No Co(a)st: End Of Nations Is Free To Play

By John Walker on August 11th, 2011 at 5:07 pm.

Free... but at what cost?

Just when we thought we’d run out of ways to make jokes about how End Of Nations is a bit like saying “the sea”, another big news story comes out of the MMO RTS. It’s going to be fuh-ruh-ree. Which of course means it’s going to be Free To Play. Co-developed with Petroglyph (the former Westwood team responsible for Command & Conquer), Trion Worlds are claiming that the AAA game’s single player and co-op campaigns will be completely playable to the end without a fee, as well as offering access to 50 player multiplayer battles in the persistent world. So, is there a catch?

It’s a little ambiguously worded. There’s an option to pay a monthly fee for the MMO which will offer “extra value and convenience”. Which is one of those phrases that doesn’t really say anything helpful. Does this imply pay-to-win nonsense? Or is it just aesthetic bonuses? We’ve contacted Trion’s PR to find out, but they’re not saying until closer to launch. How pesky. But the SP campaigns coming with it seems like a huge tick.

They also reveal that there will be a Collector’s Edition at retail, and a unique digital version too. Meanwhile, have a new trailer:

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42 Comments »

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  1. AlternatePFG says:

    There has to be a catch. Still, the free-to-play market is incredibly lucrative, so this is a good idea on Trion’s part.

    I think I’ll try this out for sure though, I like Trion. I didn’t play it for longer than a month or so (Don’t usually play MMO’s for longer than a month), but I liked RIFT.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      The catch is that it’s co-developed by Petroglyph.

    • AlternatePFG says:

      What has Petroglyph developed?

    • LionsPhil says:

      Isn’t being hooked up to a global data network glorious?

      Unfortunately, their C&C vintage (and don’t let anyone tell you the pre-EA C&C games were bad just because they brought upon us a wave of tank-rushing imitators) doesn’t seem to mean their RTSs since have been any good.

    • AlternatePFG says:

      My bad, could have just Googled it. I did play Empire at War, and didn’t find it very much fun at all.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      They also more recently made Guardians of Graxia and Rise of Immortals.

  2. jp0249107 says:

    Well as long as it doesn’t involve any pay to win tricks then I’m all for it. Persistent worlds have been at the forefront of my mind lately so this would pique my interest. I haven’t played a good ole’ RTS in a long time, though that SupCom replay almost made me buy it. I’ve just got too much to look forward this autumn to fit one more game in there.

  3. Dominic White says:

    Reminds me of (the horrendously underrated) Battleforge, which gives you full access to every singleplayer/co-op mission and feature right off the bat for free, but you need to pay if you want to play a custom race.

  4. JonClaw says:

    I’ll put my money on a velvet rope policy for this game. Free to play, pay to win.

    • PopeJamal says:

      Everyone is SOOO worried about “Pay-to-Win”. Seriously? Is there even a DECENT “Pay-to-Win” game out there in the market now? I can’t think of a single one, but I could be wrong. Please correct me.

      I’m starting to think the “QQ! Pay-to-Win!” crowd just enjoy complaining…

    • mmalove says:

      Sadly, I can’t. That’s why people moan at the mention of a pay to win model: it makes for terrible, unrewarding games.

    • Zelius says:

      I think his point was that as long as good games don’t change to a pay-to-win model, there should be no problem.

      As far as I know, none have.

    • Dominic White says:

      Yeah, games with actual pay-to-win systems tend to fade into obscurity very quickly, as they’re inherently hostile to new/poor players. See Entropia Universe, which I’m sure is still kicking around, and played by maybe a few thousand people with far more money than sense.

      The ones that do well are those that offer convenience or aesthetic items to paying players, so that the wealthy can show off how well off they are, while paying for the servers that everyone else play on.

      Collectible-based gameplay works fairly well. Poxnora and Battleforge aren’t expensive, but do require a little initial investment if you want to do anything PvP-oriented. But that’s logical enough, when they’re patterned after Magic: The Gathering.

  5. jon_hill987 says:

    It says to me that it will be horribly grindy and paying makes the grindy bits go faster.

    • Shuck says:

      Yeah, that’s probably a given. Though their lack of details also might indicate they’re not quite sure what all the details are yet.

