The True Price of DDO Unlimited Free to Play

D&D and cost/benefit analysis: a match made in geek heaven

D&D and cost/benefit analysis: a match made in geek heaven

With Dungeons and Dragons Online Eberron Unlimited now in the world of free to play there has been a lot of talk about how the benefit of each price structure stands up to the other. For those of you unfamiliar with the Free to Play model for DDO Unlimited the way it works is that there are three types of accounts, VIP, Premium, and Free. In this article when we talk about free to play we’ll be referring to Premium accounts, which are those accounts that were at one point subscribers or any account which has purchased Turbine points. Here’s the quick rundown on how those accounts types compare to each other.

DDO VIP Premium Player Free Player
Turbine Points 500/month free Buy Buy
Classes All included free* Basic, can purchase more Basic, can purchase more
Races All included free* Basic, can purchase more Basic, can purchase more
Adventure Packs All included free Some free, can purchase others Some free, can purchase others
Character Slots 10 free, can purchase more 4 free, can purchase more 2 free, can purchase more
Shared Bank Slot Included free Can purchase Can purchase
Login Queue Priority High Standard
Chat Unlimited Unlimited Limited
Auctions Unlimited Unlimited Limited
Mail Unlimited Unlimited Limited
Gold Storage Unlimited Unlimited Limited
Customer Service Full Full for 45 days Self-service online
Compendium Read/Post Read/Post Read-only
Official Forums Read/Post Read/Post Read/Limited posting
Beta Priority High Normal Normal

* Select races and classes may still require the use of game mechanics to unlock for free

Got all that? Good. Now in this article we’re going to assume that to a player with a free to play, or premium, account the main cost to them is going to be purchasing adventure packs, leveling sigils, classes, races, and extras like the shared bank tab. Character Slots aren’t going to be considered a primary concern for price because the number of character slots a player would want to have is highly subjective. We are going to assume that being able to reach level 20, and being able to join any party’s quest, regardless of were it is, being able to try all the races and classes, and having the bank tab are something that most players are going to find worthwhile to have. We’re also going to assume that US Dollars is the unit currency that you will be using to make any purchases. Before we begin, let’s review the VIP subscription prices as a basis for comparison.

VIP Subscription Prices

Months Price Price / Month
1 $14.99 $14.99
3 $41.85 $13.95
6 $77.70 $12.95
12 $143.40 $11.95

Now free to play players aren’t going to be making their purchases directly in USD, but instead in Turbine Points, or just points for short. Now while it is possible to acquire points by earning favor, we’re going to assume that points spent throughout this article are points that have been purchased in the DDO store. That makes our first task to determine the exchange rates of points to $1 USD. Below is a chart detailing the point packages available and how many points per dollar spent  is actually received in the purchase. Included in the chart are two 5000 point packages that are not noted as being standard, and at the time of this writing cannot be purchased in the DDO store. To explain their presence on 9/12/09 Turbine sent out an email with the statement, “Limited Time Only! Get 5,000 points for $49.99. This would normally be priced at $54.99. Best. Deal. Ever.” In their DDO Store Guide the 5000 point package replaced the 3300 point package and was listed as being on sale for $49.99 and that package was listed as having a regular price of $54.99. This package was avilable only on 9/12/09 and 9/13/09. On 9/14/09 the 5000 point package was removed from the DDO Store and the 3300 point package returned, and the DDO Store Guide was later edited that day to have the 3300 point package replace the 5000 point package once again. As you’ll see in this chart, the 5000 point package has a better exchange rate, even at $54.99, than the 3300 point package at $38.99. It’s currently unknown if the 5000 point package is intended to return frequently, though sales in the DDO store are fairly common, something we’ll get to later. Either way, these packages are included in this chart and later charts for players who may have stocked up on points during this weekend sale, and as a point of reference in case the 5000 point packages make a return.

