F2PMeter: Is Star Stable Truly Free to Play?
Next up for the F2PMeter is Star Stable, a 3D MMORPG where players find themselves on the island of Jorvik at a horse summer camp and will begin some exciting adventures as they cruise across the landscape completing quests, advancing a story line, training and tending to their own horse, and working with other players in a fairly social driven MMO.
Let’s put the game through its paces and after asking a number of questions and starting out at 100% free, losing points with seemingly more premium options, we’ll see how free the game is.
Does the game require an initial purchase?
To access the game players do not need to make any payment.
Does the game require any continued paid subscription?
'Yes' (optional) takes away 15%
To try out the game up to level 5 players can play for free, but to carry on playing they must subscribe as a "Star Rider" to gain full access to the game. There are different subscription tiers with discounts to longer subs, with extra rewards and a lifetime membership option.
Does the game require spending money on DLC packs or expansions?
Updates and game expansions are included in the subscription, sometimes features are even available to free to play users (like the recent MyStable upgrade).
Does the game support micro-transactions? Can anything be purchased in-game using real world money?
'Yes' takes away 5%
Players can earn and purchase Star Coins premium currency (cannot be earned by free to play accounts) and can purchase all types of horses, gear and accessories.
Do any of the micro-transactions give players an advantages?
'Yes' (but...) takes away 5%
Players can purchase items and horse with improved stats, offering a "benefit", but in reality the nature of the game is a social MMO and doesn't have much of a competitive side outside of the casual races. With races the track is always the same and so any players that have the highest stats who have memorized the perfect lines for the course will always win a race.
Is the user interface customization restricted to paid options?
Neither paying nor free accounts can customize their UI.
Does the game give access to all available classes and/or races?
There are no classes or species/races in the game, there are no available male characters.
Does the game require have limitations to how the 'Auction House' /Market/Trade system is accessed?
'Yes' (but...) takes away 5%
The game has a Star Coin shop where all items cost premium currency to purchase, there is also a Lifetime Members-only shop that can't be used by subscribing members, only those who have paid a flat "Lifetime Member" fee.
Are personal inventory and/or bank slots limited at all?
'Yes' takes away 10%
Stables can be upgraded to hold more horses, which cost Star Coins to upgrade, though they are available to F2P accounts they do still require premium currency. Similarly to carry pets players need to purchase Star Coin saddle bags.
Are all dungeons and zones accessible without purchases?
'No' takes away 15%
All content and areas are locked after level 5 unless you subscribe to the game.
Does the game restrict high endgame content (PVE, Raids or PvP)?
'Yes' takes away 15%
Only subscribers can play endgame content.
Can the game be fully enjoyed without ever having to spend a ‘penny’?
Whilst players can enjoy the trial portion of the game, they don't have access to the vast majority of content in the game and so are unable to experience it let alone enjoy it. The game is free to try and falls far from the "free to play" marker.