ArcheWorld NA/SA Server is a MMORPG that was released on 21st April 2023 by XLGames. It is based on the MMORPG ArcheAge but intends to fully utilize the blockchain technologies to attempt to resolve virtual asset ownership issues and it should be exactly the same as the ArcheWorld SEA version that I reviewed a month or so ago. This means it is still using the blockchain technology to make every crafted item an NFT, which means a complete ‘creator economy’. The token used as the main payment method for transactions in ArcheWorld is Blue Salt(BSLT); further, the in-game currency Archeum, can be traded to BSLT which can be exchanged to BORA. This also means, that all the negative points I made on my previous ArcheWorld SEA review are still more or less relevant. Instead, I decided to give it another go, a fairer chance this time around. Afterall, this time around, I am playing on the week of launch and not 6 months+ later.
Further, the biggest thing I am more curious of is, how is it possible to release despite Crypto being down everywhere. XLGames must be doing something right, if it was able to still release this MMORPG right. Lastly, it’s because I just love Archeage, it was just such a fun game; years back and even though ArcheWorld is a bit dumbed down, I just hope they have that magical spark. So, for all the folks who wants a quick TLDR, to me no, ArcheWorld NA/SA server is still not worth playing in 2023, while it is a shell of its predecessor game and missing some of the key elements. While the game is not perfect by any means, even though it was fun for the first few days, yes, even though to me, that is plenty of reasons to play already; the game itself completely cuts off its Free2Play player base behind payment walls. That was enough for me to stop logging in to play the game.
Interesting enough, Both N/SA 1 and N/SA 2 had queues during random times of the day although, I don’t think there is that high number of real players, as there was plenty of face roll names like Aasfad in massive groups which seems and feels like bot-play while I was questing and levelling through.
The combat system in ArcheWorld Server is using a tab target combat system but also has built in action combat. Tab target just feels a lot smoother in most cases. Similar to the MMORPG New World by Amazon Game Studios, ArcheWorld has collision mechanics so mass group PVP is potentially dangerous as you could be trapped by friendly or enemies and even NPC & mounts. However, that also means you are able to push them off the cliffs as well, so it is pretty fun if you are into that kind of thing. Overall, the combat isn’t terrible as it is quite fluid to a degree and enjoyable. In addition to more fluid controls, it has been expanded to include a large combo system where various skills can be combined to greater effect most noticeable in parties when combining skills from multiple builds. When I speak about builds, we are talking about classes here. The game is just like Archeage, using a classless system where you can pick three class sets out of a total of 10 available to create one of the 220 possible classes or builds. You are able to level these class sets to max level and switch freely at the skilled manager NPC which is located everywhere in game.
One difference between Archeage and ArcheWorld is that ArcheWorld does not have all skills freely unlocked, there are items named Skill Notes which comes in different grades Grand (Green), Rare (Blue), Arcane (Purple) which can be obtained through following routes:
- Opening coinpurses obtained by defeating monsters
- Grand: Normal, Elite monsters
- Rare: Elite monsters of Void, Rift
- Arcane: Boss monsters of Rift
- Crafting with Skill Note Fragments at Magic Supplies Workbench
This makes the game a lot more grindy as just because you have enough skill points, you cannot freely use the skills you wish to invest in unless you already have the books. Or you can just buy them off the Player Auction house for 1 BSLT each as you can’t registers items lower than 1 BSLT.
Lastly, an addition to the combat system that was not present in Archeage or Archeage Unchained is the new invalidity system. This system pretty much invalids characters from just straight upgrading weapon only and neglecting all their other gear. More explanation on the ArcheWorld Invalidity system here.
Further, while coinpurses opening may sound pretty easy and simple, it’s a lot worse. You don’t get labor like you would in the Archeage servers automatically. Instead ArcheWorld uses a totally different labor system where you would have to do dailies to generate them. Meaning, without Labor pots, you would only have a certain amount of labor per day. The main quest also gives you some labor as labor is needed to upgrade gear.
There are a total of 5 daily quests, which unlock at level 1, 10, 30 and 55.