Turbine Point to USD Exchange Rate Analysis

Turbine Points USD Price Points / $1 Notes
400 $6.25 64 Standard Package
900 $11.99 75.06255 Standard Package
1500 $18.99 78.98894 Standard Package
3300 $38.99 84.63709 Standard Package
5000 $54.99 90.92562 Price reported as “regular price” for 9/12/09 Weekend Sale, disappeared on 9/14/09
5000 $49.99 100.02 Sale price of pack for 9/12/09 Weekend Sale, disappeared on 9/14/09

So now that we know what $1 is worth in points for each pack we can begin to convert the Turbine point prices you see in game into what their actual cost in USD is. Now first we will analyze what I consider to be the biggest sink of points, adventure packs. Adventure packs are a big sink of points because typically parties don’t make a party based upon if the pack is free to play or not. Now the “Grouping” listing under the social panel is supposed to tell free to play players if a quest is in a pack they havent’ purchased by replacing the listing of classes needed with a large “BUY NOW” sign, but this hasn’t been working consistently. It also requires the party leader posting the looking for members listing to enter the right quest in the looking for members listing, just putting the quest series in the comments won’t work. Needless to say spending time getting ready for a quest only to realize you can’t go is embarrassing and frustrating. Below we have two tables showing the cost of all the adventure packs currently available  and their price in USD depending on which package of points you decided to get your Turbine points from. The first table shows the adventure packs at their regular price. The second table shows those same adventure packs at their sale price. Sales in DDO are generally %25 off the regular point price of any item, and with any decimals dropped. The current sales at any given time can be found in the “Today’s Deals” section of the DDO Store. Obviously Turbine can, and has, offered sales at different values, such as 20% for XP Boost Potions for the 9/12/09 weekend sale, but for this article we’ll assume any sale is the common 25% discount. The adventure packs are listed from low-level to high-level in the order they appear in the DDO Store with lower brackets given preference if the adventure pack is listed in more than one bracket. Once an adventure pack is bought it is applied to every character on that subscription and never needs to be purchased again. Owning an adventure pack allows a free to play player to purchase guest passes for that adventure pack also.

Adventure Pack Costs – Regular Price

Adventure Pack Points 400 Std 900 Std 1500 Std 3300 Std 5000 Std 5000 Sale
Shan-to-Kor 250 $3.91 $3.33 $3.17 $2.95 $2.75 $2.50
The Sharn Syndicate 350 $5.47 $4.66 $4.43 $4.14 $3.85 $3.50
The Catacombs 250 $3.91 $3.33 $3.17 $2.95 $2.75 $2.50
Tangleroot Gorge 550 $8.59 $7.33 $6.96 $6.50 $6.05 $5.50
The Necropolis Part 1 250 $3.91 $3.33 $3.17 $2.95 $2.75 $2.50
Three-Barrel Cove 650 $10.16 $8.66 $8.23 $7.68 $7.15 $6.50
Delara’s Tomb 750 $11.72 $9.99 $9.50 $8.86 $8.25 $7.50
Sorrowdusk Isle 400 $6.25 $5.33 $5.06 $4.73 $4.40 $4.00
Dungeon: Devil Assault 150 $2.34 $2.00 $1.90 $1.77 $1.65 $1.50
The Ruins of Gianthold 995 $15.55 $13.26 $12.60 $11.76 $10.94 $9.95
The Demon Sands 850 $13.28 $11.32 $10.76 $10.04 $9.35 $8.50
The Necropolis Part 2 350 $5.47 $4.66 $4.43 $4.14 $3.85 $3.50
The Ruins of Threnal 550 $8.59 $7.33 $6.96 $6.50 $6.05 $5.50
The Vault of Night 800 $12.50 $10.66 $10.13 $9.45 $8.80 $8.00
The Restless Isles 600 $9.38 $7.99 $7.60 $7.09 $6.60 $6.00
The Necropolis Part 3 350 $5.47 $4.66 $4.43 $4.14 $3.85 $3.50
The Vale of Twilight 700 $10.94 $9.33 $8.86 $8.27 $7.70 $7.00
The Devils of Shavarath 650 $10.16 $8.66 $8.23 $7.68 $7.15 $6.50
The Reaver’s Reach 350 $5.47 $4.66 $4.43 $4.14 $3.85 $3.50
The Necropolis Part 4 850 $13.28 $11.32 $10.76 $10.04 $9.35 $8.50
Total Cost 10645 $166.33 $141.82 $134.77 $125.77 $117.07 $106.43

