According to an interview with Jake Song published on a Korean news portal (and a message from the ever-helpful Ekaterina on ArcheAgeSource.com’s shoutbox), ArcheAge’s third closed beta test will most likely take place in either March or April of this year.
It’s a little longer to wait than most ArcheAge fans had hoped, but many players expect the game to be greatly improved and much more complete than it was during CBT2.
“3, 4월쯤 3차 테스트를 할 예정이다. 1·2차 때 전반적인 방향은 좋은데 완성도가 떨어진다는 등 여러 질책이 있었다. 3차 때는 완성도를 높여서 보여줄 생각이다. 아키에이지는 2006년부터 개발을 시작해 공개를 목표로 하고 있는 오는 11월이면 꼬박 5년이 걸린 셈이다. 욕심껏 하자면 끝이 없으니 목표대로 가겠다.”
Human translation (not Google):
“The third closed beta test is going to be in March or April. With regard to the first and second tests, even though general direction was good, they were criticized for the game’s lack of completion. We will show off a higher quality (more complete) version of the game during CBT3. It took 5 whole years but by this November there will be public version of ArcheAge (which has been in development since 2006). ‘Too many cooks spoil the stew,’ so limited access closed beta tests will continue until that point.”
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Long time no see, ArcheAge fans! We finally have something interesting to report…
Yes, you guessed it right, another XLGames Q&A session!
One of the hottest topics for ArcheAge followers is how factions will work. Can we call ArcheAge a RvR game or is your idea of factions different from what we’ve seen before? How do factions fit within the concept of a sandbox at all?
The biggest difference is that players will belong to a default faction in the beginning, but will be able to create their own factions later on. PvP and RvR content, such as castle sieges, will occur between factions that have declared war on each other.
How many factions are there in the game? Does a player choose the faction while creating a character or he can switch later? How do factions interact with each other?
There will be various factions, but when creating a character in the very beginning of the game you will ally yourself to one of two factions which are hostile to each other. However, later on, players can either continue their activities within the same faction or create their own faction. And although it may take some time and effort, players will be able to change the side while playing.
Would you please give some details about the clan system? What role will clans play? Are we going to have clan wars and PvP within one faction?
(For convenience sake, we call the concept of “clans” or “guilds,” “guilds.”) Guilds can build guild towns and engage in crafting together, share items, and so on. But for example, players will engage in PvP and RvR activities as a different community unit, which we call an expeditionary force. This expeditionary force can only be formed by players of the same faction, contrary to guilds which can be separately joined regardless of their affiliated faction.
Expeditionary forces can conquer territories and engage in war. Whether an expeditionary force is an enemy or alliance depends on how the relationship is built between them.
It is not final yet, but we plan to have different types of servers. For example, there will be a PvP server where you can even PK characters of your own faction or alliance and a separate server where you can only PK those of the opposing sides.
There is no penalty for PvP between different guilds or groups (there may be certain rewards in some cases). But there will be strict penalties for PvP between groups within the same faction (e.g. going to jail for a certain time, being expelled from the faction and becoming a pirate faction if continuously repeated). A pirate faction can be an enemy of all factions.
Can we develop a clan? If so how it’s done and what bonuses do we get from clan upgrades?
Yes, players can develop guilds in a similar way as in other MMORPGs. We do not have any concrete plans as of yet on specific details such as guild skills or upgrades, but we do plan to add such content. Guild houses, for example, can be upgraded and improved.
Do you plan to have clan halls in NPC cities or in player built castles? Are there going to be a clan warehouses?
Yes, and players will also be able to freely build guild houses, guild cities, and other kinds of buildings inside the castles too.
Can clans make alliances? If so, do clans have to belong to one faction? What game facilities and advantages do alliances get? A chat channel, alliance buffs, alliance auction house, etc.
As mentioned above, there is a difference between guilds and expeditionary forces in ArcheAge. A player can join a guild and expeditionary force separately, and in contrast to guilds, expeditionary forces can only be formed by players of the same faction. Hence, expeditionary forces can form alliances but we have not decided on how to support such alliances system-wise as of yet.
