On January 17, 2012, Star Trek Online will go free-to-play, with an optional subscription plan available for those players who wants special services.
Those wishing to take advantage of Star Trek Online‘s change to free-to-play won’t even have to pay to get the game before playing, but will be able to download it for free.
In free-to-play, some items will become more difficult to acquire and will therefore be more valuable to a player. “Dilithium buys you the cool gear,” said D’Angelo. “People who buy Cryptic Points can go to our store and can buy the cool ships, but they can’t get the cool gear. We’re going to let people sell their Dilithium to other players for Cryptic Points.”
Dilithium is earned during play, and Cryptic points are used to purchase goods and services from Star Trek: Online’s C-Store, which sells items such as starships, pets and experience boosts.
Players can still subscribe ($14.99 monthly) and become Gold Members. Subscribing to Star Trek Online will get a player perks such as two additional Bridge Officer slots per rank, a higher maximum free inventory, one free per rank Captain Retrain Token, eight Foundry Project starting slots, a monthly stipend of four hundred promotional points and unlimited access to in-game chat, in-game mail, forums and customer service.
Those who became lifetime subscribers will become Gold Members and will not be charged any additional fees.