Everquest Online, Anarchy Online, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Lord of the Rings Online, The Elder Scrolls Online and now WildStar. All these games have one very particular thing in common; they all started out as subscription based games, and they all eventually wound up being free-to-play.
Carbine Studios recently announced that WildStar will be going Free-To-Play. More specifically, the team detailed this shift will mean a few things:
- Players will be able to download, make accounts, and play WildStar at no cost, without the need to purchase the base game before playing.
- The entirety of content in the game is going to be free, so players will not have to spend money to gain access to any content in the game.
- A hybridized version of paid accounts called “Signature” accounts will be introduced, and these players will have access to – A faster rate of gaining experience, a faster rate of gaining credits (in-game currency), more character slots, additional bank slots, and extra cosmetic items available in the player home.
- Existing players will have any time that they currently have paid for in the game converted into “Signature” time, the same as any players with existing C.R.E.D.D. (a form of in-game currency to purchase game time).
- All players will have access to a new type of currency called “Loyalty Points” which promise to unlock special items and perks.
- Any player who has bought the box for the game, or has paid into the monthly subscription, will already have some loyalty points unlocked.
The current state of the game appears to be very close to what the free model will look like, minus a few restrictions on account size, and some social functions like auction house usage and PTR (Public Test Realm) access. Carbine confirmed that these changes will take effect this Fall, though an exact date was not specified. For current subscribers interested in more details about the reward structure, the WildStar website has a new blog post detailing its Player Appreciation Rewards.