The much awaited Wildstar f2p-build is currently in beta as more and more players are either remembering to resub or acquire a copy before official f2p-launch. There are various veteran rewards and different goodies depending on whether you were continuously subscribed to the game, subscribed right before f2p or well, none of the above. There’s some more tricky fine-print as Bhagpuss points out in his post today and I need to thank him for the reminder. I’m about to resub myself before the whole f2p switch. I miss my housing plot in Wildstar and am very interested to see the additional items and bling yet to come out.
All the while, existing Wildstar players are debating what f2p is going to do to their game. Depending on where you look, player attitudes towards the payment model change seem more or less dire: there’s those who believe that f2p was always in the books since day one (myself included), those who think it necessary to save Wildstar from bankruptcy and then another group who fear f2p will be the game’s downfall.
“I don’t care if f2p people come in. I just want the fucking game to be properly funded. I’m concerned with how much it costs to host the f2p players. I’m concerned that we are going to lose all of the subscribers we gained. Who many current players are going to opt out of the signature service? How many people who join for f2p are going to get the signature service? I think we might actually lose money. Then again they haven’t announced their cash shop. I’m not looking forward to getting nickel and dimed for vanity items I used to farm dungeons and content for.” [source]
I guess no matter how you feel about f2p as an MMO player, in lieu of verified numbers by developers it is impossible to predict what a payment model switch can or must achieve in the mid- and long term. LOTRO is one of the most well-known examples of f2p saving or at least buying an MMO more time. This is thanks to how well Turbine designed their different payment options too. From all I’ve read about Carbine’s approach, they may actually pull off a similar stunt – new players will first jump into f2p and opt in to signature service at some point. There seems to be a higher chance of that than legit, existing subbers from today downgrading to more restricted f2p service.
I guess we’ll see if f2p will “save Wildstar”. Am not exactly convinced how last resort we are speaking, anyway. Does Wildstar need desperate saving at this point or is it not much rather Carbine ditching a dated business model, the way they always intended? Whatever, huh.