themercurialist Mar 3, 2014 @ 6:25pm
Actually FTP?
I've been looking for a new game to play and STO is on my list however I want to know if it's really free to play as advertised. A lot of the games are free to download, free to play up until a certain level, or unless you want a certain item, or a monthly subscription...also is there a lot of story line or is it mostly battles?....so I guess my question is, what are the fees/costs and are they worth it?
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Szeron Mar 3, 2014 @ 8:11pm 
It's more free to play than pretty much any other MMO out there.

You can go all the way to max level for free and the last free ship you decide upon is perfectly competent at end game content. Furthermore, there is an intermediate time-based currency, Dilithium, that you can earn and trade for the premium/paid currency. Dilithium is also used for a lot of end game gear and fleet(guild) development, so the exchange for it is very healthy.

None of the content is locked off behind paywalls, and the game is pretty much what you make of it. There are storylines for each faction that you'll be max level by about the time you're halfway through them - so plenty of story. There is also plenty of purely combat stuff to do at max level if that is your preference(both on ground and space). Also, with the foundry, there are a lot of well-crafted missions and stories that other players have made.. or that you can make.

Purchases in this game are moreso a gesture of wanting to support the developers, in my view. That said, some of the purchases can be relatively expensive if you really want something immediately. Max level ships range $20 to $25 each, and there are several three-variant bundles(one that caters towards each class specialization with item set-bonuses for having them all) that are $50(or $75 if you buy each individually).

Additionally, there is a lockbox system that is borderline-gambling, but nothing from it is required to play the game - It's mostly for the exotic 'collector' type crowd with too much money on their hands. Each lockbox tend to inject life into the ingame market as well with the variety of goods that come out of them(from fancy looking weapons to special duty officers to mirror universe variants of lower level ships).

Again though, you don't have to spend a dime if you don't want to or if money is tight. I've put together ships on a relatively small budget of ingame currency exclusively that completely outperformed people who were flying around in paid ships with all manner of paid gadgetry. Conversely, I've bought ships solely to unlock costume/appearance parts for a different ship (which shares the same chasis) that I enjoy.
TigerHawk Mar 3, 2014 @ 8:38pm 
In my opinion, this game truly can be a FTP game. Yes, you CAN opt to pay real money to obtain items in the game, but, if you're willing to put in the time and effort there IS a way to get almost anything you want in the game without using real money. There is even a way to earn the premium currency, Zen, without ever having to pay a cent (you can complete offers on their website to earn the Zen aside from the Dilithium thing that Szeron mentioned). In reality, it's a lot of grinding, but yes, as far as I see it, it really is FTP. I've gotten exactly what I've wanted so far, and haven't sunk a dime into it. You can make the choice to pay for items, or to subscribe to the service, but you don't NEED to. It really is just a matter of taste. You can get as far as you want in this game without every having to pull out a credit card.

Like Szeron said, yes, you can pay some pretty high dollar amounts to get the premium ships, but, again, that's a choice, and you don't have to by any means. You won't be locked off from content because you have to pay to get past said paywall.

The lockboxes are a bit on the gambling side, but like he mentioned, and I mentioned, you can earn the Zen to pay for the keys to unlock the boxes. So, even then, it's not really a gamble. It really just depends on how much time you want to burn to earn the Zen to buy the keys.

Like he mentioned though, you absolutely can get by without spending much, if any, money on the game. So, I encourage you to get into it, and not worry about the money part, as it's really only a small portion overall, and it's MOSTLY cosmetic stuff that isn't necessary anyway. So go have fun!
shann112 Mar 4, 2014 @ 2:51am 
I agree! It's like Szeron and Twenty-four Karat Kitty write. Such a mass of possibilities and missions! And you can earn free ingame-money and change it to the purchase-exchange called ZEN. Ok it costs a lot of time, but you can get everything you want in a really f2p game.
12_monkeys Mar 4, 2014 @ 3:13am 
F2P is cancer to the gaming industry!!! It should just die already... nothing good in life is free, nor should it be!
shann112 Mar 4, 2014 @ 3:17am 
At STO you must invest time and work instead of money... almost like in reallife ;)
12_monkeys Mar 4, 2014 @ 3:21am 
... Almost :p
Szeron Mar 4, 2014 @ 3:54am 
Originally posted by 12_monkeys:
F2P is cancer to the gaming industry!!! It should just die already... nothing good in life is free, nor should it be!

I respectfully disagree with your statements both in a general and specific scope.

A single smile costs nothing and can change a person's entire outlook on a day of events.

As for the gaming industry, "Free to Play" often makes companies more money than subscription-based games. STO, for example, has gone from being the brink of being shut down before it went free to play to being able to expand the team, create expansions, and hire actual actors from the various series to provide voice-over. Every year since this game has gone free to play has been bigger and better than the last.


Returning to the actual topic at hand, there are two things I forgot to mention:

There ARE a handful of things you cannot get without paying actual money. Veteran rewards can only be obtained by either purchasing a lifetime subscription, or actually subscribing for that length of time. Also, things like the boxed Collector's Edition and Steam Starter Pack are the only way to obtain items specific to them(Red Matter Capacitor and Steamrunner class, respectively). Once more, this stuff is entirely optional and isn't going to gimp you if you do not have it.

