Archeage and Pay to Win

I have an admission to make about Archeage. One that pains me to say but after a lot of thought is something I can’t ignore. Archeage is Pay to Win. Now I don’t mean that in some kind of esoteric “Every FtP game is Pay to Win” kind of way but that Archeage falls trap to the issue of buying power that gives a distinct advantage over others.

Free to play has always been this weird ground to tread in regards to pay to win concerns. Cosmetics is pretty much agreed up on but there are so many more parts that create concern. Boost consumables and such let you level faster than the general crowd and other items, items even earned in game still cause concerns. Archeage goes further than this though and crosses that line from usual cash shop idiocy to that which can, and does have profound effects on the game world.

The main issue is the ability to buy gold, in game gold directly through the client by selling apex or other bought items. Now we are seeing this sort of thing a lot lately but there is two distinct factors that make it different. First, in other games the best gear will be coming from raiding and so having extra gold is more the first or so steps in gearing up… if at all. This is the case with Wildstar and SWTOR, and even GW2 as getting ascended requires a different process. Items gained from Dungeons and raiding are nearly always Bind on Pickup as well, so resale doesn’t happen.

Even for games like Eve where you can jump in with enough real world money to buy the better ships and fittings it doesn’t mean you’l be able to use them, or use them effectively. The real time experience and skill system curbs that concern. For Archeage you can find a lot of the powerful end game equipment on the Auction house, and it is equippable once you hit cap. There are no prerequisites to equipping and earning it as it’s all crafted, and crafted gear has no restrictions.

Some of these items have a huge effect on power too. with the stronger Weapons I’ve seen able to one shot decently geared players. For armor you can expect it to take a while to kill them, if you even could. That is one on one and with a group they’ll go down down but, sometimes it feels like a few of the bigger guilds or even elite smaller groups have been funneling a bit of money into this.

You could also put the real world money into the whole crafting process instead of outright buying. This gives the bonus of being able to craft more items for guildies or to sell. Materials are expensive and buying them can help. Then there is the labour system and I know quite a few people that are constantly buying labor pots on multiple characters in order to level up their crafts quicker and to craft more. Crafting this much also helps in levelling alternative classes which gives an advantage as well.

Then there is also store items like the regrade charms that let you change armor and weapons to be a higher grade, this increases power and defence. This is a big step in the whole gearing up process too, a usually expensive and rng filled process. Oh, and then there’s the subscription giving a huge advantage as well over the free players but that seemed to be an expected part.

If this was a dungeon running style of game it wouldn’t matter too much. The only win state is personally set but here you’re constantly fighting over land and territory and in so doing gain an advantage over others. Being able to control Freedich Island is a big advantage for those that can, as is Hasla when trying to gear people up. And then there is a large ocean to profit from as well, those with the better gear obviously having an easier time. When Auroria opens I’m wondering what greater advantage those will get who can own and keep castles there.

Now, I know saying this that after a while of play people will be able to level up and obtain the same kind of gear as those that did it quickly but, the time frame on that is far far longer. It seems like with good RNG you might be able to craft or get enough gold to get a single piece of gear, maybe an item and that’s if the RNG god decide to spare you that week. For the general player base I see this being far longer. Months before they get reasonably geared.

While I’ve bitched about pay to win before, and a few feelings I’ve experienced of that. And even how my feelings for an mmo can be tempered when it involves cosmetic things this is the first time I’ve been involved with a game that is Pay to Win. Inarguably Pay to win. You spend money and you gain power and progression in a variety of ways… pay to win. You get an advantage over others in an open world environment… pay to win. Paying to win lets you continue to win too… PAY TO WIN PEOPLES…

but ehhh… i’m ok with it for now

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5 thoughts on “Archeage and Pay to Win

  1. Hey. Cash is king heh

    Well in Russia AA already turned into goat age and cowage. Most people are not grinding or crafting.
    Cows and goats give you all the gold to buy that gear that you don’t need to craft or farm or grind.

    But I disagree that it’s pay to win. Pay to win is when OP items are not available by other means. Here with time you can get it anyway, just need to play more.

    • the amount of time is the ptw bit though. Just one item will take a lot of time slaughtering goats, or for me sheep (better meat and pelt yield per hour) so it’s not comparable. Yeh eventually but in the mean time you’re getting your ass handed to you. The other part was helping them to get further ahead in terms of gold, guilda and other resources.

      • First Nobody forces you to go there (to get your ass handed to you)
        Second you assume they bought those items for cash . they could have easily grinded it for 3 months and now are getting value of their hours invested handing your ass to you.

        You would not expect to go to heavyweight boxing championship and win it. You will definitely get your ass handed to you because that boxer grinded his experience for 10 years. You don’t call boxing paytowin even though you could probably win a title for 10 20 mln dollars (enemy will fall in the third round)

        If you can get an item by investing time it’s not paytowin. It’s just you value your time more than Korean kids.

      • it’s both though… what if 2 boxers started at the same time yet one payed for that 10 years of experience to be granted right at the beginning. That would definitely give them the advantage at the beginning although eventually the other would of course catch up if enough time was invested.

        And I”m not saying at all that some, or even most have done that. I know the bigger guilds just pooled their resources enough in order to create dedicated crafters that supply everyone. They then have the constant resource and power ability to control other avenues of gaining money… guilda trading and fishing zergs… even large scale crafting and selling would be a great money maker.

        It’s more pay to win because that is a choice, paying for an advantage. Now it isn’t an advantage against some who have, like those guilds grinded it out or even comparable to those who have hacked their regrades incredible quickly… but it would give an advantage over some. I think that is an issue.

        I think the labor pots in the store are also an issue as it enables you to do more and earn more than those that don’t. It shortens that grind period immensely.

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