Adventure Pack Costs – 25% Discount

Adventure Pack Points 400 Std 900 Std 1500 Std 3300 Std 5000 Std 5000 Sale
Shan-to-Kor 187 $2.92 $2.49 $2.37 $2.21 $2.06 $1.87
The Sharn Syndicate 262 $4.09 $3.49 $3.32 $3.10 $2.88 $2.62
The Catacombs 187 $2.92 $2.49 $2.37 $2.21 $2.06 $1.87
Tangleroot Gorge 412 $6.44 $5.49 $5.22 $4.87 $4.53 $4.12
The Necropolis Part 1 187 $2.92 $2.49 $2.37 $2.21 $2.06 $1.87
Three-Barrel Cove 487 $7.61 $6.49 $6.17 $5.75 $5.36 $4.87
Delara’s Tomb 562 $8.78 $7.49 $7.11 $6.64 $6.18 $5.62
Sorrowdusk Isle 300 $4.69 $4.00 $3.80 $3.54 $3.30 $3.00
Dungeon: Devil Assault 112 $1.75 $1.49 $1.42 $1.32 $1.23 $1.12
The Ruins of Gianthold 746 $11.66 $9.94 $9.44 $8.81 $8.20 $7.46
The Demon Sands 637 $9.95 $8.49 $8.06 $7.53 $7.01 $6.37
The Necropolis Part 2 262 $4.09 $3.49 $3.32 $3.10 $2.88 $2.62
The Ruins of Threnal 412 $6.44 $5.49 $5.22 $4.87 $4.53 $4.12
The Vault of Night 600 $9.38 $7.99 $7.60 $7.09 $6.60 $6.00
The Restless Isles 450 $7.03 $6.00 $5.70 $5.32 $4.95 $4.50
The Necropolis Part 3 262 $4.09 $3.49 $3.32 $3.10 $2.88 $2.62
The Vale of Twilight 525 $8.20 $6.99 $6.65 $6.20 $5.77 $5.25
The Devils of Shavarath 487 $7.61 $6.49 $6.17 $5.75 $5.36 $4.87
The Reaver’s Reach 262 $4.09 $3.49 $3.32 $3.10 $2.88 $2.62
The Necropolis Part 4 637 $9.95 $8.49 $8.06 $7.53 $7.01 $6.37
Total Cost 7976 $124.63 $106.26 $100.98 $94.24 $87.72 $79.74

As you can see the price of all the modules isn’t too out there. Assuming you bought all your points from the 3300 point package you could buy every single adventure pack in the game at $125.77, a little less than a 1 year VIP subscription, and only $94.24 if you were willing to wait for those module to come on sale. And if you had stocked up on points during the weekend sale and bought the adventure packs on sale you could get them all for $79.74, slightly more than a 6 month VIP subscription.

Now adventure packs aren’t the only cost the free to play player is going to incur. Each character a free to play player has starts out only being able to access levels 1 to 4 instead of 1 to 20. To be able to reach levels 5 to 8 they need a copper leveling sigil, 9 to 12 a silver one, 13 to 16 a gold one, and 17 to 20 a platinum one. Unlike adventure packs which the free to play player will only need to purchase once ever each character the free to play player has is going to need leveling sigils to advance so these can often be considered a fee for having a character above and beyond actually having the character slot.  Leveling sigils may be received for free in the course of playing as quest rewards. The lesser value the sigil the easier it will be to find with copper sigils easy to acquire and platinum sigils very difficult to acquire. Below are the tables for the leveling sigil costs.

