Breaking Ties with ArcheAge

This has been an extremely difficult choice to make – moreso than I thought it would be. But I’ve decided it’s time to part ways with ArcheAge.

It’s difficult because there’s so much I enjoy in the game – farming, fishing, trade runs, owning my own farmhouse… Those are the things that make me hesitate to cancel my subscription.

When I first started playing AA, it was to “try it out.” When I realized that the F2P version was not going to meet my playstyle, I decided I’d opt for a month of Patron to see how that felt. One month of Patron became two as I decided to sit it out in way for the release of Auroria. Funny how this release was what sealed it for me that it’s time to step away.

No, You Can’t Have My Stuff

So what caused me to finally make the choice to stop playing AA, when it’s a game that I foundationally enjoy? I feel that it’s terribly, terribly mis-managed and I can’t see myself continuing to support it monetarily. It’s not just one thing, but a whole bunch of little things.

This is what’s on my mind:

Awful Launch Queues – Sure, it was launch. I get that, so I was forgiving. But maybe it was the hint that there was more trouble for this game on the horizon. I sat in 6 hour queues to log into the game before I went Patron. They finally opened up new servers, which I moved to when I had the chance. But these servers remain lower populated than the original servers, which leads me to worry about their health as the game ages.

No Land for Patrons – The biggest draw to me as a Patron is to own land. I have land, but only because I re-rolled on a new server. On Tahyang, I’ve visited now and then to see if I could get lucky. So far, I’ve not found a single spot for a garden, much less a house. Some people argue that land is supposed to be a luxury. I think that it’s false advertising to tell folks who are coming into the game that land as a Patron is a possibility.

Bots and Hackers – The main reason there isn’t land is because hackers swipe any lot that is demolished almost instantly. This is well known by players and by Trion. You can literally walk around and see the same name on multiple houses and you know it’s gotta be a hacker. Not cool.

Poor Housing Design – When I imagined housing in AA, I thought of lots of open land in lovely places where you could place your little dream farm house. Instead, AA zones these tiny spots on the map where players all dump their houses and farms in a jumbled mess that’s impossible to navigate through. It’s not pretty or ideal in any way. I was lucky that I placed my farm on the outside perimiter of such an area so I didn’t have to wade through a sea of trees just to find my house every day.

SLOOOOOW Support – Seriously. It took three weeks for them to respond to a ticket I submitted. And if you want to get a hold of them in support chat (provided you’re a Patron), make sure that you’re there when the chat opens first thing in the morning, or you’re facing hours worth of queues. Oh, and when the chat closes at night, it doesn’t tell you. You simply sit there in a queue that doesn’t exist anymore. Fun times!

Labor Points – Hate em. You know that already. If I wanted to have to sit and wait for my LPs to regen so I can farm or fish or do ANYTHING, I could play FarmVille. It would be cheaper.

Grind – Can we say Korean grind game? Yes, we can. Getting to level 50 was a breeze. Working for an end game weapon (which I haven’t done) or developing skills not related to your battle class is a crazy grind. Of course, all this is tied to the LP system… in hopes that you spend real money on labor potions so you can speed up the grind a little.

Billing Issues – When my Patron account renewed, they charged me and never gave me Patron time. I lost a lot of LPs during that, which they said they couldn’t help me with. Putting a ticket in meant I’d probably wait for weeks to get it settled, and I already described how support chat worked above. I got lucky and got it sorted out, but it left a sour taste in my mouth.

Halloween – An “event” that revolved around buying all Halloween decorations and outfits in the cash shop. Not a single decoration was questable. Wow. I was stunned by this… I’ve never seen a holiday run quite so poorly. Obvious money grab is obvious.

Broken Cash Shop Mount – Pay real money for the fast horse mount in the game? Get a bugged mount that slides all over the place. Reported bug. Remains in the cash shop for sale despite being bugged. Has not been fixed… and support doesn’t do much to help. Not cool.

Auroria Launch Issues – After the new content launched, a bunch of us couldn’t log in at all. In the middle of a land grab. I don’t personally care about not getting land in Auroria, but there were a lot of guilds that worked very hard to be there for a castle claim. Or folks who hoped to get land when the castles were placed because they didn’t have land yet. Instead, we were faced with the dread message…

Auroria Land Hacked – I wasn’t there because I couldn’t log in… but the stories say that as soon as the castles were placed, much land across Auroria was almost instantly claimed by hacks. Patrons who waited so long just to get their first land were once again displaced by bots stealing the land… when Trion already knew this was and would be an issue. Nothing has been done to stop this. And despite the cries for a “roll back” during the whole day we were disconnected, we get no compensation or response from Trion.

This was really the final straw for me. I’m watching this game fall apart because the publishers can’t support it and protect its paying players from known hacks and bots. Despite the fact that I enjoyed my time in this game… I have all the things I set out to acquire… I can’t keep supporting it with my money, time, or articles because there’s so much going on here that’s just wrong.

So for these reasons, I’m going to pack AA up. Once I pass my farmhouse to a guildie, I doubt I’ll ever come back. Cuz, you know… there’s no land to claim to make it worth my time.