Cryptic Studios, the creator of Star Trek Online MMO announced that they are switching to a Free to Play model. Free subscribers to the game will be able to play but will not get the same benefits as paying subscribers still get. Free accounts will be Silver while paid accounts will be called Gold. Silver accounts will be able to pay for features that Gold members will already get as part of their paid subscription. These features include but not limited to respecs and extra character slots.
Most of the game will be available for free players including all sectors and missions. Free play will also include the PVP and Fleet actions which are the same thing as raids. More limitations to Silver players include an ad supported voice chat and limited access to in-game chat and mail as well as forums and customer support.
Check out the rest of the announcement below for more details:
The big news is that we have set a launch date for Star Trek Online to become Free-to-Play (F2P), and that date is Tuesday January 17, 2012. With the date now being public knowledge, I can share two other announcements. First, we will be starting the Gold member stipend benefit on December 1st. This benefit grants 400 free Cryptic Points each month to each subscriber to STO. The stipend is granted on the “anniversary day” for your account. This is the day in the month which corresponds to the day after your subscription would renew if it was monthly. 3-month, 6-month, 12-month, and lifetime accounts use the day of the month in which they were started for this purpose. This means that you won’t necessarily get your stipend right at the beginning of the month, but it will be coming for you at the appropriate time during December and each following month. Stipend points from STO can only be spent in STO. We are starting the Gold member stipend early as a way to thank our loyal customers during this transition period prior to the launch of Free-to-Play. Second, we will be bringing the new build from Tribble to Holodeck somewhere in the range of December 1 to December 8. Testing with the new game changes has been going really well on the Tribble server. The development team has been pleased with the results and feedback, and we think we only have a few more weeks of iteration and testing before the game changes will be ready for the mainstream players. We’re excited to bring all the great content and game play improvements from the test server to the majority of the player base during the first week of December. Mark your calendars. Star Trek Online F2P is coming your way!