Are MMORPG Item Malls Unbalanced?

dwarf priest
The free-to-play MMORPGs by Iron Realms ioffer unique worlds in which you can play for free (forever!), though there is a pay-for-perks system available. However, it does not grant any bonuses that are ludicrously over-powered or exclusive things you can ONLY get by paying real money. There are two types of currency in Achaea: gold (which you can get in-game over time) and credits (which you primarily get out-of-character by purchasing them). However, unlike other cash shop systems, you can exchange in-game currency for out-of-character currency and get the same pay-for-perks items that people who spend thousands of dollars on the game get. 


In Heroes of Newerth, you get silver coins for playing (which you get in-game by playing hundreds of long games) and gold coins for buying things (which you can get by buying -- there is no exchange rate and no other way). Most things are available to be bought for very differing prices, but the silver coins price is usually ten times more expensive than the gold coins price. Here is an example: 300 gold coins or 3,000 silver coins for an alternate avatar (character skin). This doesn't seem too bad, but consider the fact that you get an average of 5 silver coins a game; and some games can take well over an hour. There is also an 'early access' system where you can get new heroes before they are officially released, but you can only get those with gold coins and there is no way to trade silver coins for gold coins.


Is Pay for Perks Unbalanced?

Both games are great and I don't want to sound like I'm bashing anything -- but it does seem like Achaea has a more level playing field for free players than most games. Now, you may be thinking, "surely if you can play Achaea for free and buy credits with in-game currency, the game must be filled with gold farmers and hackers!" -- wrong. Achaea has the highest quality player base I have seen in any game, which makes the game a true delight to play and keeps players coming back year after year simply because of the life-long friends they have made within the game. The administration team takes an active role in monitoring player behavior, which has given Achaea a very refreshing flavor of quality-over-quantity player-base. 


Heroes of Newerth has its share of trollschildren and generally unpleasant players typical to massive audience MMOs. This wouldn't be so bad if they were always on the other team, but Heroes of Newerth is a team game; if you don't play with your team, you generally lose. This can make trying to earn sliver coins without knowing anyone rather frustrating and less than fun. In the gaming world, difficulty is a huge plus for some players -- but trying to win a team game with people who may not even speak your language is much more frustrating than difficult for most.


Completely Free MMORPGs

In Achaea, there are plenty of ways to gain gold and experience. Admittedly, it is much easier to get gold once you are a higher level player, but that doesn't mean you can't gain gold as a low level (or that you will be a low level character forever!). Once you learn your way around Achaea, you can begin earning 5 or 10 credits a day while hardly trying at all. Some players can get over 50 a day. Since you can get credits so easily just from playing, the prices on the perks must be crazy high, right? No, there are different levels of perks called artifacts -- for example, one stat-boosting item can cost 400 credits, the next level 800 credits, the very best level 1600 credits.


So what's the point of pay-for-perks, if not to give an unfair advantage to those who pay? Most games try to make getting the perks critical if you want to compete at the top levels, but in Achaea, there are a few fighters who either use absolutely no artefacts or very few compared to everyone else at their level. For this reason, it can easily be said that Achaea has the most fair pay-for-perks system: you can either save a lot of time by paying, or save a lot of money by playing for a long time and simply enjoying the game.


Author: Rean Moliuvia

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I tried the 'free' version of LotR Online and the cash shop window kept popping up every 15 minutes ask me to buy something. Way to drive me out of the game.

I had a lot of fun playing LotR online, until they demanded money at every turn.  I'm so glad that spending money in Iron Realms games is optional forever.  

Me Three!


Me Four!


Me Four!


LOTRO is awesome. Never pops up for me.




You got my vote.

Nagging is always bad. At least we have config voting!

config voting on in achaea, config voting off in Lusternia.

I'll sell you my vote.

me too?

me too!

me three!

me too!

Some of those games are great to play up until that point where it becomes unbearable to put up with their constant money demands.

then don't give in to their demands.