Leveling Sigil Costs – Regular Price

Leveling Sigil Points 400 Std 900 Std 1500 Std 3300 Std 5000 Std 5000 Sale
Copper Leveling Sigil 120 $1.88 $1.60 $1.52 $1.42 $1.32 $1.20
Silver Leveling Sigil 180 $2.81 $2.40 $2.28 $2.13 $1.98 $1.80
Gold Leveling Sigil 240 $3.75 $3.20 $3.04 $2.84 $2.64 $2.40
Platinum Leveling Sigil 300 $4.69 $4.00 $3.80 $3.54 $3.30 $3.00
Total Cost 840 $13.13 $11.19 $10.63 $9.92 $9.24 $8.40

Leveling Sigil Costs – 25% Discount

Leveling Sigil Points 400 Std 900 Std 1500 Std 3300 Std 5000 Std 5000 Sale
Copper Leveling Sigil 90 $1.41 $1.20 $1.14 $1.06 $0.99 $0.90
Silver Leveling Sigil 135 $2.11 $1.80 $1.71 $1.60 $1.48 $1.35
Gold Leveling Sigil 180 $2.81 $2.40 $2.28 $2.13 $1.98 $1.80
Platinum Leveling Sigil 225 $3.52 $3.00 $2.85 $2.66 $2.47 $2.25
Total Cost 630 $9.84 $8.39 $7.98 $7.44 $6.93 $6.30

So in conclusion the free to play player can basically be expected to be charged a fee of $9.92 for each character they create, or $16.95 if that player needed to purchase a character slot for that character. (See below for character slot pricing.) That’s over a month of VIP subscription! Also remember, if you delete a character and re-create them you’ll need to pay the $9.92 for new sigils for the new character all over again. For some people this isn’t going to be much of a big deal, but for anyone who plans to create a lot of characters this is going to be a big problem. One more thing to note, if you have a VIP subscription and level your character to say, level 8 on it, and then let your account go back to a premium account that character wouldn’t need to purchase a Copper Leveling Sigil. Leveling sigils only stop you from going to a trainer and training up your level. Once you have that level the game is at least nice enough not to take it away from you.

Finally there’s one section of fees that I consider to be a big part of the cost of getting your free to play account “up to snuff” as it were, and that’s those little extras like the Drow and Warforged races. Now in the interests of being fair remember that you can still get the Drow race as a free to play player by getting 400 total favor, and the favored soul class by getting 2500 total favor.  Also important to note is that additional character slots increase the number of slots you have across all six severs, not just one. As with the previous entires these are going to be posted with a regular price and 25% discount price. A small disclaimer though, none of the items on this table have yet to be discounted at all so there is no way of knowing if they ever will, or at what discount they will be offered at.

Account Options – Regular Price

Account Option Points 400 Std 900 Std 1500 Std 3300 Std 5000 Std 5000 Sale
Character Slot 595 $9.30 $7.93 $7.53 $7.03 $6.54 $5.95
Shared Bank Tab 1495 $23.36 $19.92 $18.93 $17.66 $16.44 $14.95
Warforged Rage 595 $9.30 $7.93 $7.53 $7.03 $6.54 $5.95
Drow Race 795 $12.42 $10.59 $10.06 $9.39 $8.74 $7.95
Favored Soul Class 795 $12.42 $10.59 $10.06 $9.39 $8.74 $7.95
Monk Class 795 $12.42 $10.59 $10.06 $9.39 $8.74 $7.95
Total Cost 5070 $79.22 $67.54 $64.19 $59.90 $55.76 $50.69

