Now that Trion has announced that their fantasy MMORPG "Rift" is going Free-to-Play*, what are longtime subscribers to do? Many seem lost, unwilling to give up on the game they have grown to love, but just as unwilling to play yet another cash-shop-driven F2P MMO. So what should these people do, and is there anything they really can do?
Well, for one thing, they don't have to just sit down and take it, that's for sure!
"Rift" may not be the largest MMO on the market, nor is it the most popular, but it does sport a hardcore playerbase that is passionate about their game of choice. And finding out that Trion plans to convert that game from its current Subscription service model to a Free-to-Play model doesn't sit well with many, nor should it. Now the common answer to fighting back against such a change is for players to shut down their subscriptions in protest, and I have to admit, this can be quite effective.
Unfortunately, I don't think this particular method of protest is really appropriate in this case. You see, Trion is taking "Rift" F2P because of lagging subscriptions*, and so a drop in subscriptions would just force Trion to turn to F2P to save the game, and might lead to excessive monetization under that model. Does anyone want to see Trion selling access to Taskbars, like Bioware does with SWTOR, now that it is F2P?
Of course not! But that is what we might be facing, should Trion lose too much money from players closing their subscriptions in protest.
No, what I suggest is that players do everything they can to support "Rift". Get their friends and family to sign up for the game, buy extra accounts for themselves if necessary, and pay for a year of gameplay in advance. Step up to Trion and say clearly, in one voice: "We do not want the game to go Free-to-Play*, so SHUT UP AND TAKE OUR MONEY!"
Trion is well known in the industry for listening to their fans, so if you want to keep "Rift" from going Free-to-Play*, now is the time to throw money at them. As much as you can afford.
(*) In Korea.