Letter from the Producer: May 2017

Letter from the Producer: May 2017

Citizens of Erenor, gather around – it’s time to talk shop. I’m Merv “Khrolan” Lee Kwai and I’m the Executive Producer on ArcheAge. Today, the topic is what’s coming to ArcheAge with Update 3.5: Erenor Eternal and when you can expect it.

The Erenor Eternal (3.5) Update is coming on June 7!

The wait is almost over: Erenor Eternal is right around the corner. Featuring additional max level character advancement through Ancestral Skills, 2 new zones, new open world PvP and PvE events, a new item tier (Erenor), new grade of gear (Eternal), and massive improvements to core systems this upcoming ArcheAge update literally has something for everyone.

For some of these systems, improvements may be too light of a word. We’re talking about features that you’ve used in ArcheAge since the beginning, like trade packs and conflict zones that are getting a very significant overhaul.

ArcheAge has always been a forward-thinking game. It repeatedly pushes the boundaries of what can be accomplished in a sandbox MMO and that’s something it will always do going forward. If there’s one thing Erenor has done since the game launched, it’s continued to evolve and challenge everyone who walks its many paths.

Some of these changes are absolutely going to make the game feel very different than it has before, and we ask everyone to keep an open mind about them. Reading is one thing, but experiencing them in the context of everything else in the game is another.

What’s new in the update

Let’s take a look at what’s driving the hype around this update – the new Erenor gear and the Eternal grade. Deeply progressed Ayanad and Obsidian isn’t the stopping point for your gear anymore. Sitting above Ayanad will be the brand new, highly customizable Erenor gear. And, its companion is going to be the newest level of item enhancement: the purple-toned Eternal grade.

This is a big step for ArcheAge, as the power cap rarely changes. Since the Secrets of Ayanad update back in March of 2015, the game focused on meaningful, long term progression instead of releasing a raid set every few months. Of course, as the years have gone on and you have progressed, that challenge needs to remain.

Speaking of progression, your gear isn’t the only thing that’s going to ascend higher in this update. We’re finally going beyond level 55 with the introduction of the Ancestral skillset – a new type of end-game leveling that allows you to breathe life into familiar skills. Progressing into this path will give you the ability to augment certain basic skills from your chosen skill trees, empowering them with elemental effects to change their power or functionality.

But what’s all of this new advancement worth if there aren’t new places to visit and new challenges that await? Auroria is revealing even more of its secrets as the way to Whaleswell Straits and Whalesong Harbor zones have been revealed. Meanwhile, in the great seas of the world, explorers have charted a current to the long forgotten Aegis Island.

Both Whalesong Harbor and Aegis Island will feature new open world events that will challenge you and your allies to defend against waves of enemies, which include Anthalon’s elite executioners and priests. During this event you’ll have to pull out all the stops and that means using heavy artillery like cannons and mines. Successfully defend and you’ll be rewarded with honor points and new materials to craft Erenor equipment.

Big revisions to launch systems

3.5 brings about a much needed review of land and sea trade routes – the backbone of the ArcheAge economy. The trade pack system has remained unchanged since the original release of the game several years ago receiving only minor augments along the way. We’ve had major successes in diversifying core mid- and end-game play via trading, but the system also has some flaws. It’s time to address them head on.

The worldwide trade system will receive heavy overhauls which will change the way you do business. Ocean and land routes are streamlined, new trade outposts will be erected across the world to protect your dealings, and supply-and-demand price changes have more impact than ever before. We also have some exciting news for you Northerners: original Auroria zones now support trade pack production and those packs are shipped through a trade outpost in Diamond Shores.

Some staple rewards are sailing into the sunset, as Stabilizers continue to receive a renewed sense of importance. The method through which Charcoal stabilizers are obtained is changing significantly. Gilda stars will no longer be a primary currency reward for overseas packs. We’ll take a deep dive into the Trade System, farm cart following restrictions, the general flow of trade packs, and other trade related topics later on this month, in both a livestream and article.

