The Vanguard team recently announced their Free To Play Matrix. It's very similar to what they have with their other games such as EQ2 and EQ, except it's a bit more, hrmm, compacted. I'd have to say out of them all EQ2 started off with the most bang for your buck simply because of the unlockers available from the get-go and the silver membership combined with those. While you have limitations you can still unlock other things. I think that is a pretty fair way to go for someone who wants to dabble in the game here and there, a full sub is great only if you're playing on a regular basis.
When comparing the two, the EQ matrix was a bit more skimpy with unlockers when it released and still there are many I'd like to see added. The biggest thing I see players upset about, with the Vanguard SoH F2P matrix, is that there is no silver membership. It was stated, by Silius, on the forums here, that they wanted to add more flexibility to basic free to play instead of adding silver. I suppose the proof will be in the pudding, once the conversion hits. Personally, I think limiting free to play to the lowest grade armors is a bit harsh. My biggest beef is NO HOUSING for free to play. I can't see an unlocker being added either, the way housing is set up in this game.
I think companies need to step away from these models that feel, well, like they basically force you to subscribe if you want to play. If you're going to add a hefty cash shop with tons of fluff, bank on it, don't use it as a filler. Seriously, if I can log in and play free I still spend in the cash shop, probably more than I would pay for a monthly fee. Why? I've already got access, I'm drawn to loggin in on a regular basis because I can. Why not put something into the game and buy some fluff, housing, or cosmetic armor. Don't slam the door in my face, I'm not going to come back and peek in though.
Why am I excited about F2P? I suppose the biggest thing is because this game has some real development going on, a team and hopefully a future. Honestly, the F2P is not enticing enough to keep me around as a free player, if I play I'll be subscribing as normal- Which I still am doing. I'm already here, I enjoy the game enough to keep subscribing as I have been. If I take a break I suppose I'll have to eat the housing loss.
Another big topic is the return of Brad McQuaid as a developer. I've read mixed reactions on this, over the net, but the general reaction on the forums seems to be very welcoming. I am honestly glad to see him back, he had a real passion and vision for the game and as a developer I think that is a plus. Also, having someone who was there in the baby stages of the game and knows the inner-workings as well as he would, that is always a boon. He isn't in charge, as some people seem to think, he's now a developer and I think it will be good to have him back.
All in all I'm glad the game is getting the attention it deserves, I am glad there is a free to play option, even if it isn't as I want it, it is better than nothing. Maybe it can offer more of an experience for potential players to get a feel for the game.