Finally, there is one area of the game that is arguably "Pay2Win" - PvP. As things have grown and become more complex, people have found ways to piece together certain items and set up certain ships in cheesy ways that are extremely difficult to compete with. Along with crafting(which is rumored to be getting an overhaul soon), PvP is currently one of the most neglected and unbalanced parts of the game.
shann112 Mar 4, 2014 @ 4:07am 
And what's youre problem with the game? I know a lot of so called f2p games, they are not better than just a demo you can download for free. compared to them sto is far away from this state.

ok, if you don't like star trek you will not like sto. It's everybody's thing what to play and what not. It's also ok, when developers of STO (and similar games) earn some money, it's a lot of work spent for our fun. the mainly thing is: it's free for everybody to pay with real money to spare time, but you MUST NOT pay to play the game, you have access to all missions, you can earn ingame-exchange to buy everything you want.

Originally posted by 12_monkeys:
... Almost :p

You must know it, i saw you played sto for 289 hours...
Last edited by shann112; Mar 4, 2014 @ 4:09am
12_monkeys Mar 4, 2014 @ 5:05am 
STO has a Hybrid model its not Pure F2p since there is a subscription option as well... like most Sub to F2P games, it retains the high(er) production values of a sub game... compare this for instance to Neverwinter which is pure F2P and was developed as such...
12_monkeys Mar 4, 2014 @ 5:06am 
Originally posted by shann112:
And what's youre problem with the game? I know a lot of so called f2p games, they are not better than just a demo you can download for free. compared to them sto is far away from this state.

ok, if you don't like star trek you will not like sto. It's everybody's thing what to play and what not. It's also ok, when developers of STO (and similar games) earn some money, it's a lot of work spent for our fun. the mainly thing is: it's free for everybody to pay with real money to spare time, but you MUST NOT pay to play the game, you have access to all missions, you can earn ingame-exchange to buy everything you want.

Originally posted by 12_monkeys:
... Almost :p

You must know it, i saw you played sto for 289 hours...

Dont misunderstand, I love STO... I just done like the spate of "gimme everything for free and hope that i pay the dev;s out of my good graces" attitude that i see from many F2P officionados... I play it regularly and am a member of a large and active fleet: "Praefortis". I agree that many F2P games make lots of money but most of their development is either content already developed and put out piecemeal after release or its just cash shop updates since thats where the majority of F2P game revenue comes from... STO has the additional income from subs to help with this hence a much higher quality "F2P" game... not so with "Pure F2P" games that i can think of
Last edited by 12_monkeys; Mar 4, 2014 @ 5:10am
shann112 Mar 4, 2014 @ 8:41am 
Ok, perhaps it is so as you say. we are surely deeper in the material f2p with our discussion than necessary. the mainly question was: are there fees? and is it worth? My opinion: There are no fees, just optional and if you want. And: It is worth :)

Our discussion can go longer (perhaps endless) because the differences between our opinions about game concepts are just marginal. It could be more a discussion about interpretation of concepts than the concepts themselves...

It was not my intension to go in this direction or make things better (or worse) as they are, nor to degrade youre opinion.

I think a consense can be found if we say: STO is F2P enough to have a lot of free funny time and not to have the feeling just to be milked for cash.
12_monkeys Mar 4, 2014 @ 9:35am 
Oh I agree, its one of the most "Free" F2P games out there :)

Back on topic;

OP, in terms of the fees being worth it? thats hard to say, a ship can cost from 1800 zen to 2500 zen whioch is about £20/£25 depending on whether theres a discount offer at the time of purchase... they're good and often are better than the free ships (more consoles, more bridge officer stations etc) and look pretty awesome... but thats a lot for an in-game item, so it depends on its worth to you. You certainly dont need those ships, the free ones every 10 levels are more than adequate and you can customise those as you please. Other fees for character slots, renames, etc are in line with other MMO's, but this game has some very extensive cosmetic options as well, again some at a cost - the more iconic, the more likely there's a cost/ higher cost - usually between 400-600 zen/ £4-£6 give or take.

With new expansions (which are free) come new uniforms/costumes and ships and some of the premium ones become free or lower in cost as well.

Hope that helps makes an informed choice and apologies for derailing the thread with my F2P rant.
shann112 Mar 4, 2014 @ 10:59am 
And additionally to said: This ingame-exchange, ZEN, can be earned by changing dilithium to zen without giving out 1 cent. for free. you must spend time and work instead of real money...

and this way, for me, it's totally free. you can buy everything without real money.
Last edited by shann112; Mar 4, 2014 @ 11:00am
themercurialist Mar 5, 2014 @ 4:14pm 
Thank you everyone for your in depth and carefully thought out responses! They really helped me decided on whether or not to try STO. I never really got into WoW because of their subscription and "expansion pack" deal, I just couldn't cut it financially because I knew I wouldn't get as into as other people do....so I was hoping that STO would be different and from what I understand it seems perfect for a casual MMO player like me. When I get it downloaded, if anyone wants to friend me ((if there is a friend option)) just let me know, I would certainly enjoy the company! ((Sorry my thanks is late, I came down with Strep throat and then bronchitis so I've been under the covers))
๖ۣۜSilver5hark Mar 6, 2014 @ 2:58pm 
In short this is a free to play game, no pawalls seperate story for each faction. Almost every story mission you level up one, (grade not rank)
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Date Posted: Mar 3, 2014 @ 6:25pm
Posts: 18