Thursday, January 8, 2015

Early Access should we buy into this?



I read this article early on Massively - Who benefits from MMO early access? and as I've been having this discussion with other gamers it got me to thinking.

Personally, I'm not against early access to help test a game as it's easy to get tunnel vision and "think" you know what a customer wants, not necessarily be giving them what they truly want/need.  But this pay to try a game that is a year plus still in development, does seem to be a bit of a money grab.

I did pay SOE for early access to Dragons Prophet back in 2013 (justification incoming), I did it as I had high hopes for this game, and the cost for early access included a substantial amount of Station Cash, which is useable in any SOE game, and I do play a few of those.  So it wasn't a totally loss if I didn't like it.  (I do still have intentions of getting past level 20 in DP maybe one day!)

I have also been gifted early access to a few other games - ArcheAge, Landmark and The Repopulation. 

Landmark, I didn't want and wouldn't have purchased it, but it was a gift. Nothing wrong with Landmark, just not my type of game (holding out for Next).   ArcheAge "seemed" awesome and wonderful in Alpha - who knew what XL/Trion was going to release was going to slide into the septic tank so quickly - best time with AA was alpha IMHO.  The Repopulation, for an independent game, is surprisingly fun.  Rough, but fun. Repop has alot of potential as they're hitting on many of the things missing from current MMOs.

Which ones have I purchased? I did purchase early access to Life is Feudal.  The game intrigues me on many levels, but I'm not 100% positive I'll play at launch.  But, I do like backing/contributing to indie game developers.

One that hasn't cost a penny, is Project Gorgon.  It's rough, but I've enjoyed my time there so far.  I would recommend this to old school gamers - it feels like something that was released 10-15 years ago.

That said, I don't like paying for early access to the big gun devs in general, (SoE, Blizzard, EA, etc.)  They have deep pockets already, and I don't believe they should be charging their customer base to test a game. There use to be a time that alpha testers were paid or a small group of dedicated gamers that gave constructive feedback.  Now if you have the price of a ticket you're in.

Is that really a good thing?  Yes, the devs get feedback, but are you getting it from the players that 'stick' in a game or just from the vocal minority, that view all games as five, ten or twenty days of entertainment and then trash it? 

Games I've alpha tested, do ask questions during and after a gaming session (totally absent in ArcheAge), so you did feel like you were contributing feedback, whether the devs listened or not. Many of the current 'early access' do not do this.

Reverse side, if you want to view early access as the games release in a rough, not ready for prime time way, then go forth and enjoy.  Pathfinder is doing that.  Come play now (and pay a sub) for alpha/beta testing, but we're not going to wipe your progress - so it's truly "Early Access" versus alpha testing.  For their client base that may play for the next 5, 7 or 10 years, it is likely worthwhile.  I mean ALL games have updates, content changes, additions, hot fixes and patches - so NO game is complete at launch.  MMO's are ongoing works in progress.

The end of the day as long as WE the consumers are willing to open our wallets for early access, alpah access, etc., developers will keep heading down this path. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Looking forward to 2015

It's almost a week into 2015 and MMO's well, nothing OMG spectacular on my radar sadly.
I've come to the conclusion most Korean style games are not to my taste, my time in ArcheAge confirmed that.  I don't care for the art style or grindy-ness of the play.

 My sub to ArcheAge (AA) expires in a few weeks and it's going to be shelved.  Many fun aspects of AA, but so many things wrong the scale tips to heavily in the "stop playing this game now" direction.  So this week, I'm giving away all the properties to guildies, emptying mail, closing account and saying goodbye.  Too bad, it seemed to have potential, but honestly I think the peak fun with ArcheAge was Alpha testing over the summer.  What XL/Trion have put out there is just wrong on so many levels.

But then again, I don't like F2P games in general, as I've yet to see it done well. I'd rather pay a sub then get nickel and dimed to play!  I don't mind a buy to play with a cosmetic cash shop, or even a minor boost to getting ahead (not a full P2W), but the double-dipping of pay a sub and buy from the cash shop to actually pay - wrong!

