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(Returning Vet) So that I understand this mess...

slickmajesticslickmajestic Posts: 3 Arc User
I started playing CO back in early 2010, not long after release. I was a monthly subscriber for around 2 straight years, and then subbed in/out sporadically until around 2015, so that I could continue the heroic escapades of my my heroes. In that 5 year window, I spent a great deal of time and money on this game: costumes, costumes, subscriptions, costumes, costumes, subscriptions, costumes... In that 5 years, I also met a plethora of great people in the fantastic community CO always had/will, and participated (and won) who knows how many costume contests.

Today: I have 12 characters on my account, 8 of which are max level, and all but two have been with me since 2010-2012. These are GOLD characters. I am sitting here right now staring at them in my game window. Which is all I can do now, apparently.

So that I understand: whatever sorry company owns this game now (Perfect World who has changed their name to ARC, to what, hide the fact that they were Perfect World? Only to change their name from ARC to something else in another 3 years? To deceive folks again?) has decided to eliminate subscription models. Fine. I get it. So is the way of the gaming world. Yet, to access my old GOLD characters, as a veteran player, as someone who has given this franchise some wealth, I have to now turn them into an Archetype, then pay $20 dollars (or something) to upgrade them to Freeform?

PER CHARACTER?

That is what I am coming to understand?

If that's the case, then I have to say my characters are at their end. Even if I won the lotto this Thursday, as much as I love my characters, out of spite/principal, I would not give this money grubbing company a dime for this nonsense. You are blocking my characters behind a monumental pay wall; characters I've had a lot of fun with; that have profiles, personalities, achievements; that have who knows how many costumes a piece ... for 20 bucks per toon? That's not only a slap in the face to anyone who used to play this game, but it's a ridiculous business model. You are basically telling any old players, "We don't want your business."

I would like to be incorrect in my understanding. I do not think I am. Am I?

- Disgruntled ex-Dark Enforcers player who masqueraded under the MC umbrella as myriad character names...
-Who is also very unhappy...
-... and disappointed...
Post edited by slickmajestic on
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Comments

  • deadman20deadman20 Posts: 1,526 Arc User
    We did all we could to lessen the blow, but even then... an insurmountable amount of heroes have been lost to the change in business model. I wish that there was a way to "grandfather" in previous freeforms without having to pay such a steep price per character. Lot of people have hit this wall and are unable to pay to unlock any characters as they were or just decide it's no longer worth it, and have simply just given up on the game because of the poor way the model change was handled.

    While I hate the old subscription system, it was a hell of a lot better than locking up so many freeform characters and opportunities behind a $20 paywall per character. This new system has heavily damaged the possibility of previously subscribed players returning because a majority of their freeforms are now locked away behind that $20 price tag, and nobody wants to convert their carefully crafted freeforms into the rigid AT system, which most of the time winds up not even matching their character's original designs any more.​​
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  • slickmajesticslickmajestic Posts: 3 Arc User
    edited February 20
    Thought so. And which is what I was scared of. The simple notion that you have to take a FF > AT > FF is just poor design. Honestly, there's not much excuse for it other than developers not being budgeted enough time to develop a system thorough enough to handle what upper management was pushing on them (and I know the feeling, as I manage a pretty large team of software engineers at a corporate company---it's always the same story).

    Simple solution would be: all previous GOLD characters still under an active account turn FF automatically. But that would never happen because of the "potential" lost revenue. If one returning player pays 20 bucks, ARC wins out, since said returning player won't likely play for longer than a one (1) month sub anyway--and while doing so, returning player might also pay to unlock another slot because these wallet-raping pay models of today bank on a person succumbing to desire over logic, temporary as that desire might be. Which is why you simply implement three (3) month sub-windows, which is what they used to do here, IIRC.

    Anyway. I appreciate the time and response, deadman. It's what I'd feared. Time to go delete CO for good, sadly. At least some of my characters live on influentially in the novel universe I'm currently penning (read: typing). Which is more beneficial than playing video games these days anyway. I actually wanted to log in a bit as some of them to read over my profiles and what not, just play for amusement when I got tired of writing... Alas, alas, alas...
  • jonsillsjonsills Posts: 6,217 Arc User
    spinnytop wrote: »
    "I was willing to pay, until I saw that it cost money."​​
    Pretty much, yeah, that's what all these complaints boil down to. I mean, dude, if you subbed monthly for two years, then you've already demonstrated a willingness to shell out more than the cost of an LTS.

