ArcheWorld is a MMORPG that was released on 1st September 2022 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. This means it will be 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.
Late last year, I was honestly super excited for this launch and was waiting patiently for it’s Alpha release. However, I did not attempt playing it until March 2023, let’s find out why.
One of the main reasons why I didn’t bother playing ArcheWorld until 6 months later was not because of World of Warcraft’s DragonFlight release. It was because, with all the information gathered, it felt like a completely incomplete game compared to its original Archeage & Archeage Unchained. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Archeage IP franchise, considering that I brought Archeage Unchained despite how bad the reputation was. So, for all the folks who wants a quick TLDR, to me no, ArcheWorld is NOT worth playing at all, it is a shell of its predecessor game and missing too much of the key elements.
The combat system in ArcheWorld is using a tab target combat system. 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 12 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 skill 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.
Further, similar to New World, ArcheWorld has collision mechanics so mass group PVP is potentially dangerous as you could be trapped by friendly or enemies. Overall, the combat isn’t terrible as it is quite fluid to a degree and enjoyable.
ArcheWorld 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.
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.
As mentioned earlier, ArcheWorld is a very pay2win game and unless you are playing with a group of friends, Free 2 Play players will get very frustrated, very easily. For example, one of the new events called BSLT Roulette Event is basically a Crypto Roulette. You may win stuff, or you may just waste all your BSLT to get some in-game items, but it just purely promotes gambling. The cash shop is actually very empty to my surprise. A worthy note is that the auction house (Item Exchange) itself uses the Cryptocurrency coin BSLT, while browsing through it, it is quite empty also, not many items from gears to mounts to consumables. Not sure if it is due to the player base being small or nobody sells & buys from the player shop itself.
State of Game
Archeworld runs very smooth on my PC, I am not surprised there, as I never had many issues with Archeage in the past either, the game loads very fast and is very responsive.
On a personal perspective, the game does not just feels very lacking compared to the prequel version but is actually very lacking.
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. On the other hand, ArcheWorld takes it one step further, you do NOT generate any labour unless you are online making people who are able to leave their PCs/Laptops on 24/7 a clear advantage of everyone else.
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.
There is huge potential in this IP, but just not ArcheWorld making this game something I can currently recommend as of right now.
The game really shows its age as it doesn’t seem like it has any improved graphics making it identical to its original game, the world is still just as beautiful as I remember it. 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
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 to the max, for example, planting crops, trees and breeding can only be done on your 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.
Archeworld is very enjoyable if you have a group of friends to play with or enjoying it for the very first time. At the very least you should be able to get a solid 50hour + of gameplay and enjoyment from that alone. As it is an MMORPG, there are plenty of content from dailies to weeklies to do despite having tons of features missing compared to Archeage. End game itself is quite repeatable where you would just grind to continuously gear up to get as strong as you can possibility get to kill enemies faster. In terms of blockchain technology, it can easily become a full-time job if you are super dedicated to the game which can hinder your progress in game, as you have to choose to between progressing using those crypto-exchangeable currencies. If you have never played this IP before, I would personally recommend playing ArcheRage the private server as it is a lot more lively and will have a good idea and also be somewhat hyped when/if ArcheAge 2 ever drops. While we have no real concrete news on the real sequel of Archeage, I will be patiently waiting for the highly anticipated Honkai Star Rail dropping in April 2023 for Mobile-style Games and Thrones and Liberty by Amazon Games Studio.