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From the press release announcing the Russian Beta for ArcheAge, some details came out:
ArcheAge RU – Free To Play with Premium Account
September 28, 2013
As expected, the Russian version of ArcheAge will be free. Mail.ru announced today, during Moscow press event, that their future business model for ArcheAge will be free-to-play (f2p). Their current version will be different from the Korean one, with more free features like building a house or a farm and the ability to reach max level without paying a dollar (or better say a ruble).
As most of the free-to-play titles, ArcheAge will have a premium account which will cost 300 rubles (around 10$). Premium account will feature a six time faster labor points recovery, an increased 20% XP and 50% drop rate (the numbers may change in the future) and a number of ArcheAge premium currency called “arc”. With arcs you will be able to buy different unique items from the premium shop. An important thing is that you will be able to get arcs in-game through different ways such as raiding, in case you don’t really want to spend any money and still have access to premium items.
The premium shop will not affect gameplay and will have things like cosmetic items, warehouse slots, inventory slots and labor points (Labor points don’t affect gameplay? Really Mail.ru?) I’ll keep an eye for more info from Mail.ru ArcheAge press coverage and if anything new pops out I’ll update this post.
It's not quite as unrestrictive a F2P model as Aion, but Trion is likely watching to see how this implementation of F2P works out. Hopefully they learn from *cough* .. some mistakes..
For instance, it sounds a little P2W if labor points are purchasable at release. It's unclear if it's a flat $10 to get a premium account, or $10 a month, but if labor points are unlimited (via cash-shop) that really throws a wrench into PVE wealth accumulation and GvG sieges, along with character development & progression.
The F2P version seems more like a free trial ... with the F2P people destined to be left in the dust, unable to do much easily or quickly [can still log in free & casually though]. Creating a socialist gaming environment isn't healthy. But ... at least the premium version is equally capped for everyone paying. IMO, Trion should keep the cash-shop to fluff (costumes, odd furniture, strange variant emotes and such, ala Aion). There wasn't any direct content-skipping unlocks mentioned, which is a big plus.
One last thing that is very interesting is that players can earn cash-shop currency in-game, through activities. Ahh, refreshing!
[press release in Russian here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riuYyrbA3tk]
Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
Recognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.