Archeage 101 - The Basics

Key Terms in this Section

APEX: Item sold in the cash shop for real money that becomes a tangible item in game.  This item can be traded or sold player to player, sold on the Auction House, and consumed by players to add 1,250 Credits to their Glyph Account for use in the cash shop.

 

Bloodlust:  Flagging for PvP on your own faction.  Will result in leaving blood pools and earning Crime and Infamy points.  See Section 18: Crime and Infamy for more details.   

Castles:  Claimable area in Auroria that can be held by a guild. Vulnerable to attack every 3rd Sunday if a guild inside the Top 20 ranking for your server purchases the siege scroll and uses it.  

Credits: Cash Shop Currency.

Dominion: Guild vs Guild war lasing one hour.  Whichever guild has more kills wins, but one guild must attain 10 kills or it is a draw.

Labor:  The character statistic that determines if you can take an action or not in regards to gathering, crafting, or proficiency.  

Housing:  Players can own housing (farms, houses) but are restricted to geographical areas boundaries called Housing Zones.

Patron: Subscription in Archeage.

What type of game is Archeage?

 

If you ask enough people want kind of game Archeage is you will  get every answer in the book.  For the purposes of Archeage 101 we will refer to Archeage as a "limited Sandbox" in line with this definition from Technopedia

“A sandbox is a style of game in which minimal character limitations are placed on the gamer, allowing the gamer to roam and change a virtual world at will”

The reason why I refer to Archeage as a limited sandbox, is because while you do have a number of freedoms in the game, there are restrictions placed on you.

 

You can kill members of your own faction - but only in some zones

Unless you issue a Dominion (Guild War)

 

You can claim castles - but only on some weekends

And only if you have the Siege Declaration scroll

 

You can own housing - but only in Housing Zones

And only if you can find a vacant space

 

So, Archeage isn’t a true Sandbox, it is more of a sandbox-esque game, with a number of sandbox features but you are still pretty much lead along a main story arc and restricted by a number of other hard rules.

Business Model

 

Before we get too far into the discussion of Archeage, I want to address the business model, because without a doubt this business model is going to drive some players away from the game.

 

Archeage is a Free-to-play game that has an optional subscription and a cash shop.  The subscription (Patron) is optional; however, there are both massive benefits and paywalls associated with it.   Labor generation & labor pool, loyalty tokens, and the privilege to own land are all locked behind Patron. Additionally, there is a cash shop that in the past has been straight pay-to-win, but since the introduction of Hiram gear it is noticeably less P2W, but the Cash Shop can still be very unbalancing to the game.

 

Now, have I played Archeage for most of the last four years despite the cash shop?  Yes. Have I kept my accounts Patroned using only in-game gold? Yes, and in the Appendix of this Guide I will teach several tips and tricks about making gold.   

 

I felt it was necessary to disclose the Cash Shop and the Pay-to-win before people got too deep into the game only to find out that they don’t want to deal with these two issues.

Moving on from the business model I’m going to be throwing a lot of terms at you for the next couple of sections.  You won’t know what all of them mean if you aren’t familiar with Archeage. Just buckle up, try to digest this and hopefully it will all become clear by the time we get through it.

 

Split Region Concept

 

The split region concept has been used since launch in order allow players to keep their accounts Patroned without investing any real world money into the game.  The reason this method works is because buying Patron gives your entire account Patron, meaning both your NA and your EU characters receive the benefits.

 

NOTE

This is how it currently functions as of May 2019.  I cannot guarantee that Gamigo will not make a change to this in the future

Second, between the NA region and the EU region you have two separate Labor Pools to work with, two separate Loyalty Pools to work with, but a single credit pool shared by the owning account.  

 

For a North American player this means they can log into the EU servers, expend 2,880 labor, collect between five and eight loyalty, and use those resources to generate gold which can be used to purchase APEX.  When they use the APEX item in game, it applies 1,250 credits to their account credit pool. This allows an NA player to expend resources (Labor, Loyalty) on EU to keep the account Patroned and have those same resources on NA available to help generate gold for gear and other desired items.   

