With the highly anticipated update for Swords of Legends Online, called 2.0 by most, but officially having the title of “The Firestone Legacy”, Gameforge has announced that in discussions with “Wangyuan Shengtang & Aurogon, we have jointly decided to remove the paywall and allow more players to join SOLO and enjoy the vast amounts of content currently available, with even more already planned through 2022 and beyond.” as stated on their press release here. This comes as a surprise, as the game is originally subscription based in China, and has been since the release in North America and Europe, a Buy to Play title.
Regardless, this is indeed good news, as Gameforge goes further into details about Pay to Win and the worries of the player-base, in their press release:
With the launch of 2.0, players can now forge their own legendary adventure completely free and without restrictions. All in-game purchases will remain cosmetic, as will Battle Passes. There will not be any pay-to-win elements. Players who have previously purchased the game will be eligible to receive a variety of exclusive cosmetics.
This means that the game will continue to play and function as it has been in the last few months since its release back in June 2021, but with a Free to Play sticker on it. This is extremely rare, as usually we start seeing Subscriptions and a bit of too much “convenience” to not be labeled pay to win, but with the promises from the developers over in China (Wangyuan Shengtang) of making sure that no matter where the game was published, it would never be Pay to Win or have a Subscription Service, I’m more confident than ever that this could really have the game succeed. It is no secret the game has been suffering for months due to poor localization, a few server issues, horrible English Voice Acting, and marketing has been subpar – and that’s being generous – causing the population to dwindle into the mere hundreds as a daily active player base, maybe even up to 1,000-2,000 players total in all of NA/EU.
Still, with the release of Free to Play and expanding into Russian servers, and the CIS, it is hopeful the the population will indeed increase. Of course, the worry behind everyone’s mind is “But, it’s Free to Play… so just wait for the Pay to Win elements”, and that’s fair given the history of the MMORPG scene in Free to Play cases. However, who knows, maybe this will be that rare unicorn that will be Free and yet completely only have Cosmetics being offered in their cash shop – as promised by the developers, and Gameforge as a publisher.
As for The Firestone Legacy, or the 2.0 update, this includes:
- New Class – Fox Mage: Joining the game for the first time with update 2.0: The Firestone Legacy, the magical Fox Mage uses the powers of thorns and blossoms to deal damage to enemies and heal her allies. This class will be available only with the new “girl” body type.
- New Class – Warrior: These heavy-hitting champions of the battlefield thrive in various styles of combat. Condensed into two separate sub-classes — the male Crystal Warrior, and the female Spirit Warrior — each possesses their own distinct masteries. Each warrior sub-class can provide players with unique new combat mechanics best suited for tanks and melee DPS.
- New character slots will become available to players, allowing them the opportunity to check out each class in action!
- Increased Level Cap: Mastery of the art of combat never stops, and the level cap will now exceed level 37. Players will now start as Students from levels 1 through 36, becoming Sages at level 37, allowing them to continue to hone their skills and bring their abilities to new heights.
- The Story Continues: Following Chapter 10, which recently launched with update 1.1: The Forbidden Court, update 2.0: The Firestone Legacy will introduce Chapters 11 and 12, advancing the storyline and unraveling more of the lore and wonder that players have immersed themselves in since launch
- New Zones: The world of Shenzhou continues to grow with the introduction of five new zones: Snowing Blossom Paradise (a new starting zone for the Fox Mage and Warriors), Changhe Mountain (a new location for the new classes to level up), Changfu Garden, Cloudscape beyond Langquan Bridge, and Blade Peak on Taihua Mountain.
- PvE and PvP: A staggering five new 5–10 player dungeons are coming to Swords of Legends Online, alongside two new 10–20 player raids! As for PvP, a new 3v3 map will be added in the form of the Astral Ravine, as well as a new 10v10 map by the name of Go in the Snow.
- …and More: New activities, including an action-packed flight race that will have players soaring among the clouds at break-neck speeds as they race to the top of the leaderboards! Additional balancing and bug fixes will be implemented, as well as a special Battle Pass stacked with elaborate cosmetic items.
All exciting stuff for players, coming on February 24th. More information can be found on the Gameforge Press Site here, or the official Swords of Legends Online website here.
For a video version on this article, check out the video below: