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Legends of Aria Goes Pay to Win, So I Quit

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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.

  • They will learn the primary thing they are selling in the cash shop is their reputation, and they are undercutting themselves as it is the most valuable thing they possess.

    Their next lesson will be to learn the cost of regaining it will be far greater than just adopting a reversal of that monetization scheme.

    The only reason I even paid attention to this game is through bloggers such as yourself, and now there is little chance I will revisit this title as “P2W” is the primary term that causes me to navigate away from a STEAM store page and place it in ignore.

  • Yeah disappointed in this. It does seem to ruin the spirit of the game. Also due to the fact that the people I would be willing to play with are now not, I am regretting buying this one

  • Just another example of why to never kickstart a game.

    I did pay $20 for it but at least nothing more.

    Clear recognition by CS that their time to cash grab is ending…

    Hope Pantheon doesn’t pull some crap like this, but I have my doubts.

  • A big shame. One of their big pluses on their website was the ability for people to make their own, private servers. Kind of interested in how something like this would have worked even with just a cosmetic cash shop. Makes me feel like the server runners wouldn’t have as much control as they probably would’ve wanted.

    I’m glad I waited on this one. I stated on an earlier post I was worried they might get bought out and stuff like this would be added, but to see it done during early-access without said buyout is even more surprising. Either they are desperate, or maybe they don’t have a real understanding of what they are trying to create. Not to mention the climate of games as is in regards to micro-transactions (even non “pay 2 win”).

  • Welp waste of money on that one. Live and learn I guess, never believe the hype ever. Stick with games that have been out a few months with good reviews.

    • Just wanted to follow up. I requested a refund, they stated they would like to keep their policy similar to steams refund policy, but were willing to refund me due to the potential loss of trust. I will end up keeping the game to see where it ends up going.

  • Apparently cash shop is just for official servers, not the community ran ones coming in the future

    • Not before they passed the blame onto the community, and pocketed that pay-to-win card for later.

      I’m definitely done with the game after they talk to their community like that. We “put up a stink” because they implemented a complete contradiction to their promises without even a moment’s notice. “Experimental” changes that violate trust should not be defended by slighting their players.

      • People “made such a stink” because if they hadn’t, said “experimental patch” would’ve continued to make it in to the game. I mean, wow. I usually don’t comment about these sort of things, but what on earth is going through their minds that they thought that was an appropriate response.

        The whole point of an on-going live service is for the community to praise the developers for good choices, and be critical of problematic ones. For them to use said communication in a derogatory manner kind of scares me.

  • Let’s commit corporate suicide!!! Imagine you have an IP and a game that EVERYONE wants and then you clutter it up with some annoying form of cash shop…the community is outraged…and you say F it…we are doing it anyway…what would/did happen (Star Wars BG 2).

    Now imagine you have a game that only a few people want and you are desperately trying to convince others that they may want it too…then instead of an annoying cash shop, you make it P2W. Again, the community is outraged and your response is F it, we are doing it anyway. How will that work out for them….I wonder…

  • I don’t fully agree with the whole.. but I can understand that you got disappointed because the game is heading in a direction very different from the original plan (pvp centric -> pve).
    Anyway I enjoy this game, if you or anybody who commented here decided to abandon the game and he pledged either during KS or Crowdfunding and he wants to sell his account, I’d be glad to buy it.
    Scammers don’t loose your time, only trades with middleman or on buyer/seller protection sites.
    contact: [email protected]

  • Total moronic overreaction by all – its frigging LOYALTY points not cash….
    you get 100 per month logging in and 250 for referrals, similar to UOs account age program.