On February 18th, 2017, XLGames held their first ever customer conference for Archeage, where players came together and asked questions about the future of the game. Inven has kindly reported on it. In this article, I will be exploring the questions posed by the players, and the responses of XLGames.
The following is a summary of the Q&A. The topics discussed were to do with the 3.5 update, as well as the next major patch, which I will call 3.5B, and plans for the overall year of 2017.
Successor levels and skills are a new set of sub-skills released in 3.5 for all skill trees. They obviously have affected the game, but players wondered to what extent did they do so?
Q. Some of the skills are quite weak in comparison to other very strong skills. What are you doing to fix this?
A. We understand that there are some better skills than others, but we think that users should spend a little more time innovating than going by the static meta. That being said, we are going to be making some changes with the skills in April, 2017, when 3.5B comes out.
Q. Only two Successor skills have been released for each skill tree. Will there be more Successor skills released?
A. It is very possible (Hint) that there will be more added in the future. We plan to make these decisions based on the players’ feedback.
Q. Are there any plans for improving the Successor leveling system?
A. We do not have any such plans, but if it turns out to be an inconvenience, there is always room for improvement.
Q. Going off of that question, the materials needed for leveling up are quite restrictive to some players. Could you not change them?
A. We understand that not all players participate in PvP or events, and as such, do not have much honor, or do not farm enough honor. As such, we do plan to raise the amount of honor gained from PvP, but the methods of leveling up Successor levels will not be changed.
Q. Is there any correlation between increased damage for skills and increased stats for players as they level their Successor level up?
A. No, there is no such correlation. Also, Successor skills do not scale in relation to your Successor level.
Q. It is much harder for healers to obtain honor and as such level up their Successor skill. Is there any plan to improve the leveling system?
A. OK, we may improve it, but no promises. Currently, there are no plans to improve the leveling system, but with the amount of feedback that we are receiving about this, we may make some changes.
Q. Do you plan to make skills that get rid of CC, such as stuns or trips, into Successor Skills?
A. We may try to fix some of these issues in PvP during the next patch.
Q. Will be able to save our Successor builds in the future?
A. This is something that we want to implement, but as of yet, have not developed.
In short, the balancing and adjusting of Successor skills is planned for the April update in Korea, 3.5B. The devs at XLGames want to collect information from the usability of these skills, and their experiences with them. The devs are keeping in mind that after this update, only about two out of the six Successor skills per tree are usable (On average), but they are not as of yet revealing their planned changes to the skills.
Erenor is a much more powerful tiers of equipment than Ayanad or Tier 7 Obsidian, but one of its main drawbacks is how hard it is to obtain. You can find out more about them in this article.
Players asked quite a few questions about Erenor and that difficulty of obtaining it in this Q&A.
Q. The current amount of experience for synthesizing Erenor items is a huge burden, and are basically impossible. Are there any plans to change this?
A. The experience values will be adjusted in the April update, so we hope that that will help. When we were rolling out 3.5, our internal estimates on how much an Erenor item would cost were wrong by about 2-3 times, and we hope to make up for that in this next patch by making it how much we intended it to cost in the first place. Of course, if you find a more efficient path, you can use it right now to reduce costs, but as of right now, according to our players, Erenor items are just not worth it.
Q. So, for those on Korea, is it not a massive loss if they make their Erenor items and synthesize them before April?
A. Unfortunately, we do not disclose any information related to future patches, especially those related to the economy of the game. That being said, we are working our hardest on making the process simpler and easier for everyone.
Q. Will there be an 8th tier for Obsidian items?
A. We have no such plans. This reflects up to Winter 2018. (So the earliest you might see Obsidian T8 is January, 2019)
Regrading and Lunagems
In 3.5, XL added a new grade above Mythic called Primordial, readjusted regrading chances, as well as regrading costs. Find out more in this article.
Q. With the update of Primordial, and the upgrade to gem slots, it is now even harder to fully gem an end-game item. Will there be any changes for this?
A. It is very likely that we will implement a change where the first three lunagems always go in at 100% success rate. That being said, this decision is not final as of yet.
Q. With 3.5, you increased the regrading costs by quite a bit (2.7 times). What was your reason for this, and do you consider your current costs to be correct?
