At this rate, it had to happen eventually. The korean servers for TERA Online went free to play a while back, and now it’s the US’ turn. Due to a struggling player population, TERA US is forced to open their doors and launch into the free to play community with their new content patch, TERA: Rising. En Masse Entertainment is hoping that removing their subscription fees will revive interest in communities turned off by the monthly fee and lack of end game content and save the game from the looming threat of cancellation.
To those who have purchased TERA in the past, you get a ton of free perks and bonuses in the form of a Founders status. Also, if you are currently subscribed, you get moved into the Elite status, which has some advantages over Founders. From what I can tell, being a Founders has better attributes overall, but it IS possible to be Elite and Founders simultaneously. Basically:
- TERA not purchased in the past, no Elite subscription purchased: Standard
- TERA purchased in the past, no Elite subscription purchased: Founder
- Elite Status purchased at any time: Elite (30 days)
Here’s a bad screenshot from the notice posted by En Masse Entertainment:
Personally, this gives me mixed feelings. While my wallet is happy that I can play TERA again (maybe I can fish some friends into playing now that it’s free), it might not last for long, as the whole reason a game goes free to play is usually because it’s struggling financially. Dragon Nest will still be my main MMO for quite some time, but I might play TERA on the side, as I loved the Vindictus-like gameplay. Plus, my Priest was pretty awesome.
En Masse Enterainment has announced the free to play date somewhere in February, 2013. To all previous players (or Founders in these new terms), you’ve been given extra game time until January 16th, so why not boot it up and check on your characters? I’m sure they’d appreciate a howdydoo.