For years, WildStar was touted as the next great subscription-based MMO. It was unveiled all the way back in 2011at Gamescom, and the hype kind of built from there. I had a chance to play multiple builds, and I liked what I saw. Hell, I even liked the final version -- it's not something I can see myself playing for years on end like Final Fantasy XIV, but I had fun with it. Now, we can finally confirm that WildStar is going free-to-play this fall.
Every player will be able to reach the level 50 cap, acquire all amps and abilities, and play every bit of content -- PVE and PVP. My guess is that developer Carbine Studios is trying to increase the subscriber base now to potentially drop an expansion or two down the line.
While there will be an optional monthly fee, it's mainly bonus and cosmetic-oriented outside of an extra bank space allotment, which only the most hardcore players will likely need. The developer notes that it will not be pay-to-win, stating "one thing that will not be available for purchase is power - progression will continue to require both skill and effort."
Carbine Studios will provide loyalty rewards for existing players who have maintained a full subscription -- an Ikthian Crawler mount, a DJ Caretaker decor piece, a Disco Snoglug pet, a new housing track, four months of paid service once it goes F2P, and two titles. If you sub from June 15 until the free-to-play launch, you'll get the Snoglug and DJ Caretaker. Hey, at least they got something!
I'm happy for this move, as it means more people will experience WildStar's unique setting and frantic gameplay. Like I said, it's not the best MMO around, but for the price of free, it's worth jumping into.