F2Pmeter: Is Tera Truly Free-to-Play?
Are free-to-play games truly free to play? This is what we asked to ourselves and the reason why we decided to create this new series ― F2Pmeter, through which we’ll test the free-to-play-ness of yours (and ours) favourite titles. Games start with a 100% of free-to-play-ness, and depending on the answers to our questions, that percentage will change (or not!)
The first one will be TERA, our july Top 1 MMORPG, a fairly popular themepark fantasy MMORPG which features a fast paced console-style action combat system and several races and classes to choose from in order to adventure in an immersive open world and face intense skill-based boss battles and PvP matches.
Let’s take an in-depth look at the free-to-play model adopted by the game and at some of its features in this first episode of our new F2Pmeter series to find out the real level of “free-to-play-ness” offered by TERA!
No. The game was once pay to play, with an initial purchase and a monthly subscription required. However, after it switched to the F2P model, it allows you to simply create an account and play without having to play anything.
Yes (optional). Despite being free-to-play, TERA gives you the chance to upgrade the status of your account from Standard (free) to Elite by paying a monthly fee of $14.99 and earn bonus, discounts, shorten dungeon cooldowns and other comforts.There is also another status account, called Founder, restricted to players who bought the game before its free-to-play launch and which gives similar bonus.
No. Patches and updates are always free for everyone (at least for now).
Yes. There is a cash shop which offers a wide selection of cosmetic stuff, convenience items and services, such as costumes, weapon skins, race/gender/appearance/name change, pets, dyes, bank slots expansion, etc.
No. Not really, maybe the boosters can help you to level up or gain reputation faster, but it’s not a direct advantage over other players, just a time-saver. Same thing for the items, everything is also obtainable through regular gameplay.
No. Like in many MMORPGs out there nowadays, the UI in TERA is pretty customizable, resizable and moveable. And you can it for free.
Yes. There are no differences in the available races and classes between free-to-play users and paying users.
Yes. Elite accounts have lower Brokerage fees and a limit of 50 simultaneous items posted; Founder and Standard accounts have the same fees (slightly higher) and they can post a total of respectively 30 (Founder) and 10 (Standard) items.
Yes. Elite and Standard accounts have a starting limit of 72 bank slots and can purchase more, while Founder accounts start with all the available slots unlocked (288).
Yes. There are no restrictions to the accessible zones and dungeons, although the Elite accounts have shortened dungeon entries cooldowns and double daily entries.
No & Yes. There are no limits to the end-game content but, as already said, Elite Accounts have shortened dungeon cooldowns and doubled daily entries.
Yes. Ultimately, despite the possibility to buy an Elite account and the Store, the game seems to be absolutely fair and extremely playable without opening the wallet at all. Players who choose to pay have access to some nice cosmetic and customization options and will have an easier life in-game with time-savers, convenience items and boosters, without having a direct advantage on non-paying users.
The game was initially launched as a pay-to-play title, with first-time purchase and the classic monthly fee; however, later on, after a drop in popularity and subscriptions, the game switched to the more popular free-to-play model in order to stay alive and actually managed to take a breath of fresh air and get back on track, growing in popularity again and quickly becoming one of the best and most appriciated F2p MMORPG out there.
After tested with our F2Pmeter, Tera gets a fair 70% of free-to-play-ness.