I turned off config voting. If they can't bother to check to see if I voted in the last 12 hours, I'm not going to bother clicking on junk for them.

Most dragons are artefied to the nines = IRL money>IG work.

I partially disagree. I don't think artifacts are required for a top-tier character. They just make it easier to reach that level.

which is higher, to the teeth, or to the nines?

Completely agree. I doubt I ever would have started playing if IRE did require money.

me too

Even if I had started playing, I would have stopped at some point and then been unlikely to return. Returning has been easier knowing that I can pick up where I left off with no additional cost.



In fairness the vote window is almost as bad.

I miss the complete free part of it. I want to play games that are FREE not 'FREE UNTIL YOU WANT TO CONTINUE TO A CERTAIN PART'.

so glad I skipped that game.

Me too!





It's why I stopped playing that game.

Of course it's imbalanced - that's the nature of the service. If it wasn't imbalanced then people would have much less incentive to buy the items.

However, that doesn't mean it will make your players happy. Having an imbalanced playing field, a game basically becaomes "pay-to-win". Sure, you're never obligated to buy, but then you can never win, and since in games where the only thing you CAN do is PvP, that's not very helpful. In IRE games, however, people play for years without ever participating in PvP. That makes purchasing credits much less of an obligation.

Right you can't compete as evenly in areas where the credits give a great boost, but you can in areas where credits matter less.


Your logic doesn't follow. You can RP without paying to win, but pretty much anything else you'll be at a huge disadvantage.

It isn't really imbalanced though, because a lot of it still depends on what kind of system you have and the combat experience you have. You can have artifact this and artifact that, and they each only give you a 5-10% boost so you have it easier, but it's not just a WIN button.

Dunno about Imperian, but there's a huge vibe around Achaea that you can't get into PVP until you have at least this many skills capped out (note that I don't think you can cap out even one with just leveling). I think it's a load of crap, personally, but the imbalance definitely exists even before you look at artefacts.

I've transed 3 skills so far without ever buying credits.

It just took forever, and if I were to switch class I'd be losing a ton of progress.

If you put some effort in raising gold and earining lessons is fairly easy. It's just a heap easier to buy them. 

It isn't easy in all games. Even where gold can be easy to come by, that doesn't mean credits are.

If you put some effort in raising gold and earining lessons is fairly easy. It's just a heap easier to buy them. 

Right it took forever.

even in-game credits?

Not every artiface it about a percentage boost. You can be a cook in Lusternia without the cooking artifact, but everyone with the artifact will pretty much uncut what you can sell for.


And 5%-10% doesn't sound like much, but with some afflicitions it can be the difference between pulling off an instakill and now.

A player's ability is mutually exclusive from stat imbalances.  Those extraboosts makes it so there is no longer a level playing field.  A fair fight suggests there is a level playing field to some extent, but particularly in video games it suggests means that are within the limits of the game.  With the item malls you introduce out of game resources which skews everything.  It's difficult enough balancing classes and skillsets without introducing out of game aspects into the equation.

With that said, IRE has to make money somehow.  I'm glad there are other aspects of the game that do not involved PVP to keep me interested.  I do wish there were more.

easy, tiger!


the wave of the future, to bad all the best perks cost a fortune for those interested ;) way to offset the subscription fees










Can we please talk about something other than the damn Item Mall concept?

Agreed, this is getting repetitive.

And no more "addicting games" themes either at least for a couple of RL years

New article idea: Addicting Item Malls.


someone write that one, please? You all know you want to read it.

I'd read it!

... at least comment :)






How about something on the new alchemy class....

Achaea centric though

And I <3 you *hides*


then go do it

why are you mad?

Item Mall Item Mall Item Mall.  This is all I hear.  Let's move on to a new topic.

item mall

it's great!

It is a bit fair, since this is still a business

Is kind of hard to determine, if it is just a pk sense then there will always be a big advantage to whoever has more artefacts, but less so if it is a group fight. Plus Achaea is perfectly enjoyable without any artefacts or ooc purchases.