Account Options – 25% Discount

Account Option Points 400 Std 900 Std 1500 Std 3300 Std 5000 Std 5000 Sale
Character Slot 446 $6.97 $5.94 $5.65 $5.27 $4.91 $4.46
Shared Bank Tab 1121 $17.52 $14.93 $14.19 $13.24 $12.33 $11.21
Warforged Rage 446 $6.97 $5.94 $5.65 $5.27 $4.91 $4.46
Drow Race 596 $9.31 $7.94 $7.55 $7.04 $6.55 $5.96
Favored Soul Class 596 $9.31 $7.94 $7.55 $7.04 $6.55 $5.96
Monk Class 596 $9.31 $7.94 $7.55 $7.04 $6.55 $5.96
Total Cost 3801 $59.39 $50.64 $48.12 $44.91 $41.80 $38.00

As you can see, some of these are pretty expensive, with the shared bank tab running a whopping $17.66 all by itself with the second biggest purchases being the Drow, Favored Soul, and Monk classes at $9.39 each.

Now then what does all this mean? Well if you’ve been paying attention there’s been a number totals on each chart. So now we come to the time to add everything to reach the true cost of what it costs to get the entire DDO package through Turbine points. Note that in the tables below Account Options does not include Character Slots, which is accounted for in it’s own entry.

Grand Total using only the 1-4 Character Slots granted for a Premium Account

Item Name Points 400 Std 900 Std 1500 Std 3300 Std 5000 Std 5000 Sale
Adventure Packs and Account Options 15120 $236.25 $201.44 $191.42 $178.64 $166.29 $151.17
Sigils for Character Slots 1-4 3360 $52.52 $44.76 $42.52 $39.68 $36.96 $33.60
Grand Total 18480 $288.77 $246.20 $233.94 $218.32 $203.25 $184.77

Grand Total with slots 5-10 purchased to be equal to the VIP Account

Item Name Points 400 Std 900 Std 1500 Std 3300 Std 5000 Std 5000 Sale
Adventure Packs, Account Options, and Sigils for Characters 1-4 18480 $288.77 $246.20 $233.94 $218.32 $203.25 $184.77
Character Slots 5-10 3570 $55.80 $47.58 $45.18 $42.18 $39.24 $35.70
Sigils for Character Slots 5-10 5040 $78.78 $67.14 $63.78 $59.52 $55.44 $50.40
Grand Total 27090 $423.35 $360.92 $342.90 $320.02 $297.93 $270.87

As you can see from the Grand Total charts if you’re happy with slots 1-4 you’ll be looking at a total of $218.32, which is about equivalent to 1.5 years of VIP subscription. And if you want slots 5-10 you are looking at a total of $320.02, or 2.2 years of VIP subscription. Remember that this is only taking into account one server. You’d still have to buy more sigils for characters on new servers, though luckily the character slots apply to all servers. Also remember that the VIP subscription is going to give you 500 points every month just for subscribing, which can be used for the purchase of adventure packs, items, etc. that the free to play player is going to generally have to pay for out of their own pocket. Note however that to actually buy something the VIP subscription gives you access to you need let the subscription run out since the store won’t let you buy anything you already have access to from the VIP subscription.

So there you have the actual cost of what the free to play, or Premium Account, option in DDO is really going to cost you. Needless to say after I did this analysis I decided to stop buying adventure packs and instead switch to the subscription model as there is no guarantee the game will even be open long enough to justify the cost of purchasing everything a la carte, and I’ve become used to having a diverse quest selectiion and all the account options. For those of you who want to stick with the free to play options, check out the article following this one where I tell you how to get the most out of your Free Player or Premium account in DDO.

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43 thoughts on “The True Price of DDO Unlimited Free to Play

  1. One more thing I did not mention when I wrote the article, but it’s worth noting that there is a limit to the number of Turbine Points you can purchase in a day, which would make it difficult to acquire points in the neighborhood of 18480 and 27090 during a sale where Turbine Points are sold at a discount.

