Even better than flying – ArcheAge

ArcheAgeU_Gliding1

The other day Syp talked about having fun with gliders in Guild Wars 2, and while I don’t have the experience in that game myself what he’s describing is exactly how I feel about glider mechanics in ArcheAge Unchained:

“Sure, you can’t fly up, but it really changes how you interact with the world by being able to glide short and long distances. I’m finding that the glider has a lot of functionality. I can use it as a parachute to do a long drop safely, I can hop between rooftops, I can get to vistas with ease if I have a higher vantage point from which to begin, and I can simply have fun jumping off and soaring over the land.”

Seriously, although he’s talking about a different game I couldn’t have said it any better.

While ArcheAge’s world doesn’t have regions specifically and obviously designed for gliding – Bhagpuss has a lot of praise for those in GW2 – it’s a mechanic that really enhances the gameplay wherever you go and whatever you do in the game.

For me these gliders hit the sweet spot between having ‘real’ flying mounts and being grounded entirely dead on.

ArcheAgeU_Gliding4
Here we’re sparing us the hassle to navigate those rocks with our clipper

In my opinion being able to fly in an MMORPG, while fun and convenient, shrinks down a game’s world considerably and takes away most sense of exploration. Thoughts like ‘Can I somehow cross that mountain range?’ and ‘I wonder what lies beyond’ don’t even come up when you know that you can just fly there in an instant.

All gliders in ArcheAge do have the ability to catapult themselves upwards a couple of yards every thirty seconds though, which helps getting farther without an elevation to launch from. Also, if you do launch from one you can get very far indeed.

ArcheAgeU_Gliding2
Is this a bad time to mention my fear of heights?

Here we’d just crested the aforementioned mountain range, which we wouldn’t have managed to do without our gliders’ help either. Quite a view, isn’t it?

A look around revealed that we were actually soaring high above the game’s public airships’ routes.

ArcheAgeU_Gliding3
What’s that, a sky-traffic jam?

We then realized that we hadn’t quite thought this through properly. Most gliders can’t just descend at will, and maximum flight time is three minutes. Suffice it to say, it was a long drop down. Tristron actually died from the impact and we had to go and rez him. Fortunately we all have the balloon you see in the topmost picture by now, which can descend straight downwards.

Of course gliders are also used in a PvP-context all the time. Sometimes to avoid it…

ArcheAgeU_Gliding5
You can’t harm us if you don’t see us

…or to take the enemy base by storm…

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Hello boys…we’re baaaaaaaaaack!

…or maybe just to watch things unfold from a safe distance.

ArcheAgeU_Gliding6
I see you’ve got everything under control down there, carry on

So yeah, everything Syp said about gliding in GW2 applies to ArcheAge too, and to me it’s a very important part of the game. This mechanic in conjunction with how the world is designed and laid out contributes a lot to its virtual world feel, and I wish more games would go this route.

Blapril 2020 post count: 5

2 Replies to “Even better than flying – ArcheAge”

  1. I’m fairly sure I had a glider in ArcheAge, back when I played. I thought i might have written about it but I can’t see it in a quick flip through my posts about the game. I seem to remember finding it hard to control and ending up pranging into the ground a few times but I’m not sure.

    The best thing about gliding in GW2, though, is the updrafts, I like to use them to get as high as possible and then stow the glider and freefall until pulling it out at the last moment to hit an updraft again and go soaring back up. EQ2 also has gliding of a sort on mounts that can’t fly but can glide long distances. Those are very hard to control, though.

    Liked by 1 person

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