I have to agree here.  Buying credits with money is just a quicker way to get something that is totally possible to get in game. 

That may be possible to get. There may not be time, they may discontinue it. Not to mention you may not have time to enjoy it much before the game ends or you stop playing depending on expense and how long it takes to save for it.

I agree to this one as well! ^^

Is kind of hard to determine, if it is just a pk sense then there will always be a big advantage to whoever has more artefacts, but less so if it is a group fight. Plus Achaea is perfectly enjoyable without any artefacts or ooc purchases.

I agree!

There are some things that need to be bought, of course.  I've always generally liked IRE's way to do things, personally.

Me too!

I mostly like it.

I like the way achaea does it.

Pay for perks in Achaea is skews things a whole lot.

In a game like League of Legends (haven't played Dota/HoN), every champion is balanced against every other champion. Except Jax. Screw that guy. And Akali. And each champion starts over fresh in every new match, with 0 gold/items. There are some minor persistent elements in runes and masteries, but those are really, really minor, and they're quickly accumulated by playing a few dozen games - no cash required.

In Achaea, classes are balanced against each other, but the game really comes down to investment vs investment. A sentinel with 3 class skills transed is roughly balanced against a priest with 3 class skills transed - but then maybe one of them has Survival and Avoidance transed too, and their miniskills. Maybe the sentinel has +3 knuckles, maybe the priest has a shield of absorption. The persistent elements, and possibility for investment, throw things out of the window.

Despite all that, the PK system is complex enough that personal skill can make up for huge deficits. Once you reach a certain threshold of abilities and personal skill, you stand a reasonable chance against most people who aren't crazily artifact-laden. That gets into Achaea's huge barriers of entry for PK, but maybe there will be an article about that tomorrow.

My thoughts exactly. If Heroes of Newerth is anything like League of Legends, then making a comparison between Heroes of Newerth and any IRE game isn't really a good comparison at all in terms of purchasing power. IRE games have many things a player can boost that they could spend money on to do, whereas games like HoN only let you get things that aren't supposed to be an increase, but a different style of play. If what they happen to buy is stronger than most characters, then that is a game balance issue.


This doesn't cover all the differences either!

Heroes of Newerth isnt' really that good of a comparison. You kinda have to be good and I don't think anything you pay for gives you boosts in-game.

QFT - Couldn't say it better.

- I found at least two typos in the article!

It sucks... the end..

I played akali back when everyone thought she sucked...

In games like League of Legends, you'd essentially be buying an alternate playstyle.  You don't need it to play competitively. In games like Achaea, you're powering up a specific character with your money, and it is then balanced against other peoples' investments...  Which means there will inevitably be a super-top-tier where you have every skill maxed and every relevant artifact.

There is one thing that money can't buy, and that is competency. I, for one, will *never* be competent at combat. Ever. I hate PKing in IRE games because I can't keep up with the scrolling, and generally I end up dead and I have to scroll up to figure out what happened. I just can't keep up with it. But other people can, which is great for them. I could become an artifact pile for a few thousand dollars and I would still suck so horribly at combat I would wonder why I spent any money on credits whatsoever. But, given the actual skill of one player versus another, if one player has a pile of artifacts, they will likely win because of that advantage. It is up to the less wealthy player to come up with new techniques to overcome their deficiency. Or grind some gold to buy some credits to even the playing field. Whatever floats your boat.

There is a flip side, however. Those bonuses can translate into an easier or more enjoyable time bashing. A +15% equilibrium balance, a sip ring, and a shield of absorption can go a long, long ways in making bashing a little easier or let me explore some strange and exotic new place with a bit more confidence, thereby increasing my enjoyment of the game. It's a win-win.


I don't feel you -have- to buy artefacts or credits. As its been said in how many articles before it takes longer but you can get both using ig currency.

So now can we get a new type of reasonable article? I'm feeling we're beating a long dead horse now.

I dislike the pay for perks, but it is either that, pay to play (which is more annoying) or have a non-profit, but few non-profits do this quality of game.







