Quick Thoughts – The Arcarum Debacle

arcarum_teaser_top

“Arcarum: The World Beyond” was a special event that was meant to last four days and run from the morning of September 16 to the end of September 19. However, it was canned after the second day, and the remainder of the event was replaced with an unplanned magnafest (special period when all multiplayer raids cost 1/2 AP to host, and 1/2 EP rounded down to join).

Before getting further into it, I think it’s worth reviewing another idea by Cygames that was a bust, namely…

Defend Order

Defend Order AKA D.O. is coming to an end on September 21. I’m not sure exactly when it started, but my first defense report dates to June 18, so sometime around then.

What is D.O.? It’s a special timed event that comes up periodically. Er, more info is on the English Wiki (Edit: Broken link, unfortunately the English Wiki appears to have died).

D.O. stumbled out of the gate due to a myriad of issues–no rough schedule for people to plan around, very short notice before a session started, the servers couldn’t handle the stress when there were a lot of players participating in a session, etc. etc. A lot of these issues were fixed or addressed, but the initial poor impression surely demoralized some people from joining future sessions.

However, I think D.O.’s biggest problem was the lack of incentive for most players. The rewards simply weren’t enough to justify spending around 30 minutes per session. Only rank 101+ powerhouses might make enough shields to be able to trade for more useful rewards. For the vast majority of players, all they can get are some half elixirs or champion merits.

But as we saw with the “Order of the Lord” event, there are ways to entice people to play D.O. (although participation dropped off precipitously once most people acquired the Vermillion costume and fully uncapped the Milia summon). Still, for the most part, the participation and interest just isn’t there, and as a result D.O. is finally getting axed tomorrow. Now back to Arcarum.

Fraux

In the Arcarum event, first you chose one of three oracles (it looked like more were planned, but only three were available to start off with). Virtually everyone I knew picked the Erune girl Fraux. Except for the “e-sports” light players who picked the big hulking dude because he offered a boost to light stats.

gbf-arcarum-oracle-select

After that, you were randomly assigned to one of three teams (red, blue, or green) and fought for territory by defeating raid bosses like Athena. The Arcarum was, like D.O., a timed event. It had four rounds and three interludes/intermissions between each round. Unlike D.O., each round lasted quite long–two and a half hours each.

Whichever team won two or more rounds was the winner of the day, I guess. The winner of the day received a special material that was supposed to be used to upgrade the Arcarum card/oracle they chose at the beginning of the event.

Things Fall Apart

I ended up on the blue team, and only really participated in the first round before I called it a day. I’m not sure what happened, but it seems that red team ended up kicking everyone’s butt or something. For whatever reason, red ended up being considerably more powerful than the other two teams.

Although I did not personally witness it, I’ve been told that a player named Noir (ノワール) on the blue team somehow triggered a glitch in the third round, and it locked a lot of players out of the event. Supposedly this was the biggest reason why Cygames ended up canceling the event.

Be that as it may, by the beginning of the second day blue and green had all but given up.

gbf-arcarum-red-destruction

The plug was pulled on Arcarum shortly thereafter.

I believe the first two or three steps to upgrade the Arcarum card were revealed, and the materials needed were extremely steep and difficult (or tedious) to obtain. Based on speculation, there were at least another two steps beyond that that hadn’t been unveiled yet. Given that information, nobody I knew had any interest in attempting to upgrade the Arcarum card–apparently it was worse than forging class weapons, Revenant (guild war AKA GW) weapons, HL Bahamut weapons, and so on.

As mentioned earlier, one of the materials needed to upgrade the Arcarum card only came from being on the winning team at the end of a day, and since red won the first day handily, that was probably why blue and green just stopped trying altogether.

Due to some combination of a lack of incentive, glitch(es), and unbalanced teams; Cygames halted the event early rather than let it play out. It’s honestly mind-boggling that they couldn’t even get a four-day event right.

Now What?

It’s probable that the Arcarum event will be rolled out again in the future, when Cygames feels they’ve successfully worked out the kinks. In the here and now though, D.O. and Arcarum are the two most recent special events, and both were overall failures.

It’s a bit worrying that Cygames doesn’t seem very successful at introducing new events that can sustain the interest of most players, because I think it’s important that they do have more special events. Sometimes, it feels like there’s not much else to do besides run/join magna raids and pray for lucky flips. Anyway, I hope Cygames can figure things out. But for now, watching Arcarum crash-and-burn was pretty funny, and I also appreciate the free 10 draw ticket they handed out as compensation.

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