The coming soon/announcement page doesn’t have much info apart from what you’d expect from any MMORPG launch — “an equal playing field for every style of player,” “Ideal for guilds and big groups,” “A unique sandbox world for every play style” — so for tangible details, we’ll have to go to the FAQ on the forums.
ArcheAge: Unchained will have a “onetime purchase” and “there is no longer a subscription model.” However, you can “purchase vanity items via Credits and we will implement seasonal ArchePasses.” There will be no transferring characters from the F2P game servers — which will remain open — to Unchained; everyone starts fresh, with 5,000 Labor Points, no advantages in LP restoration, and “Housing will be available for everyone.”
The FAQ explains that these changes couldn’t be applied to the F2P game because of the “already existing game economy” and the vast changes to monetization were “simply not possible to this great extent with the already existing ArcheAge F2P version.” More info on Unchained, including pricing and release date, will be revealed “in the upcoming weeks,” and both versions of the game will get “a new major update” in the fall.
So that’s all a lot to digest. We’ll certainly talk about it in-depth on the F2P Cast this week, but my first impression is along “fool me once” lines. ArcheAge acquired such a dismal reputation as soon as it launched for not fulfilling promises and swearing it wasn’t pay-to-win even as evidence mounted to the contrary. In short, whether you think the responsibility lay with XLGames or Trion Worlds or now gamigo, the game has virtually no credibility. It’s all promises and hype that mean exactly zero until we can see it all implemented.
Let’s suppose, though, that everything is exactly as it seems. A B2P version of ArcheAge with season passes — both of which we’ll assume are at reasonable prices — and absolutely, positively, unquestionably no pay-to-win. Is that an appealing prospect in 2019? For me, not so much, but my issues were less with P2W and with the dull gameplay in the early levels. It’s the sort of thing where I’m not going to plunk down $20 or $40 or whatever to try it again.
For people who liked ArcheAge, whether in its very early days or its current form? Obviously, I can’t speak for them, but I think this will get a lackluster reaction. If you did love the alpha, well, that was five years ago and you’ve probably moved on. If you’re a current player, you’ve dealt with all the crap and probably worked very hard to get where you are, so having to start completely over will sting. It’s not a bad attempt from gamigo, but I’m not sure it’s going to be enough.