Friday, January 30, 2015

ArcheAge (Part Two)

The Download
ArcheAge - Client Download
As I've already mentioned a couple of posts earlier, the downloading of ArcheAge's game client (via Glyph) for me was a little bit troublesome.

Owing to the fact that it simply refused to resume (whenever I had an error or have to disconnect myself), I was actually forced to acquire the client via alternative means...through a torrent set up by fellow players.
And it took me about 2 to 3 weeks of torrenting before I completed the download.
Anyway...hopefully by now, the bug should ought to have already been resolved. If not, then I guess you'll also have to follow what I did and go find some torrent that's still alive to get the game. But mind you though, the game's folder is currently sitting at a whooping 23.4 that's gonna freaking take a while I tell ya. ^_^;
When going about it using this "torrent" method, my advice for you is to install the Glyph manager and start the downloading process for ArcheAge. This will create the necessary folders to give you an idea of where to start copying and pasting the files that you've gotten from the torrent.

From there onwards, its just a matter of patching yourself up-to-date...which shouldn't take too long unless you've botched the job in shifting the game files. Or the torrent's too outdated.

Character Creation
As far as I can tell, the character creation in ArcheAge looks pretty RIFTish as well (but is much more detailed and pleasing to the eye).
  • Race
    Nuian AllianceHaranya Alliance
    ArcheAge - Race Nuian
    • Nui's Blessing (Buff)
      Favored by the Goddess of the Hereafter, Nuians receive extra benefits from visiting her realm, doubling the time their stats are increased after being resurrected.
    • Warrior Architects (Buff)
      Frequent rebellions and civil wars have led the Nuians to become quick builders, reducing construction time for houses and castles by 30%.
    ArcheAge - Race Firran
    • Catlike Reflexes (Buff)
      The Firran's quick reflexes allow them to twist their bodies as they fall and land more nimbly, decreasing fall damage by 20%.
    • Strong Claws (Buff)
      The Firran's long, non-retractable claws allow them to climb trees and ladders 30% faster.
    ArcheAge - Race Elf
    • Endurance Training (Buff)
      Trained for combat from the day they can walk, Elves possess increased physical ability. This stamina allows them to hold their breath underwater for an extra 20 seconds.
    • Lithe Flow (Buff)
      The decades spent around Gweonid Lake make most Elves talented swimmers, increasing their swimming speed by 5%.
    ArcheAge - Race Harani
    • Portal Mastery (Buff)
      The far-flung Harani empire has forced its people to master the use of portals for quick travel, reducing the cast time and cooldown on their "Recall" ability by 30%.
    • Jungle Tamers (Buff)
      Settling in the jungles of Mahadevi taught the Harani to be efficient in their labor, reducing the time required for logging trees and gathering herbs by 10%.
    Here again, we find that we have two "opposing sides" that are hostile towards each other. The player is offered a couple of races to choose from (well, for the time being, two per side actually)...and depending on which alliance the race is sided with, their starting continents will also be different.

    Aside from looking different, as well as being able to freely choose your gender, each race is also bestowed with two unique, non-critical (not game-changing), permanent buffs.
    Up until this point, everything sounds exactly like RIFT. Still...
    ArcheAge - Language SkillsArcheAge - Gibberish Shout
    However, if I'm not wrong, an interesting aspect that comes attached with this choice is that...unless you take the time to learn the other side's will literally be unable to understand what they've said. Everything from them comes out as gibberish in the chat window.
  • Appearance
    For this aspect of character creation, I guess a picture speaks a thousand words. Therefore, I'll let them do all the talking here.
    ArcheAge - Character Creation Hair
    ArcheAge - Character Creation EyesArcheAge - Character Creation Style
    ArcheAge - Character Creation SkinArcheAge - Character Creation Paint
    Just note though...that apparently...all of the appearance customization that your allowed to do here seems to be heavily restricted to your avatar's "head" only. At no point in time have I seen any options that allows us to tweak with our avatar's lower portion of the body (neck and below).
    ArcheAge - Character Detail Levels
    And maintaining the customary of RIFT Online, all of these (eye candy) don't really quite matter. Unless you take the time to zoom in for a close-up look at your avatar or others in detail, you will hardly notice much of a everything is rendered somewhat on the smaller side of things (or maybe its just the zoom out).
  • Skillset
    ArcheAge - Choosing First Skillset
    This last bit of character creation just deals with the choosing of your avatar's very first skillset (out of three which you'll eventually end up with at character level 10).

    And as far as this goes, its purely for combat/support purposes. You can take your time to pick whichever one that you've fancied as it shouldn't affect your gameplay...much.

