Wayfinder is ditching its free-to-play live-service model to become a paid, co-op RPG without microtransactions

By admin May27,2024

Wayfinder, currently a free-to-play RPG developed by Airship Syndicate, is undergoing a pretty drastic change in its upcoming Echoes patch. Right now it’s a live-service game with microtransactions, but soon it’ll continue as a paid co-op RPG with no in-game monetisation. And that’s alongside promised tweaks to how progression works, too. Huh. It’s often you see paid games go free-to-play, but this is an unexpected switcheroo.

For “existing Steam Founders” Wayfinder’s Echoes update will be playable on May 31st, but will officially launch on June 11th. The update itself will remove all in-game monetisation and everything previously purchasable will be earnable through play: characters, weapons, armour sets. There won’t be an online requirement, either, so no need for online accounts. And Wayfinder will be priced at $24.99 – that’s including all present and future early access stuff – with that price increasing once it leaves early access.

To bring it more inline with a paid-for RPG, Airship are revamping its “core systems”. Randomised weapon drops, armour with variable stats, an easier process for collecting characters. A talent system. Four difficulty levels. A new open world area that’s “three times larger than before”. And more, apparently. Seems like a ploy to make it a lot more inline with your Diablos and Destinys, where you’re all chasing those ‘god rolls’. Like me, for instance, who wants to get this revolver in Destiny that has a mixture of two excellent perks and is willing to spend countless hours doing the same instance over and over. It is worrying.

Wayfinder's 2024 roadmap.
Image credit: Airship Syndicate

All of this comes at a strained time for Airship, as they parted with Digital Extremes a few months ago and were transferred full ownership of the game. Not to mention that Wayfinder’s reviews haven’t gone down all that well on Steam, with criticism levelled at its monetisation and bugginess.

I previewed Wayfinder many moons ago now, but I thought it showed some promise. I just don’t think it did all that much to stand out, especially when you’ve lots of other games that do Destiny’s schtick well. Or like, well-established MMORPGs where you’d get a similar-ish experience.

So perhaps, the switch from free-to-play to paid isn’t all that unexpected? At the time of writing, Wayfinder sits at 18 concurrent players and this Echoes update really does feel like a last ditch effort to entice anyone to give it a crack. But even with big changes, I worry that most folks wouldn’t want to fork out 25 hard-earned dollars on a game that’s unlikely to deliver a co-op romp you can’t get elsewhere.

By admin

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