Star Trek Online will go free-to-play before the end of 2011, developer Cryptic Studios has announced.
Confirming reports that surfaced last week, the MMO will still offer a standard subscription model but players will now be able to jump in without opening their wallets.
While free-to-play users enjoy the same level cap as subscribers and can access all of the game's sectors and missions, they'll have two character slots rather than three, a smaller inventory and credit storage limit.
Access to Create a Fleet is limited and the Foundry Creator is locked off entirely. Free-to-play users will also see restrictions on in-game chat, forums, mail and customer service, and will have to put up with advertisements in In-Game Vivox Voice Chat.
Take a look at the lengthy FAQ over on the game's official site for more details.
"In addition to seeking out new life and exploring strange new civilizations, part of our continuing mission for Star Trek Online is to expand and improve," commented Cryptic CEO Jack Emmert.
"Transitioning to a free-to-play model is a natural way to share all we've built with a broader community of players and we couldn't be more excited."