A post mortem player experience

Discuss the game state, current & future Events and issues of Archeage with the community.
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Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:51 pm

An AA life experience many can follow:
Nth;2627884 wrote:Many of you probably dont know me, I keep a low profile in game. If you play on Aranzeb and have been to Southwest Rookborne in the last 2 years you might have noticed the huge pine forest on the plateau adjacent to the falcorth pass, that was my contribution to the game. I lived the potatoe lyfe, growing trees and other farmables, running packs, and doing some light content and pvp with my guild. Life was good if not a bit tedious, and the money wasnt bad. This is how I spent 2+ years of game time.

Last week though due to reasons I will explain below I unsubbed all of my accounts and have not logged back into the game. My Archeage life is over, patron has run out on 3 of 8 accounts and property has already demoed (theres no turning back now). Why am I here? (you might be asking yourself) Well I felt it prudent to say goodbye to the game thats been so prominent in my life for the
last two years, and to explain my player experience and how this ended up affecting this decision. Hopefully someone will consider the review of a long time paying customer, who loved the product, and spent countless hours and cash important.

I began my game life in early 2015, a friend of mine (Yene, in game name) told me all about AA, the class makeup (exciting), sandbox housing (coming from an SWG background, EXCITING), trade system, and even overseas combat. Sounded amazing and was. I had a blast at the beginning of the game. Huge detailed world to explore, world pvp encounters. Everything felt new and dangerous. This is how I spent most of the first year (wide eyed grin). The time commitment in order to level and play with my friends was minor (2-4 hours per day) and I felt accomplished while learning the new system.

Things changed a bit in year 2, I bid farewell to Yene first and then later to many other friends, AA began to feel lonely. This was early 2016, I was starting to understand the nature of the game. Tried my hand at regrqading and spent all of my money and time on obisidian gear which I had mostly regraded to Celestial. Several months later legacy gear came out, I was happy I had the gear but upset that I did not have the foresight to avoid the blunder.

At this stage I had accumulated large plots of land in North Perinoor and Southwest Rook. My time in game changed from more of a questing, grinding, and pvp aspect to that of a farmer. I had always done trees for TST on smallish plots but 2016 I took it serious and had enough land to do 1k pines or 2k+ cedars in a single run. This switch happened due to gold needs for gear, gear had been steadily increasing in price at this time. Many items were 2-3 times more expensive than when I had priced them months earlier.

I was perfectly content to spend my time planting and harvesting trees, running packs, and selling in demand farmables in order to get the gear I wanted for "end game pvp". At this stage I had 3 accounts, mainly for the extra labor and property count. Things changed when 3.0 was announced. Instead of spending my gold on gear I had to funnel it into preparation for the patch. I purchased 100k Pine saplings to keep my farm running, rolled 4 extra accounts for the property, converted all of the scattered 16's into 24's, treehouses, and upgraded harvesters, and spent cash on things like chests etc.

3.0 then hit and AA life changed (for me at least). What was once a minor daily time sink (burning labor on farming for vocation / harvestables) became a massive grind for vocation. This was due mainly to the 3.0 changes to vocation system. Prior to this, IMO vocation made sense. PvP players honor as a resource, which they got from pvping. And farmers had vocation as a resource, which they got from farming. Instead now I have to do dalies, many of them, and some of them fairly time consuming. I was spending 2 hours a day at least (more if you count growing mats for dalies) in order to get the vocation I needed once the backlog of pine saplings was gone.

Its also at this time that due to the tax changes I had to shed a lot of land. I lost properties in Falcorth, Silent Forest, Mahadevi, Solis, and Perinoor. I decided to pack up all of it and consolidate land in one location (Southwest Rookborne, where I had the most land already) This was a hard one for me to swallow, never feels good being forced out. Around this time I also lost more friends, AA was beginning to feel alien to me both socially and due to the sweeping changes to core systems.

