On February 5th, Bluehole Studio and En Masse Entertainment‘s MMORPG TERA will relaunch as TERA: Rising, and will be free-to-play. Yes, you read that right: after its relaunch, TERA will no longer sport that pesky subscription fee, and there will be no content restrictions or level caps for new players. Like most free-to-play MMOs, TERA will feature an in-game store where players can purchase items with real-world currency, if you so choose.
As well as the in-game store, TERA: Rising will also feature three different account tiers: Standard, Founder and Elite. The standard account costs nothing: you simply create an account with En Masse, download TERA and start playing. Founder status is only available to those who redeem their copy of TERA. You can do this at anytime, even after the subscription fees are dropped. Elite status is available to those who choose to keep paying money: access to this tier will cost you $14.99 a month. Those who hold Founder status can keep paying subscription fees to get access to the perks of the Elite account, but it is by no means necessary.
A full list of the three tiers is available at En Masse’s website, but, so far as I’m concerned, their aren’t any egregious oversights in the standard account model. Some may find the 2 character-per-server limit a little bit harsh, but you can buy more slots if you choose to do so, and besides, there’s nothing wrong with a little diversity in the servers you use.
TERA is the latest in a long line of MMOs to drop their subscription fees, a list that includes Lord of the Rings Online, The Secret World, and Star Wars: The Old Republic. It seems the days when just any MMO could justify charging extra money per month are gone. There are only a few left who still hold that honour. As time goes on, hopefully we’ll see these free-to-play models become less and less restrictive. TERA is definitely a good example. The SWTOR model? Not so much…