Star Trek Online boldly going free-to-play

Star Trek Online is boldly going free-to-play later this year, developer Cryptic's new owner Perfect World has announced.

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Cryptic's sci-fi MMORPG Star Trek Online will be boldly going free-to-play this year, the developer's new owner Perfect World has announced. The revelation came during Perfect World's latest financial results conference call.

Details are sparse for now, with the only solid fact being that Perfect World intends to switch to free-to-play "by the end of this year." When subscription-based MMOs go F2P, they typically keep optional subscriptions and limit non-paying players with fewer slots, classes, races, missions, and the like, letting them buy extras as they please.

One imagines that the poor, foolish, naive lifetime subscribers would receive extra perks too.

Star Trek Online already has a microtransaction store, selling ships, bank slots, items, player races, cosmetic ships and costumes, and more, so it's not hard to imagine this being expanded to include many more things.

Cryptic also has experience with the free-to-play model, as its previous MMO, superhero spandexfest Champions Online went free in February. Perfect World also has heaps of the experience in the field, running a whole host of free-to-play online games.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    September 1, 2011 10:00 AM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, Star Trek Online boldly going free-to-play.

    Star Trek Online is boldly going free-to-play later this year, developer Cryptic's new owner Perfect World has announced.

    • reply
      September 1, 2011 10:01 AM

      So pretty much everything other than WoW is free to play?

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        September 1, 2011 10:04 AM

        Haha, pretty much. Eve doesn't allow free play right?

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          September 1, 2011 10:08 AM

          I don't think DCUO does either

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          September 1, 2011 10:09 AM

          technically you can get to the point where it becomes FTP.

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          September 1, 2011 10:13 AM

          Not technically but you can trade ISK for GTC's (in other words, you can pay in-game money for game time codes) and never, ever have to pay real life money again if you're wealthy enough in game.

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        September 1, 2011 10:14 AM

        If WoW ever goes F2P (past lvl 20) then everyone else might as well pack it in

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          September 1, 2011 12:38 PM

          Did EQ ever go f2p? I know the second game kinda did, right?

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      September 1, 2011 10:04 AM

      Those poor saps that bought lifetime subs to STO. :(

      • Ziz
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        September 1, 2011 10:07 AM

        I was one of those saps, i never even got the first ship after restarting my char as a borg.

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          September 1, 2011 10:31 AM

          Im in that boat as well.

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          September 1, 2011 10:56 AM

          Same here. I replayed it about two weeks ago to see how things are. The problem with the game is still the same. The combat is even more repetitive than WoW and there's not enough items/abilities to use to hide that.

          Basically the same thing you do as a Lt is the same thing you'll be doing at Vice Admiral 6 in both ship and ground combat (with two or three new abilities) In other games, you'll have 10-20 abilities to use with all kinds of modifiers and combos that partially alleviate combat fatigue.

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            September 1, 2011 10:57 AM

            Oh, and -every- item is a small numerical improvement, so you cannot even count on some new effect or animation. Different color phasers (beams) or pulse weapons.... and that's it.

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              September 1, 2011 1:49 PM

              That's...a lot of simplifications and, quite frankly, unfair generalizations for a game that's seen a great deal of content pushed to try and fill in its bare state since its launch.

              * Lieutenants have 3 bridge officers with 3 to 4 powers total from them. Not counting the 4 or 5 base personal powers you get starting off. Vice Admirals have about 5 bridge officers at, on average, 12 powers total, not counting what can be two-dozen or more personal powers you yourself have gained via leveling, missions, items, custom starship consoles and so on.

              That's a considerably large spread, beyond "a few more".

              The spread of items has actually bloated in the past several months, especially with the addition of set suites and Feature Episode-based doohickeys, some more useful than others.

              "Different color phasers and pulse weapons" was never the limit of energy weapons you had in the game. There was always at least Phasers, Disruptors, Plasma, Tetryon, Polaron, and Antiproton-based weaponry. What you're describing are two formats of energy weapons: Beam (constant), and pulse (cannon). Not the different brands of energy and their varying procs, bonuses and resistances related to the types those two energy formats can use.

              Repetitive combat, however, surely happens.

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            September 1, 2011 2:02 PM

            yeah, shit was boring.

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          September 1, 2011 3:15 PM

          how much did that cost?

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        September 1, 2011 11:00 AM

        Didn't Jeff Gerstmann or someone from Giantbomb buy a life time. Haha.

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          September 1, 2011 12:22 PM

          Yeah, I remember Jeff talking about it. You can play a Borg!

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        September 1, 2011 11:07 AM

        STO any game

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        September 1, 2011 1:28 PM

        I know *two* people who bought lifetime subs.

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      September 1, 2011 10:11 AM

      cool maybe I'll actually try it

    • Ziz
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      September 1, 2011 10:13 AM

      I wish Ultima Online was free to play. It's been around long enough.

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        September 1, 2011 12:47 PM

        ^^^ Fucking THIS!

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        September 1, 2011 2:01 PM

        It's still up?!

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        September 1, 2011 2:46 PM

        no you don't. Its bastardized like a mother fucker, def not the same game I used to love and enjoy. Jump on a T2a server or a free shard, way more fun.

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        September 1, 2011 3:32 PM

        it is, and its far better than what EA's turned the official into: inporylem.com

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      September 1, 2011 10:15 AM

      this is my strategy when it comes to MMOs.
      Wait until they become F2P then give them a try

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      September 1, 2011 10:51 AM

      Looks like I'll finally give it a shot, then.

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      September 1, 2011 11:42 AM

      It seems like any MMO that offers a Lifetime Sub does poorly, and eventually goes F2P.

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      September 1, 2011 12:30 PM

      Can I go back and play my existing character then? Because, I'd probably start playing again - I stopped after the first free month.

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        September 1, 2011 1:22 PM

        lol burn'd

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        September 1, 2011 1:29 PM

        hahahahaha johnnyrey

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        September 1, 2011 1:32 PM

        college financial aid well spent

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        September 1, 2011 2:35 PM

        lol nice. i don't know how you remember your posts that long though, damn.

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      September 1, 2011 1:27 PM

      Awesome. I just recently got back into Star Wars.

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      September 1, 2011 2:20 PM

      are there any hot asians with black girl bodies?

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      September 1, 2011 3:02 PM

      This is the point at which I will pick this up. Woo!