I'm starting to think all anyone cares about are item malls. pay-for-perks is awesome, though I wish the artefacts didn't cost quite as much.

Agree, most artifacts cost a lot more than I am willing to spend on a game. 1000 credits for an aethershop. That's 300 dollars. I can play an MMO for a year on that budget.


Or everyone would run around with lvl 3 weapons .

Yeah, noticed a lot of MMO's going free and then charging for stuff later extra character slots or whatever. Most recently it was the DC Universe.

all the quality of a pay to play game, with no actual obligation to pay!

Depending on the goals and depending on how much of the game you actually want to play. You don't see some no trans person becoming an avatar in Lusternia (and if that every happened it is rarer than hensteeth.

there is no way -at all- that the pay-for-perks system in HoN or, in my area of personal knowledge, and broght up because it is a very similar system and game, League of Legends, is worse off then Achaea's. THe one key difference is that when it comes down to it, spending real life money can bring you virtually NO BENEFIT. THe only exception that I know of is the xp bonus in LoL, which can make you gain levels faster, but, as levels cap at thirty and do not actualy provide a serios chance over twelve, even this never really affects gameplay. Skins are literaly worthless in combat, and new characters, with the occasional exception, are generally in the same range ofpower as old ones. In LoL, it is the cheap characters who have been taking the 'arguably most powerful character' spot for a long time. Essentially, if you had played two games, you could play the most powerful character, all for free.


In Achaea, you can do nearly anything better because of credits. You can travel faster, bash faster, fight better, make money to buy more credits better. In terms f combat, the best argument is that "you still have to know how to fight." Well sure you do! The problem is sthat arties make it so that the playing field is incredibly unbalanced. If you were playing chess, sure you would have to know how to play, and a very skilled playr would beat you no matter what, but if the other gy starts the game with twice as many peices, you're probably screwed unless you are a grandmaster and he is absolutely awful.


Further more, credits make getting credits easier. Virtualy every class gets better the more lessons you put in their primary skill, and it will take forever to max that skill without the use of real money. It is very doable, just takes a long time. And it still has been done better by the person who bought credits. At higher levels, things like sip rings, crit pendants, and shields of absorption put those willing to put down signficant amounts of money way ahead of the rest. Yes, it can be earned in game. You could hunt, which is significantly easier if you had the artifacts, you could fish, which is hard without having the lessons to trans another, non class skill, and gets even easier when you have access to a boat, which costs even more. You could use a class crafting skill, which, again, means you have to put down more mone for lessons, or you could get a non-class crafting skill, like tailoring, which takes an initial investment of 200 credits, or seventy dollars, before you can even start. So yes, you -can- earn money in game, if you are willing to work for a very long time and spend a large part of your time doing it, only to be beaten at making more credits by the people who already have them. THats the biggest problem. The rich get richer, and those unwilling to spend money are left in the dust at nearly every turn.

Two hundred credits for seventy dollars, or with elite membership two hundred and five credits over two months for fifty dollars plus an experience bonus plus three hundred lessons!

Someone has been doing math again!


A mouthful of wisdom si... er, ma'am?

I for one do not purchase credits on any character but my main. I also never log him... I have a slew of characters, all tri-trans, with avoidance and other skills. Some have small artefacts like collars or tophats or pipes. This is all done IC with IC gold. Eventually I'll get a dragon somewhere and be able to bash up enough for some real artifacts. I do find much more enjoyment in the fact that I can kill an artied player, with no artifacts and less trasncendant skills. I also die alot.-shrug-

Now, you may be thinking, "surely if you can play Achaea for free and buy credits with in-game currency, the game must be filled with gold farmers and hackers!" -- wrong.

