Today, Trion sent out an email blast to let everyone know that beginning this Friday, August 22, CB4 for ArcheAge will begin and last throughout the weekend. While this still requires either an invite from Trion or a Founders Pack purchase, Trion has stated that this will be twice the size of CB3, so if you're hoping for an invite, keep checking your inbox. They also said that invites will go out closer to the start. They've already released the server list for the weekend, and if you're an alpha player who doesn't want to switch over during the event, your servers will be available for continued play this time.
The community is pretty excited that Trion has announced CB4 so quickly after CB3, in hopes that this will mean that launch is coming soon. Honestly, Trion is very, very unlikely to change dates, but there are always folks who are good at latching onto a small piece of information and hyping themselves to exhaustion from it. However, fans in the ArcheAge subreddit are correct in suggesting that moving the date up would be a wise move for Trion, after World of Warcraft announced Warlords of Draenor's release date.
Along with the newest beta, a game update will be on its way, as well. Tomorrow, the latest patch hits the alpha servers. It's an 800mb patch, with most of it working on localization for the French and German clients. These language options will be available this weekend and Community Manager Scapes did say the option to set the language in Glyph will be available soon. Unfortunately, the patch notes are behind a wall for those with alpha access, so actual notes are not available for the masses yet. Hopefully the patch notes will be made available for the rest of us before the weekend.
While a lot of the folks over here at TTH are super excited about ArcheAge, I think the excitement has fully worn off on me. I was really stoked between closed betas one and two, but a short time into the second one, I just had no desire to play it anymore. I love the approach to classing, and I felt that having the option to piece my character together and build it was a huge amount of fun. However, I think I am just seriously worn out on doing the same MMO thing, that I no longer want to do it in a game my friends aren't playing. Yes, I could make new in-game friends, and that would make ArcheAge more fun for me, but the beginning of the game just feels like the beginning of a majority of already established games on the market.
People keep telling me that the game drastically changes for the better around level 30 or so, but people like me aren't going to push through boring and repetitive tasks to get to that point. Sure, there will be some dedicated people who grind through parts of the game they really do not enjoy (and then make bitter posts on the forums), but with my limited time, I'd rather hang out with my friends in that one game everyone's played or be a bum in whatever version of Norrath is striking my fancy on that particular day.
Considering how many MMOs are available these days, I feel it's very important to make players feel like they're a part of the world from the get-go. Sure, there's the Age of Conan Effect, where the exact opposite happens. In order to get these more casual players (I'm going to define casual here as players who might log in a couple times throughout the week, with more time during the weekends, regardless of whether they're soloers, groupers, raiders or PvPers) to stick with the game, the new player experience has to be gripping and it has to hook people immediately. I don't want to use my free time working towards the level that everyone keeps telling me is when the game becomes fun. If the game isn't fun at the beginning, there are others available to me already that are.
“But Pants, you just said you had a lot of fun at during the first beta event you played.” Yes, this is true. The problem here is, while I did enjoy it and will highly recommend that everyone /dance everywhere they go, it quickly became more of the same thing to me, which was apparent by the time I got into the second event. No matter how much I enjoyed putting together my character using the classing system, it won't change the fact that the early part of the game feels a lot like the early part of so many other games and that formula is no longer satisfying. I'd rather goof off elsewhere than begrudgingly push through content just because I heard it gets fun later. However, that will not stop me from being happy that ArcheAge is making a lot of other people very happy. It's just not the game for me.