I'm going to link liberally to articles on Mark's fan site as it's the best English place to check out ArcheAge stuff at the moment.
The basics of the game:
- You start out as a newbie on either the eastern or western continent. Each continent currently has 2 races. Character creation stuff. You can flag yourself for pvp and kill your own faction, so factions are "soft".
- You can then either or steal your way to being a pirate. If you're going to do that though, be aware that you'll get arrested and probably jailed. There is also some kind of community service I think because I had this Korean in a jail suit walk up to me and beg me to plant trees. At level 30 you can also join a jury system to try people for prison sentences. Pirate guilds can have members from an race and so are kind of the "player driven" side.
- The game is all about the sandbox and from a very early level you start building things - first planting and raising chicken and later full gardens and then you get to even bigger stuff. Imagine creating your own fortress with your guild - it's doable on the Northern continent. Below are some pics of all the stuff you can make or buy - most of it's from the neutral island Mirage Island where you can click on miniature versions and buy the full sized thing for yourself. Here's where you start to see how much detail is in this game.
Speaking of details, a guide to hunting for buried treasure in the sea. Note the balloons you have to use to raise the treasure from the sea floor.
- All characters consist of skills they get from 3 main classes. You can reset your classes and relevel their skills, but it will cost you. The classes are fairly normal for the genre, except a little more spread out because of the mixing and matching. Combat is fairly regular for the genre, except that there are a lot of combinations off of the buffs/debuffs. Here's a big listing of skills and classes and a very complicated diagram of the combos here.
- The economy seems to be based off of tokens you earn yourself (you use to buy things like houses) and tradeable items. All the gear that you craft (which you start crafting at level 20) seems to be initially tradeable when it's crafted. You can wear plate, leather or cloth as a set - each has different bonuses. Cloth has +speed associated with it and leather has +crit for example. You get to decide what you want to wear or when you want to wear it.
- Questing - it's fairly standard mmo stuff where you kill or collect mostly. The mount quest I got at level 6 though was just epic as was the glider quest at level 11. In the screenshot circles are things I need to go and do and the tear shape is done and needs to be turned in. And yes, that's my mount at an early age.
IMHO the details that this game has are going to keep me busy for a long while. There are even delivery quests where you wear a large backpack and move very slowly. Imagine the pvp when you go out to try and gank the people doing these quests or try to protect your own people doing them. It's cool because there's a reason to fight.