We're tremendously excited to welcome all our new users to Arc Games!
We know that changes to the Perfect World Entertainment family of websites and the Arc client can generate a variety of questions, so we've put together this helpful FAQ to answer a lot of them.
Please note that as Arcgames.com and the new client are in Public Beta, all features are subject to change.
Thank you for taking the time to check out our FAQ.
- The Arc Team
Table of Contents
What is Arc?
Arc brings together the best online gaming experiences from Perfect World Entertainment onto one easy-to-use platform!
The brand new Arc platform allows its users to benefit from a variety of new features that help enhance the PWE gaming experience. This easy-to-use platform allows users to install and run all of PWE's exciting games from one place. Once you've created an account (you can also use your existing PWE account!) and logged in, the entire PWE game directory is available for you to download.
How does it work?
Want to play one of PWE’s incredible games? Just select it from the games directory and install the game. Once installation is complete, you'll be able to launch it from your Home library on Arc. Logging into your favorite game is fast and easy. Since you're logged into Arc, the game will simply launch once you hit the PLAY button. You can also update your games from the Arc client if an update is available.
What kinds of features does it have?
For most games, and for more games in the near future, Arc allows you to access many features through its platform without ever having to open another internet browser. Once you're in game, hit the Shift+Tab keys and the Arc overlay will appear. From here, you'll have direct access to News, Billing, Support, Forums, and more!
We invite you to try out our new Arc platform and provide us feedback on your experiences using it.
Check out these awesome benefits for Arc users:
News – Receive the latest news across games with embedded updates from the Arc.
Billing – Easily recharge and transfer ZEN across games through a variety of payment methods.
Browse – Arc's In-Game Overlay with fully functional web browser will allow you access the forums or browse the internet.
Support – Contact Customer Service with a click of the button and easily send in a ticket to request assistance.
Connect – Check out what your friends are playing and connect with them through Arc's built-in messenger.
Notifications – Get the most out of your online gaming experience and never miss another event with the in-game notification system. (IN DEVELOPMENT)
Coupons – Arc users will receive exclusive promotions and coupons when available. (IN DEVELOPMENT)
All current Arc users will soon be able to enjoy exclusive offers and giveaways, so start using Arc today and experience a new way to play your favorite games!
What is the current development focus of Arc?
Our current development focus is basic functionality. At present, we've intentionally avoided adding any overhead so that the entire focus of player feedback can be on performance.
We've got long-term plans to look into adding features for convenience, social interaction, and fun factor. We'd like to develop these updates in collaboration with our community, so we're hoping to start taking suggestions and ideas as soon as everyone's had the chance to get familiar with the platform and we've worked out the inevitable kinks with rolling out a brand-new version of an application to a global audience. I'd describe the order of our goals as follows:
-Create a lightweight, reliable application for downloading games and hosting game news.
-Work with our community to optimize performance and hardware compatibility.
-Implement suggestions and ideas based on community requests.
For the short term, I would say that the main draw of checking out the client is to provide feedback and influence its development. If you're the type that would prefer to wait for compelling features to be added before checking out Arc, that's totally fine, too. There's no pressure to check out this early development version if you're happy with your current setup.
Will the Arc Client and Arcgames.com website display the same news, information, and media?
With this upgrade, reading news updates for your game of choice will be easier than ever, as you’ll be able to view one consistent stream of content, regardless of your device of choice (i.e. PC browser / mobile browser / Arc Client).
Does Arc have a Game Guides section?
Yes, each game will have its own dedicated “Game Guides” section within Arc, which will contain helpful links and information. This section will be easily accessible from each game’s dedicated page.
Does Arc have user profiles?
With the Arc beta, we've released an early version of our profiles system. This version focuses only on core functionality, though in the near future we plan to release some big updates which should make this section of the experience much cooler.
What Operating Systems is Arc being developed and tested for?
Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8. At this time, Arc does not have official support for Mac and Linux.
What changes will I see with Arcgames.com?
