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ArcheAge Travelogue: Wet Work on the High Seas

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While the vast majority of ArcheAge’s underwater terrain is simply empty peaks and trenches, there’s loads to find down there. Oysters and abalone can be harvested for some quick gold and shipwrecks randomly spawn treasure chests that can be brought to the surface and salvaged. There’s a volcanic field of steam vents I haven’t been able to explore yet and plenty of high level enemies to skirt around or be slaughtered by. That probably explains why I keep finding long-lost trade packs at the bottom of the sea.

Unlucky trade runners get caught by seabug mobs or giant jellyfish and the pack they were hoping to sell overseas for a hefty profit or rare crafting materials slowly sinks as they respawn back on shore. That was apparently the case with this pack that took me a few attempts to drag out of enemy territory and swim to the surface. My boat has oxygen tanks but once you reach the trade pack you have to swap backpack items. Without breathing potions or buffs it’s always a frantic speed-swim to see if you can make it back to the surface before dying yourself.

archeage-sunkenpack2   archeage-sunkenpack3

This one wasn’t too much of a problem to cash in. In less time than it would’ve taken to grow the ingredients to make these trade goods myself I brought it up, sailed to shore and rode it into town for a spot of gold.

ArcheAge Travelogue: Surprise! Free Money!

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The part of town in ArcheAge known as Vilanelle is ridiculously picturesque. It’s like walking into a traditional Japanese painting with huge, rounded mountain spires, stepped rice paddies, and deep red pagodas and temples dotted everywhere. I’d tried climbing those mountains in the beta with the basic glider and just ended up falling down a lot. But with my Ultimate Glider and some downtime between crop harvests I decided it was time to try again.

Hopping from one outcropping to another, using the glider’s upward boost ability to get some extra lift, I finally reached the top of a mountain. Naturally, all I found were other peoples crops. It costs money to have a farm of your own in ArcheAge so people will go out of their way to hide their secret gardens in what they think are remote locations. Trust me, I haven’t found a single corner in this game where there weren’t crops planted or other players dashing by, no matter how secluded it seems to be.

Anyways, I kept circling the edges up there, just looking to see what I could see, when my mouse cursor slid over something odd. It was too small on the horizon but the pop-up said ‘Falcorth Snowlion Yarn’. Surely people aren’t growing livestock up here too? I drew closer, aware that the item was on a pretty steep slope. Oh! It’s a trade pack of Snowlion Yarn! I looked around for a while, expecting the owner to come bounding down the mountaintop as well, but no one ever showed. Maybe they were trying to transport it on an airship and fell to their death, leaving the pack behind when they respawned. Where the tooltip would normally say the owner’s name it only said ‘Free Loot’ or ‘Free Goods’, something like that.

With Katy standing by in case I also fell and died, I managed my way down the mountain and rode the pack over another map to turn it in for 4 gold. That money will go towards replacing the trade pack that was stolen from my dead body when we were trying to finish our large farm. It was a heartbreaking ambush I wish I’d handled better. I may not tell that story. Anyways, it all worked out… except for whoever made the Snowlion Yarn. Sorry about that.

This Week on YouTube: Summer’s Over Speed and more videOST

Summer’s finally over and I sent it out with the last installment of my Summer Games series: Wakeboarding Unleashed. Man, that’s a hella Summer game! I followed that up on Monday with a long-overdue series featuring all of the courses in Speed Racer: The Videogame. That game’s got some zany track designs and hypercolor visuals that I can’t seem to get enough of. It was also Totally Time for PlayStation Mobile again this week.

A couple more one-off soundtrack entries went up this week as well. A comment on my Fishing Resort video requested the title theme so I whipped that up during some ArcheAge downtime. And there was another 3DO track, this one from Crystal Dynamics’ Sample This demo disc that I have always had spinning in the back of my mind.

Continuing the 3DO train this week is a clip from the “Interactive Learning Cube” series that probably no one remembers fondly: Slopestyle. This hyper cool FMV education title will teach you how to snowboard and inadvertently introduce you to the sounds of Man or Astro-Man?. I can’t even confirm if this “game” was ever released it’s so obscure and forgettable.

Katy’s channel has some more footage of us running amok in the ArcheAge head start. There’s Part 3 and Part 4 to check out. We’re still trying to figure out the best way to record some more alongside our guild-mates but it’s… complicated to say the least.

ArcheAge Travelogue: Seabugs & Soaked Packs

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That’s… a lot of skills

Much of what brought me to ArcheAge is the stuff you see above. I’m not into 50-man raids or guild meetings or PvP; I’m into crafting, farming, and other less glamorous pursuits. Once I reached the Blue Salt Brotherhood — the NPC characters that embody most of these skills — I focused almost solely on their quests. Not only do they reward you with designs for your own farm plots, they open up the arduous, terrifying and frequently boring art of trade runs. This is probably what most of my posts on ArcheAge will be about.

