WildStar Joins The Free-To-Play Bandwagon, Almost A Year After Release

The subscription-based model for MMOs is well and truly dead. With the exception of stalwarts such as Blizzard's World of Warcraft, it seems every massively-multiplayer online game eventually switches to free-to-play. In the case of NCSoft's WildStar, it took less than a year for the developer to drop the need for regular payments, in exchange for optional costs.

The details of the transition from subscriptions to free-to-play are laid out in a rather lengthy post on the official WildStar website. The long and short of it is that all aspects of the game will remain accessible, with "completely optional in-game purchases" for cosmetic and "convenience options" providing revenue.

There's also a two-tiered system if you do feel like committing to regular payments. While Free players don't gain any specific benefits, a "Signature" customer will be provided a bevvy of bonuses, from reputation and experience buffs to the ability to create guilds and "circles".

If you're a current player and have paid up in advance, the announcement states you'll be converted automatically to a Signature account for as long as your subscription is in the black.

You'll also be rewarded for your previous playtime before the F2P conversion in the form of "Loyalty Points". These will eventually be used to acquire "special items and perks", with a few detailed later in the post.

WildStar Is Going Free-to-Play! Here’s All You Need to Know [WildStar]


    Every time a MMO that starts out as subscription goes F2P, it seems to be because either a) their original business model was unsustainable or b) the game flat out sucks and F2P is the only way to make it palatable.

    These F2P conversions are more indicative that churning out subscription MMOs whose gameplay is solely modeled to keep stringing you along for months on end only leads to failure.

    Something players already know, but publishers can't seem to comprehend: The consumer demands value for money. Which also goes for non-MMOs.

      Wildstar was actually super fun and really good action/gameplay wise compared to nearly all other mmos. The only crap thing was the leveling was pretty slow and the dungeons were just full of high HP spam mobs and some encounters were super hard, but the company who made it was clearly stroking the epeen of the "RAIDERS GOTTA RAID AND NOBODY ELSE CAN PLAY" crowd.

        It was marketed as a veteran MMO player game from the beginning so any gripes about difficulty are kind of a waste. For me personally the game was near perfect, it really just needed server entry points in the oceanic region as the 20 man raids were almost unplayable as telegraphs were out of sync for every one and death was only a red dot away. F2P probably won't bring me back however and I feel like that will be a case for 90% of people who played with over 150 ping.

          Nothing wrong with a game catering to the elite crowd, but it shouldn't be surprising that they start having financial trouble because there never were that many people in the elite crowd to begin with.

            Yeah, I think another thing that hamstrung them was the ridiculous hurdles to even get to raiding level. Attunement was a bitch.

            Yeah, I wanted to like it, but I dont have the time to be part of that crowd anymore.

    I stopped paying simply because the game was unfair to Australians. The game's combat is all about timing. It's really shitty when you're in the Arena and your hits aren't even registering because someone in the US has a better ping.

    If they had actually gone and put a server in a data-center closer to Australia, they'd have done a lot better.

      Exactly the reason I stopped playing - that and the levelling was SO grindy, same zones to try out classes, same quests. Nothing more frustrating then pulling something slightly higher level to have a nice challenge and then de-syncing and getting 1 shot. If its skill based it needs to have local servers.

    So the only sub only MMO is WOW and FFXIV ? I lot of my guildies left FFXIV for the Wildstar launch but most returned, thats when I had a feeling hat it will go FTP.

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