Serious question as I've been debating seriously about getting a lifetime sub as I've been enjoying STO so much lately but then reading in a recent engineering report of the possibility of STO going F2P...just makes me wonder why I should and what I would get for having purchased the lifetime sub above the existing benefits...
You obviously have no idea how the F2P system Champs is adopting works, so let me school you. In a nutshell, you have two options: a free version(called "silver") with limited content(not as many costumes, ships, and missions), and a monthly sub version(called "gold") that gives you access to everything. The latter should sound familiar, since its what you have right now.
However, in the new system if you have the monthly sub version you also get some free Cryptic points every month(something you dont get now), and you can save these up and buy whatever you want rather than having to spend real cash like you do now. If your a current subscriber or a lifer, you are automatically upgraded to "gold"(and if your a lifer, you dont have to pay the monthly sub, just like how it works now).
You lose nothing, and you get more than you already have now. Here is a breakdown of how it works:
If STO moves to a F2P model, the F2P-account abilities/gameplay will be significantly hampered compared to a paid model. Those subscribing will continue to get the same gameplay they are now (possibly with additional perks). In the champions model, lifetime subscribers get a monthly C-store points allowance for example.
If that's not a big issue for you and you're willing to play a downgraded account, then you're right, there's no reason to buy a lifetime yet. Just wait it out for 6-12 months and see if F2P gets implemented.
1) F2P is not around the corner. They are looking at how the F2P business model works for CO and they MAY adopt it for STO. However F2P users won't have as many advantages as paid users (such as extra character slots, more perks, etc.)
2) Lifetime subscriptions still offer some bonuses that a F2P account or any other subscription account won't get, such as a playable liberated borg. Aside from that, more perks for lifers will be coming in the future and you are guaranteed all the veteran rewards.
3) Lifetime subscriptions are worth it if you plan on playing for roughly 2.5-3 years or more.
I wouldn't say F2P is "around the corner". It's something they'll evaluate after judging the effect on CO. So, there'll be time involved in evaluating CO's switch to F2P, making a decision, and implementing that decision.
If they follow the model of CO, being a lifetime subscriber would make you a permanent gold member (or whatever). No paying for additional content, more character slots, more costume slots, fewer restrictions on just about everything. And a monthly stipend of CP.
F2P for STO isn't imminent, so I wouldn't worry about that part of it.
Another issue would be if STO eventually goes F2P because it is floundering, or if it's going F2P because Cryptic/Atari sees it as a way to bring in more revenue. It seems to me that STO is still going strong. Nagus brings up some really good points in regard to STO going F2P.
I don't believe that there are any extra benefits added to the LTS.
As that term is subjective and does not have an official definition, it can mean different things to different people. And while it is true that Cryptic is waiting to see how things go with Champs, we have absolutely no idea how soon or long they will wait before making their decision. So saying that it ISNT around the corner is just as "incorrect" as saying it IS. The only FACT is, we dont know.