I’m no MMO player but I think the trading mechanic is unique to ArcheAge. It requires you to grow or gather all the ingredients for a regional specialty, trek to a specific crafting station and then slowly transport the final product to a remote buyer. The first two trade quests are pretty easy and let you get used to the process. The third run sends you across the PvP ocean into rival faction territory to make the sale. Last week we were finally ready to brave the open waters with our heavy packs in tow.

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Katy and I patiently awaiting our watery demise

That same day we had met another adventurous couple that were several levels higher than us who offered to go along. Carrying a trade pack means you move at a snail’s pace and can’t attack unless you drop it on the ground (making it fair game for anyone to grab). Companions are always helpful… even though none of us on this trip had a ship bigger than a rowboat.

The first obstacle we ran into were seabugs, big mid-30’s mobs spread out in front of us like World War II floating mines. It wiped out our companions and I but Katy was somehow immune and carried on rowing the boat. Meanwhile, my pack was sinking to the ocean floor and I was spawned way back where we started. I swam to the gravesite marked on my map and after a few lung-emptying dives I spotted my pack! We were back in action, now spread all over the sea trying to find a way through the seabugs. I kept going more north than west and started circling around an ominous isle topped by dark clouds and lightning… and more seabugs.

The bugs soon became the least of my worries as more and more clipper ships floated by. I caught the attention of the second guy and he swung my way but despawned his ship on accident. He was now keeping pace in a rowboat of his own. I thought my eloquent plea of “please no?” would be enough but even my explanation of earlier tribulations wasn’t swaying him. I veered around some outcroppings and lost sight of him when I ran into another clipper ship, this one much closer.

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There’s just no reasoning with some folks

The captain of the ‘Good Ship Griefer’ used some spell to pull me out of my rowboat and leave me waffling in the water. I decided this could only go one way for me so I dove as fast and far as possible, hoping to put my pack out of reach without risking his own life. Respawning all the way back where we started (again), I resigned this trade run to the history books and tried to keep up with what Katy was doing. She was piloting one of our companions rowboats which eventually despawned, leaving her even more vulnerable as she swam through the ocean. With the goal slowly drawing nearer it was a giant level 50 jellyfish that took her out in two swipes.

Trade runs, everybody. They’re hilarious and heartbreaking and definitely something I’ve never experienced in a game before. It’s like Animal Crossing with tension; like if one of your villagers could viciously destroy you on your way to pay off Tom Nook. There are surely more stories of epic calamity to follow.

That time I became a cab driver for a day

Yo ho, yo ho...

Yo ho, yo ho…

Let’s talk about Archeage, the game that allows you to be a pirate, a farmer, a player killer or even a cab driver.

Sure, the game has plenty of “kill x rats” type quests, but I’ve found that the true fun of the game revolves around situations where you aren’t killing things. Katy and Shawn were drawn to the game originally because of the housing and farming, which I do think is pretty cool. I haven’t done too much farming myself, but I definitely see the appeal (I love Harvest Moon, c’mon). But what I wanted to do immediately upon release was make a boat. So I raced through as much content as I possibly could in order to rack up enough gilda stars for a clipper. In my opinion, having a clipper early on gives you a lot of distinct advantages over people who only have a row boat. I’ll get to those later.

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This Week on YouTube: ArcheAge Looming

It’s the end of summer and the beginning of ArcheAge season! Katy and I have been super-hooked on the MMO since it’s been in beta and now free-to-play release. So much so that I forgot I have a YouTube channel. Fortunately, I’ve got stuff queued up through the end of the month. Stuff like:

The penultimate entry in my Summer Games series, Wii Sports Resort. Man, I love flying around Wuhu Island. I wish ArcheAge had real airplanes you could fly! While I was looking for more demos and unreleased material on the 3DO I ended up recording the entirety of the Sampler CD that came with the original console. It turned into a five part playlist that includes a hot 90’s overview of the console, some MPEG-1 video clips and previews of a some unreleased games.

It was also totally time for a delayed episode of my PlayStation Mobile roundup and I finally got around to testing out Bust A Groove 2 that I found at a yard sale for $1! Spoilers: it’s also really hard to play on an LCD display.

Katy’s channel is winding down with Sims 3 content and ramping up with ArcheAge coverage. She’s got a couple choice clips from her Style Savvy Trendsetters in Sims 3 series including Reed with some bees and some playful cats. I also feature prominently in one quick clip from Tomodachi Life. But what you really want to see is more ArcheAge right!? She’s got two parts from our early days in the Head Start (Part 1, Part 2) with probably many more coming!

