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Home > Archeage, General > The Pros and Cons of Archeage: Endgame gearing and Hasla

The Pros and Cons of Archeage: Endgame gearing and Hasla

November 30, 2014

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, The Endgame Gear Grind (today’s), 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 endgame gear grind and the bane of my existence, Hasla.

Endgame gearing

Let’s be honest for a moment. End-game gearing sucks in most MMOs. You get the gear so you can do the content so you can get the gear so you can do the content, etc. Power creep and imbalance is always a problem.

In a game like Archeage, an Open World PvP-heavy game, there are definite issues with having gear power scaling so much from the base-50 set to the higher sets. But, without the scaling, it wouldn’t be worth it to craft it and upgrade it, and the economy would collapse. I think most people can agree that, opinions of each game’s particular approach aside, end-game gear systems need to balance grind, availability, and variety.

Pros

A base set of gear is easily available through questing in the last two zones, Hasla and Karkasse.

Crafting has a purpose! Crafting makes the best gear in the game, and it is really important to the economy to have this. Prices are high for the items, but they are worth the cost.

A quality set of weapons is available in Hasla for those with nothing but time.

Due to rarity of materials, and the difficulty with obtaining certain materials in intercontinental trade routes (fraught with pirates and enemy faction members), good gear is sometimes a guild effort.

Cons

The base set of gear is waaaaay too far removed from the next upgrades, and the upgrades are not easy to come by. Arguably, this is not as much of a con, except that there is such a gear gap.

Aside from crafting, which can cost you far too much gold (because of inflation due to materials being removed from the economy and the grindiness of the crafting system), the only source for your next upgrades are Hasla token-farming for the weapons and dungeon-grinding for the armor. No Honor-based (PvP currency) options are available that are competitive.

The main con is that the gear-progression is very linear. There are no alternatives to crafting or mindless grinding. There are no ways to get competitive gear doing instanced PvP. You have to follow the preset paths. And really, no matter what you decide to do, all paths lead to Hasla.

Hasla

On first glance (and when I started writing this article), I wanted to say that whoever designed the Hasla grind was an idiot. A complete moron.

The reason I hated Hasla was because of the grindiness and unfairness of the system. While my concerns are still present, I started to realize some of the more subtle, brilliant parts about Hasla. I will try to outline each parts as best I can.

Pros

Hasla tokens drop from very specific mobs in a very, very small part of Hasla and the zone is a PvP zone, which can rotate through war and peace. This means everyone is encroaching on each others’ spawns, and because of the extensiveness of the grind, players on both factions are pushed together frequently into a small place, which can often cause tension and erupt into fights.

That being said, for those who don’t like PvP (crazy people, I know), Hasla switches to Peace every once in a while for stress-free grinding.

The rift event that occurs at 18:05 game time brings a lot of people to Hasla all at once, for full-on chaos sometimes. Each mob drops a lot more tokens, getting with a good group that has a plan with the rift can decrease the grinding time by a lot. Rift mobs drop from 3-25 tokens, depending on the wave of enemies and the type of mob.

Cons

Big groups form just so there is guaranteed flow of tokens; however, your chances of winning the roll get progressively smaller as you increase your group size.

There are seven types of tokens, but you get the same drop rate for, say, a 2-H greataxe token as you do for a bow or a 1-H sword token. This means, if you are are a dual-wielding archer (like myself), you need to get three weapons to be as equivalently-geared as a 2-H greataxe guy, but you need 3x as many tokens, and they all have the same drop rate.

Not only that, but if you are competing for the tokens in a group and you are allowing people to roll on more than one token, then everyone who is going for the greataxe will probably roll on the bow, since it does help and everyone needs one, which means that Archery skillset users are really screwed on the roll. It is not uncommon to have only one guy going for the greataxe who is getting all of the greataxe tokens, while 12 people are rolling on the bow tokens.

You need 150 tokens to create your weapon, and the higher tiers take even more.

