A few days ago, on the 28th of September, Mail.ru (the publisher of ArcheAge for Russia) presented their business plan and the payment model of ArcheAge for Russia. The results were mixed. Some in the Russian ArcheAge community started a petition in order to try to convince XLGAMES and Mail.ru to change their business decisions.
In the topics "Russian Archeage presentation" and "Russian game community need your support" you can read the discussion about the Russian version of ArcheAge presented by Mail.ru. In this Google-translated article you can read what some Russian players think is happening and what might be the consequences of this new system: ArcheAge. Die before they were born (Russian)
Summary of the payment model for Russia:
This is not a complete list of changes.
Sergei Teymurazov (producer of Archeage localization in Russia) in an interview said that this distribution model was created by XLGames and not by them and that it's going to be the world-wide model, not just Russia's. Link to the Google-translated interview: Arc's in Archeage - Details (Russian)
If you're interested in helping Russian ArcheAge fans change Mail.ru's mind, you can try signing this internet petition. If what the producer for the Russian localization says is true, then we American and European fans may be in trouble as well.
Last information on the payment system war provided to russian players in interview to GoHa.ru.
Video/audio of original interview (in Russian) -
Full Russian text of it - http://forums.goha.r....php?p=24078947
Under the next spoiler is a huge amount of text - full translation from Russian. Hope it's readable)
GoHa.ru interviewer (Garro): Is it possible that p2p server will appear?
Mail.ru: We do like starting servers with different models simultaneously, but there is a problem with this, cause that means addition work for developing company and not all developers agree with that. ArcheAge developers made a clear restriction – they are ready to provide only one model for one region.
G: So, is that a decision of developers namely?
M: It’s rather predictable. Few developers are ready to make such efforts but for the games which progressed or at least started in specific region. In time we got a choice in fact between subscription model which was in Korea then and was implemented in Japan after and a f2p version, which started to be prepared for all other regions, which ought to be with f2p system. The reasons we chose that system are understandable. It’s model is better for Russia, we all know it.
G: A leading question then – don’t you know, which model will be implemented by TrionWorlds in Europe?
M: They didn’t announced it yet and have a choice.
G: So they are still choosing?
M: Yes, it’s likely. But we want to notice: announcement of current f2p system in Russia was made beforehand specially for gathering all problems and doubts possible. It looked most like an announcement, but we wanted primarily to convey this vercion and have a feedback. We are really the first region where this economic model will be implemented. It has several risks, but we get time to correct it, fix it and become sure that it will work. Before CBT and during CBT.
G: You told that’s a preliminary start. Does it mean this model wont be implemented if it would show itself inappropriate?
M: I would tell that most likely we will have to live with that model, but some features in it could be corrected. We’ve got only its description yet, though rather detailed. We will get the game-build later and we got some more time to make changes.
G: It’s clear now. Let’s get to another question. Changes in economic system are very significant. Will there be any changes in pvp system for which our players voted on CBT?
M: what is done for now… answers we already got. There will be no peace period on Freedom Island in Russian version – as it was discussed. Cooldowns after death are already increased. That’s already implemented in game-build we will show in Igromir and which was shown at the Presentation. So we need your feedback on this two changes on CBT. As for PvP in starting locations, XLGames told us that it’s a normal proposal, but it will be implemented only if they will do it for their own model. To make this change for Russia only is a very big problem for program code. PvP-counter is in plans but we don’t know in which version it will appear – we don’t thing it’s very important.
G: Will the problem of bots and goldsellers be resolved with the help of “arches”. Players don’t believe in it. We all saw it and know how bots work in Korea. Tell us, how will it be.
M: Firstly, the economic system was changed not really to overcome bot-problem. We understand that we can’t finally get rid of bots and will fight them with standard methods – monitoring, GMs, protection systems, players’ messages… all standard methods. But it will be easier to fight bots with new economic system. I’ll try to explain. Let’s look at the Korean version. Primary target for bots with this system is gold-farming. Gold gets to market, causes inflation, common player feels it. And at the same time player needs to compete directly with bots for that resource, i.e. player can’t refuse to get gold – it’s the primary value. When gold is off the market, bot-driver needs to start obtaining a special resource. It makes his work more difficult: he needs not only place a bot to the spot, but get to broker, set appropriate price – to do some more moves. And more move he needs – less and less profit bot-driver gets, more problems he has, which is better for us. Second thing is in this system, when bot already started obtaining one special resource, player has a choice not to compete bot directly and start gathering other resource. For example, bots gather stone and wood – there are a lot of it, broker price for it is low. Players can tell: “Okay, why should we suffer? We will start getting wool and hides and get full price for it”. Bots start to get wool – price for wood grows. In this model we get a lot of different kinds of resourcу and when bot-drivers center on one of them, they lose, cause players tell: “Okay” and start getting others. So bot-situation is better this way. I will repeat myself one more time – it can’t be resolved finally, it will always be and we don’t refuse to use standard methods of bot-fighting, but the situation will be better than on Korean server now.
