NCSOFT and Carbine Studios have announced that WildStar will become free-to-play later this year.
It’s the latest in a long-line of MMOs that have changed to a free-to-play model in recent years
Possibly expecting a little disquiet about the news Carbine Studios have been quick to reassure players that WildStar will remain a AAA experience and continue to receive regular updates. They have also emphasised that progression will continue to require both skill and effort.
“At the beginning of 2015, we outlined key points of focus for WildStar to help make this great game even better, focusing heavily on player feedback and bringing meaningful changes,” said Mike Donatelli, product director, Carbine Studios. “We continue to deliver on those points and feel strongly that removing the subscription cost will give everyone who loves MMOs, or just wants to have an incredible gaming experience, a chance to try WildStar.”
Following the transition, all players will be able to level to 50, acquire all Amps and abilities, and participate in all dungeons, raids, adventures, ship hands, and PvP. The entirety of the game will be open for players to explore for free.
Optional memberships for a monthly fee that will also be available, providing various convenience bonuses and enhancements to XP, crafting, currency, item drops and reputation.
For the in-game store, NCoin will enable players to buy convenience or cosmetic items. Most items that are available for purchase via NCoin will have equivalent items available for players that want to invest time rather than money.
In addition to going free-to-play, Carbine will be streamlining player and item stats to be much more intuitive while adding high-level options to give players more flexibility.
Carbine has promised to share more details via a livestream at 10:00 am PDT on Friday, May 29 at www.twitch.tv/wildstar.
Players who maintain a subscription from June 15, 2015 through the free-to-play transition will receive exclusive items and rewards. Additionally, those players who have supported the game since launch, and maintain their subscription through transition, will receive additional, unannounced benefits.
For former players, Carbine will outline a comprehensive loyalty program that rewards players for time and effort invested in the game, even if they are not current subscribers.
Phew. It might be worth a visit to www.wildstar-online.com to get your head around all the details.