Star Trek Online going free-to-play in January

Star Trek Online will boldly go free-to-play on January 17, 2012, developer Cryptic has announced. "But which stardate is that?" you may ask, feeling a little cheeky and clever. And I won't reply, because you didn't specify The Original Series, The Next Generation, or 2009 reboot stardate format. This is the Internet; there are rules.

As detailed before, the free-to-play STO will let users access all missions, sectors, episodes and so on. However, there will be restrictions on bank and inventory space, character slots, and the like, and you'll need to pay to access features such as the mission editor. Subscribers (monthly or lifetime) will be spared these, and get other bonuses too.

Executive producer Stephen D'Angelo also announced that STO subscribers will start receiving free Cryptic Points, the currency used for microtransactions, every month. Starting in December, on the day of the month when your subscription began, you'll get 400 Points. That's about enough to buy a classic Star Trek costume for your characters and an extra bank slot, for reference.