Five Favorite Features: ArcheAge #5 – Criminal Justice

This post is my day 8 contribution to the 2015 Blaugust Initiative.


ArcheAge has an unmistakable focus on PvP; this conflict is an integral part of many of the game’s activities. Despite this, PvP remains mostly consensual, taking place in contested or hostile areas of the map. But when it’s not consensual and happens in a safe zone, it’s a crime with serious consequences.

Reporting crime is your civic duty.

Reporting crime is your civic duty.

In ArcheAge, when you’re in a peaceful zone on your home continent, members of the opposite faction can’t attack you. However, players from your own faction can turn on the Bloodlust flag and attack you anytime, anywhere. If you manage to defeat or scare off your attacker, then a crime of assault has occurred. If the attacker kills you, it’s a crime of murder.

The other crime in ArcheAge is theft. This happens when a player uproots a plant or tree another player has placed on public land. Although these resources aren’t protected for their owners like they would be on a farm, it’s still a crime to steal them. Players often refer to unprotected resources as “illegal farms,” but the act of planting on public land isn’t actually illegal; it’s just risky.

Before any crime can be punished, it must first be reported to the authorities. Interact with suspicious footprints or bloodstains to report theft, assault, or murder. A reported assault will increase the suspect’s crime points and infamy points by one. Theft incurs three points, and murder will add ten. If a suspect is defeated by another player after accumulating 50 or more crime points, the suspect will be sent to a holding cell for prosecution.

A defendant stands trial before a jury of his peers.

A criminal defendant stands trial in Marianople before a jury of his peers.

A defendant may avoid trial by pleading guilty and accepting a lesser sentence of jail time. If not, five players will be chosen to serve as a jury. They’ll be presented with a list of the defendant’s crimes, as well as his or her prior criminal record. The defendant and jurors can speak in a special Trial chat channel viewable by all members of the faction. It can be very entertaining to watch the proceedings. If a majority of jurors find the defendant innocent, crime points are reset to zero and infamy points from those crimes are reversed.

If jurors find the defendant guilty, he or she will be sent to jail to serve a sentence ranging from a few minutes to an entire day, depending on the severity of the crimes. Although it’s possible to break out of jail, the convict will still have a debuff that prohibits almost every useful action in the game until the sentence expires. Afterwards, crime points will be reset to zero, but the infamy points from convicted crimes will accumulate.

Upon reaching 3000 infamy points, a criminal will be kicked out of the faction and resigned to a life of piracy. Playing as a pirate is the ultimate hard mode in ArcheAge, with extreme limitations and challenges.

Does a life of crime appeal to you? Or are you strictly a law-abiding citizen? Make your case in the comments below!

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2 thoughts on “Five Favorite Features: ArcheAge #5 – Criminal Justice

  1. I haven’t played AA since the alpha/beta, but Justice Chat was often the most entertaining global channel. People had some hilarious reasons why they were not guilty!

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    • Absolutely! I love some of the excuses people come up with. “Dude dissed my horse, yo!” The threats and offers of bribery in Trial chat are fun, too.

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