    • zeroskill says:

      Thats the most classic Free-2-play scenario, pay for “xp-boosters”. However im sure the clever companies will jump on the Free-2-play, pay for cosmetics ways, like Team Fortress 2 or League of Legends and hopefully soon Dota 2. The more quality companies get on that train, the harder it will be to survive for companies that support the “pay to win” model.

  6. buyaquafina says:

    It’ll probably be XP boosts and Army painting (hopefully). I would love to play a RTS where I can paint all the units like in Warhammer, except with digital paint. Though, that would be probably use up more resources and raise the system requirements, which aren’t good for these types of games. I wouldn’t mind paying for single player or co-op missions as well.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Dawn of War 1 allowed that. Not just the colouring of parts it provided in the editor: you could draw yourself new decals and flags in a graphics program and use those, including in multiplayer games (i.e. it’s not just client-side modding).

      It could maybe have been streamlined a little more (IIRC it was fussy about the exact file format), but it was damn neat.

  7. Khann says:

    Aesthetics bro

  8. FakeAssName says:

    I’m guessing that this is more of positioning to give Starcraft a run for it’s money in Korea than anything else.

  9. Zoonp says:

    I’m glad that they came to their senses. Now the game might just have a chance.

  10. roy7 says:

    More info at:

    http://www.endofnations.com/en/game/free-to-play

    And they specifically speak against pay-to-win numerous times. I’m very excited about this. EoN is the only MMO-ish game I’ve been excited about other than Guild Wars 2, but I wouldn’t do a monthly sub for it (or any game, currently). Now I’m really pumped.

    I don’t know how many of you remember Shattered Galaxy, but I still go back to play that now and then. Really love the large scale RTS vibe.

    • ArcaneSaint says:

      That was a great game, (unfortunately I always inevitably lost interest after a week or two, and then two months later I had to create a new account because I kept forgetting the name/password I used last time.)
      If this is gonna be anything like SG I’ll be sure to get this (as long as it’s not pay-to-win).

    • Solcry says:

      Completely agree – Shattered Galaxy was one of my favorite games, and no other game has really occupied the space it left. I try hopping back in every now and then, but playing on Morgana Prime just makes me sad as my units can’t compare to the players who are on their 10th reincarnation and Relic feels empty.

    • godwin says:

      End of Nations certainly made me think of Shattered Galaxy from the get-go. I enjoyed playing that in beta and while it lasted; is it free to play now?

    • roy7 says:

      Yes Shattered Galaxy is free to play, at least mostly. There are some benefits to paying but I’m not sure what they are. Maybe a level cap. The free play was set higher than I ever got, regardless.

    • studenteternal says:

      Yea I was getting a major SG vibe from this as well, which is a good thing! I think they had the best MMO persistent world implementation I have seen, I kinda capped out on it after a while though. That trailer increased my interest in this game, so well done trion and RPS I guess. :)

  11. Zoonp says:

    Yeah, Shattered Galaxy still is my favorite MMORTS. It was so cool to develop your squads and then fight together with your team against dozens of enemies. I wish somebody made a sequel for it.

  12. Rich says:

    Well I’d only be interested in the SP anyway, so that’s groovy.
    When is this supposed to be out?

    Edit: Although I might be tempted by the co-op.

  13. Tei says:

    I really like the “50 player coop” thing. I can imagine 50 player RTS can be really interesting. It was Shatered Galaxy.

  14. McDan says:

    This looks interesting, I’ll probably have a look at this at some point. The MMO RTS has always intrigued me.

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    Keymonk says:

    D’aw, look at the tiny exoskeleton men! So cute!

  16. Evoc says:

    So when is this comming out? I havent even heard estimation rumours.

  17. treat says:

    I am excited for the day Free to Play models spread to more consumer products. Free to Watch movies to enjoy while I fill up on Free to Eat foods.

  18. MrXswift says:

    is everything “free-2-play” now ?

  19. aircool says:

    Champions Online seems to be doing well since it went F2P. Zones are still busy with people, they keep producing new content and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to stop.

    F2P seems to be working a lot better than I though it would. Sometimes it’s good to be proved wrong.

  20. porps says:

    sure looks good to me!

  21. BurningPet says:

    Petroglyph. i shall not get my hopes high on this one.