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  3. The big advantage though to being a premium member is that you only have to pay for what you want, you can save a lot simply by not buying half the adventure packs, getting the easier to find sigils the free way, not buying a shared bank tab or the extra classes/races, etc….

  4. And you can, say, put $50 into the game and buy a bunch of adventure packs, play them, and then if you get bored with the game you can walk away from it for a few months and come back later and put more money in at your leisure, without worrying about cancelling your subscription, or not getting your moneys worth by not playing during months you may have bought ahead of time.

    • Very true and this method to buying things is talked about more in the “Let Free-dom Ring” article. If you plan to stick to free stuff until level 12 there’s not nearly as much to buy. But if you want to say, maximize your favor with certain houses or not have to pick and choose your groups based on what you have bought, it gets pretty expensive.

  5. Some VIP took a special anniversary deal a year two two ago and are paying $60/6 mo. That’s the cheapest possible subscription option that I’m aware of, although it isn’t offered at the moment. They might offer it again at the game start anniversary.

  6. One small thing I noticed, you mentioned at the bottom…

    “You’d still have to buy more sigils for characters on new servers and character slots for new servers. ”

    The second part of that statement is incorrect. The character slots are per account, and carry over to all servers.

  7. Great article here, you saved me a lot of research. I decided the best strategy was to make a one time purchase of points which qualified me for premium status. Between that $15 spent, the points from beta, and the points from being able to level up 4 characters, I have been able to buy most of the lower level adventure packs on sale. 3 barrel cove was 50% off today. I try to keep my characters about 3 levels apart. This way there is always an elite favor run going on somewhere. At my current rate, I expect to have earned enough points for most of the content I want and then gradually buy content I find less essential.

    One additional hidden cost for F2P players is the prejudice of some VIP players. You may find some guilds refuse to allow free to play members to join. I guess these people don’t realize the game required them to survive.

    If turbine ever allows people to gift points, all hell would break loose. I could see someone auctioning off a planar gird for DDO points in some 3rd party auction house. Someone should suggest it!

  8. Excellent work, very nice to have this thing handy.

  9. I’m glad you’re finding the article useful you two. 🙂 And yes if people could gift Turbine points I imagine someone might auction those off too. Also Turnip I’m glad you were able to find a level of buy-in that works for you. I just wanted to say here that regarding that, just because I have a total at the end and I personally find it hard to do without all the quests, account options, etc. that doesn’t mean that’s what everyone has to buy. Each person who decides to buy from the DDO store is going to have a certain amount of items they feel they need to enjoy the game. Some people are going to be happy spending time to farm Turbine Points and leveling sigils to keep costs down and that’s great. Remember, the grand total chart is just that, a total of all the items to bring an account in line with a VIP account, except for the included tier of not having all the character slots, which is something concrete I can compare it too. Everyone’s personal “grand total” is going to be different. 🙂

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  11. If someone was to become a vip for the character slots, and then become free to play, does the ex-vip member keep the character slots?

    • Yes and no. If you were a free player account with only two slots, subscribed to VIP for a month, which would grant you 10 character slots, and then let it run out your subscription wouldn’t go back to a free player account but a premium account, which by default has four character slots. For anything more than four you’ll need to purchase the slots with Turbine Points.

      If you had more than 10 characters then what would happen is the first time you logged in after your VIP subscription ran out is you’d be asked to select which four characters would be active. To access the characters you didn’t pick you have to buy the character slots to access your other characters again.

  12. To me it feels odd that one needs an analysis to see through this. I’m still playing as a Free Player, but contemplate on getting a subscription. After seeing the prices set on the Turbine Points, I was baffled by how high they were. One adventure pack lasts for maybe 6 hours (replays not included) with an effective party. I’m not saying $5 is a bad price for it, but I doubt it’s worth it either especially considering you could get it all with $15 a month.

    Of course me being a European I enjoy the exchange rates. $15 is approx. €10, less than WoW, that is.

