The ArcheAge closed beta events are starting to kick off and this is a chance for those of you who aren’t willing to put $149.99 into the game to play the alpha. For anyone who hasn’t bought in at a founder’s level or higher, it’s a great time to discuss your options for buying into the game, what value the items actually have, and which tier is right for you.
Understanding the Tiers
There are four effective tiers. The first tier is a free-to-play player. They will have access at open beta and that’s about all they get. Silver gets a bucket of goodies, plus beta access for $49.99. Gold gets a bigger bucket of goodies and beta access for $99.99. Archeum status gives you an even bigger bucket of goodies, access to the ongoing alpha, and access to the beta all for $149.99.
These are some pretty high price tags, but it’s all about the option - you don’t have to join the game early. When the game goes lives, everyone will be able to join in and play. However, if you want early access and a head start on the game, then becoming a founder is the way to go.
Since bonuses are additive, I won’t repeat any bonuses - instead, if you’re looking for a full description of everything offered, start at Silver and read down. There are also titles given to each pack, but those are all prestige items to show how much you were dedicated to the game pre-launch.
At this tier you’re just like everyone else, you get to login and play whenever the game enters it’s “launch phase” which I surmise will be “open beta” or sometime around there. This is when characters can be created for good and the game is live. Those who “buy in” will receive a headstart of 4 days, but that’s not that big of an issue if you’re not willing to pay cash for the game.
I advise this level for anyone on the fence about the game and just want to see what it’s about.
This tier comes with beta access, 2,500 credits ($20 in the store normally), head-start access, and the experimental glider. You also get 30-Day Patron status, which I think is a $15 value but don’t quote me on that (Rift Patron is currently $15 a month I believe). The credits can be used to buy things from the in-game shop and the Patron status allows you to own a house, plus you get 4 extra days during the head start. So at this tier, you’re going to break even. Between the $35 in cash shop items, a free glider (that I’d rate at a $10 value - although it's just an upgrade on the starter, so some could consider it to be of no value) and the head-start / beta access (a $5 value) you’re getting exactly what you pay for.
If you want to get to playing early on, I’d highly suggest buying this pack. That's specifically the only benefit that's super worth it, but the other stuff helps with the price.
This level has 7,500 credits which is a $50 value and 60 days of Patron status (an estimated $30 value) so we’re already at $80 worth of stuff.
You also get 10 Evenstones (used to break down gear) and 10 Hereafter Stones (used to teleport back). These two items are ‘eh, who cares kind of things. You can buy more in the cash shop, but it’s a nice bonus.
You also get the Glass Phoenix Glider, which is pretty sweet looking (I’d say a $20 value), and a costume (a $5 value). So about $105, plus beta / head-start, $110. Not bad, you come out a little bit ahead if you’re excited for all the items, and you get a ton of credits to work with.
I’d buy this tier if you’re excited for the game, you know what the game is, and you want to to forever and permanently let others know you really love the game.
At this level you get alpha and beta access, which the alpha has been up for a rather long time and you get to play before everyone else. As the beta kicks off, the alpha servers are supposed to close during beta events, but you get 24/7 access to the game when the alpha servers are running, which is sweet..
The 11,250 credits is a $75 value and you get all the stuff Gold has to offer, pluus 6 Daru chests (random gift boxes in ArcheAge), 90-Days of Patron Status ($45 estimated value), and the ability to make your own emblem and your own custom cloak with +3 to all stats. Oh and 10 Pet Healing Potions, which I’m sure will be in the cash shop.
The value of this package is hard to estimate, because the ability to basically mark part of the game as yours is freaking awesome. If you’re really into the game, you’ve played the local version already, or are just really into the idea of the game this pack is for you.
Best Bang for your Buck
Personally, and Trion isn’t paying me to say this or anything at all, I think that the $149.99 pack is the best pack for someone who is into ArcheAge and the $49.99 pack is really good for someone who is going to stick with the game for awhile and wants a strong headstart.
The Gold pack is too much money for not enough cool stuff. That’s not to say it’s bad - if you’re looking for a ton of awesome stuff, you’re going to get your money’s worth. However, the Archeum pack lets you actually upload emblems into the game and have a custom cloak, which as the game ages a bit, is going to be more prestige than raiding gear in other games.
So that’s definitely something to take into consideration. However, if you want to join the upcoming closed beta sessions, don’t hesitate to buy into the Silver level and if you’re on the fence / not sure what Archeage is about, then I’d just wait until the game launches. It’s better to not pay the money and wait, then try the game and find you don’t like it then put money up and find out when it’s too late.