If you are able to do all 5 dailies (contracts), you will get, the following
- Dawning Power – 50 labor
- Procure Basic Supplies – 50-100 labor
- Basics of Combat – 50-100 Labor
- Deliver Advanced Supplies – 100 Labor
- Economic Activities – 200 Labor
Meaning a total of 450 labor possible per day via the dailies alone.
Which as a free player, without housing and just starting for the first week or two, or even a month, you will most likely only get Dawning Power and Basics of Combat daily done every day. The others are up to RNG and whether it will give you something you can just buy off the NPC for in-game currency. If it is a farm-related item, it’s up to RNG and whether you have the labor to spend to farm that item for the daily, which may not even be 100% guaranteed.
Meanwhile, paying players can further increase their labor by using the “bed” function from the housing system which recovers an x amount of labor every x amount of hours, depending on the bed’s tier along with straight out investing some BSLT (Crypto) with the ArchePass (Battlepass) system.
ArchePass Battlepass System
The ArchePass system is very different to other battlepasses in other games. The biggest difference is, however much money; in this case, crypto, you spent on unlocking the battle pass, you will receive a full refund of that amount when you complete the pass. This means, it’s a 100% ROI plus extra rewards including Labor pots, in game gold currency, Archeum, skill books and other in game goodies.
Don’t fret, I understand it is a “crypto” paid option, but that’s only at the start, in fact, you can go ahead and exchange your Archeum you obtain in game into BSLT which can be freely used to purchased anything from the cash store or invest into battlepass. The currency exchange rate is 3000 Archeum for 18 BSLT. As of today’s rate 1 BSLT ≈ 1.4247 tBORA($ 0.2613)
ArcheWorld Server provides World PVP and instanced PVP in the form of Arena and battlegrounds. World PVP can be as simple as contest against a World Boss or just open world faction pvp. Further, while I personally don’t mind it, but there is such thing as forced PVP in ArcheWorld, some zones overtime will progress from hostile to war to forced pvp zone. This may interrupt new player experience especially since the questing levelling zone is in the same area as the war zones.
PVP in ArcheWorld is just like PVP in ArcheAge, it is purely about Gear Score. Gear is king in this game, for both PVE and PVP. As long as you are geared enough, skill does not come into play at all. With the game store how it is, making this game just like its predecessor, pure P2W to the max. If you are attempting to play ArcheWorld for PVP, get your wallet ready or enjoy the ass-whopping.
Gear Score can be obtained by upgrading gear through the Synthesis and Awakening system. The lowest grade Apprentice 1T can be brought by the respective NPCs (Blacksmith, Weapon Merchants, Armor Merchants) located in each city. With that, you upgrade, Synthesis and Awakening it as high as possible to get the highest gear score.
I still stand by my previous statement that ArcheWorld is a very pay2win game. Free 2 Play players needs time and a lot of dedication to build a source of in game income to convert into BSLT before they can farm a lot easier via the housing system. Further, auction house is completely off-limits until they have BSLT as the auction house (Item Exchange) itself uses the Cryptocurrency coin BSLT. The cash shop itself is very lacklustre, there isn’t much in there at all. A few lootboxes for costumes, blueprints for the housing system and consumables such as Anywhere warehouse for 30 days (Remote banking), and a few function items such as character rename and guild name changes.
Despite the lack of items in the cash shop, the fact that to do anything in game, you need some crypto currency, makes it pay2win in my books.
State of Game
ArcheWorld NA SA Server still runs very smooth on my PC, seems like they made some more UI optimization since I last been on the SEA server. They are slowly also progressing through their roadmap which is nice to see as well. Although regarding optimization wise, I never had many issues with Archeage in the past either, the game loads very fast and is very responsive. I can still distinctly remember opening it on my super old laptop and still able to play the game on low graphics when my main laptop was shipped for repairs.
On a personal perspective, my thoughts are still 100% aligned when I reviewed the SEA server, ArcheWorld just feels very lacking compared to the prequel version.