I’m not trying to be one of the dicks I’ve seen in ArcheAge forum posts, but…

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I am starting to get worn down by the problems of this ArcheAge head start.  If this is what it’s like now, before the game is even open to the non-subscriber public, what will it be like on the 17th when the gates are really open?   I am unable to even login this morning which gives me time to write this when I would much rather be checking my crops.

I am new to MMOs so I assumed all the queuing, the authentication errors, failed logins and infinitely looping intro movie were normal for a brand new game. I figured Trion World does Rift and other mmos, so surely they are prepared.  I asked seasoned mmo players if 20 minute queues were normal for a paying member  at launch and found out they really aren’t. A friend said they were there for Rift’s launch and it was nothing like this.

I paid $50 for this game and the times I can get logged in to play it I feel it’s absolutely worth the money. I have already had $10 worth of fun since last Friday which I hope won’t be ruined when the official launch starts. I’m playing with online friends I really like that I don’t always get to team up with, plus my husband who I work well with in game (and out obviously).  There are so many routes a player can take in this game that from what I have heard are unique for an mmo.  I am leaning towards the gardening and crafting with a bit of trading.

I am sad that some people rushed to grab land so now many of us who were trying to take it gradually have nowhere to place a house. I have read that some guilds bought land up on purpose to resell or reserve for their guild or something, but as we know, most people are dicks, online doubly so.

I am able to login now, so that’s all I will say, at least until the official release.  PS We have a GameLuv guild as of last night “Gameluv dot com”

This Week on YouTube: Summer, Somer, Some More Videos

As Summer winds down, so does my Summer Games series, but not without a few more surprises. I played a little chunk of Bonk’s Revenge for my official entry but I love that game so much I went ahead and recorded the rest of it. Another multi-parter wrapped up this week with the final 2 installments of my SomerAssault playthrough; man, that’s one weird game.

Wednesday was totally time for a new installment of my PlayStation Mobile series that includes even more new games with Engrish-y descriptions. Wednesday also saw one of my favorite 3DO promotional pieces go live: the ‘Whatta Buncha Tools’ spot featuring Crystal Dynamics’ 1994 lineup.

My Masaya Matsuura collection is nearly complete now thanks to this $5 yard sale find. I spend a few minutes running the original PaRappa the Rapper through its paces, desperately trying to overcome the input lag. Some day I’ll buy a huge CRT TV and try to record all these music games again. Rounding out the week is another 3DO videOST quickie featuring the intro video to the 1994 flight sim, Flying Nightmares. The CG and the guitar rock are both 90’s RAD!

Katy is rounding up her Sims 3 videos on her channel this week. There are two final installments in her Sims 3/Style Savvy Trendsetters crossover series (Part 2, Part 3). Expect a lot more ArcheAge footage from Katy through October as we’re both chomping at the bit to start playing. She’s posted some of our tomfoolery and uploaded a whole series of us running around in the Open Public Beta leading up to the game’s official release on September 16th (Part 1, 2, 3).

KatyCraft: MMObsession now in T-Shirt Form!

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You guys, Katy makes a lot of awesome stuff. She’s on Red Bubble, Storenvy, Etsy, and Gumroad with stickers, cross stitches, shirt designs, jewelry and more. It’s not all video game related either, she’s got your fandoms covered! To pass the time before we begin our dark descent into ArcheAge, Katy created a few Founder t-shirt designs to flaunt your own MMObsession. There’s one for each tier of the Founder program with the in-game title emblazoned on the shirt with its requisite bonus glider swooping by.

Argh, I really wanna play more ArcheAge!

This Week on YouTube: You be You and I’ll be Me Edition

What a week! Another Summer Series game is out in the wild featuring some Big Ol’ Bass fishing. I started my playthrough of the highly peculiar platformer/shooter Somer Assault on TurboGrafx. The PlayStation Mobile marketplace populated this week after some recent network troubles so there’s a big update there. I took a look at Hot Pixel on the PSP and dug up another preview of an unreleased game, this time Cyber Clash for the 3DO. But my favorite thing was cutting a run across the country in The Crew to music from Cannonball Run, Smokey and the Bandit and more. It should really get more views so watch it, watch it, watch it!

Katy’s got some more new Sims 3 series running this week on her channel. There’s three new runs with Style Savvy Trendsetters in The Sims 3. Installment 1 (Part 1, 2, 3, 4). Installment 2 (Part 1, 2). And a new installment that continues next week.