 

In the Making Gold Appendix we will go over this concept in greater detail.  

 

Patron

 

Patron is the optional subscription of Archeage.   This is obtainable both by direct purchase from Gamigo (like you would any other video game subscription) or you can buy it with 2,400 credits.  The benefit to the cost being 2,400 credits is this is exactly 100 credits less than the amount of credits you get when you apply two APEX to your account.   

 

The big question new players always want to know is: Do you need Patron?

 

The simple answer that you will get from a lot of people is “No, you can play without Patron” but I do not subscribe to this mentality. While yes, you can play without Patron, you will be finding yourself at a major disadvantage when it comes to progression especially now that Hiram Gear is so labor intensive.  Even if you have all the gold you need to slot all the infusions you farm, you are still going to struggle with having enough labor to open all the infusion bags you earn a day and slot them all into your gear.

Additionally, without Patron you cannot put down land, so you will be limited to your inventory and your warehouse for storage space which even when fully expanded leaves 300 inventory slots.  While this may seem like a lot, when you start adding in all the various bits and pieces of junk you accumulate, its really not a lot of storage space at all.   

Case in point, when I came back from my 6 month absence I said I was going to limit myself to one house and an 8x8 so I could drop my hot tub.  I’ve since filled up 1.5 otherworldly storage chests (100 slots each) and the better part of 3 chests. You just end up with so much odds and ends bits and pieces it's hard to operate inside the confines of limited storage.  

 

Patrons also get the bonus of Loyalty Tokens.  They get 5 per day just for logging in daily, and then an additional 3 (and sometimes more if special events are going on).  Loyalty tokens are used for one of the many special currency shops which will be talked about in depth later.

 

There is also a 20% XP bonus, a 10% Vocation Badge Bonus, and a 20% Production Time bonus.  While these do not seem like they are all that important, we will be getting ancestral level 55 opened up when the 5.5 patch comes along [No release date, but sometime mid to late 2019].  This will require a massive amount of XP, so that 20% XP bonus is going to be worth it.

If you want to jump into the game, check it out, see if you like it.  You can absolutely do this without Patron. In a later chapter we will talk about gold making, and how an investment of one month’s Patron time can make it so you can keep Patron up and running for free and never have to invest a dollar again.

Labor

There really isn't a good way to describe labor other than to call it a character statistic that determines if you can take an action or not in regards to gathering, crafting, or proficiency.  

Labor will easily become is the bane of your existence in Archeage.  Pretty much everything in Archeage short of killing monsters and exploring the world requires labor.  Picking crops, fishing, chopping trees, opening purses and crates, slotting infusions, everything takes labor.

 

Patrons have a cap of 5,000 Labor and they regenerate 10 labor every 5 minutes regardless of if they

are online or not.   With 24 hours in a day and 60 minutes in an hour that means there are 1,440 minutes in a day.   Divide this by 5 minutes (per labor tick) and we get 288 labor ticks per day. Times this by 10 and we regenerate 2,880 labor per day as a Patron.  This is the amount of labor you will have every day.

 

On the flip side, Non-Patrons have a labor cap of 2,000 labor and they regenerate 5 labor every 5 minutes when they are online.  While there are still 288 labor ticks in a day, a non-patron is going to regenerate 1,440 labor per day if they leave their computer running 24/7.

 

So, as you can see you want to be Patron so that you can have twice as much labor and not be running your machine to death.

 

There are several ways to get more labor every day.  

 

Getting More Labor

 

There are many ways to get more labor.   

 

The easiest two are by buying a Labor Stipend and/or a Vocation Stipend from the cash shop.  

The Labor Stipend will grant you a buff that delivers a labor pot to your mailbox every day, but

you must log in for it to be delivered.   This labor pot is worth 1,000 labor and the stipend costs

1,250 credits or 1 APEX. The buff also grants a +20% XP vocational XP bonus from spending labor.  

The Vocation Stipend is similar, but the labor pot it delivers every day is going to be worth 500 labor and it also costs 1,250 credits or 1 APEX.  This buff also grants you an additional 1,000 labor on your pool cap (so 6,000 / 3,000 becomes your new cap). It also Increases your Specialty Payments from trade packs by 2% and increases your vocation badges earned by 10%.   

