ArcheAge Unchained in 2019: My First Impressions
I know you’ve been waiting on this one for a couple days now. Maybe more if you’ve been waiting since the public test servers were live.
I have a history with ArcheAge – this channel was built partly with ArcheAge as a foundation, so I’m not entirely new to the game. However, unlike some people I never reached endgame.
It was heavily pay-to-win, there were whales dominating every aspect of the game and the population was nearly non-existent. But Unchained aims to be different, and I plan on giving it the chance to be.
I will preface this by stating that this isn’t a full game review of the MMO as a whole as Mrs Stix and I only made it to level 31 before I decided to do a video on it.
Not because I don’t plan on getting further, but because I wanted to give my initial impressions of the game.
I fully expect to hit endgame before doing a follow-up video in the next couple months, while also looking at where the game is at that point.
So, I didn’t go for any of the more expensive packs, I got the basic version of the game. As long as I can play it I’m happy.
Upon logging into the game at approximately 10 in the morning I realized that there were no queues for the most recently added server.
That was refreshing, considering one of the most common issues people have is their inability to actually get in-game and play it.
Of which, honestly, I can relate. I had queues of upwards of 4,000 – waited in them for a couple hours while I worked and gave up because I just couldn’t get in.
I didn’t have any issues with disconnects like some people claim but the queue times were atrocious. However, this is to be expected. It is a fresh, new launch after all and these kinds of issues are bound to happen.
My only concern was that Gamigo didn’t do anything to prepare for the influx of players. They could have very easily have rolled out more servers at launch and if they were dead, moved on to merge them in time.
After making it in-game, I realized that the whole “your character meshes aren’t loading so you’re completely black” issue I had years ago is still present.
I had to wait several minutes for the character to load – and I want it to be known that you need to wait several minutes per race, they don’t all load in at once.
While irritating, it wasn’t really too big a deal. I knew what I wanted to play as but I can see it being a larger issue for new players.
Quick FYI: There are two opposing factions in ArcheAge. The Nuian Alliance, comprised of the Nuian, Elves and Dwarves, and the Haranyan Alliance, comprised of the Harani, Firran and Warborn.
I went Elf because that was the race they overhauled according to their trailer.
The Elf looks beautiful – at least the female does. I didn’t check the male, but that’s because I didn’t wanna wait on the meshes to load for him.
There’s a lot of customization options for your character – you’re capable of really creating something unique – at least with regards to their face.
Unfortunately, from what I could tell there are no body customization options. Unless I missed something? Which I don’t think I did.
I eventually made it in-game and as noted, played through until level 31. I didn’t enjoy my first playthrough of ArcheAge years ago because it felt so dead. There was nobody playing, which defeats the purpose of an MMORPG.
However Unchained has – as I’m sure you’re well aware if you’ve tried logging in – a ton of players. I couldn’t run longer than 30 seconds without seeing groups of people out participating in quests.
ArcheAge Unchained feels incredibly alive. It’s a completely different experience this time ’round and is much more enjoyable than I thought it’d be.
I spent the entire weekend leveling – not in the most ideal way, granted, but I did it like an MMO should be done.
See, what I learned is that to level to 30 the fastest, you should skip every yellow quest you see – meaning you should stick to doing the main scenario quests only.
This will level you quite rapidly, getting you to 30 in probably 2 to 3 hours, maybe less.
But if you’re not in any rush, then it might take you several times as long, but you’ll be able to go around, potentially group up with other players and murder the local wildlife like a good MMO protagonist.
I know one of the most common questions is “Is ArcheAge Unchained pay-to-win?” Trust me, I hate pay-to-win as much as the next guy.
Unlike ArcheAge, though, Unchained’s cash shop is not pay to win.
I feel like I don’t really need to delve into it any further than that because every other person has already – but suffice it to say, at this point in time, the game is not pay to win.
Are Gamigo doing a good job with the launch? Definitely not. But is the game ruined by pay-to-win? Absolutely not.
Let me elaborate on the former statement just a little.
I mentioned Gamigo weren’t doing a very good job with the launch. Yes, the queue times are atrocious – but can easily be chalked up to being due to a lack of servers. Not difficult to fix.
Bugs, glitches and other issues are being reported – which again, can easily be remedied with small hotfixes. However, upon loading up the ArcheAge subreddit earlier today.. whew, let me tell you.
There are a plethora of posts, totaling hundreds of upvotes with hundreds of comments complaining about a recent exploit in-game.
I’m not going to go into detail to avoid more people participating in it but suffice it to say, the damage to each server’s economy is.. not going to be easy to recover from.
While Gamigo have brought the topic up and mentioned that they plan on dealing with the abusers, neither Trion nor Gamigo have ever had the ability to do anything to the game without XL Games getting involved.
They don’t possess the ability to fix any issues as they – and I kid you not – aren’t really allowed to edit or add anything that XL Games don’t themselves add.
This has left more and more people engaging in exploits, the market plummeting, and people running around in better gear than they should be with a lot more money than should be possible this early on.
Otherwise, I’d say the game is looking to be pretty good.
While there isn’t a whole lot that was modified, and there isn’t much different in the way of content, ArcheAge, or, rather ArcheAge Unchained holds up very well.
The game is still beautiful, the combat is still really, really freakin’ good for a tab-target MMO and the community.. well the community was incredibly toxic. But so is WoW’s, and that still has millions of active players.
I’m sure you’re capable of finding a nice guild with plenty of nice guildmates if that’s what you’re after.
I can highly recommend ArcheAge Unchained for players that either have yet to play the MMO and are looking for something new, or old players that disliked the old pay-to-win version.
I cannot say with any certainty that the game will remain free of pay-to-win or that Gamigo won’t suddenly go back on their word in the future, but right now, the $20 is definitely worth the experience.
Do note that this game is aimed at players that are interested in a lot of PvP. Because it’s packed with it and if you’re against constant war with the other faction.. this likely isn’t for you.