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Home > Archeage, General > The Pros and Cons of Archeage: Leveling and Classes

The Pros and Cons of Archeage: Leveling and Classes

November 21, 2014

I’m back from sleepless nights, and a good portion of the first chapter of my dissertation is completed. Real life, amirite?

So now to get on schedule!

It is my goal to talk honestly about the flaws and strengths of Archeage, review it a bit, and talk about my experiences in it.  I plan to release 5 articles on Crafting and Travel, Housing and PvP, Leveling and Classes (today’s), The Endgame Gear Grind, and the Trial System and Game Infrastructure.

Note that everything I say is a matter of opinion. The solutions I offer are merely the perspectives of a gamer with a scientific background in programming, but by no means am I a developer who knows what it would take to implement any of it. I simply believe in presenting problems with solutions, rather than just focusing on the negative.

Today’s topics are the leveling process and what I thought about it, as well as a discussion of the class system.

Leveling

Note that I am already level 50 with several skillsets, these are ones I am leveling with crafting!

Note that I am already level 50 with several skillsets, these are ones I am leveling with crafting!

Pros

Leveling is fairly quick, and the quests can be overachieved or underachieved for more or less xp, respectively. This clever little system gives you a little bit of choice on how you would like to level.

The zones are structured with many hubs, and you keep moving. You are never in a zone very long, and it feels fast-paced. Heck, I overachieved so much, I basically skipped 5 zones at one point or another, which means I could go back and do quests there if I wanted for more xp.

A great way to level is by doing crafting or really anything that spends labor points, as there is a certain amount of XP related to each point you spend. I was able to level a skillset 10 levels by harvesting fruit from a tree farm we had growing in the wilderness.

Plus, this has the whole Mr. Miyagi thing going on, since you are doing chores to become a better fighter.

Cons

Quest after quest after quest.

Kill 10 of these, kill 15 of those, fetch that thing, craft this item (AND THEN TAKE IT AWAY FROM YOU!). Boring standard questing. At least there weren’t any escort quests (that I found).

Voice acting is minimal (since anything in this game has to be translated), and the story is rather bland in my personal opinion. The core background lore is actually pretty good, but the individual quests are not.

The main racial story isn’t bad for the Nuians (only race I’ve paid attention to so far), except for all of the messenger crap I had to do, and there is a tendency for NPCs to repeat themselves too much.

Classes

Pros

A rich, deep class system, with 10 subclasses that can be taken 3 at a time, which means there are 10!/(3! 7!) classes, which equals 120 (for you math-y folks out there).

The skillsets and some of the things they can do are:

  1. Battlerage
    Melee damage
  2. Sorcery
    Magic damage
  3. Archery
    Ranged damage
  4. Witchcraft
    CC’s, debuffs, and buffs
  5. Occultism
    An odd mixture of buffs, debuffs, magic damage, and CC
  6. Shadowplay
    Stealth, CC, a DoT, a mix of ranged and melee damage, and mobility. The big thing is stealth, crucial in OWPvP.
  7. Defense
    Shield-based CC/attack skills, defensive skills (duh), and taunts
  8. Auramancy
    Buffs, mobility, some defensive skills
  9. Vitalism
    Healing, buffs, and an AoE stealth skill that no one likes to take (because it cancels on movement and has a 2-min CD)
  10. Songcraft
    Buffs and heals

Your class is defined by the combination of three of the above skillsets, and it is assigned a cool name like Darkrunner, Primeval, Paladin, Trickster, Abolisher, Spellsinger, etc. This name applies only to the unique combo of the three skillsets you pick.

You can swap to any skillset by going to a Skill Manager or a Priestess of Nui, just by paying 1g or less (depending on the skillset(s)’s levels you are swapping). Your progress is saved, and it keeps the icons on your bar even, so you don’t have to remember your setup. There are also 4 hotbars that you can swap between, so you can have different setups of primary skills ready to go when you swap specs.

With so many classes, it really excites me to think that there might be some random combination out there that is being underutilized, but is actually quite good. It is not likely to happen, but I am sure there are things the cookie cutter builders missed.

Cons

The skillsets are a little unbalanced, as will happen, e.g. Shadowplay is used A LOT because of the stealth and Archery is really popular because of the zerg-y PvP that can leave a melee either out of the fight or breathing their last.

The Daggerspell (Witchcraft/Sorcery/Shadowplay) class is amazingly painful in 1v1 situations, since they have so much CC and hard-hitting skills. The most-played class is probably the Primeval (Archery/Shadowplay/Auramancy), due to its great ranged damage and mobility. The fact that the two of these probably make up 15% of the population (if I had to estimate), makes it seem a bit unbalanced.

Healers have trouble gearing (which I might address more at some point), and they are pretty mana-starved generally.

Despite the fact that I love the 1v1 arenas because they are teaching me how to combat other classes, not all classes should play them. There is a lot of rock/paper/scissors design in the game, so while a Darkrunner might not even get hurt against a Stone Arrow if played correctly, their chances against a Daggerspell are slim to none. On the other hand, you can always switch to a class that does fairly well overall, and only 1v1 with that.

What do you think of the classes in Archeage? Tired of seeing Primevals? What balance issues do you find? Is leveling just right, or should it be sped up or slowed down? Leave any opinions in the comments below!

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  1. November 22, 2014 at 3:56 am

    the vit stealth is actually kinda useful sometimes. @ minute cooldown but that starts refreshing from when you start the channel.. channel goes for like 1min 30 so from a full cast it’s not a bad refresh

    Have ambushed quite a few zergs with it so far, fun in Hasla to get the backline just as they’re running threw a gap.
    On the ocean is cool to to make yourself look like less of a target. A couple people in a clipper… no problem until a dozen board you all of a sudden

    • November 22, 2014 at 10:48 am

      I can see that! I forgot you could be on a moving ship. I was trying to think why an immoble stealth would be good!

  1. November 30, 2014 at 10:14 pm
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