Aion going free-to-play this Spring alongside 3.0 update

Aion will be taking the increasingly popular step of switching to a free-to-play model. Developer NCSoft announced that the new pricing structure will come alongside the game's 3.0 update this Spring, which will also bring an increased level cap, housing, mounts, new zones and instances. This announcement comes two months after the game was announced as F2P in Europe.

Free-to-play members will have access to the full game and both expansions. NCSoft is rejiggering the starting area to make it easier to jump in. If you'd like to try it out now without waiting for the F2P to hit, the team is extending its free trial level cap to 40, and letting older players re-up free for 14 days. Everyone participating before the switch will get increased XP and other boosts.

The 3.0 update will bring a new level cap to max out at 60, houses for players to decorate, a new mount system, six instances including a 24-player raid, and two more zones.

In the European announcement, NCSoft announced that F2P players would have limitations on character slots and chat channels, while Veteran players would have more freedom. Gold (paying) subscriptions would see the loosest restrictions of all, and get various perks. It's likely we can expect similar tiers in the North American free-to-play model.