We lost all our life skills proficiency tab, which was basically our life skill levels and ranks. While life skilling itself exist in ArcheWorld, it just does not feel as satisfying anymore as you don’t level it up as you continue to do anything related to that profession. We also lost the ability to use ancestral levels and skills, which is apparently on their roadmap of soon-to-come features. We also lost Marine lands, Naval Battles and ships which is also a soon-to-come feature on their roadmap for Phase 3. Along with missing basic races and other content such as siege battles that was in the original base game. Another thing that I disliked in Archeage was its labour system, but it was still possible to generate labour at a slower rate while offline, here it is straight out impossible to generate Labour without either dailies, main quest or labor pots; while everything you do basically cost labor. Making it super hard to progress.
Crypto-based MMORPGs are already viewed very negativity in the gaming industry and ArcheWorld didn’t do anything to improve that reputation. If they launched a similar version as Unchained, this game would have been perceived in a lot better light, and most likely a lot more popular despite being a crypto-base game. In my personal opinion, XLGames really miscalculated how loved this IP really is, or this is just a funding boost for Archeage 2 IP that is supposedly be in the works. They also screwed over Unchained players such as me; making a B2P game a subscription and forcing every past player who brought the game into a subscription. FF14’s publisher SQUARE ENIX is also trying to dabble into the crypto industry, I wonder how much success and changes they will bring about it.
It is just such a shame since there is so much potential in this IP, but just not ArcheWorld making this game something I can currently recommend as of right now. Hopefully, Archeage 2 that is rumoured in the making is a lot better.
ArcheWorld SEA looked exactly like Archeage and ArcheWorld NA/SA looks exactly like the SEA version, and it is slowly but surely starting to show its age. While I know most Archeage fans already given up on ArcheWorld, I just hope Archeage 2 will have a huge improvement. Afterall while the artwork still looks good, it does look a bit dated, especially when you compare it with other games who also released around the same years such as Black Desert Online, Final Fantasy XIV & Tera Online.
Differences between Archeage & ArcheWorld SEA & NA/SA Server
Before we go into the difference between Archeage and ArcheWorld, Archeworld SEA and Archeworld NA/SA are practically the same.
Meanwhile, for Archeage vs ArcheWorld, one of the biggest differences was faction conflict East vs West. In the original game; Archeage, had four major factions, East vs Red vs Player Nations vs Pirates. Howe this now has changed as East and Red no longer exist. The only difference between choosing East or Red is a different starting point. Players can now chat and communicate with users from another continent start away from level 1 without needing to buy any language proficiency books.
Land plots are now pre-placed meaning you can’t just place your land/house leaving gaps between the land/house beside you as now it is pre-determined. FUrther, blue salt token is needed for land tax and trading. Blue Salt can be exchanged directly into the crypto BORA coin. Further, you cannot exchange or trade with another player directly, everything must be done via the auction house, which can be seen as a huge major inconvenience as the auction house uses Blue Salt Tokens and gold as the registration fee. This means, you cannot just give your friend a piece of gear, gems or items you don’t need.
Life content has been completely reduced, for example, planting crops, trees and breeding can only be done on your own private land or a public farm. That means, you cannot go rob someone’s hidden farm, which was one of my favourite pass times in Archeage Unchained.
Upgrading skills now cost skill books where it was completely free in Archeage.
Levelling through Archeworld NA Server was very enjoyable for me, I won’t lie about it. However, at the same time I got frustrated many times as I was levelling since I wasn’t able to do this or that due to either the crypto restrictions or labor system. I nearly impulsively went ahead and brought BSLT, I bet that is what they were hoping for. Fortunately, I didn’t since I wanted to stay true to the F2P experience for this review. I still have no idea why people would choose to play this version over the original as the original has so much more content and offerings. The only thing it does not have is the crypto integration bit. However, while saying that, I can totally see people making good money if they invested enough in the NFT land rent system, provided the game is alive long enough for them to make an return of investment. Until then, I will be patiently waiting for the highly anticipated Honkai Star Rail dropping late April 2023 for Mobile-style Games, Perfect New World by PWE and Thrones and Liberty by Amazon Games Studio.