ArcheAge: Unchained Launches with Thousands in Queues

Today marks the launch of ArcheAge: Unchained, the buy to play version of the MMORPG and though it has only been live for a short time queues with thousands of people have started forming on the North American servers. The EU servers which went live before the North American ones have also faced massive queues. Some people have reported on social media that they’ve been stuck in queues for 4 hours. These queues are likely to last all night and continue throughout the week, getting worse on the weekends when more people are available to play.

It has also brought with it the Shadows Revealed update. This update has brought in a number of graphical enhancements including the new and improved looks for the Elven race. Plus, thanks to the graphical updates combat looks more vibrant and vivid than ever.

Shadows Revealed also introduces the new skillset Swiftblade which enables shadow warriors to prove their might in dashing duels. Speaking of combat, for the first time ever in ArcheAge pirates can now participate in PvP. This is thanks to the new Siege and Territory system.

This is an exciting time to try out ArcheAge if you never have before or if you haven’t played it since it originally launched back in 2014. If you’ve played ArcheAge before it is important to note that you cannot transfer anything to these new servers, you will have to start fresh along with everyone else. With all-new servers opening this means there is a new opportunity to get your hands on land for housing. There is however a landlock put in place until Saturday the 18th. This means you won’t have to fight to get one right away. Though do keep it in mind for this weekend. You can buy ArcheAge: Unchained on the official website or get it on Steam.


Source: Press Release and Twitter

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ArcheAge Unchained Announced as a Buy to Play Version of the Game

For the last week, ArcheAge’s website has had a countdown and now we finally know that it was counting down to the announcement of ArcheAge Unchained. Usually, that sort of announcement comes when a game is going free to play, but ArcheAge already is free to play. So in an odd twist, and by player demand, ArcheAge is getting a buy to play server.

On this server, players will have access to the entire game without having to worry about subscriptions or other purchases. According to the FAQ, this is what you can expect, “In ArcheAge: Unchained there is no longer a subscription model. With a onetime purchase, you can enjoy the content as often as you want. You will be able to purchase vanity items via Credits and we will implement seasonal ArchePasses. We are focusing on fairer gameplay which is why we decided to change a few monetization features for ArcheAge: Unchained.”

Unfortunately, current ArcheAge players won’t be able to transfer anything to this new server. It will exist completely independent of the current game, though also running alongside it. So yes, you will be able to keep playing as you always have. This is just an extra new option for players who don’t want to deal with all the subscriptions and headaches.

There isn’t a release date for ArcheAge Unchained yet and we also don’t know how much it will cost. But the FAQ promises that more information will be released in the coming weeks. They also have new content coming this fall that includes a new skillset called Swiftblade, a revamp of the siege system, a new naval arena, and more.

We’ll be keeping an eye out for more news on this server. But we’re curious, are you going to play on this new server? It’s an opportunity for a fresh start, a chance to get some housing.


Source: Press Release

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Designing an MMORPG: Business Model

This week we’re taking a look at one of the most hotly debated topics there is; the MMORPG business model. There are a few different models that are popular at the moment and a new one at the end that takes inspiration from outside of the gaming industry, but before we can get into that, we need to take a look at the last topic, crafting.

It may not come as much of a surprise but the “Hire a Guy” crafting system only received 5 votes out of 101. I was actually surprised to see it even get that many. Though at the same time I will admit Neverwinter does have an interesting crafting system that stands out. The more traditional, middle of the road crafting system you’re used to seeing in MMOs got only 24 votes. Which means, that with 72 votes, 71% the winner is the more realistic, complex crafting. This means that crafting is complex and time-consuming. You are also limited in how many skills and which skills you can pick from. Your talents will have to follow themes. If, for instance, you decide to become a Cook you won’t be able to also be a Blacksmith. You only have so much time in the day to learn skills.

That brings us to the second part of crafting; which skills we should have. Alchemy had the most votes at 52 while the option with the least votes was City Crafting at 35 votes. It isn’t a massive difference between the two but 9% vs 6% of the vote it seems like City Crafting isn’t a winner. Guild crafting was the next lowest with 37 votes. It seems that while group-based crafting is an idea that gets talked about, it isn’t something people actually want to have implemented. So, we are left with all the solo crafting skills going forward. They are; (in order of the number of votes received) Alchemy, Fishing, Mining, Jewelry Making, Hunting, Runs & Glyphs, Timber Harvesting, Gardening, Foraging, Archaeology, and Scrolls.


With that out of the way, it’s time for us to move on to MMORPG business models. There are five different models to pick from. We’ve left out Pay to Win and Lifetime Subscriptions because both models have proven that they have issues with long-term viability with Western audiences.


Free to Play

Path of Fire Elite Specialization

Today the free to play model is the norm. As a player, you don’t have to buy the game and there is no subscription fee. In return, however, you’re faced with microtransactions. It’s very easy for these microtransactions to turn the game pay to win, though this is something our MMO would, of course, be avoiding. With this model expect to get the very minimum for free and regularly have to pay for new content, cosmetic items, and boosts. Lockboxes also prominently feature in this business model but an option for the lockbox could be to offer everything on the store for slightly more money than you otherwise would have. A compromise that many who are against the gamble of lockboxes claim they would accept. If this option is selected we will have a look at lockboxes vs no lockboxes in the future. This is the model that Guild Wars 2 uses.