The most important change that is coming is a major design overhaul for all of our game sites. Currently, all of our games run on separate websites, all with their own designs and formats. Once Arcgames.com transitions from beta to launch, all the websites will be brought together into a unified website architecture, and will all share the same look and feel.
We've put a ton of effort into the new style, so we hope that you enjoy the new site designs as much as we enjoyed creating them.
Are there any web pages that are not changing right now?
We are creating a whole new website infrastructure, but there are some bits and pieces of functionality that we’ll need to preserve in their current state in order to ensure that our players still have access to them.
All Games – Charge Rewards
Star Trek Online – Test Server Signup/Character Copy, Gateway, Account Guard, Key/Code Redemption
Neverwinter – Test Server Signup/Character Copy, Gateway, Account Guard, Key/Code Redemption
Champions Online – Test Server, Account Guard, Key/Code Redemption
Blacklight Retribution - Key/Code Redemption
Will the Gateway, mobile device access, and game forums be affected by the implementation of Arc?
Gateway should not be affected at all. In regard to the game forums, they will continue to exist in their current form, though with some design/art changes that will provide a more consistent user experience across our entire website network. Mobile device access will be improved greatly in terms of reading game news, since Arcgames.com will be mobile-friendly.
What about the way that I purchase Zen? Is that changing?
Currently, purchasing Zen for individual games is a two-step process. Based on player feedback, we’re making Zen purchases easier with the new website.
On the current websites, when you purchase Zen, it hangs out in your wallet, waiting for you to transfer it to a specific game. When the Arcgames.com version of the website infrastructure is fully released, the Zen purchase flow will instead require the game to be selected at the time of purchase.
Does Arc replace the old game launchers?
We have long-term plans to unify our game launchers, though the timeline and specifics regarding this major change are pretty far out in the timeline. For the near future, please anticipate that the game launchers will continue to exist in their current form for a significant period of time. Once this plan becomes more concrete, we will definitely share the details and timeline. For now, please anticipate that the Arc client will continue to launch individual game launchers.
Can I run my games using the old launchers during the Arc beta?
This upcoming release of Arc will be an opportunity for players to test out the new features and designs, so please check out the new client and let us know what you think! Players who wish to launch their games through the existing launchers, without Arc, are welcome to do so while we continue to iterate on the Arc Client.
We’re really excited about these changes, and understand that major updates to the current user experience can be a bit daunting. If you have any feedback or questions you’d like to share with us, please feel free to post them on the game forums of your choice. We’ll be doing our best to answer everything that gets posted!
Will the existing in-game account systems continue to exist?
Yes, so Cryptic games will still have "@handles" and all PWE game account names will show up the same in the game.
Are the forums going to change?
For our forums, no data will be lost or archived. While we will be making some minor high-level art design changes to better fit within the new website designs, everything should remain exactly as it was before.
Are there any changes to Wiki functionality?
There aren't any changes to the way that the Wikis work, but we will have convenient links to top game guides posted in Arc.
Does Arc introduce any changes to Code Redemption?
Yes, during the Arc beta we will be testing a brand new code redemption system. At first, redemption of codes generated in the new system will only be possible via the Arc client, though we have plans to add web-based functionality in the future.
For most games, this unified Code Redemption system will replace the existing game-specific Code Redemption systems once the Arc website is 100% live. However, in order to ensure that recently distributed codes remain available for redemption, some games (Blacklight, Star Trek Online, Champions Online, Neverwinter) will go through a transition period during which both Code Redemption systems will be live.
Does Arc gather any of my system information?
Optionally, you can opt-in to share basic information about your machine with us. This data is used to track performance and to help us optimize responsiveness, download speeds, download reliability across different hardware, etc. However, this information is only gathered if you explicitly choose to opt-in to this feature.
If I opt-in to share anonymous usage data, what information is collected and how is it used?
What anonymous data is collected from the built-in browser?
