I am now level 30 in ArcheAge. Yesterday I took my trade pack from the safety of my continent across the sea to the enemy wasteland in an attempt to hand in the quest to obtain a large farm. I have a small farm but I can’t get to it, as it is locked away in the high level pvp zone of Hala. Before, I journeyed there with ease through a portal that came out in one of our guildies’ houses. But that guildie began to play weirdly. She made repeated rearrangements of the indoor layout, blocking off the exits with high screens that required complicated feats of aerial acrobatics off high ledges to reach the door. I assumed she was doing this to deter intruders and that we just had to put up with it. But it turns out that she was a plant in the guild designed to spread disunity and harm, and her plan achieved she has left with her cohorts in tow and the door to her house is firmly locked. Access to farm securely denied for now.

Syncaine has abandoned the guild but I persevere as I presently have no other options. I took my tradepack overland from Mahadevi into Austera. This is not the traditional route to take, but I had seen chat reports of a large fleet of reds camped offshore further north. I had three options to make the crossing. Go with a convoy, row my little rowboat, or swim. I had no convoy as my guild is dead. My rowboat would have been a sitting duck out on the high seas. I chose the only alternative which was to swim the bastard.

I played Pirates of the Burning Sea back in the day. If anyone is still playing that rubbish you better to get over to ArcheAge right now. This is no pretend sea like WoW. This is no sea that exists only on coastlines and the rest in the imagination. This shit is real and it is big. It is populated by beasties and flocks of seagulls hovering over schools of fish. Storm clouds thunder ahead and lightening strikes around you as you get closer. And then there is the enemy. You are alone on a huge ocean, swimming gamely along and then suddenly a clipper ship streaks up from the horizon. I would have been lost numerous times but I had delayed this crossing until I had obtained the stealth ability in the shadowcraft tree. My crossing alternated from swim sprinting as I drained my mana reserves to a very slow stealth cruise as I avoided trouble around me. It was nerve-wracking, and the closer I got to my goal the tenser the situation became. Which is just how I like a game to be. There were a few high level reds swimming in the water on my final approach, and I worried that they might have had some super stealth-seeing abilities, but my plan held true and I made the dock and turned in my pack. Then I zoned the hell outta there.

I haven’t mentioned the water yet. The graphic water features are nothing short of superb. I remember years back when WoW had a major patch upgrade and the water features improved and we all went nerdlike crazy over it. This makes that look like a pre-school drawing versus The Last Supper. The water is water, that’s all there is to it. Your toon swims through the water and it is real swimming. When I began playing computer games way back in the early eighties I couldn’t have dreamed of something like this. And in an MMO. And the sea is real, there are no screen-loading shots from zone to zone. I don’t care about all of Trion’s problems and people paying to win. I really don’t care. Because this old gamer has found his sea, and me, I’m getting a boat.