Thursday, January 29, 2015

Producer's Letter: New Year, New Updates!

Producer’s Letter: New Year, New Updates!

Producer's Letter: New Year, New Updates!
Greetings ArcheAge Players,
My name is Merv Lee Kwai, also known as “Khrolan”, and I’ve recently had the honor of joining the ArcheAge team as a Producer. I became involved with ArcheAge during early Alpha stages and continue to play passionately today. It’s a pleasure to meet you and I know the future is going to be bright with us working together.
Over the past few months in ArcheAge we’ve been fortunate enough to witness your stories unfold. Powerful player alliances have formed and fallen. Newcomers and veterans alike have made their marks on Erenor – hopefully not too many of those marks were made at the bottom of the Arcadian Sea in the form of a shipwreck. We’re proud of how far you’ve come and have exciting news to share about what’s in store for 2015.
One of our top goals for the New Year is to be more transparent when we communicate with you. It is our intention to fix a lack of information or detail, starting now. It’s important for us to reach out and provide the information you need to understand what’s in store for our future and how we’re going to get there. You’ll begin to hear a lot more from us on our forums, social channels and live streams. We will discuss game play issues and provide insight on where we are with future content updates at a much more detailed level then we have in the past. So let’s get started.
Along the Shore
Since Auroria’s launch, we’ve seen players combine efforts on a large scale to claim, build and maintain castles. We’ve seen successful sieges and successful siege defenses. War is a difficult undertaking and that’s largely due to the costs to wage battle and the comforts defenders receive. We will spend some time tuning siege mechanics to create a greater sense of risk and a more balanced interaction between competing guilds.
Serpentis and The Sea of Drowned Love have received a frequent amount of traffic since their release as players compete for their spoils. In order to encourage continued exploration of these dungeons, we have temporarily reduced their barrier to entry by providing easier access, entrance tokens and new quests that grant rewards like Lunadrops, Lunafrosts and temporary duration jewelry upon completion.
We’ve also felt your pain when it comes to deep fluctuation within the game’s economy. Market values of popular items rise and fall based on traditional supply and demand but there are items that have fallen outside of our desired values. Examples of this include the recent spike to regrade components and archeum crystals which ultimately led to some areas of crafting being cost prohibitive. To combat this issue, we will begin to slowly introduce alternative drop methods to the game–reminiscent of the way rumbling archeum saplings influenced the price of thunderstruck trees, but on a much more controlled level. The first way you’ll see this occur is through a login event where you will receive free “Divine Gifts” under similar delivery methods as the Winter Maiden’s stockings. These gifts will include various rewards including regrade materials up to Lucky Points.
A decision was reached to make available some of the most popular cosmetic and companion items through the loyalty system in addition to supply crates. This was seen most recently with the addition of the Sloth Glider. Other coveted items will follow this trend and that’s mostly due to player feedback!
On the Horizon
A main focus for the future of the product is improving the daily quality of life for ArcheAge players. We are shifting priorities to deliver game mechanics that some of the veteran players will recognize like the PvP Arena and Fishing Tournaments. We have a challenge here to ensure that the rewards for these systems are congruent with the way the game has evolved, but that obstacle should be solved in the near term and we will deliver these events as soon as they’re finalized.
Another goal is to review mount and glider normalization to ensure that top tier rewards retain their value. It’s important to us that a reward reflects the level of effort taken to obtain it and we realize that’s not always the case with this category. Normalization has become a bad word of sorts but we believe that’s something we can change through intelligent decisions.
Our future updates will also include an increase to the overall integrity and fairness of the game. Some of these are fundamental changes like adding a global trade channel to remove some of the spam from faction chat, the ability to ignore or refuse mail from blocked senders and even placing a limitation on the number of unbuilt structures a player can maintain simultaneously. You may have also noticed recent efforts to purge players who employ third party programs to gain an advantage while playing Archeage. This is an on-going focus and is necessary to ensure everyone is on an equal playing field.
Over the next couple of weeks you will see the initial stages of the Diamond Shores introduction. For those of you who don’t know, Diamond Shores is a new region that’s located in southwestern Auroria. It’s populated with creatures and quests that are designed to support the level cap increase to 55. It includes a new residential area and is the foundation for the best dungeon experience to date, the Ayanad Library. We’re also excited to see how the introduction of Obsidian Weapons and additional skill points influence the classes you choose to play. Lastly, it’s our Intent to ensure that Diamond Shores goes live as a contested Aurorian region which means open world PvP will be a component of game play in this zone.
As you can see, we have a multitude of positive changes on the horizon and we extend a hearty thank you to those of you who have provided constructive feedback about the direction in which we should be sailing. Please be sure to stay abreast of new content as it filters through our Public Test Server. We look forward to joining you on the sea in 2015 and watching as the waves you make resonate across Erenor. May your glasses never be empty and the wind always behind your sails… except when turning, that wouldn’t be helpful at all.
Safe Travels,
Merv “Khrolan” Lee Kwai
Producer – ArcheAge

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