    Also it seems your prices are a bit outdated. Leveling sigils don’t cost nearly as much anymore. A copper sigil of leveling was 50 points last I checked.

  13. With regards to the VIP then free account that Janitor asked about, how would that affect the available classes such as monk or favored soul? I believe those are available to VIP members free so what happens if you go to a premium account after that? Do you lose those characters or the toons that have them as a multiclass?

    • According to the “DDO VIP Downgrade to Free FAQ” it states that if you have a character that you haven’t unlocked access to with favor, like Drow or Favored Soul, or one free players have to buy, like Warforged or Monk, then you lose access to the character and have to purchase those options before you can use that character. Similar to how if you have more characters than slots when you downgrade you have to choose which character you will use and the rest become locked until you buy slots for them.

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  15. Very nice write-up. I did something similar myself, picking and choosing the items I was interested in. I came to the conclusion the buying points as I needed them would be the way for me to go. I sure hope that 5k points for $50 shows up again, as that’s a very good deal.

    I see you didn’t include points gained through earning favor in game. Currently, you get 25 points for 100 favor gained, with extra points given the first time certain milestones are reached. So if a premium player like myself level 4 characters to 2000 favor each, that would be 2000 points. That’s a pretty significant amount to mitigate the cash cost. I have no idea how easy that is, I just pulled the favor number out of the air.

    • Yes, I picked up a number of 5k point packs the second time it came up. Also as far as the free favor goes there is actually another whole article on that here called, “Let Free-dom Right”. 916 favor is actually the most favor a player on a premium account can get from free quests. There are turbine point awards for your first character to reach a favor milestone on a server, in addition to the 25 favor per 100 favor you mention. Read the whole article on it, I’m sure you’ll like it. 🙂

  16. I just wanted to let everyone know that I got an email saying some of the prices have changed, in addition to the previous notice about leveling-sigils earlier. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to go through the DDO store and continually update the prices on every item, not to mention keeping an account open with no items purchased with characters in each leveling bracket who are eligible for each sigil. The first time around I asked friends to confirm the sigil prices, but I imagine that question would get old after a while. 😉

    To everyone who writes me about price differences, if I may, please make keep in mind that items on sale show their sale price on the item list in the DDO Store. To see the actual price of a sale item you have to click on the item to read the actual price of the item.

  17. Copper Sigil is 50, Silver Sigil is 100, Gold Sigil is 150, I haven’t reached platinum level yet (I’m refusing to buy sigils as they can be gotten for free as drops, but the Gold is being very frustrating) and logically it seems Platinum would be around 200.

    • Thanks for the update. I haven’t updated the prices since the original article was written in September. I don’t have any plans to write a follow up article with updates until maybe the 6month or 1year point from the original article.

  18. I’m slightly confused. I’m guessing that in order to become a VIP you need to purchase the game in order to get the Product Key to setup a Turbine account?

    In which case, how much does a product key cost? I will assume that you need to spend $50 to get a product key and then $14.95 a month just like any other game making the VIP package no different than any other MMO.

    I believe that the Premium account will be better since I don’t really trust any MMO companies any more. I purchased the lifetime account for Champions Online and will never do that again. Cryptic has pretty much dropped the ball completely on Champions and none of my friends and guildmates want to play now. We are all considering coming to DDO to play our weekly MMO gatherings.

    Thanks for the information!

    • Once upon a time DDO had a box that you had to buy that gave you a key required to make an account. I know because I bought the collector’s edition of it, and you can see my name on the founders list on the fountain in the Harbor. 🙂 However when DDO changed there business model to “DDO Unlimited” they got rid of that entirely.

      There is now no product key required to make an account. When you make a brand new account in DDO Unlimited you a “Free” account. If at any point you spend money on the game, such as purchasing Turbine points or having had a previous VIP subscription that expired, your account is permanently granted Premium account status. If you have a current VIP subscription your account is a VIP account. Only the VIP subscription has a monthly fee. Free and Premium accounts have no monthly fee. The benefits of each account is listed in the chart at the very top of the article.

