announced that Star Trek Online is going free to play, developers have published regular "Path to F2P" dev blogs discussing upcoming changes designed to restructure the game for its new payment scheme. In the latest dev blog in the series, STO Executive Producer Stephen D'Angelo looks at the in-game economy and how going free-to-play will affect the various currencies in use.
Energy credits will be used for practically everything encountered in normal gameplay, functioning like gold in most fantasy MMOs. Players can expect to use energy credits every time they play, and receive them as rewards. Dilithium will be used by hardcore players to get high-end gear, but the average casual player will never need it in significant quantities. Cryptic points will be reserved for cash shop items like new ships, but Cryptic aims to let players trade their cryptic points to other players for dilithium.
When the system goes live, players will be able to grind for dilithium in order to buy cash shop items without paying cash. At the same time, hardcore players will be able to short-cut the dilithium grind and quickly obtain high-end equipment with an injection of cryptic points. This system mirrors the diamond trade in Runes of Magic and the PLEX trade in EVE Online, both systems that have proven highly effective at allowing cash-rich players to shortcut grind and letting time-rich players play their way to everything the game has to offer.