Hello ArcheAge Source!
As you may have read on the Trion Worlds ArcheAge website, my name is Evan "Scapes" Berman and I'm proud to be your Community Manager for ArcheAge for Trion. I’m eager to wade hip-deep into the ArcheAge community but want to provide a proactive update on recent hot topics and the game’s future (with regards to our service).
Let’s open with the burning question I’ve had tweeted and Skyped and yelled out of passing cars at me since I joined the ArcheAge Team at Trion Worlds: “When can I play the game?” You may know that ArcheAge is currently in an initial Friends and Family Alpha meaning the tester group is extremely small and nigh-internal. What you don’t yet know is that since the recent launch service in Russia, XLGames has been providing tremendous engineering effort toward making ArcheAge go live in the west as rapidly as possible. The work involved in launching a new region with support for three languages, unique to Trion’s version, is no small undertaking on top of integrating the game with our account, patching, operational, billing, and logging systems.
With that in mind, we plan to expand the alpha in coming weeks following GDC this month. This strictly NDA’d phase will initially focus on pillars of the ArcheAge community but will definitely grow out further. “But what about beta?” We’ll be transitioning from alpha to an NDA-free closed beta as the tasks mentioned above get knocked out one at a time, so we can have the best, fastest launch possible. While the tech work continues, the team is also finalizing plans for “early supporter” pre-launch packages slated to be introduced during this timeframe and available for the duration of closed beta, leading into launch later this year.
As for this week, there’s lots of preparation already in full swing for GDC. We have built out an amazingly detailed yet compact press demo that fits inside fifteen minutes to begin to help get the more mainstream games media caught up to your collective level of knowledge of ArcheAge. While we’re thrilled to present ArcheAge to the media, we’re even more excited to share the demo with the community on next Friday’s livestream (March 21) and add ArcheAge as a recurring feature of our Twitch channel.
As AAS is already aware, ArcheAge has also been in the news due to XLGames’ Russian partner, Mail.Ru, implementing a few rounds of changes of region-based access. While we’ve been keeping aware of new developments, it isn’t our place to comment on game service decisions of XLGames’ other publishers. Thanks in advance for understanding.
Also new this week, we have resumed fleshing out the Trion Worlds ArcheAge website with more game details, starting with the new Races & Factions pane, though the information may be plenty familiar to ArcheAge’s more devout fans. While we populate the current website with the core game information, work on a new website is already underway (we’ll make sure to include the existing written content). Additionally, official forums are being finalized as I type to support our efforts in expanding the alpha.
On that note, I also understand there are concerns about some of the pending changes to the game. Allow me to say this here and now: both Trion Worlds and XLGames want ArcheAge to be a free-to-play sandbox that fits our “No Tricks, No Traps” vision and will make development decisions for to achieve that goal in Trion’s territories. There are a couple of important recent examples we’d love to share: XLGames has agreed to our request that racial quests grant experience (which had been removed) and that mounts/gliders purchased from the cash shop provide solid value and fun, while earned and crafted items are objectively superior.
TLDR: I’m excited to be your point of contact for ArcheAge in the Americas and Europe and we have a lot of news coming up about bringing the game to you as quickly as possible. See you around here on ArcheAge Source and, in a little while, the official Trion forums.