So, I'm starting 2015 with my regulars - The Secret World (TSW), World of Warcraft (WoW), with some random acts of Planetside2 (PS2) and Shroud of the Avatar.

A couple or three games I downloaded over the Holidays are: The Repopulation, Life is Feudal and Project Gorgon.  H1Z1 I'm still on the fence about, but may be added in the rotation in a few weeks..

The Repopulation
Repop is compared to the glory days of Star Wars Galaxies (SWG), having not played it, I can't say if that's true or not, but it does have a deep, almost overly-complex crafting system.  That and the sci-fi setting has it stand apart from the other games.  It's currently available on Steam for $39.99


Life is Feudal
It's a hardcore sandbox game set in the middle ages.  Right now you can only play the limited version (YO) as the MMO will not launch until fall.


Project Gorgon
Another sandbox-y type MMO set in a fantasy type setting.  Deep crafting, interesting combat and you can turn into cows and pigs.  Definitely worth checking it out.  It's completely free right now. It has been Greenlit by Steam recently as well.  Graphics are rough, but for a very small team of devs, it's pretty interesting so far.  The dialog with NPC's borders on hilarious too at times.








Sunday, November 30, 2014

ArcheAge - pics of the week



Yes I bought the Fleetpaw Bjorne (and the turtle battlepet).  This mount starts at level five and can be converted to the Ebonfur at 50.
 
 ArcheAge is a sandbox game, right? So being a twit - blockading choke points for people running packs seems to be the thing - Cinderstone/Two Crown, Hellswamp/Halcyona and the Dewstone Bridge seem to be favorites of this one guild.

Creative use of crates on an 8x8

The bear makes a great hood ornament

Truly stuck on the Dewstone Bridge




Wednesday, November 19, 2014

ArcheAge: Interesting decorating

Tentacle house.  Someone must play The Secret World too.  Looks like a filth cow!


 Boxes and plushies

 This is a Fellowship Plaza that is open for all in the zone that own property.  Except the asshat decided no one was going to use the Specialty Bench.
But at least there's a baby grand....
 
Stay off my lawn for real!

Friday, November 14, 2014

ArcheAge more screenies




Leomorph with baby Leos.  Wish the ingame Leo pet could be out with the mount.



Chatty Scarecrow in Halcyona.  Supposedly a quest.  Need to check that one.


Funny farm in Arcum Iris


Creative use of an 8x8. How does he get in that coffin though?


Guy stuck in the ground.  He was there for 4 hours having escaped jail, so he said.


Truly stuck.  I haven't managed that one yet.


More player beautification of Marianople.












Friday, November 7, 2014

ArcheAge pics of the week

Random photos from ArcheAge this week.

So why does King Thorkell have this guy hiding upstairs?
The Headless Swordsman. He looks pissed



The fighting in the caves for resources on Auroria.

The last claimable zone in Auroria before the West took it


First merchants sign I've seen. Go crafters!


Marianople to Dewstone has been transformed into the new Napa Valley.  
Grapevines line the road the whole way. 
Cherry trees from Halcyona to Marianople.

Both are part of the Beautification of Nuia Project on Tahyang.


 Sunset ride through Dewstone









Tuesday, November 4, 2014

ArcheAge should you play or not?


Sitting here waiting for AA to patch and Auroria to open, hopefully (crossing fingers) not a repeat of launch,  I was thinking about ArcheAge and why someone should or shouldn't play - maybe. 

I have friends that are avid PvPers and those that avoid it at all costs. Those that like to quest and others that would be happy to buy a max level character and never go near a quest.

Me, I love to quest in a game (AA not so much), but can happily run around farming, exploring, gathering, pvping, running some packs, and have a wonderful time in game.  Last night I donkey subbed from Freeditch to Auroria, to be close when the game launches.  I could have taken my clipper, but I thought I'd like to see what is on the bottom of the Arcadian Sea while watching a movie.  Got to make your fun in game!