    Oh, and Perfect World is the publisher; they haven't changed their name. Arc is the game-launching platform PW wants you to use, so it can try to direct you to playing other PWI games. If you don't like that, it also launches through Steam, or just by starting the .exe file. (Do only old farts like me still remember how to use .exe files?)

    Overall, your rant comes off as someone looking for a reason to hate. You really shouldn't bother. Life's too short. Play this game, or don't - the choice is yours. But don't spend so much time and effort driving up your own blood pressure - it's really not worth it.
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  • riveroceanriverocean Posts: 1,663 Arc User
    edited February 20
    PWI/Cryptic has pretty much moved away from monthly subscriptions for all their games. The games are all now supported by micro transactions. So they make money by selling things in game that players want over a flat monthly sub. The cost of a FF slot was drastically slashed btw. And while that isn't perfect it is somewhat of a compromise. Also, there's the premium pack which you should have access to as a former subscriber. Which gives you access to features like power coloring for free.

    I look at this way... If I played the game for a year at $19.95 a month that's pretty much the same cost as unlocking 12 character slots. Personally, I just waited for a FF slot sale and bought two of the three packs. Then I used those to unlock my six favorite characters. Also, AT's are lot better than they used to be. So I play my AT's more frequently now. And I believe you can convert your old FF's to AT's for free. So you can access your old bios that way.

    I don't play as much as I used to... but the game is still playable.
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  • qawsadaqawsada Posts: 579 Arc User
    Why not play it as an Archetype? Many Archetype have been revamped to meet the standard of endgame.
  • jaazaniah1jaazaniah1 Posts: 3,238 Arc User
    There's also the option to wait for FF slot sales or an LTS sale.

    Personally, if I were a periodic subscriber who only wants to play for a month at a time I'd pay the $20 to unlock one of my old Golds each time I came back. More than the monthly sub, but that character is then always playable until the game shuts down (or they change the TOS again ;) ). If I didn't have something like a 100 alts I'd unlock a fair number of favorites that way. I'd also get the Premium Pack.
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  • magpieuk2014magpieuk2014 Posts: 1,227 Arc User
    edited February 20
    There is an FF slot sale on now, and there was a Zen bonus last week.... so you do have some chances to unlock the Gold characters at a discount. The whole Gold>AT>Freeform thing is wrong, btw: You just buy the Freeform slots, pick the character you want on the Character Select screen and click Upgrade to unlock them. You can always downgrade a Gold Freeform to an owned or Free AT if you want to do so, too: not such a bad choice with some of the newer ATs.
  • slickmajesticslickmajestic Posts: 3 Arc User
    Some of you miss the point, or can't see past your own perspective. I understand some of you have been playing ongoing for a while. That is not the case for prospective returning players from long ago.

    Past (2010 ... 9 years ago): I pay $15.00 per month for full access. Pre-AT, pre-GOLD, pre-F2P. I then continue to play $15.00 per after the F2P model was introduced. I did not play every single month of every year. I played on and off from 2010-2012 consistently, then sporadically until 2015. I haven't logged in since. I pay TO PLAY. When I am not, I don't pay anything.

    After F2P, all of my characters are Gold. As I mentioned this includes 12 total, 8 at Max Level.

    Moving forward, let's just stick my 8 main characters. When I paid $15.00 per month, I got access to all 8 characters in all their heroic glory. I could play any of them any time I wished. When I didn't pay, I lost access to them. Fair. In 2015, I left.

    Today: 2019, 4 years after my last pay time. 8 characters I used to access monthly for $15.00 are now locked behind a pay wall of $20 each. Instantly, for me to come back in and enjoy all of those characters, I must shell out ... $160.00! Up front (barring any discounts, which you have to wait for and keep an eye on).

    As a returning player, do you think that is an attractive scenario? If you were gone for 4-5 years, and characters you used to have full access to for a flat fee are no longer available to you, and to get them you must up front pay $160.00, that sits well with you? Really? Of course not. It only makes sense if YOU KNOW FOR A FACT you will be playing for at least another year (or at least 10-12 more months of game time). I know for a fact I am not.

