Once upon a time, my text based life began with a game by the name of Gemstone III. I would spend many hours roleplaying, hunting, and doing whatever I pleased in the magical world of Elanthia. As time went on, I went to college, joined the Navy, got married, had a kid, and started grad school. Since then I have played a great number of MUDs (multi-user dungeons or multi-user domains) but none have really felt like the Gemstone of old.
It just so happened the other day I got nostalgic and went to www.gemstone.net and noticed they were now offering a F2P option! How could this be!? No more $20 a month to play an antiquated genre of games? And yes, the subscription option is still available and the predominate method of playing the game. I thought this was grand, however, and immediately began devising a character to roll up and jump back into the game.
Then my wife discovered the F2P (free-to-play) restrictions. Slower exp, limited treasure, only one bank account, no Extreme Experience Explosion (now called Lumnis' Gift!?), and a limit of 100k in the bank!!! Everything else I thought was fine, but that last bit had me reeling. Suddenly I realized there was no way in hell that the game could possibly be enjoyable if you can't have more than 100k in the bank, and you can't hunt/gain experience with more than 5k in your pocket. I was crushed.
However, it dawned on me that this is just a challenge. I certainly can't afford the $20 a month (well, I *could* but I'd rather take my family to the zoo or something!) So I want to see just how exactly this so-called F2P system is going to work out. What would a newbie experience in GSIV with this scheme? My wife pointed out that Simutronics wasn't shifting their payment method from a subscription to a microtransaction system, but rather eliminating trial accounts that were limited to 30-days and offering an unlimited trial account, basically.
So I want to see (and document in this blog) what it takes to actually make this F2P account a true F2P MUD experience. Is it possible? Can I even get to level 20? How about beyond? How will I handle the money issue? I have some ideas I'll share in my next post!
-A Returned Player