Cryptic Studios is waist deep in the development of its upcoming F2P MMO Neverwinter. The title has established a legion of fans, but it has also found enemies amongst those that are leery of the F2P model. Too often does F2P drum up negative concepts in the minds of gamers, and for good reason. Many MMOs that forgo the traditional subscription fee model often provide excessively powerful rewards to those with enough cash to “pay-to-win.” Neverwinter will not have this problem, according to lead producer Andy Velasquez.
In speaking with Game Informer, Velasquez said Neverwinter players will be able to experience every aspect of the game without having to sink a dime into it. All classes, as well as their abilities, will be available to you right when you get into the game. Players won’t be able to purchase powerful abilities or items from the cash shop that will be included in the game at launch. Thus, anyone with some money to throw around won’t be able to purchase a universal “I Win” button.
There will be micro-transactions according to Velasquez, but players will only be able to purchase simple items and boosts, nothing game-breaking.
Cryptic Studios has experience with the F2P model. The company has worked on Champions Online and Star Trek Online in the past, both of which are still active. Both of these titles transitioned into a F2P model that didn’t mean pay-to-win and have found resounding success. They might not have 10 million players like some of the other guys, but Cryptic Studios has proven that a F2P model that doesn’t reward those with deep pockets or punish penny pinchers can be successful.