This week we’ve been covering the unfolding concern over Legends of Aria’s newly instituted in-game store, specifically the release of a power hour potion to speed up skill gain and a soulstone that allows skill storage a la Ultima Online. Players and streamers flocked to Reddit and YouTube to denounce the move, decrying it as the start of pay-to-win, something that developer Citadel Studios had vowed to avoid with a cosmetic-only shop.
At the time, Citadel’s Derek Brinkmann told players the studio was concerned about dumping too many cosmetics in the shop and invalidating the visibly cool gear players were earning there, and moreover, that the items being added weren’t strictly pay-to-win but were instead intended for utility: “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.”
But now it appears Citadel’s changed its mind. In a new post on Reddit this afternoon, Brinkmann says the team has pulled the power hour potion and reassured players that the loyalty points used to buy items in the store will never be buyable with real cash.
“The truth is that we are making no great move towards a pay to win cash shop and will not do so in the future. Offering such an item for generated loyalty points is a valuable and rewarding addition for our players. We are not comfortable with offering a real money transaction for such an item at this early stage of the game. We are however keeping all doors open for the future. With that being said, any illusion that the team here is interested in money at the expense of the product haven’t spent much time with us. We try to operate as transparently as possible so if you ask us a straight question, we more often than not give a particularly straight answer. There are many sensible business decisions to be made to generate revenue for this great game of ours which have the longevity and integrity of the game and it’s community at heart. Given the speculation caused it is easier for us to just take action and remove this item until we can present our intentions to our community in a more concise way. The contents of any potential or future cash shop will be presented to you the players ahead of time and as always, we will listen to and seek to make the best decisions for the game.”
In other big Legends of Aria news, the game’s much-heralded dungeon expansion is going live today; it not only adds the store and much larger dungeons more suited to their respective biomes, but it’s hopefully reducing some of the random ganking that might otherwise spook players from entering said dungeons.
“We’ve also added a tool to the PVEr’s toolbelt that will help them avoid unscrupulous ganks. We are talking about the new manifestation spell Ward Evil. This spell creates a glowing ball of energy only visible to the caster. When an outcast player enters the range of the ball, it will inform you of their presence. We are hoping this will encourage those afraid to leave the guarded zones to check out the new dungeons.”
Our dungeon expansion update is going live now. The servers will be down for approximately 1 hour. While you are waiting, you can read this!https://t.co/KXRbeQsJn9
— Citadel Studios (@Citadel_Studios) February 1, 2019