First it was Global Agenda and Lord of the Rings Online that were scrambling for free-loaders. Now Champions Online wants to open up to people who “see subscription fees as a barrier to entry.”
The switch is scheduled for Q1 of 2011 but there will be a closed beta starting on November 9 which will be open to some current players and new folk (although Cryptic Studios don’t specify how to get in).
We are assured that the entire game will be available to play for no cost. But as usual there is a catch. Way down on the relevant FAQ page they mention that non-subscribers (called Silver Members) are limited to playing as an “Archetype” which feature a pre-built skill tree as opposed to the more open skill selection and Custom Classes which are only available to subscribers (Gold Members – ha).
There are some other provisos, as can be expected, which you should probably check it out if you already play and are thinking about down-grading. Or even if you’re new and interested in giving it a go.