It takes a special kind of dev team to build a great game, get so close to launch, and then utterly destroy everything they worked on by doing a complete reversal on what they promised.
The Legends of Aria team has decided the reverse their "cosmetic only" cash shop stance and directly sell immediate pay-to-win items.
These were the patch notes released:
In Game Store
- The in-game store is initially going live with loyalty purchases only.
- The following items are now for sale on official servers:
- Power Hour Potion - 1 hour of increased skill gains with a 24 hour cooldown.
- Soulstone - Allows for the storage of up to 100 skill points of any skill. The skill can only be retrieved on the same account that stored it. Retrieving the skill consumes the stone.
- Decorative Harp - Plays a harp chord when you activate it.
- Town Shields - These 4 shields bear the sigil of their respective towns: Eldeir Village, Valus, Pyros, and Helm. These are not blessed and can be lost in battle.
Legends of Aria is entirely about the journey of living within the sandbox world and going about activities that increase skill gains. It's also about managing those skill gains by deciding which skills to take and which to forgo, or which to let decay while others increase. The very notion of selling increased skill gains and skill storage is reprehensible.
Responding to the enormous uproar on reddit, this is what they had to say:
In the past, when asked in Q&A’s and in conversations with players, we have said the cash shop would be cosmetic only because it was our initial plan to avoid it being “pay to win”, but upon deep reflection, we have come to the conclusion it’s not the right way to avoid “pay to win” for this game.
Legends of Aria is driven by items and the items we collect keep us immersed in our world and are often a symbol of our time spent adventuring. When you can fill your equipment and your house with items purchased from the shop, other players can no longer recognize the achievements you’ve made. This has happened in other crowdfunded MMOs and has produced results we do not wish to imitate.
Our power hour potion and soulstones are examples of utility based consumable items that do not undermine the competitive nature of our game. These types of items meet the requirement of having long term demand and allow us to avoid filling the shop with one time purchase cosmetics that cheapen the integrity of the persistent world.
Producing Legends of Aria with this small team of very dedicated and passionate people has been an incredible challenge and one laden with difficult decisions; we don’t make any of these decisions lightly and any notion that we’re building a maniacal cash shop is deeply mislead.
In other words, they decided they wanted to try and squeeze out more more from people and decided to reverse their stance. If you're stupid enough to destroy your game before it launches, at least come right out and say why.
They're also clearly clueless about what makes their game so great. To believe that buying increased skill gains doesn't undermine their entire game proves they aren't able to identify what gives their game a soul and attracts so many passionate sandbox fans like myself.
This shameful act is deserving of complete failure, and it's my hope that these predatory pay-to-win practices directly impact their game's and company's success.
Needless to say, I have uninstalled Legends of Aria and won't be looking back.