    I would not pay $20.00 to unlock 1 character because I might not even play for more than a few days, at most. That isn't worth the cost of re-admission. It's not logical. I always jumped between my characters, as this game promotes that. As I mentioned: I have a lot of costumes, achievements, items, money, tied to those characters as a whole. I no longer have access to that the one day in 2019 I decide I want to return because they've screwed over their old player base.

    I understand the argument that "If you had played consistently since 2015 you would have saved money by unlocking them all..." but that only applies IF you have been consistently playing, which I have not. Nor has anyone else who is "returning" (hence the term).

    Let's equate this to a game anyone can understand: WoW.
    • You have max level: Paladin, Druid, Rogue, Mage, Priest, Druid, Shaman, Warrior
    • These characters are old; with achievements, money, longevity, etc.
    • You quit in 2015.
    • You return in 2019.
    • $15.00 per month sub is no longer (Blizz removes that model). But to access those old characters you used to play WHILE sub was active (while you paid money) you can't access them any longer.
    • To do so, you must spend $20.00 (per character).
    • Now must spend $160.00 to unlock all of your characters up front.
    • Sub for 10 months = $150.00 (old days in this scenario; access to all).
    • You might not play this game longer than 1 month, or 2, but definitely nowhere near $160.00 worth.
    • Are you starting to see the issue here...?

    I could go on for another 5 years and not play this game for a total of 10 months. But even were I to, spread that $150.00 sub money out over 5 years, just for the hell of it.

    Don't jest, either. This is 2019 on a game made in 2010 that was never all that deep/large to begin with, but definitely isn't some well-funded game of today with tons of new features and development in the pipe like WoW or any major market MMORPG. So asking someone to pay up front in good faith for a game that might not be around another 2+ years is ridiculous.

    Please put things into perspective before you try and lambaste someone for complaining about not having access to all of the characters they spent years playing/building in a sensible pay model because PW/ARC/Cryptic/WHOEVER screwed up their model. It's not my fault. I was simply someone trying to understand it after being away half a decade. And I have, now. And I opted not to resurrect my characters because the admission fee vs. enjoyment factor does not balance out personally. Nor does it for many other returning players who have been away for years in my same boat. I know this because I came from another forum (MMORPG.com) where we had a thread going on about this ... only reason I came to make sense of it. Guess they were right.

    It's not about not wanting to pay. It's about not wanting to pay inflated fees for the same content I used to have full-access to for a much lower price, when I wanted, it on demand. And not paying inflated fees to an aged/aging game.

    I've been paying MMORPG fees since the days of 1997 Ultima Online ... and even Sierra's The Realm. I don't need someone on the internet trying to tell me, "I'm willing to pay ... until I saw it cost money." Please. This isn't even really about a dollar amount, it's about how uninviting this is to any old players in the same boat as I am. Sorry.



  • spinnytopspinnytop Posts: 15,461 Arc User
    edited February 21
    Wow you sure complain a lot for someone who supposedly already decided to delete the game and walk away. Listen I get you're upset or whatever, but it's not changing and nobody is gonna get up-in-arms with you about it anymore. Everyone has pretty much moved on. You missed the window where essays were worth writing. So hey, at least you got it out of your system. Feel better now? Great.​​
  • jonsillsjonsills Posts: 6,217 Arc User
    edited February 21
    Slick, once again, if you don't want to play the game, don't play the game. I'm sure you're not the only one to feel this way.

    But to come in at this late date and subject us to yet another tirade? You're not going to find a lot of sympathy. We all bitched about it at the time - that's how we won what concessions we got, there weren't going to be any originally - but as Spinny points out, that time is done. It makes about as much sense as going into a discussion forum at space.com and filling an entire page with complaints about why SkyLab was abandoned. Yeah, a lot of people would feel that way too - but unless you've got a time machine, it is what it is, and all you can do is accept it or move on.
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  • magpieuk2014magpieuk2014 Posts: 1,227 Arc User

    As a returning player, do you think that is an attractive scenario? If you were gone for 4-5 years, and characters you used to have full access to for a flat fee are no longer available to you, and to get them you must up front pay $160.00, that sits well with you? Really? Of course not. It only makes sense if YOU KNOW FOR A FACT you will be playing for at least another year (or at least 10-12 more months of game time). I know for a fact I am not.

