As announced on Trion’s live stream Thursday, ArcheAge Founder’s Packs are now available.
They are expensive. $149.99, $99.99, and $49.99 for Archeum, Gold, and Silver, respectively. Archeum gets you into the game right now, playing until launch day, otherwise you only get to play in beta “events” starting in June.
So let’s discuss. With myself.
I think they are fair prices.
Based on the laws of supply and demand, it makes perfect sense that it costs $150 to get into the ArcheAge alpha. If you’ve seen any of Trion’s live streams, you know that the hype and demand for ArcheAge is through the roof. I can’t remember the last game that I saw such blind, ravenous hunger for. (I’m not quite sure it’s justified but that’s another story.) People will do anything to play this game. It’s more of a cultural phenomenon now, I think. Like waiting in line to buy the first iPad.
There was a time when I might have waited in line to play ArcheAge. Instead, I went through the hassle of downloading the Russian client for ArcheAge RU. (Which was actually pretty easy at the time.)
In fact, if you’re dying to play ArcheAge and you don’t have $150 to plunk down for Trion’s alpha, I would highly recommend getting the Russian version from Mail.ru, if it’s still possible. It’s free. (It’s also incredibly restrictive, but hey, it’s free.) If you have any kind of experience with previous MMOs, you can play it without knowing a lick of Russian. I am living proof of this. In fact, it’s been an interesting exercise in observing core MMO game mechanics.
Of course, after playing around with ArcheAge RU for a while, I now know that the game is, while pretty good, not worth selling one’s kidneys for. The hype is a classic case of idolizing something that’s out of reach. So to all you people out there dying inside because you can’t pay $150 to get into the alpha right now - perhaps it will ease your mind to know that you are not missing the game of the century. You are only missing the cultural status of being one of the “chosen ones.” Okay, maybe that didn’t help ease your mind. Because you probably want to be a “chosen one” more than you want the game itself.
So having said AA isn’t quite all that and a bag of chips, it’s still really tempting to plunk down $150 for the Archeum Founder’s Pack. Because it looks like a great value. And omg y’all it’s ArcheAge in English!!
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “But UV, you’ve spent the last few months ranting and raving about how SOE ripped you off with that $99 Trailblazer’s Pack. You’re a filthy hypocrit!”
Well, yeah. But this is different! I swear!
Landmark was a poorly thought-out impulse buy, I admit it. It was a completely unknown commodity. I knew nothing about it except what I’d seen in a couple of highly-staged gameplay videos.
But I have actually played ArcheAge (in Russian), and I like what I’ve seen so far. I can make a much more informed buying decision here. Unlike Landmark, I know that ArcheAge is finished and running in two countries, ready to play. Trion’s testing for ArcheAge is mainly for translation issues.
Also, I have a lot more faith in Trion Worlds than SOE, just on general principles. They did an awesome job with Rift. I like Defiance too even though I don’t play it very much. And Trove is kind of cool. So I don’t feel bad about rewarding them.
Still, the majority of the “value” in that $150 Archeum Pack is getting to play in English right now, months before launch (I’m just going to guess a launch date in August, given they’ve said that the beta is planned for June). Most of the other perks are just cosmetic fluff. The value of the useful post-launch items (3 months of Patron status and 11,250 credits) only adds up to $120, and $75 of that can presumably be obtained by normal playing in-game.
Therefore I need to consider how much getting to play right now is worth to me. Maybe not very much, because I am already playing ESO, and I’m planning to play at least a little bit of WildStar in June. Not to mention that I want to play some Rift 2.7 whenever that comes out. In light of that, getting to play ArcheAge early is not that much of a benefit for me, since I wouldn’t have that much time to play it. If one could dedicate all of their time to ArcheAge, that $150 would have a lot more value, because you would have three or four months to develop characters on alpha (as a Patron, even) before launch.
So I think I’ve talked myself out of an ArcheAge Founder’s Pack. If I ever feel an overwhelming desire to play, I can always jump into the Russian client for a quick fix.
On the other hand, the Russian version does have a lot of annoying restrictions…