The alpha test of XLGames’ ArcheWorld started on July 28. ArcheWorld is the blockchain version of ArcheAge, which was preparing its grand launch in the third quarter. Considering the open date, this alpha test is the first and last test for the users.
As someone who’s interested in and enjoyed ArcheAge for more than three years from the early days, I tried out the alpha test for three days. Here, we’ll have a look at the difference between ArcheAge and ArcheWorld. However, the ArcheAge I enjoyed was focused on the first three years, so please note that I am unaware of how the current ArcheAge systems are applied in ArcheWorld.
From East vs. West to conflict among guilds
Originally in ArcheAge, the groups were divided into east and west, expanding into pirates and nations, but this has changed to conflict among factions (guilds). The only difference between choosing the east or west side is having a different starting point, and players can chat and communicate with users from the other continent from Lv. 1. Also, players from different continents can join the same faction as well.
Although it has been changed to conflict among factions, it’s not that there are fewer fights. If you move into conflict areas like Halcyona, attacks come in relentlessly. Since the game is serviced globally, conflict occurred as the users were from different regions such as the Philippines, Taiwan, Russia, etc.
Some just attacked because they were from another country. Sometimes, it was about quest monsters. When users enter the conflict/war state, there are additional experience and item drop rate buffs, so there were even users that just randomly slaughtered other users. There were still those who harmonically formed parties to attempt boss raids too.
Since the alpha test's number of testers was limited, there were mainly small fights. When ArcheWorld is officially launched, there will be bigger wars among factions as many more people will be playing the game.
Blockchain system - Blue Salt token needed for land tax and trading
The main currency in ArcheAge was gold, but here, a token called Blue Salt and Archeum is used. Archeum is used to upgrade equipment, and Blue Salt is needed to pay land taxes, purchase house blueprints, and trade in the exchange markets.
Blue Salt can be exchanged directly into BORA coins, so they will take up a major part of the in-game economy. In the alpha test, some Blue Salt is given out, so there’s not much shortage while playing the game, but the ways to gain Blue Salt will be limited at the official launch, such as fandom card reward, alpha test event reward, land tax distribution, etc. It’s projected that Blue Salt will be insufficient during the early days.
All trades must go through the exchange
As all online games are, there are issues with auto programs and so-called “bots”, especially in P2E games. If player-to-player trading is possible like ArcheAge, the game economy will crash due to the auto programs and bots. To prevent that from happening, all trading transactions must go through the exchange. The main resource at the exchange is Blue Salt tokens. The gold is only used to pay the registration fee.
Obviously, this makes it inconvenient for normal users. Giving an item to a faction mate or friend has become almost impossible. During the alpha test, it was possible by having quick transactions on the exchange, but if there are more people after the grand launch, the items can be intercepted in the process.
Reduction of the life content
Personally, this was the most disappointing for me. Planting crops, trees, or breeding livestock was only possible on private land. Also, the natural vegetation or ores weren’t collectible. For me, it was fun to plant and farm crops or trees on common fields. Since this isn’t possible, stealing from those plants is also unavailable. Maybe since this gave me a big impression back during the open beta days of ArcheAge in 2013, this was the most disappointing part for me.
Like this, the vast life content that was available in ArcheAge was reduced. In the early days of ArcheAge, material that was gained through life content was needed to craft and upgrade equipment. However, since most of those materials were acquirable through monsters, life content wasn’t really necessary.
Skillbook / Crimson Rift / Equipment upgrades
Besides the bigger differences, there are small changes all over. A skill book is needed to level up a skill to a certain level, so there were many users waiting all day at the exchange to get a skillbook for their class. Crimson Rift, which was the main raid content of ArcheAge, used to be open every four hours by area — this is now only open in war areas at war times. And as mentioned above, the material needed to upgrade equipment was acquirable through killing monsters.
Like this, ArcheWorld is based on the classic version of ArcheAge, but there are quite a lot of changes. There is some new fun where users can enjoy playing the game with the global users without the conflict between the east and west continents, but on the other hand, the life content was reduced. The grand launch of ArcheWorld will come soon, so whoever that had some good memories of playing ArcheAge should be able to have some fun there.