Erenor Eternal: Trion Worlds Reveals What Players Can Expect From ArcheAge 3.5

We got a chance to sit down with Trion Worlds to learn about the latest expansion for this free-to-play MMORPG.

If you haven't been keeping track of what's going on with ArcheAge, you should. The MMORPG's newest expansion, Erenor Eternal, will be going live today in just a couple of hours.

The 3.5 update not only brings a whole host of new content, but also a lot of improvements to existing systems. These changes are expected to satisfy every player -- whether you're a PvP veteran, a returning PvE player, or someone who's just starting out in ArcheAge

Although some players have expressed concern over Erenor Eternal's short PTS testing time, developer Trion Worlds is not concerned. This version of the game has been live in Korea for over six months, allowing for all major bugs to be identified and fixed. This release is the best it can be, so players can jump right into the new content. 

Last week, we got a chance to talk to executive producer Merv Lee Kwai in an exclusive demo presentation of the new expansion. Let's go over what you'll be seeing today when you log in.

Erenor Eternal Expansion: The Highlights

All screenshots provided by Trion Worlds.

  • New Zone Battlegrounds: These max level PvP-enabled zones cycle through stages of intense war and peace, depending on the level of player activity in a particular zone. 
  • Ancestral System: Upon reaching level 55, players can gain Ancestral skills, which add more customization and versatility to each player's ArcheAge experience. 
  • Housing Improvements: 16x16 starter houses can now be upgraded to 2 stories.
  • Streamlined Trading System: Trading packs will no longer have one-way routes, and PvE players won't be forced to go overseas if they don't have to.
  • Revamped Crafting System: A lesser amount of tiers make weapons, armor, and accessories much more obtainable than before. 
  • Welcome Promotion: Both new and old players will earn some pretty sweet items when they log in after Erenor Eternal goes live. 

New Zone Battlegrounds & The Conflict System

Aegis Island and Whalesong Harbor are two new northern zones in Auroria that will be introduced in the 3.5 update. They are designed for high level players. 

How Conflict Zones Will Work: An Overview
  • Zones will cycle through many stages of war and peace depending on what players do (or don't). But all zones start out in a stage of conflict. With enough player activity, this stage will escalate to war. 
    • These activities consist of completing quests, fighting creatures, killing NPCs, and killing other players.
    • The type of battle is up to the players. In 3.5, the new zones each offer a unique war experience. 
  • The war stage is an open-world battleground. Player will gain honor for their kills.
What Aegis Island Offers

Many creatures will spawn here. They will fight players and each other. Players are responsible for pushing waves of creatures back. Players are also responsible for preventing Anthalon from destroying the seals. 

What Whalesong Harbor Offers

Players will be responsible for defending containment towers in their area. Enemy creatures will seek to destroy them. Utilizing the turrets and mines located around the zone can help a group emerge victorious. 

Rewards

Aegis Island: Based on how many creatures killed. 

Whalesong Harbor: Based on how long towers are preserved.

A player's reward will depend on their participation in each of their battles. Of course, how well they do also depends on their ability to work as a team with other ArcheAge players. If successful, players will receive: 

  • Large amounts of experience that can be put towards Ancestral skill progress
  • Crafting materials for Erenor gear

Ancestral System

ArcheAge hasn't seen an increase to its level cap in two years. That's about to change, but perhaps not in the way you expect. 

At level 55, players will unlock Ancestral leveling and skills. These are base skills that can be upgraded into a special ability once players have reached the corresponding Ancestral level (1 through 7). Each of ArcheAge's 10 classes have three skills with the potential to become Ancestral. 

Trion explained the augmented Ancestral forms of the Sorcery skill, Meteor Strike. The example showcased two possible forms of the skill:

  • Lightning: Deals more magic damage with a damage-over-time effect. 
  • Icy: Freezes opponents in place for a long duration.

The Ancestral system's appeal is in its customization. Players can choose the type of skill that suits their play style. Fortunately, we were reassured that Ancestral skills will not make anyone too overpowered.

New Crafting System & Gear

Previously, players had to craft five tiers of lower-level gear to reach the sealed tier. Now they only have to craft two. This is a huge win for newer players hoping to be competitive. 

