One uncertain element that may determine which direction the game ultimately takes is the two-tiered system that favors subscribing customers. Everyone pays full retail price to buy the game, but those who pay an additional 10 dollars a month will have access to more features, like the ability to sell items in auctions and speak over voice chat. In contrast, free players can only buy items in auctions and listen to chat. Paying customers also get an extra roll for loot, and they can even move around faster in towns.
"Sir, we can't remove that ball and chain from your character's ankle until we receive your subscription fee", says the GM.
I can see that going over real well in a predominately PVP only game.. gimping people who don't pony up with the subscription dollars.
Sadly true, Greymane. But it certainly looks like micro-payments or 'premium service', call it what you will, may well be the way of the future for many MMOs. Even SOE appears to be considering it as a possible pricing model for their titles according to this Hollywood Reporter article.