The Hasla grind is REALLY unbalanced with regards to factions as well, since it is on the Eastern continent. Westerners have to use 3 Hereafter stones to teleport to the area, while Easterners only have to use 1. Not only that, but when the zone is at war, West’s respawn point is aaallllllll the way on the other side of the zone (and you can’t teleport within 5 minutes of dying), while East literally respawns right next to the area, making it impossible for West to mount any kind of assault on the area during war, letting the Eastern guilds just grind all the mobs, making them even stronger and even more able to easily kill Westerners.

Problems summary

  1. Different tokens for the types of weapons (2H/1H/shield/bow/lute) have the same odds to drop
  2. Token drops don’t increase with size of groups
  3. East has an advantage in getting to Hasla, since it is on their continent
  4. East has a respawn advantage
  5. To transform tokens you don’t need into tokens you need, you have to buy a 6g item called the “Faded Hasla Fragment” then combine that with one of each token to create an Arctic Earthstone. Then that is the sole reagent in a recipe to create 5 tokens of your choice. You only net 4 tokens though, because you had to use one to make five.

Solutions

  1. It could be that tokens of the same type compete for odds in dropping, so a mob will drop a 2H token, a 1H/shield token, a bow token, and a lute token. This does not unfairly shift the balance towards bow or lute users, because they have to compete with every other class for that token. This will actually even it out.
  2. Perhaps increase the number of drops with each 8 people added, i.e. if there are 1-7 people, then it drops 1 of each type, then when you add an 8th, it drops 2 of each type.
  3. There should definitely be a change where that particular memory tome costs only 1 Hereafter stone to teleport to, regardless of where you are coming from.
  4. During war, make the respawn point right outside Hasla the natural respawn point for the West and the respawn point up in the ruins of Hasla the natural spawn point of the East. Just like it is normally.
  5. Remove the high gold cost for combining tokens (by reducing the cost of the Faded Hasla Fragment). Basically remove the middleman of the Arctic Earthstone. It is stupid that you have to lose a token to make 5 tokens and have two recipes, both of which cost labor points. Just have one recipe for each token type, using the Faded Hasla Fragment and one of each of the OTHER tokens. There. Game design flaw fixed.

Strategies

Here are some tips that can make Hasla farming more enjoyable…well, less miserable…okay, less keyboard-smashingly annoying.

  • Get a small raid of no more than 14 people, 2 for each token (put them in seven groups). Each person only rolls on one token. Keep a list of people that want to switch to other tokens, so when one of the people rolling on the bow tokens leaves, you can be fair about who replaces them.
  • Put some music on, or get in mumble/teamspeak/ventrilo with friends. It makes the time go faster.
  • Go at tension-time, because seriously, peace is boring and busy. War is frustrating for West, for the reasons stated above about the respawn, but tension is a lot of fun.
  • Get the Ultimate Glider, and use the arrow skill to tag mobs right as they become available to tag.
  • Remember that you can steal a tag if your group focus-fires it. If you do about 75% (I believe) of the damage to a mob, it’s yours, regardless of who tagged it.
  • Remember that magic and ranged skills have flight time, so you want to be right up on the mob to effectively tag it. Use instant skills. Focal Concussion from Witchcraft is a particular favorite.
  • Have a healer, even if you don’t think you need one. If you are not at peace, you might need to fight reds. If the rift starts up, you can pull more mobs and get more tokens if you have a healer.
  • Try not to trade in tokens to get the 5 of the one you are going for, since those other 6 tokens were hard-won. Remember you can be any spec in this game, so you might want to save your staff tokens for when you later try Sorcery, for example.

 

What do you think of Archeage’s end-game? What changes would you make? Any tips to make Hasla more bearable?

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  1. Djdestroyer
    November 30, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    hasla was suppose to be catch up gear per the patches on the KR version, but because tiers 2-3 were introduced prematurely, hasla gear became sudo end-game as of our current patch. This is because they are equivalent to epherium tier wep and the only weps that are better than hasla, is delphinad crafted or specific dungeon drops. I guarantee as soon as obsidian wep (t1-t5), diamond shores, the library (encyclopedia) and therefore Ayanad weps come out; hasla WILL NOT be as huge a problem as it currently is.

    TL;DR Hasla designed for catch-up post starter gear. but is sudo end-game becuase t2-t3 was released before lvl 50+ content.

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