You might have heard something about ArcheAge recently. If you pay attention to any of the gaming subreddits, then you probably got a whole lot of ArcheAge in your face today. The news? Trion announced the closed beta start date, which is Thursday, July 17th through Monday, July 21st. Until now, only those at the Archeum Founders level ($150) has been able to experience the game, which has been in alpha. Now those at the other two levels (Gold is $100 and Silver is $50 – see David's guide here to learn the difference between packs) have a shot of seeing what the game is like. Those of us who haven't preordered, but have signed up for a chance at beta keys, are playing the waiting game to see if we get the golden ticket or not. The beta client will be different than the alpha and alpha servers will not be available during closed betas. Betas here is plural, because these servers will not be available continuously.
I'm pretty torn right now about ArcheAge. The way classes are done look super interesting and I'm pretty excited about that. However, I'm not big on open world PvP, especially when it comes to leveling. When World of Warcraft went live, I ended up leveling slower than my guild, so I'd spend time alone in Stranglethorn Vale trying to get through my 20s. Having two 45s constantly find me in the zone and interrupt my leveling for hours isn't my idea of fun. Also having my guildmates babysit me while I level through solo content isn't fun, either. Burning Crusade was another story, as we were all on an even playing field when the expansion first opened. I found open world PvP to be far more enjoyable and if I ended up playing weird hours, I didn't have to worry that my guildmates were offline, since there were other people in the same zones who were eager to punch the other faction in the face.
I'll definitely try ArcheAge if I get lucky enough and end up with a closed beta key or when the game launches. I have a few super nutty multiclassing combos that I can't wait to try out. However, I'm just not quite sold on the idea of paying to get into this particular beta (because I'm a huge Norrath nerd, I couldn't give SOE my money fast enough for Landmark alpha), but I'm looking forward to reading community reactions when closed beta does happen.
In other ArcheAge news, the Korean client will see Update 1.7 – the patch the game Trion is publishing will launch with – next week. Update 1.7 will come with more content for both PvE and PvP, as well as an underwater boss. Seeing what happens to the Korean client is like having a crystal ball to see into the future of ArcheAge. The only downside here is that while you can see what will be coming to the game, it'll be awhile before it hits the west. Not only does it need to get tested, but the patches need to get localized and translated, all of which take time.
When games enter closed beta are usually around the time I go from following them casually to getting interested in their development, and now that a magic flow chart has told me I'll likely dig ArcheAge, I'm starting to get ramped up in what's going on with this game. Whether or not I'll enjoy it when I get to try it out is a whole different matter. I can read about a game all I want, but until I actually experience it, I'll never know if I find it enjoyable or not.
Until we meet in Origin...