So off the top of my head list......


Why you should be playing ArcheAge
  • You love open-world PvP and believe 'red is dead', and maybe some green players too!
  • You love gear-grinding to be the best
  • You're a crafter, the more complicated and varied the better
  • You like a sand-boxy feel world that you can create your own fun in
  • You like player driven economies 
  • You're a 'Farmville' addict
  • You like to explore
  • You hate to solo anything, grouping is where it's at
  • You love dailies and wish there where more of them
  • You like housing and putting your mark on the world
  • You love sailing, fishing and being on the water
  • You've always wanted to be a pirate
  • You will play with a sub (or support a cash shop) to keep a game going


Why you maybe shouldn't play ArcheAge

  • You hate grindy games
  • You really hate open world PvP or any type of PvP
  • You like to quest
  • You like to solo play always
  • You like theme-park type gaming
  • You like deep, rich lore driven story
  • You have an older PC and not the best graphics, or internet connection
  • You don't like whining, bitching, moaning, swearing, rudeness and all that is the public chat channels
  • You believe everything someone in game tells you
  • You hate hackers, cheaters, grifters, bots and other nefarious acts ingame
  • You will only play F2P games

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Beekeeping in ArcheAge

Apiculture or 'beekeeping' in ArcheAge is part of the husbandry profession (anyone can raise bees, but it benefits husbandry pros).  Beekeeping in ArcheAge is not climate controlled, so all zones work equally as well.  It's also a good harvestable for random players, as the hives do not need to be harvested but every few days if you wait for the maximum honey harvest.

The product from hives is honey and the very rare drop royal jelly.  Honey vendors for 2s2c to any merchant or sells on the auction house (average on my server 20s each/harvest is around 29 honey a harvest) as it's used in cooking, alchemy and for trade packs.

Royal jelly is used primarily as a sealant (wax nugget) that were required in Alpha for submarines. As subs haven't been added back yet, we can assume it may be an ingredient but ? knows for sure! It is still used for one item Framed Butterflies.

BEEHIVES

You can make a beehive with the Handicraft profession. It is a low level skill, so anyone can make one. For one Acorn Beehive, you will need to be at a Handicraft Kiln (50 labor) with the following materials:
  • Three Acorn: from fruiting Oak trees (you can grow, wild harvest or buy off the AH
  • Five Aspen Hardwood: rare drop from Aspen trees (the pricey item on my server)
  • Twenty Lumber: three logs equal one lumber refined, so sixty logs total
  • One Dawn Lake Light Essence: refined from fish. Depending on the fish - 10 rare; 20 uncommon; or 100 common make one essence.  (Usually cheap on the AH if you don't fish)
  • One Nymphal Queen Bee: see below on where to catch one or buy off the AH
 * Check the auction house prices on your server for acorn beehives, the finished beehive is often comparable to collecting or purchasing all the materials to make one, but does have a broad fluctuation in price by as much as 50g.

Once it is made it can be placed on your farm. Beehive footprint is on the large size, so does not fit on 8x8 or around 16x16 smaller houses. You can fit eight on a 16x16 farm with room for a few other things and they do fit on the thatched roof cottage or homes.

Beehives go through distinct phases/stages and the longer you wait the better the outcome. Royal Jelly harvests - in theory - are available at any stage.  Note, the labor cost goes up considerably for each stage as well. I haven't tried beehives without queens, as in theory they are suppose to still produce honey, but at a lesser amount.

Alluring beehive. No honey.   Lasts approximately two days.

Moist beehive. 200 labor. Small amount of honey. Supposedly a chance of Royal Jelly.  Lasts approximately one day.

Sweet beehive. 400 labor. Some honey.  Small chance for Royal Jelly. Lasts approximately one day.

Prosperous beehive. 600 labor. Harvest time!  Chance for Royal Jelly.  Average is 29 +/- honey per harvest.

Queened beehive.  This is a random instead of Prosperous, you can get a Queened hive, where the hive has produced an extra queen.

