If I could demand one thing for free, it would be a five pound tub of licorice. If I could demand two things, it would be full access to a mystic realm of winged beings and a five pound tub of licorice. Aion: Ascension, the major update coming to Aion this spring, fulfills most of my desires with their newly announced F2P business model. Everything previously released and in patch 3.0 will be absolutely free for everyone. Yes, everything for free—well not my licorice, but those tubs of delicious red chewies aren't really NCsoft's to give away in the first place.
Aion's truly free business model follows in the footsteps of DC Universe Online, giving you everything for free. The original game, both expansions, all raid and dungeon content, and pvp content will be available to everyone just for showing up. That's like going to an amusement park with your friends and having the ticket clerk give you the keys instead of just a day pass. According to their website, "If you like the game, we'd appreciate a purchase from our store (game developers need to eat too!). If you don't like the game, can't pay, or don't want to pay—no worries, it's on us!" Sounds good to me.
As if this deal couldn't get any sweeter, mmmm licorice, Aion is also including patch 3.0 in the mix for all players. The patch will add a new stylish mount system and player housing, which you can decorate and show off to your friends. You'll also get two new zones, six new dungeons (including a 24-player raid), and the level cap will be raised to 60. We've played around with all of the new content and will have our hands-on impressions in the next issue of PC Gamer US (May 2012).