The “The Price of F2P” column attempts to discover the cost, if any, of free-to-play (F2P) titles. Most F2P titles are just that, free-to-play, but offer objects for players to purchase. Often these items are purely cosmetic, such as extra costumes, character customization options or non-stat armor modifications. However, there are items that are more than cosmetic or “convenient” to own in today’s MMORPGs. Especially for those who want to be in the title’s upper echelon. Analyzing the cost of those useful items is why we are here.
This may come as a shock to some, but Cryptic Studios has been running a store for Star Trek Online and Champions Online for awhile. The C-Store, as it is known, offered dozens of items before Champions Online morphed in to Champions Online: Free for All. Since the transformation the virtual market place has expanded to Wal-Mart proportions. And yet, the game remains remarkably inexpensive. The fear that you may end up spending far too much money on a “free” game is misplaced. At least when it comes to Champions Online.
Hit the jump to see the full breakdown.
Normally, this is where I would begin to describe all of the other do-dads that are necessary to “be all that you can be.” Thankfully, that isn’t the case in Champions Online: Free for All. Powering up one’s character to previous subscriber-based levels only requires a few purchases. The first, and most expensive, is the superhero version of a mount, a travel power (see Corrected). Characters can be bestowed with one of eight movement enhancing powers for a low sum of 420 Atari tokens each. Another restriction placed on FfA characters is that they come with smaller inventory, bank and market (auction house) capacity than their gold counterparts. For a not-so-small sum of 4544 Atari tokens, any character can be topped off with the maximum character capacity. A capacity that is overkill for players that don’t intend on living at the nearest auction house.
The final “required” purchase for a hardcore player would be the Adventure packs. Any dedicated player would be remiss to skimp out on new content, especially when there’s loot to be had. Currently, there are only two adventure packs, but Cryptic Studios will be releasing them on a regular basis moving forward. Like the travel powers, these mini-expansions open up the purchased content to all of the characters on the account.
- Travel power – 420 tokens
- Personal inventory – 3×160 tokens
- Auction house inventory – 19×160 tokens
- Bank inventory – 4×256 tokens
- Adventure packs – 2×420 tokens
For this extreme case of decking out a single character (travel power and adventure packs are unlocked for all characters), a player would need 5804 5384 tokens. At the (only) conversion rate of $0.0125 per Atari token, Traventurer McInventory would cost a measly $72.55 $67.30. Or less than a five-month subscription.
Now if only I could unlock my Gunkata hero…
Unlike other F2P games, the C-Store sells all of these character modifiers, as opposed to many companies that chose to rent bank space or mounts. Cryptic smartly leaves the rental/consumable charges to more situational merchandise (XP, Non-PvP Attack and Acclaim buffs), frivolous niceties (Shrinkers, Magnifers, Gift Boxes, Party Bomb, Figures) and personal party fillers (Sidekicks). Making the C-Store for Champions Online one of the most consumer friendly in the youthful business.
The travel powers in the store are fancy travel powers. All characters are given other methods of travel for free.