I find ArcheAge interesting, but it’s hard to talk about it without mentioning the current buy-in price. I’m not opposed to Founder’s Packs in general, but $150 for access right now seems outrageous. I understand asking for “the price of a game” as an entry fee, as Landmark did, but the price of three games is pushing it. It doesn’t help that the lowest price point is at the “price of a game” level. Random bonuses don’t mean much without context, so it’s hard to put a value on the other included things.
That said, there are things that attract me to it. I’m a systems person, and the class structure seems like it has some potential for experimentation. I don’t yet know the full details of how it works, but the ability to mix and match wildly different skill sets to “define” a class could be great, or it could be awful. Rift tried something similar, but it resulted in so many redundant abilities that the concept fell a bit flat. Rift also had a macro system that encouraged one-button class setups (and too many abilities to get by without macroing things), causing me to lose interest long before I reached endgame.
The PVP aspect of the game turns me off a bit. I’m all for opt-in PVP, but random ganking and griefing aren’t my cup of tea. From what I’ve heard, the justice system that’s supposed to cut down on this only encourages it, because there are crime-related factions and titles. I don’t know if it’s too late for Trion to do anything about it. Some MMOs have had some systems changes when coming over from Korea to give them broader appeal, and I could see this as one of the first things to get adjusted.
All told, I’m not sure what future ArcheAge and I have together, if any. My experience in import MMOs so far has been “pretty, but grindy and uninteresting”. They’re going to have to show me a lot to overcome this initial prejudice.
One more thing: Aggrochat for the week is out, and available here.