The Eberron Unlimited upgrade for Dungeons and Dragons Online is coming this summer, bringing new quests, a new class, a cash store, and a higher level cap, all while introducing a new free-to-play business model.
The gates to Eberron will swing wide this summer, as the Eberron Unlimited upgrade transforms Turbine's DDO from a subscription-based massively multiplayer online game to a free-to-play one, relying on VIP subscriptions and the new DDO store as dual sources of income. Free players will be able to join the game, create characters, and level all the way up to 20, the new, logical class limit for a Dungeons and Dragons game. Limitations included having to pay for specific races and classes, limited chat, auction, and mail capabilities, and access restricted to the city of Stormreach and its immediate vicinity.
Paying a monthly fee for VIP status grants you unlimited access to all of these features, as well as full customer support, with free players limited to automated support only.
Free players will still be able to use the new DDO store, however, accumulating points equal to their levels to spend on special items, which the official website likens to being paid to play. Players can also spend their cash money on upgrades, which is a feature that I feel kills the Dungeons and Dragons experience completely.
Being able to pay for new equipment using funds from outside of the game is the same thing as getting free items and experience for being the girlfriend of the Dungeon Master. I suppose technically that's in keeping with the grand tradition of the tabletop game after all. This DM just happens to have a lot of girlfriends.
Check out the offical website for more information on the new free-to-play Dungeons and Dragons Online.
DDO Goes Free To Play [Official Site - Thanks Matt!]