G: But we know the Korean server. Bots concentrate on best places and there are bot (we call them KROT) which are able not only kill mobs, but then take to broker and set for sale everything they got – on their own.
M: But though most part of profit bot-drivers got was in gold, which got to the market. Removing at least a small part of bot-driver’s profit we are making a good thing. But economic system doesn’t have an aim to solve the bot-problem. Primarily that system was made to make it possible to discard an ingame shop, which is available to payable players only. Possible we will do it in time.
G: How much will 1 crystal be? And how many “arches” you will be able to get with 1 crystal?
M: For 1 crystal you will get 40 silver arches.
G: I must clarify – there are different kinds of them?
M: Arches could be gold, silver, copper. I remember yesterday broadcasting with Tellz, for example, where he is concerned that that will be difficult to sell little packs through broker. Arches are dividable – there won’t be any problem.
G: And how much will 1 crystal be?
M: 1 crystal = 1 ruble.
G: So for 1 ruble we get 40 silver arches?
G: So, for 3 rubles – 3 gold arches. A little bit more. Next question – will the amount of arches getting ingame be regulated somehow?
M: We don’t plan any such regulations in the system for now. Arches input, as input of any other goods from item shop in any other game in Russia will be regulated by players demand for it, I guess. That is one of themes which can be balanced through CBT or after game release. I think we won’t see a great amount of arches which can cause inflation for a long time.
G: Which Raid-bosses (open-world or dungeon) will drop arches?
M: Arches will be dropped only by open world raidbosses and Rift-boss Anthalion. Full list is not yet defined. Some of them will be in CBT and we will test it there. Dungeon bosses won’t drop arches, cause we want to increase role of openworld bosses. It’s very important for us that activities from which you can get arches, can’t be made by bots – bosses are an example of a thing bots never can do. And there is an arches reward in the quest for big scarecrow.
G: Will there be an arches reward for any other quests?
M: Yes, may be, but developers choose those quests very thoroughly. Arches could be given for some clue craft quests – big scarecrow, or after player gets to other continent – it’s very difficult for bots. For such quests it’s possible to give arches.
G: And for repeatable quests (quests for honor, for example)?
M: As far as I know – there’s no such thing in plans. Honor system won’t be changes in this system. Nearly completely.
G: There will be PvP for open-world bosses. What should players who can’t get them do then? They will have nearly no ingame way to get those arches.
M: We discussed a necessity to increase value for open world raidbosses, though it’s a natural way to do it. For little parties, guilds – they get no changes compare to Korean or Japan servers – they need to earn through broker. Way for the earning will change a little – order but not amount. In Korea everything was measured in gold, for new economic model primarily you need to earn some gold to produce better resource – buy plant seeds, for example, and then plant those, which are needed on market. With those plants they will earn arches.
G: How many arches we will get with Premium Account? How heavy would be taxes for big scarecrow, little scarecrow, house, roughly speaking?
M: You’ll get 40 gold arches (as for 100 rubles; cost of PA is 300). We don’t have sums yet, but we think it would be enough, may be, for taxes for one small house, farm and maybe underwater farm.
G: For 40 arches player would be able to pay monthly taxes for scarecrow/house/farm?
G: How many arches will we get from raidbosses?
M: It’s not yet decided. Developers are defining which raidbosses are mostly defenced and balanced for dropping arches at all. I can’t tell you any numbers for now.
G: I fear there can be a situation, when supply will exceed demand, there will be a great amount of resource and much less those, who will be willing to buy it. Will this system be able to regulate itself?
M: This system is self-regulated, we guess. Chance of inflation is much less than a chance that there won’t be enough money when game starts. Now developers try to think out ways to balance this. Why there won’t be inflation? Unlike other games, where currency will be got through daily activities (instances, mobs killing) here currency is got through some effort. If player don’t want to pay – he won’t pay and currency won’t get in to game. All the players could be divided in three categories: those who don’t pay at all under any circumstances, those who prefer to pay whenever how difficult is to get something ingame and the group most numerous – somewhere in the middle: they pay depending on their needs in game. If there are too many arches, middle-group moves from paying players to non-paying players. For example, all goods at the broker have high cost and I can get money I need for my monthly farm taxes with one planting circle. There will be much less efforts for one rubble then. It can be other situation but we are trying our best to balance it.