A big reason for THIS is earning credits with in-game gold is NOT free. Someone ELSE has to make a RL-money purchase and offer them on the market. And usually the credits you get from promotions are automatically bound anyway, so you wouldn't be able to sell those at all.





so for an unfair gaming experience, it really isn't, if you don't want to pay for credits in an OOC method there are still a lot of ways that you can earn them in game. For instance I will use forging, I've made well over 100k just off the new alchemists alone, according to current market standards that's still 18 credits for one IRL day of forging, I just can't see what the supposed problem is, you get what you put into it

I've noticed that with many other MMORPGs, the people who pay to get in-game items generally have the upper hand just because they paid money for something. I like the system that IRE has in place - I feel like when I'm broke in real life, I'm not completely out of luck in the game.

Without some way of earning money, IRE wouldn't exist.

as long as we can earn things bought oocly in game as well I don't mind.


Good times








This ^^

time to give free credits XD



My mad hatter Shaco gets me mad kills in LoL

Only really help with the combat aspect of the game, and Achaea is open-ended. If you're focused on RP, politics, scholarship, etc., then there are artefacts you can get for convenience, but you can still have a lot of fun without paying.

Eventually you are going to run into the combat side of things though.

Some people will have fun no matter what.

No more item mall articles please! Talk about something else, perhaps the 10 biggest mistakes you made, or a city raiding 101, or something! Just no more item mall articles, three in a row is enough!

Agreed - cut it out!

Oh yeah, an article to compare city raiding in the IRE games would be great !

anything else would be great


Would be interested in this

tis great fun, though!


Should it be taxed?!

Of course it is. But that makes killing those people even more fun.

Haha, it is true, but I have to say that all that is true and it is the only reason I still play achaea, they staff have done an excellent job.

By now it is clear that IRE is probing the players' attitude towards item malls and so. I see no other reason for these ever repeating articles.
Second, I do not buy the free to play argument here, unless I see the numbers accounting how many players actually succeeded in doing so.
Third, the artifacts are extremely expensive. I do not have any of them, but either artifacts are powerful or they are not worth it. Something is not right there. My opinion is that we are simply talking about a business model that has proven to be quite successful.

it's nice that artifacts (at least, in Lusternia) don't seem to be game-breaking or necessary (with the exception of the warrior class).

Artefacts are supposed to unbalence combat and allow people of lesser skill to win, keeps the game free for those that can't or chose not to pay. And this is a great thing. Defintly agree with top comments about constant bugging for you to pay like lotr aren't good in anyway.

Hmm, not too true. For Lusternia, anyway, artifacts aren't hugely gamebreaking. It keeps things balanced to an extent, still, which is great.

balancing the scales, one post at a time

I feel that the majority of the system could be maintained and the balance betwen artied and non-aried easily made better at the same time

I agree!

Need them free credits.




We could need more of them in-game

I like the lack of constant notification to spend real money in IRE games. The option is there, but it's not like a neon sign in your face.

You just need to look at the cost of an artifact, to want to spend real money instead of bashing for it :(

1. I'm not sure really sure why Heroes of Newerth brought up, if "there is no way to trade silver coins for gold coins". Why don't you pick the game where it's possible? Achaea may (or may not) was first, but hardly unique with its business model these days.

2.  "Achaea has the most fair pay-for-perks system" is really stupid oxymoron. The whole point of paying for perks is to make the game unfair in your favour and against those who didn't pay. Combined with Achaea (all Iron Realms games really) being essentially glorified PvP arena (with minimal RP elements) these perks usually translate into very substantial advantages. May be author meant "most unfair pay-for-perks system"? 

3.  All these people who play Achaea for years without needing to buy credits I want to invite to the new FREE restaurant that I have found a while ago. Yes, it's absolutely FREE. Well, some meals may look overpriced, but you don't have to buy them and restaurant's owner will let you to wash dishes absolutely for FREE, isn't that awesome? Moreover, if you are smart and nobody is looking then you can eat some leftovers and absolutely for FREE too! This is a revolution in food business, people with money can just buy meals and poor people like you and me can wash dishes for FREE. Amazing!

4. I also fully agree with people who "find much more enjoyment in the fact that they can kill an artied player". I'm also enjoying the fact that without any martial arts experience I can beat up a  professional boxer (if said boxer is 90 years old, asleep and tied).

