Cryptic Studios, the developer behind the Star Trek Online MMO announced just yesterday that the MMO would be converting to the free-to-play model come 17th January 2012. This would not be the first MMO to convert to that particular business model, with DC Universe recently launching a similar model with great success.
A few months back we reported that the game would be getting the free-to-play treatment, but it looks like we finally have a date. As far as how limited the content would be for non-paying players, the basics of the game will be accessible, such as access to all sectors and missions, along with PVP and fleet actions (or raids if you’d rather).
These free players will also be known as Silver Members and will need to pay for certain things in game that come free to paid subscribers, such as respecs and extra character slots. Ads will also be placed in their Vivox voice chat, with limited access to in-game chat and mail, forums and customer support.
Paid subscribers on the other hand will be known as Gold Members and will get more inventory slots, unlimited energy credit storage, priority login queues and the the ability to create guilds. $5 out of the $15 they pay every month will be returned to them in the form of 400 Cryptic Points, which is the game’s virtual currency used in the store. Come 1st December, that particular feature will be put into effect as a thanks to current paid subscribers.