A few weeks ago now, the MMORPG ArcheAge has re-released in a version called Unchained, freeing the game from its pay-to-win aspect. Five years after the release in Europe (at the time under the leadership of Trion Worlds), I set out again on the adventure thanks to a Silver pack provided by gamigo, a paid and compulsory entry ticket, which unlocks in one purchase access to the entire universe, available from € 25,99.
Six servers are offered on the US side, five on the EU side. I don't know if there is a more active spanish community on one of the servers than the others, for my part I decided to go for Gildaron, in particular to avoid queues. Also be careful to select the EU servers, because it is easy with the Trion application to make mistakes (there is a small drop-down list to the right once the game has been selected).
At creation, six races are proposed: Nuien, Elf, Dwarf, Harani, Firran and Chaote. A small problem with unloaded texture forces me to wait a bit before starting to create, having only silhouettes without textures, my eyes floating in the air. As I had last played an Elf, this time I opted for a Chaote, intrigued by this race of demons which belonged to the opposing camp. The creation options give very fine possibilities of adjustment of the face, nothing which does not however allow to change the shape of the body.
Six arts are offered for creation, this choice not being restricted by race: arts of warriors, arts of mages, arts of archers, arts of animists, arts of the cursed and Vivblade. This last art has also just been added to the "classic" version of ArcheAge on the occasion of the big fall update, it seemed to me to be the most obvious choice. In addition, the Quickblade reminds me of the thief or assassin class that I embody in most online games. An ambidextrous contact fighter, the Vivblade focuses on movement and quick attacks.
Progress is made by following a main course specific to the race, completed by a multitude of side quests related to the area visited. The first 30 levels go up quickly in a protected environment, offering a rather interventionist scenario, then the world opens and with it all the group contents: dungeons, raids, PvP instances, PvP confrontations in open world ... Different factions are present in big cities, always giving more things to do. Of course, the racial thread continues, allowing to continue playing solo.
Very early in the progression, the character is provided with all the necessary means of transport with a mount, a glider and a boat. They may not be the prettiest, but they are functional and free. Around level 25, a fighter familiar joins the fight, a welcome help. I haven't given much thought to crafting yet, nor to housing, having for the first not had the opportunity to collect enough useful components, and for the second having not found free spaces where to settle.
Beyond this aspect that is ultimately quite classic for an MMORPG, ArcheAge: Unchained is therefore a world accessible after a single purchase and without subscription. All of the content released on ArcheAge over the past five years is here, benefiting from a graphical overhaul of shadows and lighting effects, as well as improved combat effects detail during attacks. Many regions have been sublimated. The race of elves has also been revised.
All items are obtainable in-game through quests or dungeons, and the most powerful weapons and gear are crafted by players putting gatherers, artisans, and merchants at the center of the world's overall economy. The goal in PvP is to provide fair and balanced combat. Indeed, in arena for example, the active improvements and debuffs are completely deactivated, leaving the players only with their talent.
On the PvP side, there is in particular a new naval battle integrating up to 50 players and using the rules of Battle Royale, Gulf of Tranquil Waters. Each player is assigned a clipper, in the middle of a vast map filled with sea monsters and various treasures. The clipper can be improved and you have to pay particular attention to the regular damage inflicted on all, which can be fatal if you are not careful. Combat is especially fun, even for players like me who aren't generally drawn to PvP. Only negative side: the instance is only open for 3 hours a day (9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., 16:00 p.m. to 17:00 p.m. and 20:00 p.m. to 21:00 p.m.). It should be noted that pirates can take part in these battles thanks to the "Siege and Territory" system.
A few words on the Vivblade before concluding. To put things in context, in ArcheAge, there are a total of 12 skill sets (arts) which, with all possible combinations, offer the possibility of creating 220 classes. The skill tree change is free in-game, by visiting a Priestess. Highly mobile, the Vivblade is also particularly susceptible to attacks. With the idea of making him the ultimate Assassin, I mixed this art with that of assassins and necromancers, cursing my target before finishing it off with my deluge of blades (Immortalist). Most of the time, the fight ends very quickly, without giving the opponent a chance to touch me. My familiar takes the blows for me, then I go back between each fight thanks to his personal care, which allows me to chain relatively serenely. I encountered some problems here and there, especially if I find myself surrounded by more than one enemy, my character then falls very quickly under the blows if I do not have time to run away or to feign death. Perhaps the art would deserve to be mixed with another art bringing more survival, like that of the warriors, even of the virtuosos. The class's signature ability is Reflection, which allows you to reuse a Vivblade spell cast less than 3 seconds ago, but at a cost of 200% MP. Using it with Frenzied Dance (which hits the target 4 times in a row, thus increasing to 8), it is devastating.
For those who are curious, below you can find screenshots of all the spells, active and then passive, of the Vivblade.
Finally, the essential question you must ask yourself: what does the store contain? Because yes, there is despite everything a shop in game, with two different currencies. The first, called Diligence, is linked to a seasonal pack (Archepass), which has been deactivated following various and varied exploits, so I will not dwell on this point, changes will be made to the operation of this part. shortly. The second, credits, is a premium currency that can be purchased online on the Trion site for 9,99 for 1 (€ 500 for 99,99). Five tabs are available:
- Consumables: Afterlife Stone (to teleport), Last Name Change Ticket, Gender Change Certificate, Beauty Salon Certificate, Decorate Limit Increase (+50), Fusion Still ( makes an item usable in the fusion process, which involves combining the stats of one item with the appearance of another), crest crest (creates heraldic inks to imprint custom crests on cloaks, veils. ..), family expansion ticket, music box (up to 30 musical scores), instrument box (up to 30 instruments) and decoration box (up to 30 decorations).
- Wardrobe: various outfits without statistics.
- Familiars: household companions only, ie docile companions who cannot fight.
- Gliders / Magicopters: customization for gliders that can be used to modify the outward appearance of gliders through fusion (which therefore requires fusion stills).
- Housing: Weather talisman (whether small, large, bundled or not), supernatural trunk (provides 100 storage slots), and several kinds of stuffed animal bundles.
- UCC / Image: various dances (Cossack, squirming, jive, Chlorolien dance, mambo, polka and tips)
- Event: Halloween themed decorations to use in your home (pumpkins, lanterns, spiked doors, tombstones, autumn leaves ...).
Concretely, these are therefore only purely cosmetic objects, which have no influence on the balance of the game. It will be necessary to see what is decided for the Diligence currency, which it included many scrolls to recover points of 'crafts or potions to get more loot and honor points.
To conclude, ArcheAge remains accessible in free-to-play in parallel with this new paid version. Both will continue to be updated in the future, allowing players to choose which one suits them best. If you don't want to pay anything, and are not afraid at one point of getting stuck, then go for the free-to-play version. If you have a big credit card and like to take shortcuts with your real money, same, stick with the original version. If on the contrary you come more from the subscription universe (like for example on World of Warcraft) and you are used to earning your virtual rewards thanks to your skill and your playing time, then Unchained seems the best. more appropriate ! In any case, I feel much more at my ease, and I now intend to focus on this version as a priority. If you want to join me, it will cost you 25,99 € (or 79,99 € for the bigger pack if appearance is essential for you.