It’s Xmas morning and I’m waiting for my wife to wake up so we can open the presents. Waiting a long time. Sure we had a late night at a little social do, but this is Xmas morning to open the presents for Chrissakes and doesn’t she know that I’m waiting patiently??

To hell with it, I’ll log onto ArcheAge. Yesterday I got my clipper ship. I only got it because I was chatting with guildies on TeamSpeak and someone mentioned that spending 50 gildas on getting a clipper was a serious waste of gildas when I could pick up the plan off the auction house for a cool 60 gold. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Sure enough the plans were there and I got myself a harpoon clipper. I had all the mats already to build both the dock and the ship, so I slung down my dock in the middle of Lutesong harbor and about 20 minutes later I had my very own clipper ship.

Time to sail the seven seas. I’m at level cap after hitting 50 a couple of weeks ago. When I hit 50 I asked in guild chat what I needed to do now and I got a most divisive reply:

“It’s a sandbox, you knobhead.”

Indeed it is. The clipper ship has been added to my large scarecrow farm and a couple of underwater aqua farms. I’m levelling a bunch of crafting streams as well as engaging in as much PvP as I can handle. The new gaming rig lets me have all the video settings at ultra-high and this game is the best looking thing I’ve ever seen, (wife excluded, obviously). The Duke of O joined me this morning from null signifier and I took him for a cruise on my new clipper, his first ocean adventure in the game. Then I handed him the wheel and he almost managed to steer us straight into a PvP fight between a trade ship and a bunch of red nasties. However, cool as the other side of your pillow, he managed to steer us back to safety after much heart beating from us both. I asked him why he hadn’t been spending much time in game and he admitted that apart from being distracted by WoW he’d heard so many bad things about the game from other bloggers that he’d stayed away.

I put him to rights. Trion might have fucked up the game for the whales and the players that were first in line, but the ultimate effect has been to create a level playing field for new players who missed the initial land rush. Land is cheap and plentiful and many guilds are steadily rebuilding after the Auroria debacle. The Trion stuff-ups have not effected me in the slightest. The game is brilliant, the player-base is healthy, the moron factor is low, and the amount of options available to pursue is so extreme that it just isn’t possible to do everything.

One of the other major hurdles to new players is that they are put off by the fact that this game mixes up subscription with free-to-play content. Let me get one thing straight for all those thinking this:

ArcheAge is not a subscription game. You may pay a fee for Patron status, but that is merely another aspect of the cash shop. Get it out of your head that this is a subscription game. It is a cash shop across the board. What aspect of the cash shop that you choose to partake in is up to you. I myself have patron status and I have so far purchased one apex for $10 which I sold in game for a cool 235 gold. That little gold hit has enabled me to position myself to make some very good gold. You have to have money to make money. In total I’ve spent $40 on this game so far. When you consider that TESO was a $85 box purchase and then the monthly $15 on top of it, ArcheAge is incredible value.

So a lot of bloggers reckon the game is crap. So what? I say it’s great. I also say it’s currently the best MMO going, and I’ve played a few. Don’t believe them and don’t believe me either. Get in and make up your own mind.

Now I have to go as the good wife has stirred. Merry Xmas everyone!