    I would not pay $20.00 to unlock 1 character because I might not even play for more than a few days, at most. That isn't worth the cost of re-admission. It's not logical.

    If you're not likely to play for more than a few days then take the freebies on offer. Claim the Premium Pack (it's free to ex-Gold Subscribers, Bonus Tab in the Zen Store), roll a new character and play one of the free archetypes or one you've already unlocked. Spend $10 and buy a new archetype if you don't like those. If you want to play an old FF character, pay the $20; the Premium Pack gives you a free respec so you can bring it up to speed with the power changes around. Otherwise it's LTS. Those are the choices. Subscriptions are gone, and they're not coming back.

  • jaazaniah1jaazaniah1 Posts: 3,238 Arc User
    Some of you miss the point, or can't see past your own perspective.

    Hmm, a little bit of the pot calling the kettle black? Did you bother to hunt around on the forums to see how this very topic had been discussed to death when it was happening? Bottom line is that the people who own the company that owns CO believe they will make more money (which is their goal) by implementing the changes they have introduced. Whether it works out this way in the long run we'll have to wait and see. Probably the majority of players wish that subscriptions were still a thing, but they aren't. So, your options are really: just walk quietly away, rant on the forums to people who can't do anything to change the game and walk away, deluge the actual owners with correspondence (not sure how much weight letters from people who now only put in maybe $15/year will carry), or find someway to play that you can enjoy.

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  • scildtrumascildtruma Posts: 74 Arc User
    Its Troubling to me how so many take long breaks from the game and then come back going on about how much they shelled out in the past. You were an inactive player who missed out on important information concerning the game. How is that any ones fault but your own?
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    =Gnosis Arcanum=Twenty Seven=Kama D=Critic=Creep Freeze=
    =Mangled Man=G.I. John Doe=2D.=M.M.A.I. Dragondroid=
    =By the sword=Scild Truma=Shadow Puppet=

  • theanothernametheanothername Posts: 34 Arc User
    edited February 22
    So... if I want to turn the Devastator I bought way back into a FF I could by spending 20 bucks?

    Never had a sub running though; to much of an irregular visitor.

    edit:
    looks more like 45 bucks but I'd not against being corrected
    Post edited by theanothername on
  • pantagruel01pantagruel01 Posts: 6,401 Arc User
    edited February 22
    So... if I want to turn the Devastator I bought way back into a FF I could by spending 20 bucks?

    Never had a sub running though; to much of an irregular visitor.

    edit:
    looks more like 45 bucks but I'd not against being corrected
    I believe buying a ff conversion includes the ability to change the character to freeform (so no extra respec token required), but I've never done it so take that with a grain of salt. If you're looking at the price of the extra pack which contains the things that used to go with subscribing (6 subscription slots, various costumes, etc) that's free if you ever subscribed.
    Post edited by pantagruel01 on
  • sistersiliconsistersilicon Posts: 1,681 Arc User
    Arguments based on “Why don’t you keep up with the news on the game(s) you don’t play?” or “You have to do the math.” are missing the point. There is an intimidating, confrontational psychological impact to seeing a character select screen for the first time in years and finding that every character you ever made now has a $20 price tag hanging from it. Some people are going to recognize that times and monetization models change, and they have to pick and choose who to unlock. Others are just going to say “F%^& Cryptic!” and uninstall again. And some are going to come to the forums to get it off their chest, whether anybody else has in the past month or not, and they’re going to find cold comfort in your spreadsheets and scolding about due diligence.

    tl;dr: It’s a bear trap, and people are going to keep stepping in it, so you might as well get used to the cries of “Ow, my leg!”
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  • pantagruel01pantagruel01 Posts: 6,401 Arc User
    There's one specific class of people who are most inconvenienced by the subscription change: intermittent players who come back for a month now and then. People who play regularly were already better off not subscribing. Naturally, those are also the people who don't follow game news and come back and get surprised and are unhappy about it.