You can net this queen for another hive or to sell on the AH. (My server a nymphal queen sells for 4-10g).  Otherwise you can just harvest the honey. You can't do both though, it's honey or the queen!  If you think you want to capture this queen have an extra net in your inventory.

 When you are harvesting honey, you will get stung if you're not wearing a veil (recipe below).  These are pricey on the AH, often running as much as an acorn beehive, because of the materials to craft. If you do not wear a veil you will get a debuff as the bee's sting you.  It's a minor slow and makes you run around for a few seconds.  Nothing serious, IMHO, so I haven't bothered with a veil yet.

As your Husbandry skill increases, the labor cost to harvest your hives does go down.  I'm only at 37,305, but did get a reduction in labor use down from 600 to 540.  The XP for harvesting a prosperous is a nice chunk - 42,525 xp - too.



ACQUIRING A QUEEN BEE

Queen bees are tamed from wild bees.  You'll need a queen bee net to catch her (recipe below).  Now that the start zones aren't so populated it's fairly easy to find a queen bee buzzing around. Queen bees are located in Haranya in Mahdevi and Falcorth Plains and in the Nuia in Solzreed Pennisula and White Arden. 
 
Queen surrounded by Queensguard bees.

Make sure you have a queen bee net or two with you. Once you have your net go forth and locate a queen.  You'll need to reduce her health before netting her as if you do not lower her health enough she can break the net.  If you're high level, use an ability that will not one shot her or dot her to death.  Also remove your weapons so you don't auto attack kill her (yes I did that!), she only has 1500hp. The queens in White Arden are level 24, one star, so not so fragile as the other queens. 


Net down, capturing started


 Net fully open, queen bee captured.

When you have your queen (Nymphal Queen Bee) you will get an extra icon on the beehive to add her. 

Other beekeeping items to have in inventory are smoke beads and veil.

The smoke beads will kill pests in your beehive (it will be blinking red and shaking) and the hive can be destroyed if you do not smoke the hive in time.

The veil will keep you from being attacked when harvesting honey.  I found the stinging was a minor annoyance/buff, so don't really worry about the veil.  The smoke beads I would carry one or two just in case.



BEEKEEPING RELATED RECIPES

Queen Bee Taming Net
Leatherwork Bench. 50 labor.
Five Leather: Refined from pelts. One leather=three pelts  (turkeys or pigs are easiest)
Twenty Memory Ink: Purchase from General Merchant
One Pearl: From aqua farming pearls

A hive with a smoke bead cleaning it.


Smoke bead
 Handicraft Kiln. 20 labor
One Lumber: Three logs = one lumber
One Hay Bale: from seed bundles or buy off the AH
Two Blue Salt Knives: purchase from General Merchants

Veil
Must have 500 proficiency Leatherwork. 250 labor
Twelve Leather: Refined from pelts. one leather=three pelts, so thirty-six pelts
One Cashmere Thread: yata fur and one downy yata fur
Ten Handicraft Yarn: Tailoring.  Goat, yata and bear fur
Three Moonlight Archeum Shard: drops from mobs or purchase AH
One Small Seed Oil:  Alchemy


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Scenes around ArcheAge

Saw this the other day while running through Lilyut Hills.  What exactly it is, still a question!



Creative use of wooden crates on an aqua farm.  This guy built himself a fishing platform, complete with a chair.


A Dahuta recruiting billboard in Lilyut Hills.



Sunday, October 26, 2014

ArcheAge random pics of the week

I take alot of screenshots in games.  These are some random fun ones I found the past week.


How you want to see a bot in game.



When you get tired of sailing the seas in ArcheAge, harpoon your way to fun.



Anyone who's unloaded trade packs on a farm will appreciate the precision of this pack stack.



Waiting for the war clock to to tick down in Two Crowns outside Cinderstone Moore to grab that 130% delivery fee.

What you want to see when visit the owl after playing the auction house.


Scenes from Lutesong Harbor, Villanelle (Haranya).