Star Trek Online: Call of Valor

A Star Trek Online Fan-fiction.

STO F2P – Fact or fiction? The plot thickens…

I was reading through the most recent Engineering Report made by STO’s EP, dstahl, on the official forums. All in all, great stuff coming… though a couple of things got my “conspiracy theorist” juices going.

“In the meantime, there is a lot of other great things happening around the office. Champions Online has set a date of when they will open the doors for Free to Play – starting January 25th. We will be watching closely to see how the public responds to this offer and evaluate whether or not it is something that would make sense for Star Trek Online.”

Watching closely? What for, unless the guys who pay the STO bills are thinking it’s a direction worth investigating. At first I let it pass; it’s gotta be just them being curious about the way “competing games”, even ones owned by the same publisher, are doing their thing… Then I saw this listed in the “Under Development” section:

“Ways to boost XP gain while leveling up (new type of consumables)”

Huh… as in similar to the DDO scrolls that you buy on the Turbine store?

Wait, whut? O.o

The game is already easy to play as it is, why would you need to make it easier? That makes absolutely no sense. Why is this even necessary… unless they plan to sell them in the C-Store after the game goes “freemium” or F2P. Despite Stahl’s insistence that the likelihood the game going F2P was slim to none, it’s looking more and more like an inevitability. There’s been a lot of controversy over this for months, since dstahl made a few comments about his opinion that F2P was not a sign of the end of any game that chose to switch to it. LotRO was actually holding it’s own as a P2P, but made the switch to F2P like DDO had already done, and has seen a huge increase in customers & revenue. So, if F2P is so successful financially, why wouldn’t STO consider the option?

Does that spell the end of STO? Many people think so. Myself, though I’m not specifically for STO going F2P; I say far from it. I think it would be very Star Trek to go F2P, actually. There’s been people all over the forums saying “if STO goes F2P I’m never touching it again”. I think there’s going to be a lot MORE people who would play STO if it had no monthly fees, though I would probably recommend a set-up closer to Global Agenda or Guild Wars where people buy the game/expansions but have no monthly subscription fees. If they had it, would I pay the monthly subscription for “VIP” membership? Probably, though frankly I plan to buy a Lifetime Subscription well before they go F2P.

This is all conjecture, opinion, and suspicion at this point; we’ll see where it leads. Come, Watson; the game’s afoot!

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January 13, 2011 - Posted by | Nit-picker's Guide

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