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.

  • Daniel Melano

    I’m actively playing Champions Online and have a maxed KDF character in STO. There are things Cryptic can do (and does) to keep the game as free as possible but also get those “micro transactions” (sorry but their pricing rarely is micro on the stuff we want) revenue flowing. Starting with the naming system which I believe NW will use the same @handle as our STO and/or CO account, you get to name your character however you want, but if you want to change it, it’ll cost 350Z which is $3.50 Respec is very expensive at higher levels and Cryptic is good at releasing new powers that make you want to respec. The artists working at Cryptic are also very good designers so their costume sets won’t have the limitation in STO, so we’ll see cooler stuff worth spending close to $5 on. The list goes on, like character slots, costume slots (multiple costumes on the same character) and not to mention the possibilities the Foundry opens for Props bundles for serious creators. I always¬†thought¬†the Foundry should have its own income so it can grow more. We’ll see when it comes out.

  • Pec S

    This game is most definitely pay-to-win. I just finished playing the 3rd weekend beta test for nearly a day straight. It is certainly fun (PvE anyway – the PvP is abysmal), but I am uninstalling and never looking back. No game that lets a player buy everything with their credit card is worth my time.

    Founders for example get 2,000,000 credits which can be used to buy all the best gear repeatedly. This yields a massive advantage in PvP and sucks the difficulty out of everything else the game has to offer. Gear, consumables, commodities, trade goods, mounts, hats, everything can be purchased with real cash.

    I’ve seen some PvP fans compare the combat to Guild Wars 2 and while Neverwinter is nearly as smooth, it is completely unbalanced due to Pay-to-Win, level imbalance, and no skill based matchmaking.

    PvP fans need not bother.

  • Afrenchcanadian

    They are big liars that made a game Pay to Win and say hey its cool you don’t need to use a credit card to get something from the cash shop. TRUE but its a fucking joke how much time you need to spend to afford the same things.
    This game is Pay to win.
    Pay to respec, Pay to get Geared.
    Cryptic you fucking fail.
    I’d rather pay 15$ a month and play a good game than play the fucking SHIT you’ve made with your cash shop. Sorry for poor english but when im piss..
    They ruined a game i was looking up to.

  • Glowyrm

    From many people’s calculations it takes 8-12 hours of farming to equate less than $5 worth of stuff in their Zen store.

    That is pay to win. They need to close the gap a bit on the time spent to get something vs buying it.

    Also, some shit is just really powerful. Paying for shit is fine, Path of Exile does it BEST with purely cosmetic shit. I can live with the scrolls, extra character slots, bags/keys from the shop but when you can buy Enchants and Pets which blow away the stuff you can farm reasonably then there’s an issue.

    And since they have more and more challenging PVP raids planned, people that don’t pay will be left in the dust if there is to be ANY competition.

    Games should be played for fun, yes, but competition IS fun to many people, and when someone can buy their way passed you that is P2W at it’s worst.

    Thing is, this is a problem that gets WORSE over time, NOT better. The more content there is and the more challenging it gets, the more time is saved by paying, making those people that pay more valuable to guilds.

  • DrJennySueNY

    Actually it is pay to win. you can not keep up with the upgrade people are paying for on enchantments. It takes weeks of playing everyday to upgrade to a level 6 enchantment when someone can just buy astral diamonds and upgrade all at once.

  • John

    Very Pay to win especially with each new module out. Try voicing your concerns on the forums and see your thoughts be edited or trashed. If you are a pvper, prepare to get ridiculed and told that you are in the minority therefore no new pvp content for you!

    Someone did the math on the forums. If someone were to currently do the pay to win amount to max out their character it would cost over five thousand dollars!