M: We got inventory extension for arches. Other things like guild registration, skills change – all that would be done with common gold.
G: Would it be from the very beginning? Inventory expansion for arches?
G: But through game experience I can say, that inventory must be expanded – you won’t survive without it.
M: It’s one of small points we can transmit to developers. It could be that inventory can be expanded for gold at the beginning and then for arches. We can’t tell you it would be arches-only from the beginning.
G: We got a question from chat. Will arches be exchanged for gold (arches gold)?
M: We didn’t see the system yet. In theory Premium Account increases drop and so gold drop in increased, but we didn’t see that directly yet. Question was discussed, we got no final decision. So to say – there are enough ways to get gold in the game, if you focus yourself on it. Any farmer will get a farm with resources for broker and, for example a pair of cows for replenishing gold spent on seeds etc. That would make a variety and no cows-only farms as in Korea.
G: What about old professions which won’t be actual with new economic system – husbandry, fishing, treasure hunting and other not less interesting. Do you plan to change it somehow?
M: Talking about that – developers are analyzing those little activities, which are attractive in AA. They have some thoughts about changing fishery, in hunting big fish, and something about looking for artifacts, which could be found in the world. You should remember, there still would be common gold and professions to get that common gold, which is needed for seeds. We don’t want to make all players only mobs killing.
G: But seeds won’t be so important. Gold would be of no need. I can’t make better armor for that gold – I can’t go and buy it through broker. We all got gold in Korea, I was engaged in alchemy myself, and we bought new set parts. I can’t do it in current economic system.
M: In current system you will get arches through alchemy.
G: And I won’t get them through fishery.
M: No. Not through fishery. It’s a matter of rewards. This problem can be fixed and balanced. If you get gold – crafting is the major channel for gold output from the game, even taxes are less. Craft still stays and gold will be needed, but as you can’t get gold from broker, that would be a very pleasant moment to get a big fish and to sell it for a good price. It could be fixed anyway, on CBT also.
G: What’s with Labour Points which could be bought in item shop? Would it be somehow regulated and what will be the price for it?
M: We don’t know the price yet. We know about the bug (bug on Korean server which allows to replenish Labor Points non-stop), we do and the developers do. There’s still no decision on how it will be fixed, and if it is not, it’s possible we won’t have that item for Labor Point replenishment for the start.
G: Problem of free-account players. Free-players can build a house, but can’t pay taxes for it. How will it work?
M: Let’s compare our system to what they get in Korea and Japan. There free-account player can’t see crafting, houses, farms – at all. Even if the player has a lot of time to play, he has a lot of gold, he is a member of the guild, he has friends in game – till he will pay for Premium, make a donation he has no access to farm or a house. All those who are willing to play 24/7 but are not ready to pay for the moment, and that could be 30-50%... large numbers… they just can’t fully play. They will leave the game. In economic system we have presented, situation is much better with those who don’t want to pay – we let them have arches from broker and then pay nothing. That’s an advantage!
G: and how will they get them? When you place a scarecrow, tax is needed at the same time!
M: For the big scarecrow quest they can get a small amount of arches to place a scarecrow. I don’t know about the small scarecrow quest. We don’t have such information. At least player can sell drop he got by the time, get arches and place a scarecrow.
G: Is it able to change that system? Players are asking to remove that possibility for free accounts. They fear there can be lots of alts and all good places will be populated by alts and bots. Korea managed to avoid it.
M: Remember we are speaking about free accounts. Player having realty in game need to pay taxes. Free account can have realty only if they are active indeed and making great efforts. Not all free accounts are alts and do nothing. Active non-paying characters can compete with those who pay for the place for their houses and farms. We think it’s good. Good if you play a lot and can survive without paying. Then there are more people who can try to play fully. More people, more activity. It’s an advantage for the project. But we don’t think there still be enough active players to overload everything.
G: You think there will be overpopulation cause of alts and free players?
M: CBT would show it, may be our strategy is wrong.
G: But I can give my alt 40 arches and will place farms. In Korea I’d need too pay for my alt.
M: May be it’s just a little bit more expensive in Korea. There you can buy as many account as you wish, buy some gold and place farms too. May be it’s just more expensive. We would see this. I think it’s one of the main systems to look at together with additional activities, which need to be looked at.
G: Can it still be changed?
M: We have several constants – arches, Labour Point regeneration and possibility to have realty for free accounts. Other things can be discussed.
G: Let’s talk about trade packs. It’s a very low motivation to trade packs shipping by little communities. You did the great thing – motivated a very large PvP – that’s good. Players waited for it. But it kills motivation for shipping the packs for solo-players and small groups. In Korea they are always at sea. We will have it all controlled by huge guilds.
