Well guess what? XLGames did more than just answer the questions we sent, they got Jake Song himself to do it for us! He was able to spare some time to respond to our list, just like he did for Massively a while back. Is this awesome or what? Just goes to show you guys that if you try hard enough, almost anything is possible!
Without further ado, here's the questions and answers. Remember, everything Jake says is not set in stone or final. There are months of development left for ArcheAge and Jake's stance on many of the more controversial topics, such as death penalties, could change in a split second. If you don't agree with some of these answers, don't give up on ArcheAge.
Will there be different server types available? PvP servers with loot on death, PvE servers with PK disabled, for example.
Yes. 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.
What are the penalties for dying? (Experience, money, debuff, and so on.)
We do not want to make the penalty too harsh. As of now, we are considering temporary debuff.
How extensive will ArcheAge's character customization be? Extremely detailed sculpting?
Based on the current system, it will be difficult to allow users to freely change the shape of the face or the body. For now, we plan to offer preset faces. Also, users will be able to add and freely place, tattoos, make-ups, and scars. We are considering whether to allow users to upload their own customized tattoos, but it may not be realized due to various issues.
Is there a possibility that groups can be larger? (Like Alliances in Aion.)
Parties currently consist of 5 people, but as we will provide raids and castle sieges, there will be support for much larger groups.
Will relationships be available in-game? Marriage, kings and queens, etc.
We plan to implement a marriage system. Besides marriage, we also plan to implement an adopting system for users to create a family relationship.
There's lots of food in ArcheAge, but can any of it go bad (rot) and make players sick?
It was not included in our design, but I think it is a good idea. We will try to implement it.
Regarding ArcheAge's art style: is it thoroughly medieval or will there be some "steampunk" elements?
Maybe not so “steampunk”, but we do have plans to use Renaissance visual styles in some parts.
Are negotiations already underway to determine who will publish ArcheAge in North America and Europe?
We have not yet initiated any discussions.
Jake, how do you get your hair to look so fabulous?
Hmm.. My hair is getting curlier these days. I think it’s because I don't comb often. =)
Did you guys find this question and answer session satisfying? In the future we may have the chance to do this again, but in the meantime please enjoy discussing the topics mentioned above in a civilized fashion on these forums. Be on your best behavior! People are watching what you say.
Also, you can follow Jake Song on twitter if you wish. Here's his page: @appledelhi
Finally, congratulations ArcheAge fans! You've made yourselves heard and the future is bright. Keep up the good work!