ArcheAge-Crafting-Skills

ArcheAge has had its share of problems, but while many of them are technical in nature – queues, hackers, botters, DDoSes, etc. – some are tougher to address. It’s one thing for players to be upset at technical issues; those are present in every MMO launch and can usually be overcome. But when they take issue with a fundamental game mechanic, something that can’t be changed without a major overhaul of how the game works, then you have a bigger problem, one that can’t be addressed with a simple patch or additional servers.




Labor Points in ArcheAge are unpopular with a large portion of the population. To recap, you need LP to do most of the PvE “sandbox” aspects of the game, such as crafting and performing trade runs. (PvP, as far as I know, is unlimited.) You have a limited number of LP, and they regenerate slowly when you’re online and even more slowly when you’re offline – and if you’re not a patron (i.e., subscriber), they don’t regenerate at all when you’re offline.

Let’s set aside that last bit for now. Suppose that LP did regenerate at a suitable rate for everyone, but that you would still be limited in how many of the aforementioned activities you could do per day. Is this still a good system? Is restricting how much you can craft per day a good idea?

Many people would say “no.” MMOs are about doing what you want, when you want, and a system that artificially restricts how you can play is an abomination. It’s a travesty! It’s some plot by the devs to artificially slow down our process and/or steer us toward the cash shop!

The only thing is… virtually every MMO does this.

ARCHEAGE 2014-05-05 15-03-15-41

The most commonly encountered such system is raid locks. Many MMOs only let you do top-end content once per week. Why? If I want to raid every night, why can’t I? This MMO isn’t letting me play the way I want to play!

The primary reason, naturally, is to draw out the play experience. If you could raid every night, hardcore players and guilds would have all the top-end gear in a month. This was obviously a bigger issue when every game had a subscription and the makers of the games wanted to keep you in the game longer to keep collecting that monthly fee, but even with free-to-play games being the norm nowadays, companies want to keep you in the game longer so you’re more likely to spend.

Another reason for raid locks is to level the playing field a bit. Most people don’t have the time to raid every night of the week. But some inevitably would, and if they could, they would gain a huge advantage over their “casual” counterparts. Again, with things like open-world PvP being all but gone these days, the only “advantage” the super-hardcores would get is bragging rights, but it’s still some sort of issue.

You might make the observation that “top-end raiding” in most MMOs isn’t the same as “crafting and trade-running” in ArcheAge – or is it? What’s the end goal of a typical raiding MMO? I’d argue it’s acquiring the best and shiniest loot, typically through raids. As that’s the primary reason for playing, it’s restricted, while lower-end gameplay, like crafting and PvP arenas, isn’t.

LaborReddit

So what’s the end goal of ArcheAge? Some could argue it’s similar – acquiring goods and gear and gold – but that’s done less through raiding than it is through the sandbox-y elements of the game: crafting and trade-running (at least in theory). If you could earn as much income through those activities as you pleased, you’d likely master the game in a month and not feel the need to play again, not to mention how quickly the game’s overall economy would be fubar-ed. Thus, just like the raids, it’s restricted.

Of course, you can buy Labor Potions in the ArcheAge cash shop to replenish your Labor Points, which also rubs some people the wrong way. In my analogy, it would be the equivalent of being able to spend money to reset your raid locks – which at least one F2P MMO does. This also makes a certain amount of sense for a F2P game. Instead of keeping you on a strict weekly raiding schedule to draw out your subscription dollars, it lets you play for free – but you can do more raids by paying. In essence, if you normally would pay for three months of a subscription to do 12 raids, they’re OK with letting you do those 12 raids in a month or less – as long as you pay something akin to a three-month sub to do it.

To wit, I think Labor Points are a reasonable idea – that restricting how much you can perform the core gameplay of an MMO is something we’ve always had, but it’s usually been in the form of locks on raids and other high-level content. How Trion Worlds and XL Games is implementing the system, with heavy restrictions on free players and limited or no offline regeneration, is much more debatable – and the solution isn’t as simple as this – but the overall system makes a certain amount of sense. In a way, it’s not limiting you any more than any traditional raiding MMO does.

the author

Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

20 Readers Commented

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  1. Todoran on October 26, 2014

    close this shit down and make more expansion for RIFT -_^ ..Trino…. wtf?