 

 

 

 

 

Next up is sleeping in beds.  If you are a Patron you can place down a bed on your property and by sleeping in it you can gain anywhere between 50 and 150 labor depending on the quality of the bed.  

 

Sleeping Extras - Pajamas

 

You can also equip different pajamas in order to earn up to 250 extra labor while sleeping (set that is earned in game) or 375 extra labor while sleeping (set purchased from the cash shop).

 

There have been a few other odds and ends that go along with sleeping including the Wooly Hat (50 extra) and the Puppy/Kittie onesie (50 Extra).  Plus there are a few items in game that allow you to sleep twice like the Hot Tub and the Naptime Yata Plushie.

 

So, with max everything, you can accumulate 1,250 extra labor per day from sleeping twice.  Now several of these items are no longer obtainable, but keep your eyes open for when they come back around.  

 

Free to play players have the option to sleep in beds as well, but they don’t get to use all the extra shinies and it costs them two Gilda stars to do so.  If you head over to your community center and plop yourself down in a bed for 9 minutes, you will restore 100 labor. This is a flat rate number and does not take into account if you are wearing pajamas or not.  It still not a bad deal since you can accumulate gilda stars pretty easily. You can also do this on alts and continuously feed labor to your main.

 

Occasionally there will be events that grant labor.  It is always a good idea to check out the events to see if labor, honor, vocation, is being offered.  You can usually snag some decent labor rewards for just a few minutes of time investment

 

The Daily Log-in tracker is also often a source of free labor pots and for right now the way it works is that you only need to log-in and claim the item.  You do not need to stay logged in for any minimal length of time.

 

With this overview complete, we can take our first jump into game and get started with character creation and settings.

Faction System

 

Archeage is a game with factions, but it would not be accurate to call it a faction based. 

 

There are a number of events that you can do every day such as Crimson Rift, Grimghast Rift, Mistmerrow, Abyssal, Luscas (These events are all detailed in the Daily Things to do Do Section), you don't actually need to complete them with your faction.  You can, just as easily complete these events with your guild.   Additional through the Bloodlust and Dominion mechanics you can even kill your own faction with and without penalty.

 

One key thing is you will start as a member of one faction and then can choose to emmigate to a different faction. Everyone starts as a West (Nuia, Elf, Dwarf) or East (Haraya, Firraran, Warborn). Your home faction will always be Nuian or Haranyan, you can not ever defect from your home faction to the other home faction. After that, you have two options. You can become a member of the Pirate Faction or you can become a member of the Player Nations.

 

As of the 16 January 2019 Patch, the Pirate Nation is now a nation that is joined via a quest, rather than a punishment for accumulating too much infamy, which is a major change for players who played at launch and are now returning.

 

Player Nations are, as the name implies, established by players.  I will not be covering the founding of Player Nations in Archeage 101.  By the time you are ready to lead a Player Nation you should be far beyond the necessity of a beginners guide to the game.  While I know this is a controversial decision, I feel it is best served if we do not have people aiming too high above their level.  I may, do a Archeage 301 on more complex topics and Player Nations would certainly be among them.

 

Specific Archeage Features

 

There are several features you will want to know about before you start playing.  The first is that you don’t need alts to play different classes. Every character is able to swap between the skill trees which means one character has access to 165 different classes.  For some players this is a common feature, but for others who are used to picking a singular class at character creation this is going to take a little getting used to.

 

A special notes about alts.  Alts share the same labor pool, same credit pool, and the same loyalty pool as their main character. This is one major drawback for having alts on the same account. The good news is they do share your patron, so if you feel it necessary to say have land on the other continent and want to avoid the 300% hostile tax penalty you can do it via alts.  

 

A key thing is that rewards and stuff sometimes go to the main character on an account, so out of force of habit always log into your main first.   Your login tracker rewards and any attached items to the loyalty tracker will be be granted to the character that selects them, so always make sure you claim items on the character you really want to have the items. Also, some special events can be done once per account not once per character.  This means if you do them on an alt, you remain may not be able to do them. Always make sure to check to see if the event is repeatable by doing it on your main character first and then seeing if it is repeatable on your alt.   

