More Free to Play Gaming Options

The reason for more storage on my computer just got exponentially larger with the news that not one, but two more MMO’s are calling to me telling me about more subscription options. EverQuest announced it is going Free-to-Play beginning in March, with 3 different tiered methods of play; Free-to-Play, Silver (low monthly fee with restrictions), and Gold (regular monthly no restrictions with bonuses). This announcement, along with the new Rift

riftgame.com

Lite, which allows a no time limit trial to level 20, similar to what World of Warcraft rolled out last year, is either showing a effort on the part of game developers to give players what they want by allowing flexibility in their game subscriptions, or it’s showing a dramatic decrease in the amount of paid subscribers and this is what it’s come to. I’m hoping for the former, but worried it’s actually the latter. Just last night I was discussing the need to have a game that allows me a weekly subscription option. I know it’s a bit silly, but I get so busy I will go 2 weeks without playing WoW, and then realize my subscription ran out.

I’m giving props to EverQuest for allowing the FTP option access to guilds. DC Universe Online added joining player leagues to their FTP option when they changed their subscription options. That isn’t available on trials with WoW, and it feels very lonely over in Azeroth when you are checking it out for the first time. Experiencing guilds is an important part of game play. Maybe WoW should create a few guilds specific to trial account players, then the paying player guilds won’t be affected by losing players, and noobs can experience the whole idea of what it is to be a fully functioning toon.

I’m really thankful to the companies that are opening the Free-to-Play option. It’s going to expand the game play experience for a lot of people who are on a budget, but love playing games. I have a real disadvantage being a mostly PC MMO gamer. Hubby buys a game for the Xbox 360, pays $60 for it, plays it through to the finish, and trades it in for at least half the money he paid, then moves on to the next best thing. As a MMORPG player, I am paying for an experience, and though I quite enjoy all that Blizzard has given me in World of Warcraft, the monthly fee plus expansion game costs don’t add up to getting as much bang for my buck. I can’t afford to play other MMOs out there without breaking the bank. Free to Play options are perfect for me. I will be able to put up with the restrictions and limits in game, for the most part, because it’s opening options for me to play more than one game. Now I will just cross my fingers SW:TOR will follow suit. (Ya, ya, I know.  Don’t hold my breath. Look how long it took just to hit shelves.)

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