I would wash my own dishes they made me lobster

Enuf said

I agree with this. Free is not free when you put in countless hours of tedious work. It really is about the same as a job

It is if you have more time available to devote to the game than you do currency. Few other businesses would let you "buy" something with time, rather than money.


Considering that most businesses actually pay for your time rather than "let you buy something with it", I think it's safe to say that time is money. Wasting your time in the game to get perks is not different from spending your time on real job and wasting your money on same perks except that in former case poorest chinese beggars get to laugh at your time/reward ratio.

remember when people used to post responses? Man, those were the days


Agreed )


ehh, sometimes I think its imbalancing


and sometimes straight out-of-RP


maybe advertise for money??


How do items of extreme power fall every month on some characters, and every year on others??


<3 <3 <3


i love you!

you need enough trafic for advertisement to work, unfortunatly

and it's hardly like skills like forging don't have a much higher supply then demand in most cases

A valid point

It is.

Because I don't have to purchase my credits OOC I quite enjoy saving up for them. I understand that many people see 'dragon' as an easy way to earn credits but getting there, I believe I made over 700 credits just with the gold I earned smashing things. Now, that being said it's not like I -haven't- purchased credits OOC, I really have but thankfully when I was younger. I was living in an area where they basically through more money at me than I knew what to do with. Getting paid $1300 tax-free every two weeks plus a living allowance and no rent made for purchasing the stupidest things IG. This would be why I have a 22-room house in the Subdivision and was able to change class from Sentinel to bard, purchase systems and buy artifacts even on my alts. (Collar for a falcon and Gloves of Harvesting).

We love them :)
(and much more than free credits :> )


Half the fun is building the system!

Eh, I see credits as 'speed it up' rather than a requirement. With the in-game credit market, you can (albeit slowly) get all the things an OOC purchaser can.

I've played many pay to play games and my subscriptions hardly ever last. I always keep coming back to Imperian because I know I don't have to throw money at it to be happy! Although I do have an Elite with you it is more because I feel like I get more for my money than when I play WoW.

I favor persistance over spending money. If you show up every day and do something to earn gold/credits you will eventually get there without having to spend your hard earned cash.

Prizes for bardics are pretty substantial too, some people with a bit of skill and persistance do very well. Contributes to everyone else's enjoyment too, and writing is a good thing to improve.


Ya I am just taking a long tim to get anything with the whole perserverence method haha

Words, it's all words.

after each others.

Don't forget about using credits to buy lessons vs. the long & slow path of learning via leveling

Good article.



This is a comment

Love comments!

If there is a next mall article, let it be about the items, not about goldfarming or buying credits please.

I'm sorry, but this is the most hilariously silly article in quite some time.


1. Heroes of Newerth provided $30 accounts without any recurring fees or other costs, for access to all non-cosmetic content, forever. Let's see IRE do that, instead of $600 for some single artifacts alone.


2. Artifacts and credits make a world of difference. In fact, in IRE games, you can't even finish a _single_ skill (you need at least 3, more like 6, to be truly competitive), without credits, which are super-hard to earn in game in sufficient quantities. I've been playing for 5 years and purchased $80 worth of credits, and I'm barely even able to afford enough skills and maybe one artifact. That's absolutely insane. No game should require that kind of investment.


Your prices are insane, your games are unbalanced by artifacts, and you don't put any resources into giving back to the players in features and administration what they give to you in money.


This idiotic advertisement-article thing isn't fooling us, IRE. Put some actual effort into useful article content, please.

It should be hard to get mega artifacts and to complete skillsets, it should also be expensive, otherwise everyone would have them and then what would be the point of anyone having them?

I started ir games not even knowing about the pay for perks feature.  I don't think I would have started allthose years ago if they'd demanded I pay to start playing or keep shoving it in my face to pay.  I love the way ir handles there pay for perks. 

