ArcheAge has launched the first salvo of information on the founder packs, three packs filled with content that is available for the fans of ArcheAge. From my limited experience in the ArcheAge, there is good cause for investing into the game, but at the same time the prices are a bit beyond "casual excitement."
There are three tiers of founder packs. The first two tiers have various levels of goodies and beta access, going for $50 and $100, while the final tier comes in at a whopping $150 but, in addition to a heaping pile of goodies, you also get immediate alpha access. The difference between closed beta and alpha is that the alpha runs 24/7 while the closed betas will be limited events.
As for the goodies, all packs include a glider (ArcheAge's take on flying mounts), in-game currency, Patron status, titles (which grant very small stat boosts), and the two higher tiers offer Evenstones (break down gear), and Hereafter stones (teleport stones) along with a really cool outfit.
Disclaimer: ArcheAge is a free-to-play game with a "premium subscription model." This means that at some point, the game will be free-to-play and there is an optional subscription model. The development team has reassured me the game is not "pay-to-win." So the founder's packs are only meant as a way to support the game, get some awesome loot, and get early access to the game but is not a requirement.
Breaking Down the Price
Now, before you scuff at the price points, it's important to look at the value of each one. ArchAge will have a premium subscription service and also be free-to-play. This service, known as "Patron status" is critical to getting the absolute most out of the game, which includes labor regeneration, an exp bonus, the ability to own land (house/farm), and other rewards. It's not necessary to play the game, but it helps speed things up and gives you the luxury of home ownership.
Patron status is going to be $15 / month and is included in the various packages. Which means that $50 is $35 assuming you're going to get Patron status at some point. The same, $30 off $100 is $70 and $45 from $150 is $105.
In addition, you'll receive credits which is an in-game currency. They value them at $20, $50, and $75. Add that in and you already are receiving $35, $80, and $120 off each of the packs when you go through and purchase things direct from the store.
So yeah, there is a bit of sticker shock, but off the top you're getting most of your money's worth in in-game purchases. So that's something to consider.
That leaves $15, $20, and $30 in each pack to go towards the outfits, the mount, and the title, and the stones. The last tier includes a founder's cloak which you can customize as well, making it IMO the best value (even at the biggest price tag) just because you get the cloak, the items instantly to upload your own crest, a fist full of credits, 3 months of premium game-time, and the warm fuzzy feeling of helping support the localization of ArcheAge.
The question though is the game worth it? Well…
So you're thinking about being a founder…
I'm a huge proponent of people being happy with their purchases, especially big purchases. I consider every game I buy to be a huge purchase, even though I buy tons of them. This is mostly because money doesn't grow on trees, right. Well, paper comes from trees but that's just being annoying.
I suggest that everyone who is thinking about investing into ArcheAge early on go and watch the official livestream and see more of the game. You can watch previous videos if you're impatient. Do a little bit of research and check out how the game is going.
Again, this is a big purchase and you have to make sure it's right for you. To me, the best one is the "Archeum" pack just because of the alpha access, the cool cloak, and the big boost to starting the game. Of course, it's the most expensive.
ArcheAge is a game that's already been released, has a lot of traction in other markets, and is time tested. So there isn't any risk of vaporware. The alpha is up and running and Trion is a truthworthy company, makers of RIFT, so all that stuff is a non-issue. The question you have to ask yourself is are you excited for ArcheAge and do you want to invest into a strong headstart into the game?
Again, it's really early to say, but there is time to think about it and again Ten Ton Hammer isn't specifically saying "go out and buy this stuff," but providing an informed opinion for the purchase. It's my personal opinion that it's a sound investment if you're a fan of the game and there is more than enough substance there to justify the price.
Finally, just to reiterate, the game isn't "pay-to-win" as I've been assured by the developers. The bonuses and perks are neat trinkets and game currency, all stuff that you can earn the equivalent of in the game itself. It's more or less a fan thing.
Anyway, more details can be had over at ArcheAge's official site official site.