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Is Archeage Free to Play?

When we look at free-to-play games, there are some that are truly free (in which you can do anything in the game without paying) and others that aren’t. With ArcheAge being the next game to be released under the “F2P” title, let’s take a look at what its true status is in this regard. It might just surprise you!

Understanding What ArcheAge is About

Before we can delve into whether or not AA is truly F2P, we need to understand what the game is about. With this one, the aspect being pushed out by Trion’s marketing team is along the lines of it being a “sandbox MMO,” meaning that players choose what they want to do within it. There are tons of things to do, as well, including (just to name a few):

  • Raiding (against “the Kraken”)
  • Open-world PvP
  • Crafting (houses, ships, siege weapons)
  • Farming (planting, gathering, uprooting)
  • Trials and juries (criminals and jurors)

There are many more things as well. The point is that the game has a ton of things to offer players and that the end-game is really what someone wants to make it. Some may prefer to craft, while others may just be in it for the PvP.

Labor Points

Everything you do within AA uses Labor Points. If you want to plant something, gather it, craft, etc. it’s going to cost you. These regenerate at a rate of 10 per 5 minutes you are in the game. When you consider how important they are to absolutely everything you can do (at least in terms of being productive), this is slow. To combat that, there is the bonus from the Patron (subscription) status.

Patron status boosts the generation of Labor Points up from 10 every 5 minutes to 20. On top of this, it also opens up regeneration of 5 points every 5 minutes while offline, so you are able to earn them while away from the game and logged out. In other words, those that have the subscription can do – on average – twice as much while in the game (or more if people are logging out when not playing as well). That’s a massive difference!

It’s also worth noting that there is a Labor Points cap increase to 5000, but I don’t see this as being an important part of the system since most players use their points on a regular basis and likely won’t hit the cap regardless.

Land Claiming

By default, free players cannot currently pay taxes on property and therefore cannot own land. Considering how big of a selling point the building and ownership aspect of the game is, this is a pretty big issue. It is worth noting, however, that Trion has stated that they are working on coming up with a way to allow free players to do these things as well. But for the time being, mark this off in the “non-F2P” category.

Auction House Usage

The auction house within the game can be bought from by anyone – even F2P players. Only paid players, however, are able to post items on it. F2P players can technically purchase access through a “cheap” (unknown price at this time) item from the marketplace, but that still puts it as being a paid benefit. Considering much of the game deals with trade (materials and such) for building and other things, this can be a big deal for a lot of players. Trion has stated that this is to help prevent against abuse of the auction house, and they do not have any publicly stated plans to make changes to this decision at this time.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the big areas of AA are actually P2P things. You can’t own land at this time, you can’t do many things in the game with regards to crafting and gathering without waiting for massive cooldowns, you can’t raid without a ship (though you could join an ally on theirs) and you can’t fully use the auction house. With that said, Trion has announced something that – while it doesn’t make the game “truly” F2P – does at least help alleviate the otherwise prevalent problems: APEX (which stands for ArcheAge Patron Exchange). This is an item that allows players to trade in-game Credits from one to another to allow some players to turn their cash into gold and others to turn their gold into marketplace items. So while paying is required for most of the important parts of the game, it doesn’t necessarily have to be done by each player; they can buy the Patron status through in-game means.

Don’t get me wrong: ArcheAge is a wonderful game and it has a lot to offer its players. The problem is that it’s being marketed as a F2P sandbox MMORPG, when in actuality it’s quite a bit more limited than that. The availability of APEX does help redeem them somewhat, this system is completely different than what we’ve come to expect with RIFT – also by Trion Worlds. Hopefully they will alter this system a bit before or soon after the game’s release to help open up the game more for free players; adding this many limitations can be hindering.

Source: Is ArcheAge Really Free to Play?

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