I hate any form of in-your-face advertising. My only gripe is spam vote DIG and the other vote :)


Lower the in-game credit prizes

I agree

The good part about artifacts is that the onesthat help in bashing also help in pvp if you're good at that .  Me, I suck so bad at pvp but, I like the hunting bonuses of artifacts.

I have played for several years now, and even though I have spent a good bit of money in this game it wasnt all for artefacts, matter of fact I have very few artefacts, but they do help, there is no need to buy credits to get artefacts as the article states, it makes it easier but by no means neccessary. I used most of my credits on housing, and then on a pet and skills, then my artefacts, the pay to play concept is still there though not nearly as overwhelming as in most other games and for that I am grateful......<still saving for my Soulpiercers>



although it can't completely make up for skill artifacts will make you much better

however they'll never match experience in PK. 

Games shouldn't be both pay2play AND pay4perks at the same time. One or the other, not both.

Though in Achaea at least, there's high end issues where classes are altered just to make the artiwhores fair and balanced, while nonarti users become laughable...certain amount of annoyance factor with that.

That is a poor way to balance if that is true. Trans in all skills I'd think is a good baseline, of course make sure things don't spin out of control with stacking up arties, but maybe it is the arties who need balancing if that is really an issue.

I'd think that changing the artifacts is better than changing the classes, certainly.


Pretty decent as is, I'd say, hard enough to get to make it hard to earn 'em in game, but possible non the less. Tri-transed on 3 chars without buying any credits, and working my way up to transing other skills and perhaps buy an artefact or two

Less performance-based perks, more RP-based perks.

Someone who has 18 million artifacts is going to crush a similarly skilled player without them.  But I wouldn't call it unfair.  At least any more than the carpenter who's able to afford good tools and materials being able to make a better table than a poor carpenter with a broken hammer.


Credit post

Magicians with artis? LOLOLSTUPIDLYOP.



Can still win wihout artefacts. Just need to improve yourself

Pay for perks can take two avenues.


It can be unbalanced or it can be cosmetic.

In a text-based game where the cosmetic ability is such a major draw and everything is at the very core imagination driven, this tends to be more of a staple requirement than managable as a pay for perk.

Pay for perks on Achaea almost have to be overpowered.

If there were more options that did not necessarily involve PK/Combat-related boosts/bonuses.

very much so

worth thinking about

Honestly, the fact that IRE is free to play makes me more inclined to pay for credits occasionally compared to the item mall games.

It's well balanced.



IRE does a good job with balance and I agree with Rean


How someone can earn fifty credits a day? :( I want to do that.

I'm lucky if I earn enough gold for 2 credits a day.

Mmm it's nice having the 'possiblility' of getting artifacts without spending $. Though it almost never happens its more attractive than "You can only -ever- get X far. Want to get further give us $."

I thought this topic died >.>

I think there is a difference from improving your char and being a straight up whore with it



I like the way IRE handles artefacts. It's kind of like an unspoken deal. Contribute to the game and you'll get credits, or contribute to our overhead and you get credits. I only wish more people contributed to the game as well. Achaea's player base is getting tedious...








Not always

Is this old? "Achaea, you can begin earning 5 or 10 credits a day while hardly trying at all. Some players can get over 50 a day."


What is the credit price in achaea. Are people Seems like even if a ton of gold is dropping off of mobs, that would just drive up the price until you couldn't ealiser get 50 credits a month.

I'm terruble at making ig money, so buying irl is kind of a necessity



It is like an unspoken deal - and credits make the game fun and give you something to work for.

I've not really an opinion on it. But I do like free credits!

Only unbalanced ones.

Every "item mall" of the sort that I have ever learned about has certainly been imbalanced.

Definitely. In IRE, the rift between artie-whores and normal players is just too big.

Arti whores play more, work harder, or actually pay money to keep the game going. Anyone can earn this stuff without paying, but you have to really want it.

In Achaea gap was huge couple of years ago. Where people used to pay $$$$ and receive a win button. These days the gap has narrowed down significantly. Artefacts still give edge in PvP, but it is not a win button anymore, and so it is balanced. For bashing and utility artefacts are great.

