Our staff members recently had the opportunity to get some answers to our questions regarding ArcheAge. Much like the experience I’ve had with their support team, Trion Worlds had detailed responses and got back to us very quickly. We got some great information on upcoming game changes, cash shop changes, and a deeper look at some of the challenges with the localization of ArcheAge.
Along with many other players, we also had a chance to play in alpha and the recent beta events. One big thing we’ve all noticed is the “first come, first serve”-type tagging system when it comes to tagging mobs for quest credit (that led to instances like this). Good news– Trion and XLGAMES are considering changing this on a global level. We’re looking forward to more on that! Read on for more information.
Responses by: Victoria Voss, Lead Producer, ArcheAge, Trion Worlds
What’s been the biggest challenge in localizing ArcheAge?
ArcheAge is our first partnered game. While we understood what it would take to localize the text, I think we underestimated the amount of synchronized technology efforts (those where we have to be working on something at the exact same time as XLGAMES) that would be needed.
While the text translations have been underway for a long time, the technology efforts required more dedicated time than the teams expected, and the teams weren’t able to start on them until later in the process than we both would have liked. We’ve made up a lot of ground in the last six months, and everything is coming along very nicely now.
Looking at the Korean version, some of the features could have easily gott lost in cultural translation. What has been done, or is being done, to make this game appeal more to Western gamers?
We collaborate with their teams regularly, and XLGAMES’ head of ArcheAge has assured us repeatedly that his teams are there to help us in our requests. Honestly, we learn as much (if not more!) from them about their markets and original design intent as they do from us about our customers. As new features are added to ArcheAge in Korea, we review them with XLGAMES and determine if we need to adapt them for our western audience.
In addition to reviewing new features, we review feedback from Alpha and Beta players as well as metrics that show what players are doing on the servers with XLGAMES. Together, we combine that feedback with information on the intent of the game design and determine the best changes that can be made for our version of ArcheAge.
Our version already has a number of westernization updates in it compared to what has gone on in the Korea and China locales. Primarily in terms of balancing trade and labor points. Some of the biggest changes have been in MTX, where the relative tastes in the markets are very different from west to east. The XLGAMES teams have been doing very well at helping us realize our intent.
Based on recent beta/alpha gameplay and the feedback you’ve received, are there any changes that might be made to the cash shop?
The feedback on the Marketplace has been great. As a result of that feedback, we’ve made some changes including adding more costume items to the Marketplace, adding more consumables, upgrades for the farm wagon vehicle, more mounts and licenses to bread special mounts.
With each Beta event we will continue to gather feedback and tweak the store so that we can have the best store possible for launch.
Do you know if the maps will be expanded upon (aside from the north)? What about underground/underwater areas?
XLGAMES just launched a new version of the game in Korea that includes a lot of water-based content! We’re looking forward to bringing that version, and the new water content to the West as soon as we can after launch.
Right now there are 120 classes, but some players who are more competitive feel that some builds aren’t really worth playing in their current state. Is there anything being done to balance this out better?
The ArcheAge skill system is about having options. For a specific playstyle, there might be a build that functions the best for some players, but there are many different playstyles in the world of ArcheAge, and each player can choose the best option for the way they want to play.
It’s also a living game, and XLGAMES is monitoring the balance of different classes as they move forward. We’re talking with XLGAMES about the feedback that we’re getting, and the activities that we’re seeing in our data, on the different combat builds.
Version 1.2 made some pretty major changes to the class balance, and updates continue to tweak balance as we move forward.
In ArcheAge players have to individually tag mobs for quest credit, etc. This led to some frustration during the first beta weekend event where lines of players would wait to kill a mob. Is this something you can change to make the system more ideal for Western audiences, or is this something that only XLGAMES would have control over?
As we talk with XLGAMES, concerns over tagging for both mobs and PvP have come up. XLGAMES understands the importance of tweaking the tagging for the western audience, and are considering making the changes for the game worldwide. Changes such as these can have some pretty dramatic effects on the balance of the game, and XLGAMES wants to make sure that they’re doing the right things to address the issues. We continue to work closely with XLGAMES to prioritize all of our requested changes. Once we agree on the changes that will be made, XLGAMES works with their game teams to schedule the changes for development.