Despite having been in beta testing in its homeland of Korea since the middle of last year, and on shelves there since January, a veil of mystery surroundsthe massively multiplayer role-playing game ArchLord's workings and its success to date.
The one thing that is abundantly clear - and doubtless made the game look like an easy sell and therefore a sensible buy - is a unique in-game reward, arguably better than any sword or piece of armor one might earn in another game. Every month, players will compete to unite the five Archon relics - which we're guessing you can't just waltz into Wal-Mart and purchase - and so become the one and only ArchLord. Besides earning a cool name, the ArchLord will be ruler of the entire game world (or rather, we assume, theirparticular game server, which is effectively the same thing) for the next month.
Alongside special equipment, a bodyguard and access to elite areas, the ArchLord will get powers thatenable them to shape the world for other players. We presume this will be to the advantage of their guild and the disadvantage of everyone else.
It's not clear what these ARchLord-tweakable variables are, although some are certain to be economic. Furthermore, the game developer is still worryingly silent on several specific details:exactly how the ArchLord will be chosen, whether the position can be held more than once and similar questions.
Worryingly, because MMO player-ranking systems are famously difficult to balance, and because a great many of them become horrifically unhealthy night-and-day endurance tests.