In fact, the PR Manager for The Chronicles of Spellborn is quite insistent on the that point. 'TCoS is NOT a Free2Play game,' says PR manager, Mirage. And then again, only in ALL CAPS. Mirage is correct, of course. The Chronicles of Spellborn basically has a starting zone that you can play in for free. Think of it as a free trial, if you like. If you want to play the rest of this MMOG, you'll need to upgrade your free account for the regular subscription kind.
'Second, there are NO item malls, there is NO item selling,' adds Mirage. By the time we got halfway through we had to fan the air a little, as the stench of those nasty free-to-play models had pervaded the corners of the room. We hear that a box of sodium bicarbonate left open behind the sofa will eliminate those nasty odors.
On the plus side, the use of a zone like this to give non-time-limited demo content for an MMOG is a pretty good idea. It's amazing how fast a seven, ten or fourteen day trial can go by when you're busy writing for a popular MMO web-site. You turn around and suddenly it's gone.
On the perplexing side is the obvious... vehemence. The horror at being thought of as having a free-to-play model is evident. While the ever-expanding catalog of free-to-play MMOGs include a number of B-grade titles, we don't think that the model represents such a stigma.
Perhaps it was all to clarify the pricing model. Vociferously.