Asian MMO, you know the grind is going to hit at some point or another. To its credit, in ArcheAge, it’s buried much further into the game than the standard import. Leveling was a breeze. Making gold is straight forward. Obtaining decent gear via quests is cake-walk. I was sitting at level 50 in a blink of an eye, making a good income and in acceptable gear with reasonable effort and time.
If you have to have it
Because AA contains nonconsensual PVP, being in mediocre gear isn’t an option for me. I want to do large scale land-based and naval encounters. This need is what sets the grind in motion. The best in slot armor is crafted. Best in slot weapons require farming 650 of a specific token type, where the types dropped are random, can’t be traded and are farmed in a PVP zone. Best in slot accessories come from PVP honor. My first priority was best in slot armor because I can craft it myself, at my own pace and in my own time.
The first impediment to crafting better in slot, which for me means crafting to Illustrious, the equivalent of level 44 gear, are the materials themselves. I’m in level 50 plate gear via quests which is considered “starter gear”. However, quest gear can’t be upgraded further beyond socketing enhancements. I knew that and decided to get the plate quest and stay in that until I could craft a cloth set, which is likely what I need for the long term.
The painful part of crafting is that each tier requires the previous tier as a craft component. You can’t just jump to crafting level 44 pieces. I’ve been slowly crafting a cloth set upward for a few weeks. Two weeks ago I finished the Conqueror’s set and it was time to start Illustrious.
The sheer cost was staggering when I reviewed the materials needed. Two components contribute to the cost. Archeum which is dropped by mobs or salvaged from gear. And stabilizers which must be gotten from NPCs by turning in cross continental trade packs, which means PVP encounters and possibly having your shit stolen before you can turn it in. Until Auroria comes in and people can start placing property on which to grow Archeum trees, getting them is hit or miss and for many, will be acquired from the AH. The same holds true for the various stabilizers. If you’re not adventurous enough to be running packs across on your own or are in a big guild doing them together, you’ll also be buying these from the AH. These two items will be the most difficult to get for most crafters.
The approximate cost for the materials to craft a set of Illustrious, if you have Conquerors in hand, is roughly 500 gold. I have multiple properties and run trade packs on a regular basis and that’s still A LOT OF GOLD. I crafted all but the crystals which can’t be crafted and so cost me 250 gold. That said, it still costs me that much money because crafting armor and weapons consumes considerably more labor. That’s labor I couldn’t spend on activities that earn me gold.
I was “okay” with the costs. I planned for it accordingly and in about a week I had all of the materials necessary to craft all 7 pieces. I crafted them one by one, and at this level and above, the item is produced in a sealed form which must be opened before it can be equipped. It’s not until the item is unsealed (opened) that it’s supplied with one of the possible stat combinations. The result of crafting my Illustrious pieces was Lake (2), Ocean (2), Meadow (1), Lake (1) and Stone (1) which equals 7 cloth pieces but not a full set of anything aka no set bonuses. Set bonuses are not trivial in AA. They are in fact, significant and important. Seriously??? BURN!!!!! Adding insult to injury is the fact that only Ocean can be used as a component to craft the next level of gear. Yep, you need 7 Illustrious Ocean pieces to craft the next set, Magnificent. Just kill me now.
I logged off immediately after opening the pieces. I was NOT a happy camper. It was a lot of work to accumulate the gold needed to get that far and while I knew RNG was involved, seeing it play out with my gold and time, was different than “knowing” it. The last thing I want to do when I’m playing AA is sit around spamming chat to trade into a full set for the stat combination I want. The odds of trading into Ocean are non-existent. My choices are to trade into Stone or Lake Illustrious (level 44 crafted) and stay there. Sell my 5 non Ocean pieces then buy the Ocean equivalent. Stay in what I have and save up to buy Magnificent pieces instead of crafting them. Quite the delimma. I need to think on it.
Praying to RNGesus
I don’t mind so much the grind to get nice things. I don’t begrudge the effort or the cost being high – to a degree. What I abhor is that putting in the effort doesn’t guarantee the outcome you desire for simply crafting the item. We’ll forgo the randomness of upgrading it, which can result in destroying the item, some other time. Another common feature of Asian MMOs. I can understand that – somewhat. However, I’m pissy about crafting expensive items that produce random stats effects that void set bonuses. I don’t like praying to RNGesus with that much time and effort extended.
If it weren’t for the PVP I wouldn’t care. It simply wouldn’t matter to me as much. I can PVE just fine is decent gear. My gear is of little consequence farming on my own or in a group. Unfortunately, there are things I need in PVP zones. I may end up owning property in a 24/7 PVP zone. And want to participate in group PVP events. This is why my gear matters and I’ll have to address it one way or another. Being one-shot every time I poke my head out would get old really fast.