It’s way too late… once again.
I’m sitting here eyes strained and aching.. once again.
Playing ArcheAge… once again.
In one of my previous posts I expressed my disappointment that dungeons were instanced. I have to correct that statement – there are instanced dungeons, but there are also open world hidden dungeons. Yes, hidden. Not displayed on the map, no quests leading you there, with doors and keys that must be found and puzzles solved before you gain access.
I’m even more in love.
I joined a small guild, with a bunch of really friendly folks, and have been enjoying many of the group activities to be found in ArcheAge. While I was wandering around on my own, slogging through more quests, one of my guildmates declared that he was about to tackle a hidden boss, did anyone want to come? He is level 50, and at the time I was level 34, so I had assumed that I was too low to be of any help.. but he welcomed me to the group and much to my delight, I discovered that I was wrong!
I learned several awesome things:
- Tactics Matter. It feels like it’s been years since I’ve been dungeon crawling and stopped to discuss tactics with a group after a wipe. “Ok, that last try didn’t work, let’s try this instead…” It wasn’t just a run to the end of an instanced tunnel, and as we honed our teamwork, the results actually showed. Finally managing to take down that boss felt pretty sweet.
- Skill Matters. I was a level 34 character in a group of 50s. And yet I wasn’t merely leeching – I actually contributed to the fight. I went down like a house of cards when the mobs attacked me, but when I took care to manage aggro I was actually able to save the healer a few times by incapacitating mobs that were attacking her, and once I even stopped the boss from summoning adds.
- There are hidden dungeons! I know this was the premise of this piece, but it is so awesome I felt it worth repeating. ArcheAge really is only as linear as you want it to be. Take the time to explore and look around, because the railroad track questline only shows you a fraction of the game.
Thus far my previous assessment that the trinity isn’t needed seems to be accurate. We happened to have a healer this time, but we did crawl around in this dungeon for a while before she came to join us, and I’m confident that while a healer was nice, we could have managed with just about anyone. From what I’ve heard of endgame content that may eventually cease to be true, but for now, I’m still of the impression that the trinity isn’t as important so long as the group has people who are skilled with their class and not just trying to run through the content.
I do like the ability to group with people of disparate levels. When combined with the quests that require high level players to seek out and group with low level players and continually return to low level zones, there is definitely no chance that new players will log in to find themselves in barren, empty wastelands.
Trion is slowly getting a handle on hacking and botting… if they keep it up ArcheAge has a good chance to continue holding my interest for some time to come.