      I hope that clears things up. 🙂

  19. Another thing that I’d like to add that the subscription buys you is the ability to sell more than one item at a time. In fact, there are a ton of little perks(or nerfs depending on your status) that you deal with that aren’t on the lists or are ignored until you it hits you in the face. That, and the fact that favored soul, monk, and Drow aren’t possible to get all together for free without some horrendous grinding(not really – where it’s good across all servers and characters) – so you might as well get one month or the minimum pack at least if you are going to spend money anyways. Or find an old unused(lots of con artists out there – so just be careful, OK?) copy of the boxed game – any method works. Upgrade to “Premium” at least.

    And Monk is awesome. Really. You can grind for free and get enough points to get Monk and/or Drow on all of the accounts pretty easily(amount bought plus another 800 or so freely earned points) and then you can easily play the whole rest of the game for next to free. Not bad for $10-20 one time cost. It certainly is better than $$ every month for WoW or other online games.

  20. Pingback: So what is the advantage of VIP? - Codemasters Forums

  21. Could i be so bold to ask why does turbine do it. This way aint it just P2P becouse you dont have a chose but to subscribe.

    Thx for the info great work

  22. Thanks for your time in making this great article, I played as a subscriber before it all went ‘Free’ and was going to get back into it but after seeing how confusing it all is I don’t think I’ll bother playing at all cuz I don’t want to go ‘Free’ and get bugger all or go ‘Premium’ and end up paying more than I would if I were a VIP…???…confusing so I avoid.

  23. grazie mile per info

  24. What happens if you pay for the VIP program for 3 months (or however long) and get your 10 character slots.. but then cancel your subscription? Do you lose the extra 6 slots (and the characters you created in them) from the VIP program, or do you get to keep them? Thanks!

  25. I dont normally comment on blogs, but your post, The True Price of DDO Unlimited Free to Play « Furluge’s Depot , was well written and made me want to read more of your work. Well done and keep it up.

  26. Pingback: Exiles - Ghallanda - Blog Archive - Vip, premium or free ummm.

  27. That’s a good write-up of DDO, but quite out-dated now. Just in case any potential new players are reading, there have been quite a few changes since this was written. For instance, there are no levelling sigils in the game anymore (I think that was 8k-9k of the cost you have listed).

    Which is cheaper in the long run depends on how much you play, how long you continue to play, etc. I recommend just signing up and starting to play, see how you like the game, then decide. A few people have taken characters to the cap and still haven’t bought anything or subscribed, but that requires a willingness to grind a lot.

    • Very true. The sigils have been mentioned in the comments already. I’ve wanted to get into it and do another article, but I just haven’t been too motivated as yet to go back in game and collect the data all over again. It is a wonderful game though. I liked it enough to buy the box when it was first released. You’ll find me on the founders fountain under “New Outriders” 😉

  28. Pingback: Episode 136 « DDOcast – A DDO Podcast!

  29. Pingback: UO and Free to Play | Ultima Online Gateway

  30. Just for the fun of it, considering the rates in this article, I think you should deduct from the price of VIP account the value of TP that you get for free. Consider this: a player with the will to invest in the game and enough money to go for the long run. Using the 3300 pack, 1$=84.6 TP, taking the value of the 500 TP you get at (almost) 6$ (would get to more for cheaper options). This is about 45% of the subscription fee.

    So for the 218$ – 1.5 years fee, you get about 9000 TP = (roughly) 110 dollars. The total cost is 110$.

    (Offtopic: And as another ideea, 15$ is about 4 days of smoking (not counting coffee). So if smokers would quit and pay for the game, they would actually win 135$.)

  31. Great game! Hello from Russia!

  32. Keep in mind though this information is very out of date compared to the current game.

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