Is this the “forces at work” that have been delaying Module 9? Is this the so-called “Super Secret” that has been bandied about the forums and DDOCast?
Turbine announced today that DDO will be going Free to Play, though it sounds almost like a hybrid Freemium model. The new DDO will be entering closed beta soon, signups are on the new Eberron Unlimited announcement page, along with specific details as to what premium “VIP” subscribers receive versus the free players. They claim all current subscriptions do not change, so I’ll leave mine alone since I got that $9.99/month thing they offered last year and find out if it changes or not.
I do wonder how they’ll be dividing up the Adventure Packs out of the current content, though. It does say all the Stormreach and vicinity content will be included in the base game for free players. Going off that, I’d say additional places like the Menechtarun Desert, Meridia, and so forth would be in the Adventure Packs. This will most likely affect the way future Module updates are released as well, unless Turbine plans to sell each Module separately to the free players, which is probably not a bad idea.
A DDO Store will be opened for the game and players can buy (get ready for it) Turbine Points (say it with me: “ugh!”) which are then used to purchase items from the store. A quick glance at the VIP vs. Free chart looks like the store will contain the Adventure Packs, obviously, character slots, a shared bank slot, the Monk and other new classes (one new class is in the announcement!), and the Drow and Warforged race.
Personally, I do have a problem paying to unlock the Warforged race since that was always a standard race in DDO. The Drow you had to unlock with favor (DDO’s reputation system) anyway so I’m on the fence about the drow. Separating the Monk class seems on the surface as yet another (yeah, I’m going to say it) “slap in the face” to the Monk, which seems to get no love from Turbine, and while Free players will most likely increase the overall player base, paying for a class will probably mean the Monk will stay relatively rare like it is already.
Regardless, this all sounds exciting, and if nothing else all the DDO servers may see a population increase of players, and that’s always a good thing!