F2PMeter: Is WildStar Truly Free to Play?

WildStar - F2PMeter headlogo - EN
We’re putting Wildstar through our F2PMeter, the free to play sci-fantasy MMORPG from NCsoft where players get to explore the world of the Nexus as one of two factions: the Exiles or the Dominion. The game went free to play after a period of a subscription based business model, and so we’re now checking out the game to see how that F2P model shapes up, starting at 100% free to play we’ll ask a number of questions and adjusting the score as we go. So let’s get started…

Does the game require an initial purchase?

'No'

The game is free to download and play, the actual core features can all be accessed but for free to play accounts there are slight restrictions on them (such as how many things you can buy/sell on the auction house).
Does the game require any continued paid subscription?

'No (but...)' takes away 5%

The subscription element to the game is completely optional; in subscribing through recurring payments players will attain Signature account status, giving them a number of perks. Players can spend NCoin, NCSofts cross-game premium cash shop currency, to acquire Signature status, or it can be activated by earning C.R.E.D.D. in game, a tradeable item that can be used for game time or sold to other players for gold.
Does the game require spending money on DLC packs or expansions?

'No (but...)' takes away 5%

The core content expansions are provided for free with patches, however, there are various DLC bundles available that grant various Signature style perks, Signature membership itself, pets, mounts and more, and they require cash to buy them.
Does the game support micro-transactions? Can anything be purchased in-game using real world money?

'Yes' takes away 5%

Players are able to acquire Cosmic Points when they spend cash, apply C.R.E.D.D.D. to their account and activate Signature status, and spend NCoin, offering this experience style currency that players can then spend on extra perks. These perks revolve around many of the same benefits of Signature status allowing an a la carte management of which features you might want without paying for a subscription, and also a number of aesthetic rewards.
Do any of the micro-transactions give players an advantages?

'Yes (but...)' takes away 5%

There are a small minority of these types of rewards that offer boosts in currency, gathering improvements, etc. that give a slight benefits that free to play accounts lack; however, the majority of these perks are aesthetics or quality of life benefits.
Is the user interface customization restricted to paid options?

'No'

It cannot be customized.
Does the game give access to all available classes and/or races?

'Yes'

Players can create characters from both factions with all classes, races and career paths that can be levelled up to max.
Does the game require have limitations to how the 'Auction House' /Market/Trade system is accessed?

'Yes' takes away 10%

There are restrictions to how many active buying/selling auctions free to play accounts have at any one time, these restrictions are alleviated with Signature status or Cosmic Point purchases.
Are personal inventory and/or bank slots limited at all?

'No'

There are no limitations to free to play accounts.
Are all dungeons and zones accessible without purchases?

'Yes'

All areas of the game world can be accessed without spending any money.
Does the game restrict high endgame content (PVE, Raids or PvP)?

'No'

All content, both PVE and PVP related is fully accessible to all account types.
Can the game be fully enjoyed without ever having to spend a ‘penny’?

'Yes' adds 10%

Whilst there are some slight quality of life restrictions placed on free to play accounts, they do not fundamentally hinder the core gameplay or make areas and content inaccessible. Many of the restrictions are things players wouldn’t notice, whereas others are simply restrictions only in the fact that they are extra perks for Signature accounts.
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One Comment - "F2PMeter: Is WildStar Truly Free to Play?"

  1. Kacy 20/07/2016 at 01:03 -

    Thank you for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research on this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I’m very glad to see such great inmrtfaoion being shared freely out there.