Twin Saga recently updated their site to allow the purchase of founder packs. This is an increasingly common thing among free-to-play (F2P) games and almost always seems to target the impatient gamer who must have the game now and just cannot wait. I used to be one of those gamers, but I have grown more patient as the years have gone by and founder packs to me are just a sign of things to come for the future of the game.
With that in mind, how has Twin Saga already let people down? Most F2P games come with some sort of item mall or cash shop where players can purchase things like cosmetic items and mounts or even keys to chests you find in game. Some games even provide character boosts (like experience gains or durability loss prevention on death) or even stat boosts like critical hit chance or pure attack power boosts. The games that provide stat boosts are the ones we call pay-to-win (P2W). P2W is not just limited to stat boosts either; that is just a basic example.
If you view Twin Saga’s founder pack page and take a look at any of the packages, you will see a few items of note among the packages: Starstones, Loyalty Points, Astral Crystals, and Loot Charms. All of the aforementioned items seem to give some sort of boost to your character. Astral Crystals which, according to their description, can be exchanged for “the best items Twin Saga has to offer”. Loot Charms give an “additional drop from the boss you defeat” — the number of drops is based on the level of the Loot Charm: e.g., Loot Charm I gives one additional drop whereas Loot Charm V gives five additional loot drops. Loyalty Points are another form of currency for an in-game item shop — typically these loyalty points are earned in-game, but you can just buy them at the onset here. The use of Starstones is, admittedly, unclear; however, based on the description they “make you the swiftest warrior of them all” which sounds like player stat or speed bonuses.
The most expensive package also gives you a couple of huge perks with early access to the game’s Occultist or Berserker classes which apparently removes the “hours of slogging in dungeons” requirement for the classes on top of an item called The Dark Knight which allows you to glide through the air “at the fastest possible speed” making travel trivial.
Sadly, Aeria Games seems to be continuing its trend of putting out P2W games and upsetting any possibility that the game could be great on its own without buying your way to the top. Now, I would love to be proven wrong about this. If the game releases and the items found in the founder packs are not available in the in-game store, that would be great. It means only those who bought in early get any sort of advantage, and the average player gets started on even ground with everyone else.
It will be nice to see how the cash shop plays out during the Twin Saga beta, but until we get more information on the items in question and how they are used, I have to fear the worst.
I have reached out to Aeria Games, but have not heard back about the items in question.