    If in the unfortunate case that you've disliked what you've chosen, you can always go to the nearest "Priestess of Nui" (the one which you'll always see first whenever you've died and respawned) to swap (in or out) your choices.

Previous: ArcheAge (Part One)Next: ArcheAge (Part Three)

Friday, January 23, 2015

ArcheAge (Part One)

ArcheAge is a Free-to-Play fantasy sandbox MMORPG from Trion Worlds and XLGAMES. In this MMORPG, there's no predefined paths of progression. Your free to choose your own way of playing the game...blah blah blah...
Aren't you getting bored seeing this kind of introduction, by now? Well I am...and it doesn't tell you much about the game let's just skip it.
After playing this game for about a month now, ArcheAge more or less reminds me of RIFT Online, quite frankly. Its like they "borrowed" certain ideas from RIFT, reskined it here and there, changed some of the way things work and voila...a new game.
How so you say?
ArcheAge - Skill Classes
Well, first of all, you'll find that the familiar three "souls" concept from RIFT is somewhat imported into this game as three "classes" or "skillsets". Though the actual skills and implementation is altered, the concept of focusing and/or dividing your skill points (earned via leveling up) into your chosen classes remains the same.
ArcheAge - World MapArcheAge - Haranya Continent
Next, the huge gameworld that you can explore called "Telara" (in RIFT) is made even bigger...way bigger here in ArcheAge.
Not that its a bad thing here of course.
There's now three huge continents, forcibly split by a massive body of water in the middle, waiting for you to discover. And each of these continents are then further sub-divided into smaller areas that are littered with monsters, npcs and quests.
ArcheAge - CityscapeArcheAge - Hills And Greenery
Note that although I call them "small area" here, they are still quite large enough so that it takes you a while to run from one area to the next. Not to mention that they do come with starkly differing scenery and climates as well.
Now just look at that. Aren't they beautiful? And its only on the lowest graphic settings. Would have looked even better had I got a more powerful PC for the job.
ArcheAge - Crafting
Crafting from RIFT seems to be also pulled in as well...but improved, expanded upon and made the focus of this game...together with trading, that is.
The main idea for this sandbox game seems to revolve around hauling of "specialty goods" that you've crafted in one area to another...for profit. And the further it is from the "source", the better your paid for the trouble.
And if you have to ask about this in further details? I'ld have to say that its kind of like your playing a little bit of a few games here (being lumped together).
ArcheAge - Hauling Trade PacksArcheAge - Hauling Trade Packs Sea Version
As mentioned, the concept of trading and hauling "specialty goods" seems to remind me of the time when I was playing games like "Silkroad Online" and "Uncharted Waters".
But in ArcheAge, its made even more complex because these "specialty goods" or "trade packs" (as we call them here) needs to be crafted.
ArcheAge - Public Estate Farming And RearingArcheAge - Private Estate Farming And Rearing
And to craft these trade packs, one will need to gather the necessary materials/ingredients first...which is where the farming and rearing concepts come in.
And be quite honest...oddly reminds me of "Farmville" and "Dragon Nest".
ArcheAge - Ynystere Crimson Rift Monsters
The last faint trace of RIFT Online actually comes from these "rifts" that sometimes open up in certain areas...and out of it pops hoards of crazy monsters.
Although that was the main attraction of RIFT Online, in ArcheAge's case, its more of just a side feature to add some diversity to the gameplay, nothing more.

Next: ArcheAge (Part Two)

Friday, January 16, 2015

Taikodom (Part Three)

Gameplay (Continued)
Taikodom - Pre v3.20 CombatTaikodom - Post v3.20 Combat
Before version 3.20 got implemented, combat within the game seemed "arcadish". As the player is able to control and move the ship from side to side, it felt like those old "scrolling" shooters that you will typically find in the arcades (but in 3D).

After version 3.20, this feel got alleviated as the players lost the ability to strafe with the ship (can only roll instead) and "leading" the target (in order to hit it) became even more necessary.
Taikodom - Post v3.20 Combat
However, everything else about it is pretty much just the same.

There's still the usual cannon fire and missiles flying about when you engage in combat, the familiar "Shields" (HP in typical MMOs) that you need to keep above 0 to avoid dying as well as the "Energy" (MP in typical MMOs) bar that is needed for when you fire your weapons and "switch on" your "toggle skills".
Still, I have to warn you again...that the population seems to be very low and so battles do appear to be quite "rare" to me. Not to mention that you will have to "build" everything yourself, which takes time, unless they implement some kind of "auction hall" to facilitate "trading" between the players.

