So after announcing that DC Universe Online would be adopting a free-to-play model a few weeks back, Sony has finally locked down the dates. SOE has just revealed that DCUO will go FTP starting November 1, 2011 for both the PC and PS3 versions. While this is good and should get folks to stop using their game disc as coasters, there is a catch. The basic features of the game will be free-to-play but there some additional features that you can only get if you fork over the cash.
Pricing tiers are as follows:
Free: New players will now have access to the current gameplay in DC Universe Online (including Gotham City, Metropolis, and all current raids and alerts), with the ability to create two characters, join a league and many other benefits. Free level players will be able to purchase downloadable game packs/updates, additional character slots, powers and more through microtransactions.
Premium: Any player who has spent at least $5 USD (including former paid subscribers and new players who have purchased $5 of in-game items) will qualify for the Premium access level. Premium level players will have more benefits available to them than the Free level player, including additional character slots, additional inventory slots, and higher cash limits. Downloadable adventure packs, additional character slots, and more can be purchased in-game.
Legendary: Maximum features and benefits are included at this level. Loaded with enhanced additional features, Legendary access will be available for a $14.99 USD monthly fee and includes all DLC packs at no cost, more than 15 character slots, more than 80 inventory slots, the ability to form unrestricted-sized leagues, and many other benefits.
The big downside for all you trophy hunters out there is that only the Legendary tier will be able to unlock trophies which I think is a really bad move. They are not important enough to get a free player to spend $15/month to get them, but they are important enough for a free-to-play person to not want to bother with the game because of it. Oh yeah and did we mention that even though you may already have the game disc you will still need to download the new client which takes up a whooping 20GB of space. That is a lot of hard drive space for a game you may only play once in a while, though perhaps space concerns are only relevant to those of us with smaller PS3 hard drives, I have an 80GB fat boy and I need all the space I can get so I might skip this one.