    Reality here is, PWE made a business decision to limit their support of those people. Most likely, that means they don't represent a large enough fraction of revenue to be worth the cost of supporting their preferred play style, and yes, if you're one of those people it sucks.
  • spinnytopspinnytop Posts: 15,461 Arc User
    tl;dr: It’s a bear trap, and people are going to keep stepping in it, so you might as well get used to the cries of “Ow, my leg!”

    We've been used to people coming on the forums and doing big pointless rants years before the sub change even happened, but thanks for the tip!​​
  • theanothernametheanothername Posts: 34 Arc User
    So... if I want to turn the Devastator I bought way back into a FF I could by spending 20 bucks?

    Never had a sub running though; to much of an irregular visitor.

    edit:
    looks more like 45 bucks but I'd not against being corrected
    spinnytop wrote: »
    tl;dr: It’s a bear trap, and people are going to keep stepping in it, so you might as well get used to the cries of “Ow, my leg!”

    We've been used to people coming on the forums and doing big pointless rants years before the sub change even happened, but thanks for the tip!​​

    IIRC you are a black belter in CO-Fu knowledge. Any idea to the actual price tag? pantagruel01 says it might just the normal FF slot and nothing else. Tried that too a few years ago; but at that time C still sold subs so turning ACs to FF was only a sub thing back then I guess. Which reminds me... could I technically delete my lvl 20something Freeform char and just click the Devastator char over to the FF slot or will the FF slot be deleted too?
  • pantagruel01pantagruel01 Posts: 6,401 Arc User
    Which reminds me... could I technically delete my lvl 20something Freeform char and just click the Devastator char over to the FF slot or will the FF slot be deleted too?
    The slot won't be deleted but you'll just wind up with an empty freeform slot, you can't move a character like that.
  • bringmeaslabbringmeaslab Posts: 153 Arc User
    Iirc, there was a patch a while ago that allowed you to apply empty FF slots to occupied AT slots, but it's not a feature I've ever tried to use.
  • pantagruel01pantagruel01 Posts: 6,401 Arc User
    Iirc, there was a patch a while ago that allowed you to apply empty FF slots to occupied AT slots, but it's not a feature I've ever tried to use.
    As I understand it, when you buy a freeform slot it actually gives you a token you can apply to any slot. Can't be reassigned once applied, though.
  • soulforgersoulforger Posts: 1,643 Arc User
    jonsills wrote: »
    spinnytop wrote: »
    "I was willing to pay, until I saw that it cost money."​​
    Pretty much, yeah, that's what all these complaints boil down to. I mean, dude, if you subbed monthly for two years, then you've already demonstrated a willingness to shell out more than the cost of an LTS.

    Oh, and Perfect World is the publisher; they haven't changed their name. Arc is the game-launching platform PW wants you to use, so it can try to direct you to playing other PWI games. If you don't like that, it also launches through Steam, or just by starting the .exe file. (Do only old farts like me still remember how to use .exe files?)

    Overall, your rant comes off as someone looking for a reason to hate. You really shouldn't bother. Life's too short. Play this game, or don't - the choice is yours. But don't spend so much time and effort driving up your own blood pressure - it's really not worth it.

    Was about to tell you that not only old farts remember how to use .exe files. Than I remembered I was using computers since windows 2.0 before switching to 3.0/3.1, etc. At which point, I realized I would be part of the "old timers" club. And to think I was only a kid back than and people that remember those times are considered "old timers" for remembering such things.

    Now, to address OP's complaint. Not sure if this was mentioned, but, you do not have to unlock all your toons at the same time. Also, it is not $20 for a single slot, it is $30. With a discount pack of 3 for $60. So, to convert 8 toons, you would need a total of $180. Or, that $180 would be used to convert 9 toons. You are not looking at the picture right OP. You are to busy thinking you have to dump all the money at once. Instead of just putting in $30 here, $30 there, maybe that $60 one time. In reality, you should be spending that $180 over the course of time that you'd spent that $180 on subscription. I like how sistersilico said something, but, was wrong about it. I'm not telling you to do the math, I'm telling you you are looking at it incorrectly. That $30 for unlocking one toon, think of it as spending two months worth of sub money on it. This is not money math, but TIME math. In short, instead of looking at the price tag, recognize that your sub was just a TEMPORARY unlock on your toons. And than recognize that after spending the $180 over the same amount of time unlocking your 8/9 toons as you would have spent that $180 on a sub, you would never again have to pay a sub. Otherwise, recognize that to unlock your toons "forever" without purchasing an LTS and instead via a subscription model, you'd be paying way more than $180 in the long rung. You need to change how you are viewing it from "I HAVE TO PAY ALL THE MONEY NOW!" to "I can just pay for one this month, maybe pay for another or more a few months later."