Taikodom - Pre v3.20 MiningTaikodom - Post v3.20 Mining
There isn't too much of a difference in mining between pre and post v3.20. Its still the same move in close to the asteroid, wait for the bar to enter the optimal zone and then extract to obtain your resources.
Taikodom - Post v3.20 Mining Ship
However, the major changes here would be that you can no longer mine these asteroids in just "any" ship (like in pre v3.20). Instead, one can only do so, post v3.20, in "Extrator" class mining ships.
And sadly, these ships appear to be defenseless "sitting ducks" as they do not come armed with any weapon or missile slots. At least for far as I can see.
Furthermore, resources mined post v3.20 cannot be used directly and has to be "refined" first.
Taikodom - Refinery FacilityTaikodom - Acquired Refining Blueprints
However, to refine them, you will need to visit a "Refinery Facility" and purchase all of the "refining" blueprints that they have for sale. You can then "refine" them like your "crafting" something.

Crafting in Taikodom remains more or less unchanged in concept, both pre and post v3.20.
Taikodom - Ship BlueprintsTaikodom - Component Blueprints
To craft anything, you will first need to acquire the necessary blueprints for the job.
Taikodom - Adding Blueprint
Upon doing so, visit the production terminal, add the blueprint to your list of existing ones like as shown (right click, "Adicionar Projeto"), gather the materials and then build the item.
Note that once you've added the blueprints, they can be accessed and used anywhere...regardless of long as your docked at one with an "industrial facility" (eg. "Fabrica" stations).
However, I'ld have to say that crafting, post v3.20, became somewhat harder and more time-consuming though.
Taikodom - Post v3.20 Quest
In order to make some usable "end-product", like a ship for instance, you would not only have to gather materials from mining asteroids, turn these mined (and refined) resources into some "intermediate components" (via crafting), but also perform some sort of "repeatable quests" that you can get the more "critical parts" which cannot be obtained from anywhere else (like "Nucleo de Dados - Tecnologia Militar" and "Protocolo de Producao (BHI)").

Previous: Taikodom (Part Two)

Friday, January 9, 2015

Taikodom (Part Two)

Editor's Note:
Don't know whether its just my luck or is the "dude above" trying to make a sport out of me...

But right when I thought everything I needed for Taikodom was pretty much done, have the screenshots and vids collected plus a general idea of how to feature the game in my next few posts, it suddenly got hit with a version update (to version 3.20) which radically overturned everything and rendered what I had...useless.

While things still retained a similar visual appearance (in comparison to before the update), certain stuff and its underlying mechanics got a major overhaul. "Ship Classes" (Assault, Vanguard and Suppressor) got discarded, space sectors got redesigned and sub-routines...simplified.

In short, I had to re-learn the game...right from the start...all over again...not to mention that I've just lost track of how to continue forth with my articles for the game. Fantastic huh?

But thankfully, as I have yet to start on writing the post on its gameplay, things are still salvageable.

The entire gameplay of Taikodom essentially revolves around the PVPing between the two factions, Consortium and Renegade. This is the one single truth that has held...regardless of pre or post v3.20.
Taikodom - Pre v3.20 Systems MapTaikodom - Post v3.20 Systems Map
The gameworld is still made up of a system of "sectors", with each faction starting at one end and each sector linking up with one or multiple others.
Taikodom - Pre v3.20 PortalTaikodom - Post v3.20 Portal
Players of either faction will then have to make their way across the sectors to reach the other side's "territory" via some sort of portal contraption.

Naturally of course, battles can and will break out at any time, on either sides or even in the middle "No Man's Land", but that's about it. No plot, no storyline whatsoever. Just fights.

However, there's a huge difference in the way fights now occur (and how certain things work).
Taikodom - Pre v3.20 Locked EquipTaikodom - Pre v3.20 Skill Tree
Pre v3.20, everything kind of works like a "semi-fantasy" MMO. There was a "level" and "class" system in much so that you will need to level up to access and use the better equipments as well as gain "skill points" to allocate into your chosen class's "skill trees".

Furthermore, most of the basic stuff, upgrades and commodities, like ships, weapons, "recovery potions" (for your ship's shields and energy) and missiles...they can all be acquired from the "NPC Store" found in-game. It is only for the "rarer" (and better) stuff that you will need to hunt for resources to make them yourself.
Taikodom - Pre v3.20 Repairing
But even then, once you've made least for the ships and will rarely need to do anything else other than repairing it occasionally, using in-game credits or cash-shop currency.
Taikodom - Post v3.20 Skill Tree
Post v3.20, however, the whole game changed. There was no longer a "level" and "class" system. In fact, everyone apparently has the same boring skill tree (and amount of skill points to allocate).
  • Cruise Mode (Toggle Ability)
    Once toggled, and after a brief "charging period", your ship will then accelerate to full speed and stay there (in cruise mode) until you toggle it off. Use of weapons will be disabled, however.

