I defy you to name a recent-ish MMO that hasn't gone F2P or isn't at least trending that way. Defy you, I say! If you said Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, well... good job. I feel kind of silly about all those theatrics now. But if you said Defiance, then MWAHAHAHAHA you have fallen for my ruuuuuuuuuuuse. The only MMO with its own Syfy TV show is going free-to-play in June. That's... exciting? I don't actually know, as I haven't played it save for a demo session on the film set of the TV show (a recreation of St Louis, Missouri in Toronto, Canada because uhhhhhh). Reception seemed pretty tepid when the game first launched, though. I wonder if it's picked up the pace sense then? Oh well. Scant F2P details below.
If you've never played Defiance but decide to cannon-ball into its giant-enemy-crab-overrun San Francisco on a penny pinching whim, here's what you'll get:
"New players will be able jump in to experience the entire Bay Area storyline, original end-game content, and future missions completely for free, so fuel up your roller, load your weapons, and get ready: brand new missions are on the way that will further unfold the unique storyline, coupled with the second season of Defiance, the television series from Syfy."
Longtime players, meanwhile, will be re-christened "Paradise Patrons" and granted boosts to skill, XP, scrip, salvage, and reputation gain. They'll also get a ten percent discount at the in-game store, which peddles the usual F2P MMO fare: boosts, costumes, randomized lockboxes, and an upgrade currency called Arkforge. The Bit Store, as it's known, has actually been in Defiance for quite some time. So the game was always almost F2P, just you know, without the "F" part.
You'll be able to purchase temporary Paradise Patron-hood by snagging a digital copy of Defiance or digging up a new boxed copy from the ashen ruins of your local game store. On top of everything else, that option will net you four character slots, five loadouts, up to 75 Ark Keycodes, a minimum 70 inventory slots, and is it just me or is this starting to get complicated?
Oh, you'll also get 1,000 Arkforge, which is "a currency redeemable for resetting weapon mastery, upgrading your weapon's power rating, or even bumping an uncommon weapon to epic rarity." A quick scan of the game's forums makes it sound pretty essential, though not necessarily in a good way. Apparently it's incredibly difficult to obtain in-game, which has left many players feeling pressured to buy it from the Bit Store to continue tricking out their arsenals.
So that's a conundrum. Here's hoping it gets cleared up before F2P Day. Is it as much of an issue as some players are suggesting, though? RPS Defiance Super Best Space Marine Makeout Buddy Club (we have one of those, right?), what say you?