Star Trek Online Free-To-Play Available Early For Returning Players

As we have been reporting, the massive multiplayer game Star Trek Online is moving to a new free-to-play model on January 17th (get it….17-01). And Cryptic just announced that starting tomorrow some players who tried out the game before can get into the free-to-play STO starting tomorrow.



Star Trek Online Free-to-play early start for ‘lapsed players’

Cryptic is opening the doors early for Star Trek Online free-to-play. Starting tomorrow (Thursday, January 5th), anyone with a lapsed subscription to Star Trek Online will be able to log into the game and play as a "Silver member." This means that anyone that has previously subscribed to the game, even if only for the initial month, can come back and play for free.

For those of you not familiar with the difference between Gold (subscriber) and Silver (non-subscriber) membership, you can refer to the features matrix on the official site. So if you tried the game out before and then ended your subscription, you can start playing again tomorrow for free, using your existing characters.

And for everyone else, Star Trek Online free-to-play will be available in two weeks, January 17th.

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This would be cool as just a PS3/XBOX 360 single player and multiplayer game. How can they make money off of a free to play game? I wonder how much server cost alone would be to keep this game running?

@ #1

They make money off of microtransactions in the Cryptic Store. Plenty of little things like EXP gain rate increases to costumes/uniforms to new ships. They’ll make more than enough money this way.

I’m excited that I’ll be getting this early access. I beta tested STO and subbed for just under two months before quitting. I haven’t even played a Featured Episode or Foundry mission yet. I have plenty to look forward to.

Does anyone know if there is a way to download the F2P game early so we don’t have to deal with slow dowload speeds on launchy day?

I’m annoyed that there’s only 2 tiers. There should be 3.

Gold = Active subscribers
Silver = lapsed subscribers who still shelled out cash to buy it outright and previous subscriptions
Bronze: Freeloaders who’ve paid jack all.

I’m annoyed because some of my previous options are not available on Silver and Gold functionality doesn’t warrant the price attached.

Actually the majority of MMO’s are currently using what is called a “hybrid” subscription system (optional subscriptions backing by microtransactions), -as opposed to F2P (free to play) or P2P (Pay to play) games. I might add that most MMO’s using this system can float with only about 100k players – much less than the giants such as World of Warcraft.

Financially this system is very viable, especially for smaller game companies such as cryptic (as well as their parent company Perfect World International – whose other game use this same system and are quite popular in asia).

It would have been nice if this game was playable on a MAC.
Also, the combat engine for space battles is awful…. :-( 2d vs true 3d control.

Bridge Commender, however, was FANTASTIC! :-D

*Bridge Commander (SP)

Yeah, I ponied up the full pop for a lifetime subscription, only to see it degenerate into P2P within a year. Dumbest gaming decision I have ever made. I’ve never felt so cheated in all my life. Can’t bear to even play it anymore. :(

nice looking trailer

I haven’t played this game since the free weekends and it will be nice to see what cryptic has done since then.

Having plaid the game since beta, an owner of the Collector Edition, and 2 Top level characters with one on the go, This game is awesome. If you’re a trek fan, its fun.

Only issue is that I have SWTOR to play (it was a christmas gift, so I’m obligated to play it, not that I need much arm twisting, I’m a sucker for anything bioware)…

I might log in when they release the Odyssey Class so my Engineer Captain can move on from her Galaxy Refit, and christen the USS Passchendaele – A.

Note: STO is about to go off-line for the update to the servers and “moving over” to f2p model. Can’t wait to update my client and start playing tonight :)

One thing to consider when playing STO…. final tier ships cost $25 and there is no other way to get them and be competitive in PvP and their drastically limited end-game.

I’ve been with STO from day one (from when it was just a starfleet badge on a website!)

It’s not perfect, but it’s as Star Trek as we can get and developers are constantly doing just that – developing the game.

I’m completely biased by my love of all Trek so even the sound effects and tribbles had me hooked!

It’ll be interesting to see how many more jump on board come 17 01..

I’m a huge fan of STO, and the only real complaint I’ve got is the total lack of new story missions since March, thanks to the sale by Atari and the drive toward F2P.

If you haven’t tried the Feature Episode series of missions, you’re in for a treat. They’re fantastic.

@Aqua: I strongly disagree. If you can’t be competitive in an Assault Cruiser, you need to work on your game some more. Do the C-Store ships offer advantages? Yes, that’s why they are there; how else are they going to make any money? But I’ve got more than one level-capped toon rolling with non-C-Store ships, and they’re doing just fine.

@8, you realize the price for the lifetime (that is if you bought it at launch) basically covered everything you did by now? You take the money you paid for a lifetime, then take it and spread about a monthly sub and it would have payed for it by now.

Anyways since you’re a lifetime you don’t have to pay monthly to be a gold member

@6 the combat engine for space battles is awful :-( 2d vs true 3d control…

Not in STO. The space combat in STO is as fully 3D as you can achieve, occasionally dizzying with multiple ships, and you have to make use of all three dimensions. The TNG-era eggshell shield effect is in quadrants, which may be what you’re thinking of. Other than that, there’s nothing 2D about it. Use Antiproton beam weapons and Tetryon turrets with a Fire at Will command against a ton of fighters, you’ll see hot death shoot out X, Y, and Z. Certainly, sectors and quadrants of the Milky Way are layed out in the same “2D” pattern that we see in TNG/DS9/VOY Okudagrams (we are a speck on a flat disc, after all). But inside a solar system, you can fly all around planets and moons, inside asteroids, etc. I mean no offense, but the STO space combat is great fun, and in rough terms the “combat engine mechanic” makes sense and works well. It is imho not awful for sure.

The game is not” perfect”, but it is the only semi-immersive experience in the ST verse that we have in 2012. As a 700-day vet, I consider it an RP experience, not a play-to-win game. After a rough day at the office, I may just wander the Academy or walk around the ship without accomplishing any in-game objectives. I know this sounds super lame! (I actually have a normal life with family and friends even, don’t play during an NFL game or March Madness, and live on a farm. :) ) I just wish there was more of *everything* in game, but that means it’s fun. It’s way better now than at launch two years ago. The premise that “everyone gets a ship” is goofy (though the concept is marketed now as a big SWTOR bullet point), and I’d rather see “guilds” as “ships” with the GL as captain, for example. But, maybe that will happen with the next big ST MMO?

Oh I know what he’s talking about with respect to 3D. It’s not true 3D, in the sense that you can’t just fly straight up or down.

IMO that’s a small price to pay. The space combat and mechanics are actually lots of fun; space combat is my favorite part of the game. Cryptic said way back when that doing full 360 degree flight would be very impractical.

I do agree that sometimes you can log in and just goof around, or do some RP, or play with DOFFs (the Duty Officer system) or whatever. Like you I’m a family man and I just log in when I can: sometimes for full-blown mission play and sometimes just to have a few minutes of fun.

My birthday! :-D