In another of what seems to be a long line of subscription gaming services going free-to-play, WildStar has recently announced that the game is going to be going free-to-play “this fall.” Although no final date has been attached, the game is set to be released out for everyone, for free, with no restriction on accessing game content, dungeons, classes, or skills.
There is, however, going to be a premium subscription service still available, which offers other perks for players. A full list of perks and loyalty items can be found on the official WildStar website, which largely include character slots, bonuses to crafting and auction house, cosmetic items, and several other bonuses. Players who have paid for a non-stop subscription since launch will receive a lion’s share of “loyalty benefits,” which include titles and cosmetics and music and bonuses, whereas players who haven’t had an unbroken subscription will also get benefits to set by an algorithm that factors in which edition players had purchased, and the amount of subscribed time. Full breakdowns of loyalty information as well as free-to-play limits can be likewise found on the WildStar website.
While the free-to-play players are said to receive full access, it is also clear that they will have diminished social functions. Subscription and loyalty players will have some bonus aspects to their experience, crafting, reputation, and so on. Free players will also have limits to their ability to create and invite players to guilds and social functions, fewer character slots, and less ability with customization.
Given that WildStar has reviewed very well in many places, including in our WildStar review last year, scoring the game 9 out of 10, opening the floodgates to every hopeful player should spell good news for the future of the game.
Opinion: As a result of the subscription and loyalty, having a fully free WildStar looks great on paper, but having subscriber and non-subscriber disparity on leveling and reputation speeds, as well as not letting free players organize guilds, is actually a terrifying proposition for a game genre on whom the social aspect is as much a mechanic as the gameplay. That said, the game is still apparently quite solid (if a little slow), and should hopefully spell good news for potential players.