In addition, unsealing an item used to produce a random -- and often useless -- result. Regrading had several unknowns. In ArcheAge 3.5, that's all changed. 

Here's the breakdown of the crafting improvements that you need to know:

  • Two Tiers: The lower tiers of Craftsman, Artisan, and Conqueror are no more.
  • A Choice After Uncloaking: You are now guaranteed to get the stat variation that you want when you uncloak an item. The Random Number Generator (RNG) that picked stats is no more. The unsealing process is gone.
    • Every single piece is now upgradable as well. 
  • Revealed Regrading Percentages: You're no longer in the dark. Now you can know the success rate of the item you're upgrading to. 
  • New Grade: Eternal is now the highest enchantment. 
  • New Gear: Erenor gear has been added. This is the first time Trion has added a new tier of crafting gear in two years. Ambitious players, you've been warned: crafting this set is no easy task. It will take a lot of time and resources. Fortunately, both are at your disposal. 

With all this being said, potential players -- and those who are returning -- shouldn't be discouraged when they see all this new, high-level content. Veteran players won't be able to progress their gear as fast as newer players, giving them a chance to catch up. The changes to tiers and regrading will help newer players out as well.

According to Trion:

"ArcheAge has in the past been criticized for having a unlevel playing field, meaning new players can basically not catch up fast enough, and so that will probably explain some of the reasons why we made these changes in the 3.5 update."

Changes to Housing

When players first get introduced to housing in ArcheAge, they are likely to get a 16 by 16 starter house. These houses may seem simple, but after the 3.5 update, they will be anything but. 

Starter houses can now be upgraded to two stories. This allows for greater storage and functionality. They will also be able to have the raised structure that's featured in more advanced buildings. According to Trion:

"This is the first time a 16 by 16 house type will be able to do that."

These small but important additions are expected to change the landscape of some housing zones. 

For anyone who loves the candy house and other food-themed furniture, you're in luck! While you won't see anything new in this update, Trion assured us that there will be more coming our way. 

New Trading System

ArcheAge's economy depends on trade packs. It only makes sense that this process should be as enjoyable and accessible for every type of player. 

Previously, the trading system forced devoted PvE players to cross the ocean for maximum trading profit. With this redesign, they don't have to.

The new trading system is divided into three important phases:

  • Crafting Packs: In this first phase, the player is responsible for bringing their specialty packs to one of a few different trade outlets, where a waiting NPC will then award them in gold. The gold a player earns is based on the pack's value and the outlet's current supply and demand for it. 
    • Players will be PvP immune in a 50 to 100 meter radius around these outlets. 
  • Transferring Cargo: It is now cargo, and not specialty packs, that goes overseas. Cargo will be produced as more and more packs are stored at the trade outlet. Players can spend about 30 gold to pick up a cargo pack. Then they must bring it across the PvP-enabled ocean to another continent. Here, they can turn it in for about 60 gold, with an 8-hour window to do so. The sooner they make it there, the more money they will make. 
    • Players can buy PvP protection to ride an NPC ship across the ocean. They will be PvP immune during this time.
  • Delivering Certified Cargo: Players can buy cargo that's already been brought across the ocean. This cargo now has a new name: certified cargo. When brought to starting zones, it can be exchanged for Charcoal Stabilizers. 

Note: Trion confirmed that existing packs in the game will directly convert to the new update, depending on where the pack is. They can be brought to any trade outlet.

The Welcome Promotion

Both existing and returning players will receive a free Immortal Guardian robe when they log in after Erenor Eternal goes live. Players who log in within 30 days after the update will also receive a competitive set of gear, free of charge. Characters must be at least level 50 to wear it. 

In addition, starting at 21:00 UTC today, players will receive triple the amount of experience, honor points, vocation badges, and loot drop bonuses as they play. This event will end on June 13th at 21:00 UTC. 

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So with all these exciting new changes and content to ArcheAge, we had to ask: what's the one aspect of Erenor Eternal that the Trion team is most excited about? The answer: removing RNG in the crafting system. We know they've been strongly against RNG, and now the painstaking process is behind us all. Phew!

Erenor Eternal goes live later today, June 7, at around 5 PM PDT. Comment below and let us know what you're looking forward to!

We'll see you in game!

Published Jun. 7th 2017

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