Back when Shadowrun Online was still seeking funding, I noted a pretty cool feature of the game’s payment model. Two versions of the game are being released, with the first being your basic free to play model: no upfront fee but with a cash shop carrying your general assortment of microtransactions. The second, the “campaign” edition, cost $40 (or $25 in the Kickstarter) and plays on a separate server where the cash shop does not exist, however the items are still available to purchase via in-game money. You can actually still get a copy of that $40 campaign edition for $25 by donating through the game’s website if you’ve missed the Kickstarter.
But this isn’t about Shadowrun! Over at Russian Allods Online, otherwise known as the place that gets everything before we do, Allods Online has launched a new server “Threads of Fate.” The server is very different in that, unlike the rest, it requires an active subscription in order to play. In the server Threads of Fate, the cash shop does not exist and while certain cash shop items will no be available at all, others will be purchasable from in-game shops and as rewards for quests. Players will not be able to transfer their characters from cash-shop enabled servers over to the subscription server, however subscription server players may be able to cross over to the free to play servers in the future.
It will be interesting to see if other developers attempt a subscription-only server, even if it is to test the waters, or if this hits Allods Online in the west. Allods Online launched to massive support from all sorts of gamers as the “free to play World of Warcraft,” and had its reputation shattered due to multiple missteps by gPotato and Astrum Nival regarding cash shop items and prices.
(Source: Russian Allods)