F2PMeter: Is Pirates Tides of Fortune Truly Free to Play?

Developed by Plarium, Pirates: Tides of Fortune, is an browser-based strategy game that focuses on a pirate theme. With their standard “base building” gameplay players construct fleets of pirate ships and go at it to try and raid their rivals and plunder all their gold. However, is it the players doing the plunder, or the developers? Let’s find out as we test how free to play the game really is!
Does the game require an initial purchase?

'No'

The game can be played for free through web browser.
Does the game require any continued paid subscription?

'No (but...)' takes away 10%

The game has a VIP system known as “Prestige” that players can pay premium currency to increase their VIP/Prestige status, and also pay to activate it, which will grant boosts based on their Prestige status level. Prestige is not a mandatory aspect of the game.
Does the game require spending money on DLC packs or expansions?

'No'

There are no DLC options.
Does the game support micro-transactions? Can anything be purchased in-game using real world money?

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

Players can purchase items through the Smuggler’s Den using Rubies, which are premium currency purchased with cash that can also be earned with various features in the game.
Do any of the micro-transactions give players an advantages?

'Yes' takes away 15%

Rubies can buy practically any advantage a player can think of or would need; boosts to production, insta-completion on constructions, improved combat units, missing resources, tech advancement, heals, shields and much more.
Is the user interface customization restricted to paid options?

'No'

UI customization isn’t available to free or paying players.
Does the game give access to all available classes and/or races?

'Yes'

There aren’t any races or classes in the game.
Does the game require have limitations to how the 'Auction House' /Market/Trade system is accessed?

'No'

All account can trade freely.
Are personal inventory and/or bank slots limited at all?

'No'

There are no inventory/bank restrictions for premium accounts.
Are all dungeons and zones accessible without purchases?

'Yes'

All areas in the game are free to access.
Does the game restrict high endgame content (PVE, Raids or PvP)?

'No'

Players can battle each other and engage in many different events for free.
Can the game be fully enjoyed without ever having to spend a ‘penny’?

'Yes' adds 10%

If your enjoyment is based on trying to build up a stronghold and battle occasionally with players then it can be fun. To be competitive it requires an incredible amount of time or lots of premium currency, with most players focusing on simply paying for their advantage. The number of advantages that can be purchased definitely lean the game more towards a pay to win title.
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