City of Heroes Freedom: Popular MMO going free-to-play

By Posted 22 Jun 2011, 12:51

The City of Heroes massively multiplayer online role-playing game was first launched back in 2004 in North America and 2005 in Europe and up until now, the multi-award winning game has been subscription-only. That is all about to change however; as both the developer Paragon Studios and the publisher NCSoft have recently announced that the popular MMO is going free-to-play.

As William Case over at gamerant.com recently noted, City of Heroes Freedom – as the developer has called it – will not only provide gamers with a brand new way to experience the game, but it will also enable them to customize how they play it. Paragon Studios hope that the free-to-play game will bring in new players, as well as possibly bring back old players that have perhaps forgotten about it.

City of Heroes Freedom is due to be launched around the same time as the upcoming Issue 21: Convergence update, and will give players a choice of 3 different play experiences including Play for Free, Premium or VIP. Each of the 3 options will have its individual bonuses and perks, but will all integrate the new Paragon Points system that enables gamers to purchase story arcs, costumes and character slots.

The Play for Free option will allow players to create 2 characters using the 8 archetypes. Players will also be able to experience their way up to level 50, have full access to 45 Hero and Villain Zones, and choose the specific items of content they want. However, the Play for Free tier is severely limited in terms of auction house usage and game chat channels, and will not provide access to forum participation or in-game email.

Those who choose the Play for Free option won’t be able to join or form supergroups, or gain access to the in-game tech support. Meanwhile, the Premium tier is for current or returning players, who want to play the game for free. Gamers will retain almost everything that they have previously purchased or unlocked, including Veteran Rewards, Super Boosters, directly purchased character slots and expansions.

The VIP tier on the other hand is for players that continue to pay the current monthly subscription fee of $15. They will receive all of the perks that they currently receive, as well as some additional awards. VIP gamers will earn themselves 400 free Paragon Points per month starting from July 1st, which can then be used to purchase various different items from the new Paragon Market.

You can read more about the upcoming Issue 21: Convergence update via the gamerant.com website. Will you be joining the free-to-play City of Heroes Freedom game?