Subscribe or don’t, that is the debate with a hybrid model. With this model, you’ll be paying for the game but if you pay for anything more after that it’s up to you. Once again, there is a delicate balance to be struck. SoulWorker recently ran into some trouble with their hybrid model as one of the things they offered subscribers had fans crying pay to win. A good hybrid model needs to offer enough perks in the subscription to make it worth it, while not offering so much that it seems like a requirement.

Alternatively, you could offer the option to pay for the subscription using in-game currency. This is what World of Warcraft does with their WoW Token. Of course, the in-game currency route is not an easy one. It requires you to spend a lot of time in the game earning that currency. Which is still a win for the studio because the longer you’re in a game the more likely you are to buy items from the in-game store and the more you’re there populating the world for those who do pay.

If the hybrid model wins, a future article will dive into the different types in more detail.


Buy to Play

eso free play week

The buy to play model is very similar to the free to play model with one exception, you have to buy the game before you can play it. You will still have the in-game store, lockboxes, and pay for content updates. Buy to play is especially beneficial to the studio who are tasked with the job of making back the investment made in creating the game, to begin with. ArenaNet has made the buy to play model famous as they’ve used it both with Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2, though Guild Wars 2 eventually became free to play when the first expansion released.



Avoid the nickel and diming that comes with the other models and be ready to fork over $12-$15 a month on top of buying the game. A subscription model has a lot of perks though. You’ll get regular small content updates completely free, though large expansions you’ll still have to pay for. You’ll get all the flashy outfits and weapons you’d usually expect to be in the in-game store for free. Double XP events, and others like them, will make a comeback.



MMORPG business model

Here’s where I propose a business model that started out being called the Total Honesty Model. It is inspired by Patreon. The idea is the studio gives a monthly goal. The studio comes right out and says “we must make this much money every month to continue running.” Then it’s up to the players to decide how much they can give, offering perks for different amounts given. These perks can include exclusive skins and mounts. Higher tiers can include players being able to design NPCs or even art of their character done by the game’s artists. Going over the goal for the month means work can be done on an expansion. Want to see that expansion made? Put in $50 over the next 3 months and it’s yours. Doing this means you’re voting with your wallet because the studio is only working on the things that have already funded. This complete honesty can have its downsides though. A decline in Patrons will be obvious and will snowball. So, the death of the game will be swift.

Once items are made (not the Patron exclusives) they can go into an in-game store for people who don’t reach the Patron threshold to buy. Maybe you put in $5 towards the expansion when it was being created because that’s all you could give at the time. It still funded, but you didn’t really contribute enough to get the expansion. You’ll still be able to buy it and you got an epic sword for the $5 you gave.


So now there’s just the question remaining, which MMORPG business model seems the best for our dark fantasy MMORPG? Does the Patron model work in your mind? Would you be a Patron rather than a subscriber or buying in the in-game store? Leave your vote in the Strawpoll and your thoughts in the comments.

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Saga of Lucimia Rages Against the Microtransaction Machine

Well, maybe not “rages” per se, but the devs behind the upcoming MMORPG most certainly have some strong feelings about monetization. In a recent blog post, the subject of Saga of Lucimia microtransactions was the primary topic – more specifically, why the game will never have them.

saga of lucimia microtransactions

The blog is an opinionated write-up of the current climate of gaming monetization, which calls out free-to-play and microtransaction practices in general and EA in specific.

“While there are some examples of microtransaction systems that work relatively well — I would argue that Elder Scrolls Online is a prime example in this category — the vast majority of them do not. One has to look no further than the recent fiasco surrounding Electronic Arts and their fumbled Battlefront II launch to see a system gone so completely wrong that the company announced that they were suspending microtransactions just prior to the game’s public launch.”

So what does all of this have to do with Saga of Lucimia? Because the game proudly will be accessible only through a monthly subscription. According to the post, the MMO will offer this as a nod to the preferences of gamers, as a way to avoid casual play habits, and because the devs don’t have an investor’s board to answer to.

“It’s the model we prefer, it’s the model many (I would argue most of us us old-school gamers) that we’re familiar with, and it’s this model that offers the most value to the customers: 100% access to 100% of the game for a flat, monthly fee. No hidden charges, no exceptions,” reads the post.

Our Thoughts

While we certainly can appreciate the charged opinions on why a subscription model is better than free-to-play, there’s also something to be said about not outright balking at casual players, which is a whole other kettle of fish. Still, like the devs have said, they’re very clearly open to creating a game for a niche base, so if that brings them success then all the better.

Source: official site

Articles Related to Saga of Lucimia

Interview: Questing in Saga of Lucimia Part 1 and Part 2
Saga of Lucimia Interview with Executive Producer Tim Anderson
The MMO Alpha and Beta List: November 17, 2017

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