Sort of the point of the item mall isn't it no one is going to pay cash for an item that isn't good are they?

It's still unbalanced, but less so. There's a work ethic involved in accomplishing anything in this fashion, if you haven't bought credits out-of-game.

feeling the steeeeep difference between just starting out and not having any trans skills (let alone artis) and having at least a few of those things.

only three hundred more days of posting to go till you have a trans skill!

not that bad.

For just posting and not doing any hunting questing at all...that's pretty good!

Lusternia offers probably more ways of earning gold/credits/etc than any other game, but the credit market has soared this year because of certain promotions.

Could argue on that.





Hmm interesting

I'd really like to know how I can "begin earning 5 or 10 credits a day while hardly trying at all."

It seems to me I'm only earning 1 a day with a few extra every so often (not counting credit market). I think currently there's no chance for you to trans 3+ skills in a reasonable time without making a sizeable purchase of credits with real money. Definitely not with just leveling, the credits for commenting here, and a few events/contests in game. 

The higher I level, the more I feel the pressure to purchase credits to remain on par with other people my level.

Depends on what you call reasonable time. If you want to trans out in 2 weeks, then you have no go, pay for credits. Experienced player alting can trans out (3 skills) in 1-2 month of bashing/questing. Even true novice who puts some effort in it can get to that point in 3-4 month.

Credit comment.



Most cash shops are unbalanced, but they're getting better.

Pay 2 win seems kinda rare nowadays.


They can be in some situations, but I think a more cosmetic approach has been taken.



Hmm interesting



Currently, having just started out, I've been able to get approx 10-25k a day - but that sorely depends on the availability of questing and my time available on Achaea. Admittedly, I am a very low character (mid 60s, though rising), so while 50 credits may be achieved at the higher levels (dragons and greater) as the author suggested, arguably it is those who are at the lower levels that are in need of credits, atleast in terms of transing skills. While no doubt others will argue for the factor of this working for these credits as a part of maturing in Achaea, this can easily by bypassed by those with the option of a large wallet. There is an element of pay-to-win in Achaea, for sure - simply citing the case by case scenario of a skilled combatant standing up to an artied one does not give evidence to the contrary.



Think that is bad, credits have been averaging 30k in lusternia.

why so high?

meh, i think achaea is in a good spot



Achaea is a pretty massive game, these 'perks' are necessary to keep it running. Some of the prices are pretty insane and people spend far more money on Achaea than I've seen on any other game I play, even BLR where it costs 15for just one part of a gun. If the only way possible to get a particular artifact were to purchase it with rl money, then yeah, Achaea would become very lame but, then again, its becoming harder and harder with the credit market to get artifacts ICly too until Dragon.

I don't mind, at least its not a pay-to-win model.

yeah, while Achaea may not be the worst offender, artifacts make things much better

of course, it's easier to level and make gold with credits


yeah, as some have pointed out, rising credit prices make buying credits a bit impractical








Back in my day we had to try to write something witty to get a credit.

Yes, typically.

Sometimes, yes.



Mhmm... credit!

Don't even think about touching that, credit.








What drew me to IRE games initially was that they were free - I played dragonrealms for 7 years and after having kids etc, money got tight. What I discovered was a place that provided rich roleplay, had deeply involved GMs, and was constantly changing. I fell in love. I preach to all my old friends from dragonrealms, and have successfully converted a few :) It was so great to have a place to really ROLEPLAY and not have to pay 50+ dollars a month for it. (Dragonrealms charges that for premium/prime, and the perks are no where near worth that). Now I've been playing IRE games for a few years and I do pay, when I can, for perks. IRE, keep up the good work :)





imbalancing in general.  








Over the short term it is imbalanced but it is fair after some time where other people gain what early pay people get. It is a fine line but depending on where it doesn't cause game imbalance problems on a game by game balance.





you pay for an advantage.  Doesn't guarantee victory but it could be the difference.