Aion to go free to play in Europe in February
Ultra-pretty flighty MMO Aion is set to drop the monthly subscription fees and go free to play in February next year. The free to play version will be rolled out in the UK, France and Germany first before spreading across the whole of Europe. "In the last few months the lands in Atreia have become more and more deserted," NCSoft write on the new Aion free to play site, "we want to reinvigorate the world of Aion and attract new adventurers to the towns." There's no mention of a free to play version for the US yet.
Aion's been updated many, many times since its release. New dungeons, new endgame quests, new missions and pets that will collect your loot for you are a few additions. The seriousness of the stoic angel warriors that made up Aion's character base on launch have thawed considerably over the years with the addition of new outfits, afros and a ton of new gear.
Aion's world has become more impressive, too, with a raft of graphical updates. It's powered by Crytek's CryEngine, making it one of the best looking MMOs around, though through it all, it's never quite managed to shake its reputation as a bit of a grindfest. Come February, you'll get to download the client and find out for free.
In the Aion free to play FAQ, NCSoft mention that in"every quest, class, instance and zone is freely playable and is free of charge for every player." There they also mention that new players will be able to pay extra for a "Gold package" which will remove "a few minor restrictions in an effort to protect the game against bots and gold sellers" If you're already a subscriber, you'll be rewarded with "Veteran" status. "With this, all game options are open to you free of charge and you also receive special bonuses." Find out more on the official Aion free to play site. If you're an Aion subscriber, NCSoft recommend marking your account for transfer ahead of the free to play switch. There are instructions on how to do that here.