So how does one acquire a variety of instruments to play those (hopefully) sublime songs with?
That’s a science in its own right, let me tell you. I don’t know whether this is a problem with Korean games in general due to the language barrier, or because ArcheAge is just too niche, but this is definitely one of the MMORPGs with by far the least amount of reliable information available in English, while being one of the more complex titles at the same time.
What’s worse, if you do find some info on a topic you’re interested in you can never be sure whether it’s still relevant or long outdated, nor if something that’s currently available in the legacy game is also present in Unchained. It’s quite frustrating at times, really.
So I thought, since I was going to talk about instruments today anyway, I’ll just try and put together a guide about what instruments there are and how to get them. Only to the best of my knowledge, of course, at the time of this writing (May 2020).
Ready, steady, go!
ArcheAge has many portable instruments that you can play anywhere and anytime, and also stationary ones which you need to place in your house before you can use them. Some of the latter only serve as props and cannot play sheet music though, so beware.
Read each item’s description carefully. When an instrument is able to play sheet music it always has a line of white/grey text that either says
“Sounds like xxx when playing sheet music.”
“Plays music when used with sheet music.”
If it doesn’t specifically mention sheet music at all chances are it can’t play any. Except for the three pianos (because of course there are exceptions), which don’t mention it but can play sheet music.
To actually perform a song just right click on a music sheet when you have an instrument equipped – or, if it’s a stationary one, it has equipped you, if you will. A Play- and a Stop-button will appear. Press Play, and you’ll start to perform the song.
Now, on to the different instruments and how to actually get them.
In addition to main-hand, off-hand and bow each character can equip either a lute or a flute that can be used as a skill to restore health or mana, respectively. They play music when doing so, but it’s always the same tune and rather boring. All lutes and flutes can also play sheet music though, and these make up the bulk of ArcheAge’s selection of instruments.
There are many different sounds available, and different ways to acquire them. Always take note of the first phrase mentioned above (if it’s there), as it will give you an idea of what the instrument in question might sound like. A Hiram flute, for example, says “Sounds like a clarinet when playing sheet music.”
Without further ado, here’s an overview of all instruments I know of. The format is:
Where to get it (needed currency, if applicable) [tradeable or non-tradeable]
- Name of the instrument (what it sounds like)
Starter gear [tradeable]
- Civilian Lute (Guitar)
- Civilian Flute (Flute)
Arena Shop (1k Kyrios Badges each) [non-tradeable]
- Anthem of Battlerage (Powerful Guitar)
- Aria of Archery (Impressive Guitar)
- Ballad of Auramancy (Clear Guitar)
- Croon of Shadowplay (Cheerful Guitar)
- March of Defense (Soothing Guitar)
- Dance of Songcraft (Whistles)
- Dirge of Occultism (Trombone)
- Echoes of Malediction (Trombone)
- Fantasio of Sorcery (Clarinet)
- Nocturne of Witchcraft (Bagpipes)
- Ode of Vitalism (Ocarina)
- Protective Fantasia Shield (Clarinet)
Gilda Shop [tradeable] / Credits Shop [non-tradeable] (80 Gilda Stars / 1k Credits each)
- Cherry Blossom Shamisen (Shamisen)
- Evensong Lute (‘a guitar that produces a heavy sound’)
- Ironsong Lute (‘a guitar that produces sharp, metallic sounds’)
- Meadowlark Banjo (Banjo)
- Autumn Wind Horn (Horn)
- Catspaw Recorder (Recorder – whatever the hell that is)
- Reedwhisper Piccolo (Piccolo)
- Stormwail Sax (Saxophone)
- Epherium Cloud Lute (Soothing Guitar)
- Epherium Gale Lute (Soothing Guitar)
- Epherium Life Lute (Powerful Guitar)
- Epherium Meadow Lute (Soothing Guitar)
- Epherium Mist Lute (Powerful Guitar)
- Epherium Tidal Lute (Impressive Guitar)
- Epherium Wave Lute (Impressive Guitar)
- Epherium Desert Flute (Bassoon)
- Epherium Earth Flute (Bassoon)
- Epherium Flame Flute (Clarinet)
- Epherium Lake Flute (Clarinet)
- Epherium Quake Flute (Clarinet)
- Epherium Sunset Flute (Oboe)
- Epherium Wave Flute (Oboe)
- Marianople Violin (Violin)
- Wyrdwind Viola (Viola)
How to craft an Epherium instrument: Buy a Cloaked Illustrious Lute/Flute for 50 gold from a weapons merchant. Uncloak it. Craft a Magnificent Lute/Flute Scroll at a handicraft kiln (no skill requirement). Use that scroll to awaken the instrument to Magnificent (it doesn’t matter which of the four variants you choose at this point). Then craft an Epherium Lute/Flute Scroll at a regal handicraft desk (20k Handicrafts skill required) and repeat the process. Important: when awakening the instrument to Epherium choose which variant (and thus sound) you would like to have. Done.
The violin and viola are crafted at an artistry workbench. No further preparation is needed, but the materials are pretty expensive and a very high Artistry skill is required (150k).
- Hiram Guardian Lute (Soothing Guitar)
- Hiram Guardian Flute (Clarinet)
Vocation Shop (50k Vocation Badges) [tradeable]
- Wyrdwind Viola (Viola)
Events (currency usually only available during the corresponding event) [tradeable]
- Fortune Pipe (Pipe) [Lantern Festival]
- Sovereign’s Piano (‘piano music’)
- Brown Upright Piano (‘piano music’)
- Princess’s Piano (‘piano music’)
- Liberty Drums (doesn’t specify, I assume it’s drums)
- Triestes Cello (doesn’t specify, but it sounds vaguely like a cello)
- Noryettes Contrabass (doesn’t specify, but it sounds more like a…well…cello)
- Brahms’s Harmonious Melody (doesn’t specify, but it sounds like a string ensemble)
These are all crafted at an artistry workbench and tradeable. The pianos aren’t expensive and have no skill requirement, whereas cello and contrabass belong to a set of four (the other two being the aforementioned violin and viola) and are equally costly and difficult to craft.
The Brahms’s is the mother of all instruments. It sounds really great but requires 180k Artistry skill and a full set of the four string instruments to craft, which are consumed in the process. Ouch! A long-term goal, no doubt.
Thankfully some of these stationary instruments are strewn across the game world, waiting to be tried out. The currently running Daru event, for example, has an area with a piano, the cello, contrabass and the Brahms’s (which is where I’m playing them on all screenshots, as I obviously don’t have my own yet).
If you’d like to know how most portable instruments actually sound before deciding which ones to get, there’s a really great video showcasing them (a big Thank You to the person who made it):
And this is all I know about instruments in ArcheAge Unchained at this point. Getting them all is obviously a huge undertaking, but I’ll keep chipping away at it as it’s a lot of fun and really rewarding. As long as I play the game the guide will be updated whenever I learn something new or stuff changes. Good luck and have fun!
Blapril 2020 post count: 14