  2. vasili111 on October 22, 2014

    The best MMOs are:
    FPS Planetside 2. Massive fights, some time more than 100vs100. You can fight as trooper(engineer, heavy assault, medic, light assault, infiltrator), MAX (more powerful trooper), on vehicles, aircrafts. And you Don’t Have to grind!! You have very good initial weapons, and you get necessary certs for upgrades while playing. You don’t need leveling!!!!
    MMORPG Guild Wars 2. You can participate in main PVP action which is called WvW from level 1 and you are upscaled to level 80. So I personally dont need leveling in Guild Wars 2.
    I think leveling is worst thing in MMOs.

  3. Merkadis on October 22, 2014

    Nonsense.
    How come Tera doesn’t need any labor points and shit and yet still played a lot by many people and releasing updates and stuff?
    I’d say their marketing skills are at fault here the most, AA don’t need any labor points to prosper neither it needs raid resets… (Why on earth you thought that this was a great idea i’ll probably never know).

    • Merkadis on October 22, 2014

      If they want to keep us in game as long as possible they should start using their goddam imagination to make games they develop as fun as they can possibly and impossibly be riddled with myriads of fun things to do…. only THAT and THAT alone will keep people playing any game for years and years.. only FUN can keep people playing.
      I wonder when will they learn oh when will they learn this simple truth… perhaps not in my lifetime.

  4. mallocs on October 22, 2014

    Well after i playd AA for some time and i have my 150$ pack i foubd my self getting board of the game to wait for labor or getting plot for my house so i decied last night to quit the game , and i wish trion good luck with the game

  5. LividRacoon on October 21, 2014

    ArcheAge is the pole and the players are the girls, while grinding in and of itself is not entirely bad ArcheAge sure goes out of its way to make it feel extra dirty.

  6. Razer on October 21, 2014

    Labor Points are no better than the rest of the contrived systems that MMOs use to artificially inflate the play time without adding anything meaningful to the experience. It’s like how supermarkets tend inject water into their raw meats to drive up the price because they charge by the pound.

  7. Padsoldier on October 21, 2014

    Solely based on this article (haven’t played the game) – this system looks too similar to the “energy” system Facebook “games” have, except for the fact that in those games you regenerate while offline. The problem is, those are pretty hard to consider games due to their extreme limitations on the time someone can play and progress in a gaming session.

    • DatGuy on October 22, 2014

      Exactly. I can definitely understand why developers have energy systems in Facebook and mobile games, since these games are designed to be “casual”, forcing players to play in short burts instead of “rushing” through the content in a few hours.

      But there is absolutely no reason to have such restrictions in a “hardcore” PC MMO. This is not a Facebook/mobile game, this is a PC MMO designed for hardcore players. And it gets even worse when you realize that they have a subscription that still doesn’t take away this ridiculous restriction. It doesn’t make sense. You’re paying a monthly sub for a game that you can’t play when you want.

    • Bic Boi on October 24, 2014

      The system is practically lifted from facebook games. Yes, it’s an industry and I’m sure there are chumps out there who shell out disgusting amounts on games like farmville..but that doesn’t make the game itself good–just the model. Because people are dumb.

      As an aside, “energy”-style systems can go eat a dick.

  8. phreeak on October 21, 2014

    The LP is a good feature to slow down certain pve stuff but they failed to make it right. Like someone above said, everything cost LP and as a f2p player you are restricted everywhere and u cant enjoy much.. only hardcore quest grinding, make some lowlvl tradepacks with your LP (chicken eggs and trimmed meat.. from Solzreed to Two Crownes gives ~ 5gold. You can make mats for 6-7 packs within a day) in hope to farm enough gold for Apex but this feels so “getting forced to do this”.

