Smudge and I are still continuing through ArcheAge. One disappointment is that the number of dungeons seems to be pretty small. We’re currently level 33+, and have only seen one (for level 20) so far.

At least we had a good time with that one. It had a three-person limit, and Smudge and I were able to two man it pretty well. It was really challenging, but we like that, and two-manning dungeons was one of the things we really enjoyed in Neverwinter.

And then we hit the final boss. Nopenopenope. Fast, lots of damage… and then his minions show up. Only two, but our efforts just kind of collapsed at that point. But, there’s a daily quest to ‘mentor’ someone by taking them through the dungeon when you’re at level 30+. The next night we were mentored by a friendly level 47… that didn’t leave us much to do. There was also a quest to kill (/loot) the final boss three times, which we eventually managed on our own, but it was a nicely tough fight all the way.

Smudge has been variously determinately chasing after the ‘free’ subscription, and despairing of the same. Two APEX turns into enough in-store credit to buy a month’s subscription, plus a little left over. But APEX are generated by people spending real money to get them, so they can auction them in-game for gold. They were about 60g each, and then went up to about 110g when Trion banned a massive number of gold farmers and hack accounts, and with a recent content addition shot up to 200g for a day, and is now about 130g+. Smudge caught up to them at the 110g mark, and is currently in Patron status, which gets her into the housing and farming content.

I’ve gotten both of us into the second tier crafted sets (level 24), and here’s Eseria’s current outfit, with the faction capital of Marianople in the background (with some draw distance problems…). One of the things that truly impresses me with the game is the architecture. Much of the time, it doesn’t draw a whole lot of attention to itself, and feels like the same old faux-medieval that most fantasy games present. And that is true. But most fantasy worlds in games fall apart when it comes time to do fortifications. Here, however, ArcheAge has done a really good job, at least on the western continent, which is more European in style. The city walls are in the style of real medieval city and castle walls, and look like they mean business.

With that crafting goal done, we looked over all the various demands on our crafting, and decided we needed a ship. We’re needing Opaque Polish and Small Leaf Pigment to advance some of the crafting quest/tutorials, and the third set of crafted gear needs them. These need Charcoal Stabilizers to make, and the only way to get that is by doing trade runs to the other (unfriendly) continent. We could row across the ocean to there… eventually. And there’s pirates (PC), and monsters, and all around jerks. So a ship is much faster and safer.

As it turns out the basic fast transport (adventurer’s cutter) is pretty reasonable. So, I bought the plans, we gathered the materials, and then we built a ship.

First, you place the drydock:

Then you add supplies of wood:


And cloth:

And then you have to spend labor to build the ship, in three parts:

I had been a little disappointed. I had been hoping for something little more truly drydock-like. So, I was surprised when I ‘took possession’ of the finished ship, and the center dropped away as a ramp, and the ship slid down while fireworks went off. (They should have demanded a bottle of champagne as a material for that part!)

And here’s The Saucy Vixen on it’s maiden voyage:

Sunday night we did a gold-earning run with The Saucy Vixen which reduced the time needed from ~45 minutes to ~25. Nice!

However, the real point is to go to the other continent, where everyone is hostile, other than a handful of merchants, and get Charcoal Stabilizer instead of gold.

One article we saw gave the idea of crafting a pack, dumping it in a little-known area of coast line, logging onto your character on the other side, sail over with a different pack, find and pick up the pack you left (and leaving the one you had), sail back, profit, log onto the first character, pick up the pack, profit!

With two people on Skype, this gets a lot easier. But still more exciting than I wanted.

So on Monday night I make up a trade pack, and set off… and as I’m approaching the enemy shore, another cutter came into view… who turned and gave chase. I couldn’t dodge him, and he got his harpoon into me and used it to tow me closer.

But… he hadn’t quite thought this through. He was alone on his ship like I was. So the only thing that kept us together while I was under full sail was his harpoon (you can’t man that and pilot the ship at the same time), and he apparently couldn’t cast at me (not sure if his range wasn’t good enough, or if the harpoon was too much of a full time job). So, he eventually gave up after I towed him most of the way home.

After that, I straightened out, and headed back, trying for a slightly different approach angle if he was still around. And… ran right back into him! However, I had come in behind him, and got out of draw distance before he could turn around.

And then I ran into seabugs. One leapt onto the ship, and nearly killed me before I got enough distance for him to want to let go and leave me.

After that, I made my third approach to the continent, and spotted a different cutter. I mentioned this to Smudge, who asked, “Does it have a white wing on the sail?”

I couldn’t see what exactly was on the sail, but it was certainly white. We were close enough to both be able to see the same ship! I passed behind it, and it continued on its way, possibly relieved that I wasn’t attacking him. I went on shore, Lingli and I traded packs, and I set off for home.

I headed for Crescent Throne, since it’s the city who’s location I know the best from the coastline. I was sailing along the shore, enjoying the sights, fairly close in, with a junk (warship) sitting along the shore.

It started occurring to me that this probably wasn’t an NPC ship (there are a few scattered around), when a merchant ship appeared in front of me.

I have a problem that when under sudden pressure, my thought processes can just shred apart completely. It’s a major reason why I prefer turn-based games. I was thinking I should take drastic evasive action just in case, but couldn’t get myself to do more than just a couple minor course corrections before it rammed into me, bringing me to a halt.

Before I could really get going again, a level 50 with a purple name tag leaped on board. Green is friendly, blue is your own party, yellow is neutral, red is hostile, including all opposite faction characters. Purple is someone from your own faction that is capable of attacking anyone.

At 17 levels under, the fight went as you might expect, though it went longer than I would think. He was either taking it cautious with incapacitating abilities, or playing with/testing me. I died. In shallow water, so they recovered the pack. The good news is that the crafter of the pack always gets 20% of the sale price, so Lingli still got that much.

I had opportunities to react, if I could have thought of what I wanted to do. There’s a ship-buff that keeps people from boarding for a short time. Presumably, that would have worked. I have a ‘force push’ ability that, if he didn’t just resist it outright, would have knocked him over the railing. Then it’s superior maneuvering and speed to get away.

But there was nothing left to do but rez at the statue of Nui…. in the middle of the enemy continent! As near as I can figure it based the point of resurrection off of the last bit of land I’d touched.

Thankfully, it was a very obscure area, and there’s no fighting at the rez statues. It was tempting to stay and see if I could become a tourist attraction. (See the only Elf on Haranya!) ^_^

But Recall took me home, no trouble.