were extremely bad, but it had to be expected to some extent. Also, huge spikes of players after release are nothing new and i actually think developers are in the right when not opening up servers like crazy in these days only to find them depopulated after a few months.

So i couldn’t play it in the evenings, which is my time to play during the week, and my last time playing it was sunday morning despite wanting to play sunday afternoon and on the evenings since then. I tried, got 1017’d and left. Guess what? I watched a movie and read a book instead and it was fun. I’m looking forward to playing FF14 for quite some time, and the staggering launch won’t change that. And in a year or two, when/if i’m still in Eorzea, the launch won’t matter in the slightest.

What matters is the game- and this one is great- it is interesting to explore and play. I can’t really understand why people are so disenfranchised by a few evenings of not being able to play as to pass on this game just because of that. If you want to enter a new MMO smoothly, just wait 2 weeks before buying it.

Aleport

Aleport

Game time: Final Fantasy XIV

I was ingame, though, and i experienced the first bits of group content, which i liked very much. There are two downsides: one is the small group size- i like 5 people being a party- and the other one is me being a healer. Both are minor, the latter my own “mistake” for playing Conjurer first. Right now, i know the Arcanist is more up my alley, but i don’t want to play that up to 15 before going on in my story, although it wouldn’t take that long, i guess.

But my first goal is being able to sell and store stuff, so i am “rushing” to get retainers. With my gaming schedule being a bit weird, in the way that i don’t usually know if i’m going to play for 30 minutes or 3 hours, it’s not easy to plan for the mandatory Dungeons you have to enter in the storyline of the game. I went into Sastasha and am now approaching Tam-Tara. When i know my gaming session will be short, i just gather up some herbs and lumber as a Botanic. The next time, though, i’ll want to fight stuff. I know i’m not going into a dungeon before the weekend, so i might be switching over to Arcanist again and see where it leads me.

So, again, here is my revised list of goals in Final Fantasy XIV ARR:

  • get retainer access by advancing in the storyline
  • bringing the Arcanist up to par (probably Level 20 by then)
  • bringing the Botanic and Weaver up to par (probably Level 20 by then)
  • switch over to Arcanist as main class
  • find a linkshell/free company
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5 thoughts on “Is ArcheAge dead on arrival? Is Final Fantasy XIV’s launch bad?

  1. It’s kind of funny how it is yet to release and already deemed a failure by the community at large who probably haven’t even played it. Personally I just don’t think it could have ever live up to the hype it was getting about being the saviour of the industry. Then there is recuperating the costs of a massive project such as this. It wasn’t going to happen quickly but most investors and companies want those quick bucks first.

    I have reservations about a ftp sandbox as well.. but this no longer looks to be a sandbox anymore. It has a lot of activities and areas that aren’t progression based but it’s still lacking those fundamental components.

    I still remember the outcry that happened when jake song said he wasn’t going for a durability based economy, I knew right then it wasn’t going to be what I was hoping for. A sandbox just doesn’t work without a fleshed out crafting and economy system. It’s like not using flour when you’re trying to make bread.

    It should be good but whether it captures my imagination I don’t know

    1. Yes. I think there are two parts in there: first, ArcheAge, despite being my hugely anticipated “dream MMO” seems to have drifted in design philosophy. There’s nothing wrong with that- it can still be a good game, albeit that it might not be as great as i hoped it to be. The durability stuff matters to me, as well. A lot. As you said, Sandbox and Foreveritems doesn’t fit.

      But to call the game DOA, a failure before it even released…i don’t know. I think this could only be topped by Wildstar announcing a transition to f2p before even launching 😉

      Ah well…AA making that move, EQN going through Pro7Sat1 in europe. Seems two sandboxes i hoped for are out of the equation. It’s somewhat funny, because i started this blog with them and their road to release in mind.

      1. I wouldn’t call it DOA just yet, it could make a few changes and improvements that would improve longevity. Who knows how western audiences will take to it as well.. I don’t think anyone could possible predict thee market at this stage.

        For the market I’m also a bit disappointed with the predominance of soulbound items.. just doesn’t fit for some reason.

        I should have said before that it does have a item loss mechanic but it’s a ridiculous rng system related to upgrading and such. Your item gains levels by sacrificing similar pieces. That was apparently a better version of adding loss then durability ><

        What's wrong with ProSat.. I've heard bad things about customer service but there are plenty of gaming companies with that issue

      2. Yes, me neither. It’s just a nagging feeling it isn’t what i expected it to be. I guess i should have learned that lesson with GW2 😉

        I wrote about P7S1 in one of my postings, i think. The rational part comes down to this: bad customer service and lacking respect for customers, security issues and privacy issues as well as lack of experience.

        The irrational part is: i don’t like the corresponding tv-stations/media companies (they’re quite big in germany’s tv landscape), i was feeling quite ok with SOE, there is Station Cash involved.

        I rarely use the customer service anyways, so that’s not that big an issue. For me, it comes down to the irrational part. But that alone wouldn’t stop me from using their account, so i guess it all adds up.

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