Secrets of Ayanad: ArcheAge Post-PAX Interview

We dug into what the latest update to ArcheAge has to offer with Merv Lee Kwai.

Secrets of Ayanad—the name given to the final 1.2 Korean version of ArcheAge—was launched by Trion Worlds this past Tuesday. We spoke to the newest and very passionate producer on the team, Merv Lee Kwai, about the update what it brings to the players.

"You know, I think it was our best launch to-date for ArcheAge! It was smooth, servers have been stable the entire time and we're really proud of the content we pushed out." Merv explained that one reason the team thinks that the update was such a success is thanks to two weeks of live player data collected on the test realm.

Secrets of Ayanad increased the level cap by five, so players can now go from 50 to 55 on all ten possible classes. There are five new skill points (one for each new level) available—raising the cap to 28—giving better flexibility in your class builds, and each class gets a new skill at 55.

Diamond Shores is the new zone introduced in this update, found to the northwest on the continent of Auroria and is part of the war cycle. The zone has a new housing area, "about 200 houses, only on the west coast."

While on Diamond Shores, you can see prominently see the Ayanad Library and access its entrance. The library is a dungeon, but not in the traditional sense. "It's this... multi-layered, multi-zone open public instance. It's huge!" Also of note: the library has PvP disabled.

When you first enter the library, there are multiple dimensions to choose from; each are instanced versions the same zone, but allow players to avoid overcrowding by switching between them. The Ayanad Library consists of three floors, with each floor having 64 rooms, and are level-restricted to 50, 51 and 53, respectively. The scale of this dungeon is larger than any other single zone currently in ArcheAge.

"The library was a place of power in Erenor's past, fallen into a state of disarray. It was re-discovered recently by this bad guy; he's trying to take it over to learn its secrets, and players are [attempting] to stop him from doing so."

The room layout is grid-styled like a chessboard, but each floor has its own unique theme. On the first floor you find a huge mess of books, pages floating in the air and more. The second floor is teeming with plant-life, overtaking the bookshelves; Merv called it the "Evening Botantica".

Finally, the third floor has a celestial vibe, with constellations found throughout the level. "It's the most pristine—preserved—floor in the library. It's got these nice marble floors... and everyone's a bit more sane up there."

Gazing upward while on one of Ayanad Library's floors, you'll notice that they generally fade out into nothingness. This is because the library spans multiple dimensions. "Even though there's multiple floors, it disappears... it's the way a specific floor interacts with a different dimension."

"The goal of the library is to supplement the player's journey to level 55."

There are rare creatures and quests that spawn completely at random throughout the library. An example Merv gave is helping to gather eight pieces of a portrait from a mage of Ayanad Library, which then becomes a housing item. World bosses can also spawn in the dungeon; regardless of your faction, you can contribute effort toward the fight, with everyone in the area receiving the kill quest and after its death, a reward.

Above each floor is what Merv called a "break room". Apart from being a general hub, this lobby area links to boss or 5-man challenge instances, as well as the next floor of the library. You can also obtain daily quests within the dungeon; these cycle depending on the day of the week.

"The lore is really deep, a lot deeper than players know. We're working on a piece for our website where we're going to reveal some of the lore behind ArcheAge, the backstory of the world, that sort of thing. It's not something that directly correlates with the game, but it's more of the history of the world from a storytelling perspective instead of a gameplay one.

"A lot of people don't know, but the lore behind ArcheAge is actually from a book series. It's a Korean authored series and it's pretty popular over there, so we're translating some of those original works and they'll be available on the website."

Obsidian weapons are also new with this update, and each tier of them will require the appropriate crafted salvage. The components for the first two tiers can be obtained by farming mobs in Diamond Shores, Sungold Fields or Exeloch. Tiers 3, 4 and 5 components drop on all the floors within the Ayanad Library, with Tier 5 resources only dropping from the bosses. "It's done interesting things with the game's economy," Merv commented. "Everybody's rushing to create their obsidians since it just launched and it's the shiny new toy. Everyone's involved in it, and it really drove the prices of some crafting materials up."

We got a peek at the upcoming Celestial Pegasus, which is is a glorious looking mount that can glide. There is no exact release date for it yet, but Merv is hoping for later in the month. It will be included in a future Archeum Supply Crate as a rare, or can be purchased with (a lot of) Loyalty Points.

"There was some junky stuff in [supply crates] that no one wanted; we did a lot of review on it and got rid of those player-hated junk items. We tried to make it so the value of the box—the items you get from it—is greater than the amount you put into it, regardless of what you roll.

"We also increased the drop rate of the pegasus in those boxes, so the pegasus is going to be our first good Archeum box. We've had some better boxes, but this is the first one that I feel confident saying [that] it's noticeably better."

Looking for a mount less glorious than a Celestial Pegasus? Chances are you won't be disappointed.

Thanks to Merv Lee Kwai for taking the time to chat with us about Secrets of Ayanad. If you haven't tried out ArcheAge yet, download and jump in for free now!

Ann "Cyliena" Hosler, Managing Editor


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