Become a Patron. Your Land. Your Rules.
ArcheAge. Craft. Claim. Conquer.
Patron Subscriptions: Special Bonuses, Land Ownership & More!
This is what you see when you visit the ArcheAge main page. For many, it’s the entire reason to play. For many, owning land is the only reason to become a Patron. I see variations on this line every time I visit the forums, “Without land, there’s no point to subscribing – I’m canceling my sub as soon as my free founder’s Patron time ends.” Because for many players, owning land in ArcheAge is an impossible dream. Suspected packet spoofing scripts ported over from Russian servers, bugs preventing properly escalating taxes, and fierce competition have all combined into a nasty pot of boiling, simmering frustration – there simply isn’t enough land.
Generally speaking, I take accusations of hacking with not merely grains, but piles of salt. Mountains of it. Continents, even. It’s an accusation that’s carelessly thrown around all the time. It’s all but impossible to accomplish anything in an MMO without someone, somewhere, throwing it out there. I’ve seen it happen countless times, and have even been accused of hacking myself on more than one occasion. My favorite being the time a GM was summoned on me in EQ when I was hanging around Kelethin with a half-elf illusion. Half elves can’t be enchanters so obviously I was hacking… It’s an indefensible argument, there’s no way to prove you’re not hacking to an audience (unless you’re wearing a half-elf illusion), so the accuser loses nothing in such a defamation attempt.
But in the case of ArcheAge, the arguments for it are certainly compelling. There are YouTube videos, screenshots, and endless amounts of posts on official forums, unofficial forums, steam and reddit about 1 or 2 guys on every server who manage to grab 10 or more properties at once, beating out tens or hundreds of other players for each one. I know that I have yet to acquire more than a single small garden, despite spending a considerable amount of my game time every day running around the world checking out every housing province I can find. When you spend hours upon hours, days upon days, scouring the lands looking for a spot to place a single house, and one person manages to grab multiple spots … it is definitely questionable.
At a certain point, I start to wonder – let’s presume for the moment, that there aren’t in fact any hacks. Let’s presume that the one or two people who are managing to grab everything are legitimately finding techniques to snatch the land up. Does it matter? For the average player, ArcheAge is all about land ownership. The advertisements I quoted above provide enough proof for me to feel comfortable asserting that – if it wasn’t a major draw, then it wouldn’t be the major selling point for subscriptions. Sure, the labor points are nice, but I want a house to decorate, and a farm to plant in so I can use the resources for things like crafting and trading.
Whether there actually are hacks or people simply believe there to be – the end result is the same. Too little resources for too many players means competition is extreme, frustration is high, and the entire game becomes a hostile swampland as the community is rampant with insults, scams, and accusations of hacking. There are many posts declaring the poster is departing the game due to lack of land – my suspicion is that this is actually happening. I like competition, but even I am starting to be discouraged by my inability to find a place for a home. And I am discovering that there is a wealth gap between land owners and non land owners – a gap that is only going to grow as inflation and resources increase as they always do. Without land my ability to earn the resources to remain competitive is decreasing at a steady pace.
At launch, the server capacities were improved, allowing for more players per server. But the amount of land in game remained the same. Which begs the question – are there more players in North American and European servers than the game was designed to contain? Was this increased capacity – done so people who purchased early access could play with players who did not purchase early access, which in itself is a great thing – inflate the competition to a non-sustainable point?
Trion is aware of the hacking complaints. A few days ago, the FAQ was updated to address these concerns. Here’s to hoping there are updates soon, as even I, with the skepticism born of having experienced hacking accusations, am finding it difficult to not jump into the ‘there are hackers grabbing everything’ mentality.