    Level 1 - Allows your ship to travel at its "maximum velocity + 250".
    • Energy Cost: 4000
    • Cooldown: 20 s
    Level 2 - Allows your ship to travel at its "maximum velocity + 500".
    • Energy Cost: 4000
    • Cooldown: 20 s
  • Inertial Mode (Press And Hold Ability)
    Allows you to maintain your ship's present course while leaving you free to aim and fire your weapons in another direction (for as long as you hold the hotkey).
  • Afterburner (Press And Hold Ability)
    Allows you to give your ship an extra boost of speed when you need it (like for evasive maneuvers).

    Level 1 - Instantly increases your ship's velocity by 125.
    • Maximum Duration: 10 s
    Level 2 - Instantly increases your ship's velocity by 150.
    • Maximum Duration: 10 s
    Level 3 - Instantly increases your ship's velocity by 175.
    • Maximum Duration: 10 s
    Level 4 - Instantly increases your ship's velocity by 200.
    • Maximum Duration: 10 s
  • Energy to Shields (Toggle Ability)
    Reroutes energy to your ship's shields.

    Level 1 - Increases maximum shield capacity by 12% but reduces maximum energy capacity by 18%.
    Level 2 - Increases maximum shield capacity by 14% but reduces maximum energy capacity by 21%.
    Level 3 - Increases maximum shield capacity by 16% but reduces maximum energy capacity by 24%.
    Level 4 - Increases maximum shield capacity by 18% but reduces maximum energy capacity by 27%.
    Level 5 - Increases maximum shield capacity by 20% but reduces maximum energy capacity by 30%.
  • Energy to Weapons (Toggle Ability)
    Reroutes energy to your ship's weapons.

    Level 1 - Increases damage by 5% but reduces maximum energy capacity by 8%.
    Level 2 - Increases damage by 10% but reduces maximum energy capacity by 10%.
    Level 3 - Increases damage by 15% but reduces maximum energy capacity by 12%.
    Level 4 - Increases damage by 20% but reduces maximum energy capacity by 14%.
    Level 5 - Increases damage by 25% but reduces maximum energy capacity by 16%.
  • Energy to Engine (Toggle Ability)
    Reroutes energy to your ship's engines.

    Level 1 - Increases maximum velocity by 120 but reduces maximum energy capacity by 26%.
    Level 2 - Increases maximum velocity by 140 but reduces maximum energy capacity by 30%.
    Level 3 - Increases maximum velocity by 160 but reduces maximum energy capacity by 34%.
    Level 4 - Increases maximum velocity by 180 but reduces maximum energy capacity by 38%.
    Level 5 - Increases maximum velocity by 200 but reduces maximum energy capacity by 42%.
Taikodom - Post v3.20 Ship BlueprintTaikodom - Post v3.20 Repair Blueprints
And everything else? They got turned into a "Make It Yourself" fest.

You will need to "hunt" for the resources to make your own battleships (minus the simplest basic ones that are used to kick-start the player), your missiles and other whatnots. Yes...even repairing your own ships, I believe.

But even then, I'ld have to warn you that things are still looking very primitive. Its like they've "scrapped and redesigned everything".
Taikodom - Post v3.20 Estrutura Blueprints
For instance, I remember that I was just looking for something called an "Estrutura: XXXX" which was required as one of the "core parts" to build a new ship. But no matter how hard I've looked around, I just couldn't find them. It was only until they've released v3.20.1...that I found a new category of blueprints called "Estruturas de Naves".

Not only that, there's also severe balancing issues to resolve as well.
Taikodom - Post v3.20 WeaponsTaikodom - Post v3.20 Weapon Durability
Prior to v3.20.1, it was relatively quick to complete the in-game quests and get rewarded with a hefty amount of in-game credits. However after that, it became more time-consuming than ever before. And yet, the costs of purchasing even the "basic equipment" (ships and weapons) are still kept at the same high costs.

What's even funnier is perhaps the fact that these "ludicrously priced" equips appear to be totally "useless" and "fragile" much so that a weapon costing me "millions" (of in-game credits) couldn't even dispatch one lousy training drone in time.

The drone had simply too much "HP" (about 5000) while at the same time my weapon's damage was simply too "low" for it (about 140 damage per second...IF all my shots hit the target).

And only after merely going through four of these training drones, I had lost about 31% of durability on both of my weapons...which translates to about 790,667 worth of in-game credits lost (each weapon costs T$1,275,270) or about T$197,666 per drone.

Previous: Taikodom (Part One)Next: Taikodom (Part Three)