A. The problem is that we increased our regrading costs, and if we kept the regrading costs the same, it would cause inflation to rise, as such making the game harder for newer players. We do consider these regrading costs to be correct, as the overall number of successful regrades has increased quite a lot since 3.5 came out.
Q. Before 3.5, it was recommended for new players to craft Obsidian in order to catch up to other players in terms of gear. Does that still hold true for 3.5?
A. No. In 3.5, we recommend our new players to craft ordinary items such as Delphinads and Ayanads in order to catch up to veteran players. Due to the new regrading system where Obsidian items have lower success chances that crafted items such as those mentioned, it is more efficient for players to just craft their armor.
The New Areas and Raids
In 3.5, XL added two new areas, the Sea of Candles and Whale Song. These zones are there to help players craft their Erenor. In addition to that, XL has promised to rehash and improve the raid UI present within Archeage.
Q. In the new area called the Sea of Candles, a snow weather effect is present. This is quite detrimental to the performance of players’ computers, as well as simply annoying. Could this not be removed?
A. We are looking into options in how to optionally turn off these kinds of weather effects. Essentially, there is probably going to be a feature implemented that turns off all weather effects.
Q. There seem to not be enough mobs in Whale Song versus the number of mobs present in the Sea of Candles. Are you aware of this?
A. We do not consider this a problem. There are enough mobs in both regions, but in the Sea of Candles, they are grouped much more densely that in Whale Song.
Q. In terms of the new areas, it is difficult to enjoy any content that it has to offer if you do not have good gear, or do not have a raid.
A. In 2016, we focused on improving existing content. In 2017, we will be focusing on the issue of power imbalances in terms of raids and gear. The content in the new areas is going to be slightly nerfed in 3.5 for newer players to enjoy, but we want to focus on larger problems than that. We hope to improve such problematic points by improving them one by one, and such points include sieges and nation-wide content.
Q. For a lot of content, large raids of people are required. As of right now, the raid UI, as well as the raid system in general, is very lacking for a modern game. Will there be improvements to it?
A. Yes! In April, we plan to improve the raid UI in order to make the management of a raid easier, as well as improve how players get into a raid for activities such as Crimson Rift.
In addition to other overhauls of systems in 3.5, such as crafting and regrading, the trade system has also been changed. I will summarize the answers in this section instead of providing the question and answer format that I did in the other sections.
XL plans to continue to shape the trading system in accordance to a formula of “the greater the risk, the greater the reward.” Their first priority in terms of this forumla is to improve the trade between continents. XL plans to change some of the rewards/prices for trade packs, but those plans are not final as of yet.
XL also plans to redesign intercontinental trading a little. They want to add a system in which the turn-in NPCs for trade packs have a script that lowers the turn-in prices for trade-packs that are being delivered frequently (Which kind of already exists), but increases the prices for trade packs that are being turned in rarely. That being said, these plans are not final and are subject to change.
Q. In terms of arenas, due to a low number of people queuing up for them, it is quite hard to actually get into an arena. Could there be some improvements in terms of that?
A. Yes. In fact, we are working on a system for cross-server arenas. This system will be released in the summer (Probably June) of this year.
Q. When a player reaches a certain number of buffs, he is capped out, causing some of the buffs that he had to disappear. Are there any changes that are going to made to prevent this?
This is a concern, but unfortunately, it is a problem whose cause lies deep within the game code, and as such, it may be difficult to fix. That being said, we hope to fix it eventually, but it is not of high priority as of right now, so again, it might take a while.
Q. Are there any plans to add content that small groups of people could enjoy?
A. There are quite a few activities that small groups of people can participate in as a unit. With that being said, we may implement something new later this year.
Q. There is quite a big problem with server capacity and the server overloading with players. Are you taking any measures to improve that?
A. This is actually one of our main priorities right now, and we hope to improve it later this year.
Plans for June, 2017
- XL will be implementing cross-server arenas in order to foster a better system with the limited amounts of players queuing on a server.
- XL will be improving their system for the fight against exploiters and cheaters.
- There are plans to add activities for smaller groups of players, as in activities that do not require a full raid of players to complete.
So, what do you think about the changes that are coming? Do you like them?
Make sure to leave a comment below telling me what you think. If you have any questions, ask away. I will try to answer them.