Aion is joining the ranks of every MMO that isn’t World of Warcraft or Star Wars: The Old Republic by going free-to-play this month.
The change from subscription to free-to-play is hardly ever a smooth transition, but Aion seems to be getting it right. On the official Web site, it says that players will be able to access all of the game’s world and all of its quests without having to pay any monthly fees.
There are a few restrictions, however, in the form of trading and chat systems. Players who want to get the most out of the game can upgrade to a paid gold account if they so choose.
Players who were already subscribers get the best deal by being upgraded to veteran status. This will give them many of the same perks that gold account holders will receive. For those who wish to take advantage of their newfound Veteran status, here’s a handy guide that will tell you how to transfer your old account.
The Web site goes into more detail as to what each of the different accounts mean. Starter users as stated previously will have access to the entire game with no strings attached. The only limitations are that free users can only create two characters, are limited to certain chat channels and can not engage in private trading.
Veteran users who transfer their account will have access to more of the game than what starter players will get. This allows Veteran players to open their own store, carry out business with the Trade Brokers and send letters with attachments.
Gold users are for those who still want to pay a monthly fee to get the most out of the game. These users will have all game options unlocked. As an added bonus, gold users will have shorter cooldowns for instances and more Abyss points for victories in PvP. Players will be able to choose how long they want gold status to last with the player reverting back to their previous status - starter or veteran - upon it running out.
Going free-to-play does offer some advantages for the fledgling MMO that seeks to increase their business. It has done wonders for some games, while not being enough to save others. Aion had an established player-base so the transition should go over just fine.
For more information, check out the team’s FAQ on the changes coming to the free-to-play version of Aion.