It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
No Cash Shop
There is no cash shop at launch, it has been stated many times, if there is don’t buy the game its clearly pay to win. The cash shop is there to continue to make money from those who have already donated to the Kickstarter (this has its own issues).
3 Month head start
Forget that the 3 months head start is supposed to be to create a ‘nicer’ world for the people at launch. There are a couple of more important reasons why the head start is not a true advantage:
Souls – Souls are your passed lives (its why the permadeath system is not really permadeath), having more souls means when you train something you previously had experience in your training goes a lot faster. On creation of the first soul there is a chance you get an old soul that has had up to 4 life times which means these characters are far more powerful than the 3 months head start of a single soul. Get lucky with a soul and you will be more powerful than the majority of head starters after a couple of weeks.
Talents – Talents are special abilities affecting ~5% of the population. Again talents are randomly distributed at character creation and these can make you more ‘special’ than other players who had +3 months without a talent.
Death – Most of the player base in the 3 month head start are settlement runners or higher this means they have more influence (at the start), influence directly impacts life span of the character so expect the majority of head starters to die after 9 months, including the +3 months head start. So once you’ve been playing 6 months the head starters are all dying leaving you to be the most skilled people for 3 months while they all start a new life. So the people who paid only for the game get to play for 3 months playing the most powerful characters. I hope its also clear that in 3 months after launch the new player base will be young adults in their prime while the head starters are getting weak and wrinkly (actually a mechanic).
People Paid to King!
As with everything there are already winners and losers, some of the kingdoms are going to be heavily populated and well structured and some are not purely as some kings have been successful in establishing a player base and some have not. This means if you’re coming into the game with a large, organised player base behind you there will be plenty of opportunity to establish yourselves quickly, and for good or ill, take over a low populated kingdom within 6 months – It takes 28 days to take a town, then 28 days for the county, a further 28 days for the duchy and finally 28 days for the kingdom. A guild of 100+ organised players will easily have the opportunity to dominate some of the current kingdoms on any of the planned servers.
If you can lead a 100+ player guild you deserve to take the spot of someone who paid $10000 and didn’t have the skills and charisma to do the same.
I don’t have 100+ players to dominate this game with but I
want to run a town, county, etc...
As above some of the kings are successful and some are not. There will be opportunities to run a town if that’s what you want, there will be so many towns and counties with npc leaders that if you expressed an interest and showed some modicum of intelligence then only a fool is not going to support you. Come with a few friends and the more unsuccessful kings will be lining up to give you a settlement and probably the surrounding county too.
But the rich kids are buying up legendary weapons!
Probably the most difficult to argue against but let’s follow the previous facts and stuff the devs have said. Combat is mainly based on player skill so if you have no skill it doesn’t matter what weapon you use and if you have skills you can win with a stick. Stat gains are extremely low. The people with these items in less populated kingdoms are likely to lose these items quickly. The items in question are tied to quests which will take months to unlock and probably owned by people who probably can’t leave their settlements to go off and complete said quests.
The people in the successful kingdoms are going to have a better chance of keeping hold of these things but let’s look at what that means: A rich king who paid $10000+ to buy their position has collected many sought after items in their kingdom. If you hate the idea that this system is in place rally against that kingdom, take over the kingdom of one of the weaker kings, consolidate your position then crush the stronger kingdom, it’s probably one the most rewarding end games of all time.
In summary, the game is not pay to win and really is pay to build, pay to lose what you paid for when you fail and pay to suck 6 months after launch. You truly can be anything you want to be by buying this game at launch and don’t worry about the 3 months head start, they are just your content.