I thought about typing up all the differences between the games for paid subscription, “premium” (typically spending some money, but not a subscription) and free, but then I realized that just linking the information would be easier and more effective… especially once I realized that SWTOR makes it freakin’ impossible to understand.
As I think I mentioned in the last post, WoW’s Free to Play effort is not in line with the others. The others seem to make an honest effort of providing the game for free, hoping that people will like it and spend real money to support it. WoW, on the other hand, provides a very limited version of part of the game as a “trial.” With DDO and LOTRO, you earn in-game money that you can use to purchase almost everything in the game- quests, races, classes, etc., but in WoW, you can’t even use real chat or join a guild!
Really, you can’t fault them. It is their product, and they have the right to sell it however they wish. In the same vein, I hope that anyone reading this doesn’t take me to be out to exploit the games or anything like that. Honestly, I hope that if you do plan on playing any of these games for an extended period, that you send a little real money to the game of your choice. They have people working for them for real cash to feed their families too, so show your support for a product that you want to continue! That said, Free to Play is a great way to find out if you want to spend the cash on a game. Look into the various payment options. Some people may prefer to subscribe to a game. I knew someone in DDO who refused to subscribe because he saw it as “renting” the game, but he bought Turbine Points when they were on sale and adventure packs while they were on sale, “buying” the game, as he saw it.
As it goes for my gauntlet, I’ve decided that before I get too deep into the character development, I wanted to go ahead and change some of my characters. I’ve already created a new fire-based villain in DCU and brought her up two hours, and a rogue/wizard in DDO that has one hour in. I’ll also be creating something else for LOTRO and WoW to see the differences. I could probably use a Sith in SWTOR for comparison sake, but I like my Jedi, so I may not for a bit.