    But the LP regen isnt Trions fault. AFAIK Trion wanted to changed it but they need the permission of XL Games and they said no (because its “unfair” to the other AA versions like russia)

    • vasili111 on October 23, 2014

      If Trion publishes such game it is Trions fault too.

  9. Jambock on October 21, 2014

    Well, whats a good or a bad idea? What are the MMOs for anyway? I would answer “for people to have fun” but these days they seems like a second job (for those who have one). It drive me away more and more from the MMORPG games. I want to play when i can and do what i want during this time. Obviously it don’t means that the game need to “give me?” everything immediately; but the restrictions, the “grind” is excessively big now… When i log in WoT i look to the weeks ill have to grind my next tank and i log out; the same happens with WT… AA? I don’t even bother to login anymore… So in the end i’ll not spend any $$ in these games; I’m with Firefall for now; they don’t give everything to you but you can achieve a lot with 2 hour per day; in a month you have one maxed battleframe and some cool equips, specially if you have a army to play with. People remember to put the grind to keep the players, to “force” them to spend money, but these days they forget to add the fun to the game too; if the game is fun to play you’ll not need the grind to keep the players spending money in your game..

    • Ionly LiveTwice on October 26, 2014

      I totally agree with you. I haven’t found a game that kept me because it was fun since WoW.The next 2 games i enjoyed enough are Secret World and GW2. It seems that the f2p market is missing the factor called fun these days and they replace it with systems that force you to grind to death.

  10. Dilan on October 21, 2014

    The only decent F2P MMORPGs right now are Rift, Neverwinter, and if you’re into the anime-style RPGs, Aura Kingdom. Everything else is a joke, including ArcheAge. TERA had the potential to be decent but the only thing they did right was the combat – they failed in everything else.

    • miki on October 21, 2014

      agree!

    • Anon Cow on October 22, 2014

      Aura kingdom is hosted by aeria games, so it’s probably shit, expect the game to die in the near future.

      Tera is the best f2p mmo out right now, you can get some of the best gears in the game in a month or less even to new players(without spending a cent), can’t say that about any other mmo.

      I’ve heard good things about Rift, and don’t know about Neverwinter.

      • Dilan on October 22, 2014

        Host has nothing to do with the quality of the game. Aura Kingdom is the best anime-styled MMORPG. Also, TERA is basically a flashy grindfest. Yes the graphics and combat are good but it has literally nothing else going for it. Both Rift and Neverwinter offer a much more solid RPG experience. Especially Neverwinter.

        In TERA, most of the quests are “go kill 5 [insert monster here]”. In Neverwinter, the quests are “go into a cave, survive 3 floors of lizardmen, assassins, archers, and hidden traps, then fight a 2 20-foot Fire Giants simultaneously.” Not even joking, that was the last quest I did in Neverwinter, and this isn’t even end-game content, I’m level 18 so the fun is just beginning. The content is much more challenging and involving than what I experienced in TERA.

  11. NobleNerd on October 21, 2014

    Seeing in most of your MMO raiding games about 15-20% of the population actually raids hardcore or regularly it is not as big of an impact on the gaming experience for most. There is other fun and entertaining options for those who do not wish to do the monotonous grinding of the same raid and boss over and over and over.

    With AA they restrict even the common, core elements of the game to ALL the population wanting to enjoy what entertainment the game offers. I see this as completely different features and should not be compared. You need to spend LPs to even open loot boxes, mail, report exploits (you do get the LP back if it is found to be a true report) and so much more!

    In my personal experience with LPs I can understand why they implemented the feature, but it just makes the game feel extremely restricted and frustrating. I was a Patron and wanted to focus mostly on crafting when I first jumped into the game. Got into a great crafting focused guild and then after about 1 week realized how frustrating, restrictive and a chore managing my LP was going to be to accomplish much. Not to mention how crazy the crafting system was for some crafts…. having to make a ton of lower level potion to use to level the next tier to use to level the next one and so forth until you actually could make a high level one was ridiculous!

  12. sdasd on October 21, 2014

    dont even like the gameplay

    not willing to do goldfarming chores to progress in a game i dont even enjoy

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