M: Trade packs are not only important for guilds. You get Delphiс dust for it and you can set it to broker and try to get the siege item. For solo-players it’s important as craft component. I saw the last version of design-tables – more than 200 creaft items need Delphic dust for it. We can’t say that now they will do as many packs as they need for house and that’s all.
M: I would tell that it’s more interesting in this economic system. In Korea packs for gold is too risky. It’s better to have cows to get gold. Or to get gold with other ways. In this system, when packs are needed for craft, this dust is very needed and could be set for broker as it is needed for sieges – solo-players can always sell it as they don’t need to participate in sieges. It gives more motivation.
G: Can Delphic dust traded between players.
G: Siege items recipes are bought for dust or Delphic coins?
M: For dust
G: Delphic coins can be traded?
M: No. In this game-design they stay character-bound.
G: Don’t you think that would cause a decrease of pirate activity in game and decline of their game-role?
M: Noone can prevent them from being a third side in any clan war, robe someone, get the packs and then trade the packs with clans, which will need them for sieges. Piracy in AA is interesting, but for now we wait for developers to make it more valuable as a game content – may be it would become more interesting to play them.
G: Do you think it’s interesting to play a pirate for now?
M: May be later, when system would be developed. Now it really may seem less motivated. As it for Korea and Japan – there’s the main motivation is packs. We think packs can be a motivation in new economic model – too.
G: Will it be possible to buy Delphic dust for arches or crystals?
M: We don’t plan to add it to an itemshop, no matter how it will be implemented. Dust can be traded and bought through other players. Through broker for example. It can be traded for free… if someone would be so kind.
G: What’s with honor points system will be?
M: Honor still will be in siege mechanics, to buy siege items – as it is for now. Delphic dust is just added to craft of that items.
G: So to craft a trebuchet I still need akhium wood and also Delphic dust?
G: And the recipe for it I still get for honor?
G: What’s with drop increasing Premium Accounts players will have? Don’t you think this idea will kill akhium gathering in north? Even in Korea akhium drop from mobs is very common and no one plants akhium trees in north.
M: As far as I know, developers are now balancing that. May be akhium trees will give more profit, cause we like an idea of such trees.
G: Is it worked out in Korea and will be implementer to Korean patch?
M: I’m not sure, weather that would be implemented in Korean patch – that would be the developer’s decision?
G: Can you give any comments on this drop-increase system – will it work in party, with raid bosses?
M: We can’t tell it without game build, but according to the design tables it should be divided between party members. Would it really be so and is it a good thing to do so we will know on CBT.
G: Will transfer between servers be possible?
M: Yes, we plan so.
G: Aren’t you afraid that players will get better gear on one server then will transfer it to another server and sell it for the price much better?
M: It has its advantages and disadvantages. You need to remember that for now AA broker combines several servers. It’s possible when on a specific server one guild can have all raidbosses, but some gear could be dropped by anyone on the other server and then set to the broker.
G: In Korea broker combines a group of server, not all servers. How will it be for us?
M: We plan the same system, but developers didn’t decide yet if they want to increase amount of servers for one broker or not. We’re waiting for their decision.
G: Will it be a headstart for those who will by a collection edition or something like that?
M: We can’t give you such information yet but we plan it in time.
M: We will have an opportunity to get into game before OBT and create a character.
G: Will it be possible to occupy a nickname ar a clanname?
M: It will be like in Korea. You can’t occupy a clan name, but you’ll have an opportunity to register a character name. And to make an ideal character while servers are off.
G: You told about 3.000 Labor Points for Premium Accounts. Is it max value? (In Korea it’s 5000).
M: Yes, it’s a maximum value in accordance with design tables. Will it be increased or not – we’ll see after CBT.
G: do you know something about fraction system? Fraction creation needs a great amount of gold. Do you plan to use arches or Delphic dust for it?
M: No. We have no information on this system yet. The only thing we know is that the taxes in arches would be divided between fraction king and owner of a specific territory. How it will be – we’re still working on it.
G: How will Delphic coins be divided in Delphic dust?
M: As far as I remember with the use of akhium tools. I didn’t see it yet.
G: How do you feel about the petition of the players?
M: We’re very positive about it. In this emotional discussion, which took place for the latest 2-3 days we saw a lot of right and argumentative questions, which we didn’t ask our Korean partners yet. And of course we sent them all that from forums and the petition itself. Be sure they got that. May be we can use it to have more influence on them. Many things you doubt about – we agree, they need to be worked on. We’re glad you have such questions.