If a player opts-in to submit performance data, then we'll be gathering information on how fast pages load, etc., though this is only to track performance and only if you as a user wish to partake in the program. Currently, these data aren't saved in a human-readable form, but if this is a feature players want to see, we can definitely look into implementing that in the future.
In regard to browser security, we have tested the browser extensively to ensure that it is safe and secure. We take security extremely seriously, so even though we've done as much internal testing as we can, we will still be monitoring for user reports very closely in case anything is discovered that needs quick resolution.
In regard to collecting data, we understand that not all players are interested in submitting anonymous performance data from their machines, and that's totally OK. There is no requirement to opt-in to this feature in any way, and nothing is "gated" for users who do not elect to participate.
Is it possible to opt-out of social features, such as showing the games I play on my profile?
Since we have published several online games, all with their own unique social features, enabling users to configure privacy and security settings is something we believe in and have become quite accustomed to.
Arc allows players to opt-in or out to specific social features based on their preferences. This is also something that we will tune and tweak based on player feedback to ensure that we are meeting our goal of allowing everyone to meet his or her individual comfort level in regard to online social interactions.
What should I do if my security software gives me a warning when using Arc?
If you encounter any issues with security software while using Arc, please send a report to email@example.com. It is helpful to include any details provided by the software regarding the behaviors or elements of Arc that triggered any potential warnings. We are committed to ensuring that Arc is safe, secure, and free of any software that could negatively impact your gaming experience, so we take these reports very seriously.
When using Chrome, I get a security notification asking to allow "ArcPlugin" to run. What does this Plugin do?
The ArcPlugin allows you to launch games directly from the browser. Once it is allowed to run, you can launch an installed game via Arc by clicking its "Play Game" link on the Arcgames.com website.
Will it still be possible to launch my game through Steam without Arc?
The current scope of development does not involve any changes to Steam.
Will it still be possible to make purchases through Steam?
Can you run multiple instances of a Cryptic game?
Currently, it is only possible to launch one instance of a game client through Arc.
Can you close Arc after launching a game?
At this time Arc is designed to run seamlessly in the background, and uses minimal system resources when running alongside a game.
Is there a setting to determine whether or not Arc starts with Windows?
Yes, you can enable it at startup to get into your games faster, or disable it and start Arc manually.
Does Arc "reserve" hard drive space?
No. However, we recommend that you have at least 10GB free to install games.
What steps have the developers taken to ensure that the Arc client remains lightweight?
Arc should not negatively impact game performance in any way, even while running in the background. While it's understandable to expect that having an application running in the background would have such an effect, currently we haven't seen any objective data that would allude to this occurring.If any players have found that using Arc while playing a game negatively impacts their performance, please send a report to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can address the issue accordingly. While we currently don't have any global performance issues, it's reasonable to expect that some players might run into unique issues due to unanticipated hardware compatibility or software conflicts.
Does Arc have a measurable impact on game framerate?
We have conducted several internal tests to ensure that Arc does not impact game framerate. So far, no situations have been identified where a game's framerate is affected by running Arc. Thus far, all tests have resulted in identical average framerates when run with and without Arc. However, there is always the possibility of unique hardware and software scenarios that yield different test results. If you encounter a situation where launching through Arc affect's your game's performance, please send the details to email@example.com and we will look into the report.
Does Arc utilize any Torrent functionality?
Arc does not utilize Torrent functionality. Previous versions of our platform software (CORE client) did include Pando Media Booster, but this functionality has been completely removed from Arc.
Does Arc include any pop ups or in-game ads?
There are no advertisements while playing. We do have a notification system to alert players of important events, and this system is entirely configurable such that each individual can configure the alert types (maintenance, news, updates, patch, etc.,) they would like to receive and for which games.
Is it possible to disable notifications?
Yes. While the notification system is still in development, we plan to include functionality to disable notifications.
Do notifications have sound?
Not currently, but if sounds are added, we will make it possible to disable them for players who prefer to play without the audio feedback,.
Can you use Arc if your network is behind a NAT router?