Well, looks like later in the year City of Heroes is going to be free-to-play-until-you-are-overcome-by-hat-greed, according to Paragon Studios and NCSoft. They’re calling it City of Heroes Freedom and it’s set to contain all the content garnered from the 20 expansions to the game thus far. The free account will let you biff and kerpow until level 50 and give you access to all Hero and Villain zones but as ever those willing to subscribe will get “exclusive VIP benefits, content and services.”
Mostly, this seems like a good thing all round. Although free players will face some restrictions, as expected. They will only have two player slots available and can only select from eight different character "archetypes" as opposed to building and customising their character from the ground up.
To make up any lost faith among current subscribers Paragon is also fixing it so that from July 1 paying players (known hereafter as 'VIP players') will earn 400 Paragon Points per month until Freedom launches, which can be used to buy items, costumes and the like. But not food. Official: you cannot buy food with Paragon Points.