I pressed on through 3.0 changes and into 2017. I wasnt happy but I was surviving. Due to the planning ahead, I managed to make a lot of gold off logs, TST, and other farmables. I diversified my lands and started to grow fruit trees and animal pens to offset the sapling usage, I ran lots of packs. I turned my playtime into a science with almost every minute mapped out, maximizing time spent crafting and doing dalies (down to 1.5 hours on a crafting day and 30 mins on a non crafting day.... I wont go into it... dont ask lol).

Purchased my gear, and lots of other high end items... life should have been happy but my game time was no longer enjoyable. I started to feel disainful of the game, it felt like a job, and one that was always changing and not rewarding. It basically became a big grind, and I actually played the game les and less.

It was at this time that I unsubbed most of my accounts, I left 4 paid and used EU alts, dalies, and plain old gold to sub othe other 4 accounts. Despite having the gear, despite having all of the luxury items I wanted, I was not able to enjoy anything. All of the "extra" time I had beyond farming now went into dalies. I rarely left my land, stopped interacting with other people, and became a weird tree murdering hermit in the Rook hills.

I began to notice I was not having fun anymore. What kept me in the game mostly was the time and money I had already spent on the game. I am not a rich person but I spent at times $100 a month in just subs not to mention purchases. I likely spent 1.3k ish during my time in this game including several $100 packages. This is more than I have spent on any game ever, and it was hard for me to look at my wife and justify the expense of something that I will just walk away from.

I also noticed the effect this game had on my work habits and home life. I got tired of telling my kids "not right now, I know I got off work (4pm) but I have to do dalies before 5!". It also made me want to do things like play on my lunch break or leave early. These are all bad signs, signs that this game and I were a bad mix. Bad habits were being developed and stoked, driven by the time sensitive / heavy requirements of the game (I gotta burn that labor, I gotta pay those taxes, I gotta harvest those trees!)

All in all at this point I felt ashamed, betrayed, and frustrated. This showed in my in game interactions and on the forums which got more agressive. I now was playing the dalies game in order to play the game, but due to life I could never actually "play" the game. So for me the game had become nothing but an endless chore of dalies and harvesting.

I admit I am partly responsible. My attempt to play catch up with the games changes using alts back-fired and the time required to maintain everything skyrocketed to the point where the game actually became a problem in my life.

3.5 was announced and I learned that like earlier in 3.0 things were changing for the worse again. My 7 minute drive from rook to falc became a 25 minute drive to solis or even a 45 minute ride to yenes. My clipper was now worthless due to overseas changes, my speedboat nerfed, and to boot all of my Rook land which was valuable (for which I spent a premium) was now worthless due to gold trader removal in falc. Not to mention TRIPLING all seed / saplings / and livestock prices.

I nearly quit the game at this point, what might have been a positive change to some was DEVASTATING to me. Still I stayed in the game clinging to all thay time and money spent. Once the new merges and 3.7 through 4.0 were announced I knew it was finally time to throw in the towel. Game core systems were again being changed for the worse. The game IMO is unrecognizable to its former self, and for me and my playstyle was literally dead.

I unsubbed all accounts and as of today uninstalled the game. I wanted to log back into the game to sell things, replant my trees one more time, and take pictures of the HUGE joined lot and mansion that was my home, but I have honestly not been able to bring myself to log in. It would just be pointless and break my heart. So farewell AA, I had a great time for a while but all of the changes were just too much for me. I wish all of you luck in the future.

I do want to say however that IMO changing core systems is and always has been a bad idea (Just ask SOE and BW). Especially removing things and gating them behind pay currencies. If a few things had been done differently I would have happily played this game for years. 3.0 was when my "coffin" appeared and 3.5 and the 4.0 accouncements were the "nails" that closed it.

Since quitting I have been spending more time with my kids, my wife, and got a lot done at work. Son and I are playing through Zelda (switch) and its amazing to play a game that I love, is so deep, and have literally 0 things that upset me. I will always have a special place in my heart for AA (nostalgic pre 3.0) but in its current form, its just not any fun.

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