Another big change is coming to zones that cycle through conflict phases. For a while now, you’ve been holding “random wars” in these zones to push them through their conflict phases. We’ve all passed the beaten, bloody low-level bodies lying lifelessly at the Nui. Now your alt characters will no longer have to drench the zone in blood in order to get a few, blissful moments of peace.

Conflict Zones will change phases depending on new factors in addition to PvP kills. Now the zone will move further into conflict as you complete quests and kill local monsters, giving you the option to murder your way to trade pack glory. Of course, this also gives you the ability to reap the spoils of war by killing monsters until the zone flips, and then taking advantage of the loot bonuses wartime provides. Make note that this change applies to most conflict zones, even some of the ones that hosted scheduled world events. For example, in the case of Halcyona, the world battle begins every time the zone is pushed into war. Zones like Mistmerrow still cycle based on a schedule.

There are also plenty of things our community has asked for, and a number of them are being realized with this major update:

Less RNG in Crafting – ArcheAge veterans and new players alike have experienced the challenges with unsealing crafted items and not lucking into the appropriate type. Those days are ending as sealed items will now become “cloaked” items. When opening a cloaked piece, you’ll be able to choose what element lands on it. No more having to worry about finding that perfect piece – the choice is now yours.

Re-cloaking your items – Popular class metas shift as the game evolves and sometimes being locked into a specific crafted gear set limits your options. The ability to re-cloak items invites players to morph and improve their gear as they see fit. Re-cloaking is also a staple in improving your gear to the next crafted tier. All variants of a crafted gear piece are upgradable in Erenor Eternal.

Fewer tiers of crafting – We may be adding the Erenor tier, but we’re also taking out a few of the lower tiers. Craftsman, Artisan, and Conquerer tier items are all taking their final bow with this update. If you already have one of those pieces and were in the process of upgrading it, no rush. We’ll have conversion recipes in place so you can continue to upgrade it with the new system without issue.

Regrade chance now listed in the Regrade window – A famous smuggler once said that you should never tell him the odds, but that’s not the case with regrading anymore. Now when you attempt a Regrade, you’ll be able to see exactly what your odds of success are. Make your decisions wisely.

New, improved chances for Regrades – In addition to being able to see your Regrade success chance for the first time in the history of the game, you’ll also be able to take different regrade paths based on the item you’re improving. Dungeon and event gear, for example, will be easier to regrade than Obsidian and Raid level gear. Even with the new “difficulty” paths, regrade chances have mostly become easier than they were previously.

Embracing a new style of play

The core of ArcheAge is changing once again, and that leaves us with some exciting theorycrafting for the future. What paths will you follow now, when you have wealth and items to fall back on? How will ancestral skills affect the meta, beyond the class balance changes that are coming with this update? Who will be revisiting their item collection and changing the stats on things that were previously laying in a chest, and how will that affect the rise and fall of the top guilds in the game?

But the team here doesn’t just think of what we have now – we also keep an open mind about everything that can happen in the future. Now that a few more of our core systems have changed, what does that mean for a future fresh start server? Launch featured everyone rushing Hasla. Fresh Start 1 players locked their eyes on a rush through the Obsidian tiers. Fresh Start 2 focused on dungeons and Mistsong Summit. What does Fresh Start 3 look like?

While we won’t be finding out the answer to that last question during Erenor Eternal, it’s most certainly going to be one you should keep on your mind. It’s one that we’re excited to see the answer to. It’s also important to mention that we won’t be merging or evolving servers with this content release.

This letter marks the start of the countdown to the release of Erenor Eternal. I encourage you to check out our website each week for a new, deep look at what changes are coming with Update 3.5. If you’re not much of a text person, join us live as we preview the upcoming changes and answer your questions. We’re on every Friday at 1:30 PM Pacific time on http://www.twitch.tv/trionworlds, so make sure to subscribe and tune in.

-Merv “Khrolan” Lee Kwai

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