When I ended my first steps post, my character was sitting in a field, waiting for crops to mature. Let’s pick up right there, or rather, slightly before it.
We are Farmers
While grinding out quests, I discovered a new one marked with a strange new icon – a pair of green leaves. Curious, I approached the quest giver and was informed that this was a vocation lesson, and would deal with the game’s crafting system. Excited to finally get my hands on one of ArcheAge‘s sandbox features, I jumped right in; little did I know this quest chain would take me more than a few days to complete.
The quest tasked me with crafting and transporting a tradepack of local strawberry jam from one area of the world to another. The pack itself cost a hefty one-hundred strawberries, so I was tasked with either purchasing this amount from the pricey auction house or growing them myself. With the quality of this post in mind, I went ahead and built a farm.
The previous quest had rewarded me with the materials to build the farm, but unfortunately, as I had no idea what I was doing, I had managed to vendor the lumber used for construction in between them. Trees that you can chop down, as it turns out, are quite rare (tree farming is the preferred route), so I would highly recommend not making this mistake when it’s your turn to play. Luckily only one lumber is required to construct the small scarecrow, so after a short gathering stint, I was back on my way.
As everyone in alpha is considered a subscriber and the alpha server is nearing maximum capacity, farmland is no longer easy to come by, especially in desirable areas and low level zones. After scouring a farm province for a few minutes, I was able to find an open space and planted my farm. Placing the farm was simple enough – a preview of it pops up and you move it about until you find an area it can fit in. After placing the structure, you are able to rotate and tweak it to your heart’s content. Finalizing the placement results in an unfinished structure which the player must then bring materials to and spend labor to construct. In the case of the small farm, this is simply the one lumber, and requires minimal effort to complete. The larger farm requires a trade-pack of lumber, which costs 100 lumber to create, can be stolen by other players if dropped, and severely slows your movement speed while carrying it; the trade-pack requirement is standard for most structures in ArcheAge, including larger farms, houses, and boats.
With my farm constructed, I was able to actually begin working to get my strawberries. Having been informed that strawberry plants yield three to four strawberries per harvest, I purchased the thirty plants required for the trade-pack from a seed vendor, planting them as closely together as I could to fit them in my small plot. After planting the strawberries the interaction buttons alerted me that I was able to water the plants, resulting in a decreased time for them to reach maturity. I returned to the farming hub where the seed vendors and crafting booths were located, drew 30 buckets of water, and returned to my farm. After I was done, there were still several hours remaining until my strawberries were done. Blogging time!
I returned to my farm to find my crops matured and promptly began to harvest them. Mercifully, no tools are required for farming or gathering. I received slightly more than the requisite hundred after harvesting, and planted another batch of strawberries to sell to players lazier than myself. Next, I had to deliver my crop.
A Trader’s Life for Me
Delivery requires the creation of a trade-pack at a specialty workbench. Each trade-pack is localized; in my case, I was crafting Solzreed Strawberry Jam, named for the province where it is crafted. Typically, these can be delivered to any Gold or Gilda Star (a special token currency used largely for housing endeavors) traders located in the world, with higher payouts resulting from longer and more dangerous journeys. The most profitable trip is to Freedich Island, a small island located centrally between the game’s three continents, which is near constantly beset by pirates and others trying to steal your goods. Players seeking to trade on Freedich will more likely than not want to bring a large army of guildmates to do so.
In the case of my quest, I was instructed to travel to a specific trader located in a nearby low level zone. As these quests are intended to be instructional, I found they lead me along a route with several carriage stops, the quickest way to travel when burdened with a trade pack. Carriages are free of charge, allowing players to simply hop right on after they arrive. I grabbed a connecting carriage after the first, and hoofed the rest of the journey on foot to the trader, collecting my reward.
After returning to the quest giver to drop the quest, I was given another – this time for goose down. Predictably harvested by growing geese, goose down is a multi-part product. After placing my geese, I found they required beans to grow. Beans have a lengthy maturation time, so in stead of growing my own, I opted to purchase them from the game’s auction house. A few hours later, I had my fifty goose down and crafted the trade pack.
This route was best completed by airship, the game’s zeppelin-style public transportation. Also free-of-cost, these airships travel slowly between the game’s larger cities. They are very slow, with a round trip sometimes taking over half an hour to complete. While the formidable wait was exacting, I did find myself validated in past arguments for zeppelin transportation as a social feature; there were several other people sitting in wait, and we all had a good time hanging out while waiting for the airship to arrive.
Upon completion of this run, I was rewarded with a donkey to raise into a trade-ready mount of my own.
The Donkey Who Mounts the World
The donkey is raised exactly in the same way as your first mount, but unlike the other mounts, the donkey is able to move quickly while you are carrying a trade pack; it’s not as fast as an unburdened mount, but it’s a whole lot better than walking. As the next trade-run required a lot of distance on foot, the timing couldn’t have been better.
The next trade required a hefty amount of stone, found as a by-product while mining iron ore. Mining works in the same way as it does in other MMOs; you run around looking for it, and then you interact with it to mine it. With the mining done and the trade-pack created, I once again hit the road to deliver my wares.
With the journey completed and rewards claimed, I was ready for the final trade-run.
Adventure on the High Seas
The final trade quest sends players across the ocean to the enemy faction’s continent on a dangerous journey to find more money. Players will have to find a boat and ideally a group to head out, risking life, limb, and their trade-packs to reach their destination, and that’s exactly what I did.
We left town with ten players on three clippers, the smallest and fastest ships available to players. Upon reaching the open sea, we found it covered in a thick fog, which, when you’re attempting to sneak by without getting stolen from, is actually quite unnerving. During the journey, one of our crew was disconnected from the game; while waiting for him to return, we lowered the sails and waited in silence, successfully avoiding notice. In the end, we made it to the port without event.
Upon landing we were immediately attacked, despawning our boats as soon as we reached the dock. The majority of our party made it to the trader and the safety of his guards, who was positioned on the dock itself, but a few fell behind when they were attacked. Luckily for them, while their trade-packs were lost, this particular quest completed upon landing on the dock itself, so the turn-in was not required. Upon completion, I was rewarded with the schematic for a large farm.
ArcheAge‘s trading system is a lot of fun, and the quests that introduce players to it were an excellent way to acquaint them with moving about the world, procuring goods, and trading itself. Trading is one of the primary methods through which materials are removed from the economy and keeps players moving throughout the world to make it feel more alive, as well as providing a high-risk high-reward career pathway for players interested in that kind of thing. As I grow more and more experienced with the game, I look forward to running bigger and riskier routes, working with friends to build massive trade-ships and heavily armed galleons to defend them as we bravely venture on the seas to Freedich. A word of caution though – if you’re carrying a trade-pack, never leave home alone.
As mentioned above, I’ve completed constructing my ship and have voyaged onto the high seas. In the next installment of The Errant Logbook, read-on as I describe the ship-building process and my experience in ArcheAge‘s open waters.
#MMO #ArcheAge #Trading