Are inter-clan relations going to play an important role in the game? Do you think we can expect active and emotional political wars and intrigues?
We are considering, for example, allowing players to create new factions or become high rank within a certain faction depending on the political activities with NPCs. We currently do not plan to show system-wise the relationship between different expeditionary forces, but since relationship between factions is shown in figures, players can assume that such relationship is the same between expeditionary forces.
The relationships will change through player activities.
What will players and clans fight for? Will it be possible for one clan or alliance or faction to be dominant on a PvP server or the developers are going to artificially limit such force?
There will be conflict between expeditionary forces in order to take over a region and possess the resources available within. The expeditionary force that conquers a region can build a castle to protect such resources. It is also possible for one expeditionary force to conquer more than one region. However, since there will be a couple dozen regions, it may be difficult for one expeditionary force to conquer all of them, considering the defense overload. We will not restrict the number of regions that can be conquered. Therefore, it may be possible for an alliance to conquer all regions.
Is a castle going to be always available for sieges or there will be siege schedules? Are players able to set a siege time?
Basically, it will only be possible during the agreed schedule between the castles. Players can select from the available schedules (e.g. 1 hour from 7 to 12 during the weekend). At the beginning, we considered allowing players to engage in castle siege whenever they wanted, but we changed our plan since it would be of too much burden for players.
Editor note: health problems due to heavy gaming are a very real social and political concern in South Korea.
Is there a limit of participants for a siege? Are sieges instanced? In general, how large-scale can fights get while providing a comfortable playing experience?
Sieges can only take place in the field, not in instances. Our current target for comfortable battles is about 50 vs. 50, and we are considering ways to provide a pleasant environment even if more players join the siege. The number may change due to technical constraints, but we will try to fashion the content so that it can be enjoyed together by as many players as possible.
Ships, sea battles, and everything that goes with them: how important are they? Is it a compulsory activity for those who want to achieve something in the game?
Ships are basically a means of transportation, but can also be owned by players to freely travel across the sea and engage in naval battles and castle sieges. On the open ocean players can engage in PvP without any PvP penalty.
Also, we will provide regions which can only be reached by ship. PvP points that can be gained through the use of ships can be used to acquire various items.
Will there be some sort of logistics in the game? We mean goods transportation by sea or by land. If so, can we expect caravan robbers and pirates?
We have yet not thought of trading using ships, but as mentioned earlier, since there are PvP contents related to ships, there will be pirates. Players can also gain some financial reward by destroying enemy ships.
What kind of PvE content are we getting in ArcheAge? Are there open and instanced dungeons for groups and raids? Will the rewards for outdoor bosses be higher than for instanced bosses since you will probably have to fight for them?
Yes, we will provide both open and instanced dungeons for groups and raids, and there will be instanced as well as field bosses. The rewards will of course be good, but we have not yet finalized the balancing between these rewards.
Do you plan to have epic raid bosses with rare drops and random respawn times (like in L2)?
Yes. The world of ArcheAge is humongous, so if players are attentive to detail they may be able to find such epic raid bosses.
What can you say about mobs and raid bosses AI? Is it going to be a complicated AI that requires tactical thinking from the players?
We are designing the A.I. in various directions. At this stage, we cannot comment on this in further detail.
Source 1: Goha.ru
Source 2: AAPortal.net
There’s a rumor making its rounds that XLGames is planning to hold ArcheAge’s OBT (open beta test) in November. If this is true, and if XLGames follows a release schedule similar to Aion’s and TERA’s (open beta flows seamlessly into final release after a few weeks), then that means we could be playing ArcheAge by this time next year (if you have a valid Korean account, of course)!
Another interesting bit of news: Min-Hee Jeon, the famous Korean fantasy author who is working on ArcheAge’s lore, has released a 48-page-long story for free on the internet. It concerns on a female child’s growth from a tragic youth into a strong adult in the ArcheAge universe. It’s extremely unlikely that we’ll ever get a full translation of the story, but the fact that it exists is reason enough to believe that a lot of thought is going into ArcheAge’s lore.