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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
The term F2P has been floating around for quite some time. Many have agreed that it is only a question of 'when' rather than 'if' the conversion takes place.
Less often discussed was the possibility of the developers already working on such a conversion, effectively contributing to the content drought.

There are many many indicators that have been pointing towards the conversion being already in progress and there is no point in going into those. People would not understand the logic behind them, refuse to consider the facts and so on. So let's just skip to the most recent story:

I know of someone who has essentially been playing a free to play account for roughly a month now, only with few (and so far unseen) restrictions to his gameplay.
He has not bought any retail box and/or paid for a subscription, or for anything STO related for that matter. He seems to be able to play missions and progress through the ranks just like everyone, including featured episodes. He can only send /tells to people who have him on their friend list though, and he has no access to the foundry mission creation tool.
Without much further delay, a screenshot of what happens when he does try to access the foundry in the login screen.


http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/6397/sto30082011.jpg

This picture was taken today, the 30th August 2011.

"Gold Account", "Silver Account" (he mentioned to me that at some other point it says that he would be holding a silver account), almost full access to the game without paying anything, a combination of certain restrictions not seen with any currently official account versions, in what context have we seen that before...?

Draw your own conclusions about what the devs have been spending their time on lately (or maybe not only just lately), feel free to agree or disagree with my thoughts on it, or claim the screenshot was faked. It's not like I have or want to convince anyone.
Let me point this out again though: my friend who took the above screenshot did not buy any type of retail version of the game and has never paid for any form of subscription. I do not want to go into details as to how his account became the way it is now. For one neither me nor him know exactly how/why it happened. On top of that, although none of us did anything out of the ordinary, let alone deliberately attempt to get it working this way, disclosing more details would give Cryptic even more reasons to quickly remove this thread. They will probably do so anyway though.

For anyone interested in getting the truth out to more people: feel free to spread the information (and screenshot) presented here as you see fit. Cryptic is likely to get rid of this topic quickly, one way or the other.

edit: by popular demand and thanks to a test by myself on reproducing this account-conversion bug, here is a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_2RbFSt4Lw