Character Customization

 

One of the interesting things about Archeage is the sheer amount of customization you can do to your character.  Cryengine 3, the engine that Archeage is built on, is pretty robust with its character models.  There is pretty sizeable selection of premade templates, or if you want to go totally crazy with your character you can certainly do so.   

 

Game Settings for new players

 

As soon as you log into the game, the first thing you are going to want to do is hit ESC and make a half a dozen small changes to the game which will improve your experience.   

 

Screen Settings

 

I prefer to run in Borderless Windowed Mode. Full screen

runs my machine hard, plus I spend a lot of time alt-tabbing

out of game.  

I do not use Multithread Rendering as I tend to be doing a

lot of different things at once.  If you are going to be playing

Archeage and only Archeage, this is a good setting to turn on.

Restrict Max FPS:  

 

Archeage is brutal on graphic cards.  I tend to restrict this to

144 now that I have a 144 hz monitor, but before when I had

a different monitor I restricted it to 120 only if I was running

a single account or down to 90 or even 60 when I was

multi-boxing.     

Camera Mode:  

 

This is up to the individual player, but I find that Wide View

is a very nice mode to play especially during open world and

prevents you from having to install 3rd party programs to

have a wider view.   

Quality

 

This is a mix and match based on your computer quality, your graphics card, and how much wear and tear you want to put on your hardware.   I personally can run on Very High, but I tend to only run on High since there isn’t a noticeable different on in-game quality but there is certainly a difference in stress on the card.

 

One simple thing you can turn off if you are having graphics issues is everything in Shader and Everything Visual Effects can be turned off with minimal change to your screen quality but a substantial increase in performance.

 

Sound Settings

 

If you are ever standing somewhere and you hear really loud,

shrill music or piercing tones, this may be the work of

players who are less than considerate of the hearing of others.   

What you want to do is go Sound Settings and at the bottom

there is Mute Music Played by other characters. This is the box

you want to check to not hear the midi files created by other

players.

 

 

 

Game Settings

 

If you don’t want your own name over your head you can disable that in Name Info.  If you don’t want your screen filled up with a bunch of different random names you have a pretty decent customization set of options for what names appear on your screen

 

If you prefer to have your health and mana appear in your bars as a number then you want to check off the boxes in Game Info. Otherwise it’s just going to be a bar with no number in it.

 

Another important thing from this section is the Combo Effects in tooltips.   You can choose to have no details in your tooltip, combo details, damage details all the details.   

 

Another few things you may want to do here is turn on insufficient bag space alert so a little number appears on your bag when your inventory is getting full, turn off Chat Bubbles unless you like those sort of things, Close the tutorial if you don’t want to hear the narrator’s voice all the time, and Turn on Frame Rate so you can see if you are lagging.  I also like to dial down Damage/Heal Info down to self to clean up the clutter on the screen.

 

Functionality

 

Inside functionality you will find a bunch of miscellaneous options, including Auto-Select Target when using skills (picks the closest hostile target) and Skill Deployment Location (only have to press one-button to drop ground target skills).  This menu also has the Disable Chat Filter Tab on it, which you will want to turn off if you are ok with grown up language.

 

Combat Log

 

You will want to set up a Combat tab to see how much damage you are doing and how much you are taking. Unfortunately there is no good way to create a low clutter tab to only see your damage.  You can see just you, but it will reflect the damage you do and the damage you received.

 

Likewise there isn’t a good way to set up a healer tab.   You can certainly set up a tab to just see heals as they come in, however, you only see life restored, you don’t see criticals reflected.  

 

Another thing to note is that you don’t get the best information when it comes to showing how damage is mitigated.  This is just something we’ve come to accept over the years. You’ll just have to use the tools you are given and cobble together something useful the best you can when it comes to analyzing your performance.   

 

With the business model and basic settings out of the way, we will now dive into the Classes of Archeage.

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