    Seriously, you think YOU, with TWELVE toons have it bad? I'm just happy I got an LTS so long ago so that I do not have to buy enough Freeform Slot unlocks for 200 toons, which around 180 are filler, vast majority of them level 40. So, at this point, I'll tell you this, do the math for me on how much it would cost me to unlock each and every single slot as Freeform if I did not have LTS. And than recognize...you are not getting screwed, you are just screwing yourself by looking at the situation wrong. The total price to unlock all twelve, is $240 - $360, and if you stagger that amount over the course of a year, you'll find that you have not spent that much more than you'd normal spend.

    tl;dr: Stop looking at the total cost, and just spend what you can each month individually. No need to do one large lump sum.
  • spinnytopspinnytop Posts: 15,461 Arc User
    IIRC you are a black belter in CO-Fu knowledge. Any idea to the actual price tag? pantagruel01 says it might just the normal FF slot and nothing else. Tried that too a few years ago; but at that time C still sold subs so turning ACs to FF was only a sub thing back then I guess. Which reminds me... could I technically delete my lvl 20something Freeform char and just click the Devastator char over to the FF slot or will the FF slot be deleted too?

    The price is that of a FF slot, nothing special going on there. As for the Devastator thing, no clue.​​
  • thegrandnagus1thegrandnagus1 Posts: 421 Arc User
    I gotta say, I am pretty surprised and disappointed by some of the jerk responses the OP is getting. I have a LTS, so this issue doesn't effect me at all. But even so, I can understand how much it would suck to come back to the game and see that all of my characters are locked behind a $20 each price tag. I get it, and it would suck. The OP is doing nothing wrong by expressing their "shock" at the situation.

    The-Grand-Nagus
    Join Date: Sep 2008

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  • soulforgersoulforger Posts: 1,643 Arc User
    I gotta say, I am pretty surprised and disappointed by some of the jerk responses the OP is getting. I have a LTS, so this issue doesn't effect me at all. But even so, I can understand how much it would suck to come back to the game and see that all of my characters are locked behind a $20 each price tag. I get it, and it would suck. The OP is doing nothing wrong by expressing their "shock" at the situation.

    Question. If you subscribed and than stopped subscribing and than logged onto the game, would you be shocked to see your free form toons suddenly locked?
  • thegrandnagus1thegrandnagus1 Posts: 421 Arc User
    edited February 25
    soulforger wrote: »
    I gotta say, I am pretty surprised and disappointed by some of the jerk responses the OP is getting. I have a LTS, so this issue doesn't effect me at all. But even so, I can understand how much it would suck to come back to the game and see that all of my characters are locked behind a $20 each price tag. I get it, and it would suck. The OP is doing nothing wrong by expressing their "shock" at the situation.

    Question. If you subscribed and than stopped subscribing and than logged onto the game, would you be shocked to see your free form toons suddenly locked?

    Nope. What I would be surprised at is seeing that instead of the $15 it previously cost to play all of those characters I had to pay $20 EACH (key word) to be able to play them now. That's the part that the OP was shocked about, so why ignore that KEY point in your question?

    The-Grand-Nagus
    Join Date: Sep 2008

    og9Zoh0.jpg
  • bringmeaslabbringmeaslab Posts: 153 Arc User
    Iirc, there was a patch a while ago that allowed you to apply empty FF slots to occupied AT slots, but it's not a feature I've ever tried to use.
    As I understand it, when you buy a freeform slot it actually gives you a token you can apply to any slot. Can't be reassigned once applied, though.

    I was able to test this, and an old, empty freeform slot can be applied to a current AT slot to make it freeform.
  • pantagruel01pantagruel01 Posts: 6,401 Arc User
    I was able to test this, and an old, empty freeform slot can be applied to a current AT slot to make it freeform.
    Oh nice.
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