closed beta, beginning 10 AM PDT on July 17. While previously only available in its alpha stage for a select few and those who opted to purchase founder’s packs, the vast and richly-detailed adventure is initially opening its doors to additional players for four days, concluding on July 21 at 10 AM PDT.
“The unique take on the usual brand of MMORPGs was created with crafting at its heart, as well as the option to do what you want in-game, rather than waiting to be told what to do in the form of forced daily quests and the like.
“It’s about giving choice to players as a throwback to the old days without instructions, with people requesting or offering service in-game. The best way to do that is engage with other players. Defend from pirates, be social, get some combat in, or maybe not.” Hartsman went on to explain this notion further, citing the sheer amount of things to do as aspects that invite players of all types.
“The breadth of activity is just insane, and no matter what you’re into, if you branch out and try different things, the more you find things you enjoy. I’ve had people who wanted to go PvE only for a crafter’s paradise, and they mastered crafting, but found that there were always people who would buy those things, and wanted to befriend them. People who didn’t care about PvP before were slowly finding a more team-oriented environment, so the game tends to lend itself well to friends and variety.”
But crafting and team-building aren’t all ArcheAge has to offer, with plenty of combat for those who seek it out and explosive naval battles to boot: “There are huge ships and tiny rowboats for one person to massive warships with 9 or 10 crew members to man the cannon, the crow’s nest, and other areas. And that can lead to what I call ‘oh, sh** moments.'” Hartsman was particularly exuberant about this fact, the excitement practically bubbling off of him.
When asked about what he was most excited about given the upcoming beta release, he exclaimed “Holy sh**, it’s the beta!” near the beginning of our chat. It’s clear that this kind of passion for what will undoubtedly be a memorable and inviting experience for players tired of the same old thing will be a boon for Trion Worlds and XLGAMES alike.
“It’s all about the unexpected moments,” he gushed. “You can really tell [XLGAMES] went out of their way to make an internally consistent world.”