If you haven't played Tera Online in a while, then you might be surprised to hear that Tera is going Free-2-Play as of Feb 5th, 2013 (today). But everything is not going to be a bed of roses. Instead, watch out for the thorns. Tera is actually going what's called Pay to Win. What this means, is that if you pay for items in the game, you will have a statistical advantage over those who simply play and don't pay anything. As far as the Asian community is concerned, this is a worthwhile plan. Western European and North Americans have a different view, however with the control being in the hands of the Asians, as far as design and building this will be a micro-transaction model which could prove either disastrous or very lucrative, depending on how the world sees this change as far as f2p MMO's goes.
Keep reading for the changes coming to Tera Online...
The first major change that will happen in Tera Online that affects previous gamers is the removal of Master Alkahest, and spellbind from the specialty vendors. The reason for the change is mostly because Korean Tera Online has moved towards a pay to win style shop and En Masse does not have development control over the Tera Online game. While En Masse has claimed they will not be going pay to win by providing buy-able advantages over other players they still plan on making the change.
Currently both items are very easy to obtain and looking at how other patches have been modified for US players making it much more of a grind then normal chances are we will end up getting very limited ways of obtaining it making it much harder to upgrade gear in the future.
The other bad part of this is that it opens the door for En Masse to introduce pay to win in the future either by making players feel like they want to have that buy-able advantage over free players by lowering drop rates making it so hard to grind the items and so expensive to buy enough to upgrade with or by the publisher Bluehole forcing changes that cannot be modified by En Masse giving them an excuse to go pay to win. If they can make the community ask for pay to win then they can bring it on without losing most of the player base.
The positive side of F2P
Everyone knows that the economy which we are stuck in is not very good and F2P does mean that people who don't have money to buy the game can still to play it. Which in turn, also means a larger community, which can be a good thing even though the quality of the community does allow for botting, gold farmers and players that cannot speak English well you will have a lot more players.The PvP servers will be filled with a lot more people to kill in the open world PvP.
The other positive thing is they seem to want to add more content, this is the one thing the game has lacked the most over anything else. In a mmo like Tera Online content is king! It keeps players active on a server and for a pay to play game Tera did not fit the bill with the amount of content which was released.
Along with the free to play patch they are adding a new dungeon with varying difficulties as well as 3v3 arena style PvP something which was much needed and should have been implemented near the start of the game. They also are talking about adding progression based raids a month or two in the future and even the Korean servers seem to be publishing more updates at a much faster rate. If they continue to provide newer content patches at a much faster rate they can improve the gamers experience for the new and the old players and make Tera Online one of the best F2P mmo's.