ArcheAge has some big plans for its upcoming Founder’s Pack program. For those of you in Alpha right now, you have gotten a taste of sandbox heaven with the game. Now players will get the chance to log in a little early, fly around on a glider, and lay the groundwork for their own space in the sandbox while waiting for the official launch later this year.
There are three tiers of founders’ packs available to players: Silver, Gold, and Archeum. All three allow access to beta when it ramps up. The beta will be focus-testing for specific game areas. By purchasing any of the packs you will be entered into all of the testing and get time to learn the valuable skills you will need to build up your character and get into the economy while everyone else is still struggling with the basics. Producer Victoria Voss pointed out that ArcheAge can be a very in depth game so there is a lot to give away to players who support Trion early on. Everything in the Founder’s Packs is available in game to any player. They just have to earn it. With the founder’s program you can get a head start on some of the resources and game time to stake your claim a little before everyone else.
You’ll get titles that give you minor stat boosts, making those early days easier, Patron Status for a period of time (think “subscriber”) which also gives you increased labor point regeneration over regular free to play players as well as the ability to own land and have a house or farm. Free players won’t innately be able to own land, houses, and farms and the like. But Trion is working hard on a “REX-like” program to allow free players an avenue to land ownership too. Similar to how you can buy Patron status in-game with Rift. The main reason for this? Land is a very finite resource in AA, and if it was available to all free players, within hours you’d see every piece of land owned by bots.
All packs come with the four day head start on official launch (date still to be announced). The four day head start into the game at launch is always critical for an MMO player, especially when you can claim land and begin building your resources. These are the characters that can level a little early on and get some savings towards houses or boats. These are usually the players who have the first houses on the servers.
In terms of in-game items all founders will get a glider. Victoria said that the Gold and Archeum packs come with better gliders than the Silver pack, however. The packs also come with some credits to start you out. Each pack offers your character a unique title in the game as well. Titles in AA actually give stat boosts, so that alone might be worth the price of admission for some. Victoria stressed that all of these things are attainable through gameplay as well. They’re just going to take more time than those who pony up the founder’s cash.
You’ll be able to get the cosmetic Assassin Platemail costume in-game, and the cloak, and titles that equal or better the stat boost on the Founder’s titles. But getting in with the founder’s packs allows you these things well before anyone else, and gives you an edge starting out. Each founder’s pack also comes with credits to spend in the cash shop, as well as Evenstones and Hereafters stones. The former is used to break down into crafting ingredients, while the latter is essential to teleport across the massive world of ArcheAge. You can make and loot each of these in-game, but the founder’s packs start you off with a bunch of freebies.
We asked how things were going in the Alpha build of the game and Victoria said they are getting great feedback from players and watching player trends as well. Many have figured out how to time their trips to certain locations so they don’t get killed on their journey across dangerous routes. Trade routes are also something they are watching among players. They already learned a lesson with daily quests and Victoria said they will be tweaking them in response. You see, in the West, there’s quite a bit of fatigue (as I’m sure you’re well aware) over having to do “daily quests” to get anything in game… especially when we’re talking about a sandbox. You’ll earn a very important type of currency called “Stars” by doing daily quests in ArcheAge. But what if you don’t want to grind quests? Trion and XLGAMES will be changing this mechanic to allow traders and crafters the ability to earn Stars by merely partaking the activity they love: the trading game. It’s this kind of tweaking for a Western audience we hoped to see from Trion’s involvement.
We talked a bit about some examples of player activity in Alpha and she said one of her favorites was a player who did not do any combat quests. He only did harvesting quests and rarely killed monsters unless he had to survive. The funny part is he reached the max level in about the same time it takes a player who would be doing the full quest lines. Now he is a top Apothecary among the group in Alpha and provides potions for players to great profit. Another popular trend among players who do live streams is to offer tours to new players in the game. One group went out to find the Kraken in the game. They were successful… and then died horribly. It is the kraken afterall.
It seems like ArcheAge will offer MMO players the true sandbox experience, and it’s finally coming over in English. Fans of the game are already excited to get in early, even knowing that wipes are imminent and launch is months away still. We know the price-point won’t suit everyone, but that’s what the Founder’s Program is for: to grab the folks who are so rabidly excited for the game. If you can wait until launch, do so! ArcheAge will be free when it comes out later this year, so there’s really nothing to lose. Some might worry that ArcheAge and Trion are taking too long to get the game over to the West. It seems instead that Trion might be using their chance to launch last as a way to avoid the pitfalls of earlier launches. We’ll have much more on the alpha and beta, and launch, of ArcheAge as we hear it.
Garrett Fuller / Garrett is the Industry Relations Manager for MMORPG.com. He cosplays as an orc, plays X-Wing on weekends, and loves Adventure Time. You can follow him on Twitter (when he uses it) @Gfulls.