ArcheAge Founder’s Packs Now on Sale

Posted by on April 25, 2014 - 2 Comments »

I’ve been watching ArcheAge for a long time.  I think I first became aware of it in 2010, which in video game time is lifetimes ago. I love sandbox games, and at the time, ArcheAge was the only real one on the horizon. So I’ve been watching its slow progress toward American localization with mixed trepidation and excitement. Excitement because I want to play it, and extreme trepidation because usually the American localization waters games down to such a degree that I lose all interest once I’ve played for a few days. I like Asian games because they require time and effort, but the model here in the west has increasingly moved toward raining rewards from the sky, and I’ve said quite a great deal about that in previous articles.

But first, before further commentary, let me rain some enthusiasm – Founder’s Packs are now available for purchase! We have crossed that line that indicates yes, this game is coming, and it’s coming along well enough that the development team is confident it will be nearing completion in a reasonable amount of time! Perhaps I should put the classic TM that usually follows the word soon in dev talk. 

As is standard for Founder’s Pack deals, Trion has offered us 3 different packages.

The $50 Silver Pack:

  • Beta Access
  • 2,500 credits (Trion prices this at a $20 value)
  • 4 day Patron Headstart
  • Title: Founder (this offers +1 to all stats)
  • 30 day Patron Status
  • Experimental Glider – which looks like a mount to me.
The $100 Gold Pack:
  • Beta Access
  • 7,500 credits (Trion prices this at a $50 value)
  • 4 day Patron Headstart
  • Title: Traveler (this offers +2 to all stats)
  • 60 day Patron Status
  • Glass Phoenix Glider – which looks like a mount to me.
  • 10 Evenstones – used to break gear for magical crafting parts
  • 10 Hereafter Stones – used to teleport
  • Desert Assassin Platemail – a cosmetic outfit

And finally, the Archeum Pack, which clocks in at $150 and offers:

  • Alpha and Beta Access
  • 11,250 credits (Trion prices this at a $75 value)
  • 4 day Patron Headstart
  • Title: Trailblazer (this offers +8 to all stats)
  • 90 day Patron Status
  • Glass Phoenix Glider – which looks like a mount to me.
  • 10 Evenstones – used to break gear for magical crafting parts
  • 10 Hereafter Stones – used to teleport
  • Desert Assassin Platemail – a cosmetic outfit
  • 6 Daru Chests – rare lock boxes with a chance to drop a mount
  • 10 Pet Healing Potions
  • A Customizeable Founder’s Cloak
  • The Reagents needed to create and put an emblem on your Founder’s Cloak

Canny readers may have wondered at my introduction – if I were as excited as all that, why would I ramble on rather than sprinkling exclamation points and smiley faces everywhere? Quite simply, I am seeing alarm bells all over this pricing plan. I really like Trion’s cash shop model to date. I think that RIFT has one of the best in the market. I like Sony’s Landmark model better thus far, but RIFT is still a pretty good one. Trion has been working with it for a while now, and they’ve hit a nice balance so I wasn’t too concerned about what ArcheAge would have.

But these packs have 3 things that immediately jump out at me as concerning.

  • Beta Access is not all encompassing – the Silver and Gold packs offer beta access to ‘closed beta events’ – I could be wrong on this, but generally a beta event is a weekend deal. I’m still looking for official clarification and will update once I see it, but as of right now, it looks to me like the Silver and Gold purchasers are not purchasing full beta access. By itself, not a big deal. There are all sorts of beta systems out there, and not everyone wants to sell their beta slots. But;
  • Titles have stats. Titles have stats! And they are selling different stat tiers! This isn’t a temporary beta bonus potion, this is a full time, click the title to wear and the stats are active buff. Not a good thing to see.
  • Patron status is still a work in progress. But right now on the FAQ it’s defined in this way: Patron Status grants all sorts of game boosts including improved labor regeneration, an experience bonus, the ability to own a house or farm, and loyalty rewards.

Perhaps once I get to play I’ll see that these benefits are really not all that important. Sometimes things sound much worse on paper than they are. But right now, I’m looking at the purchasing plans, the Patron information, and I’m not liking the direction I see it going. I’ll drop crazy amounts of cash on games I enjoy, because I want to support the continuation of them. But I really can’t support locking essential game features like housing in a sandbox game behind a price tag – although at least they aren’t selling hotbars.

For the official skinny – Purchase the Patron Packs, read the FAQs, check out what the community has to say about it all on the official forums.