F2P

Time is money.
That is the crux of F2P.

Free to play means that you can play the game without spending real money on it and you are still able to achieve everything in the game. You will end up using the “currency” time instead of real money. Other players which can and want to spend money instead can buy items of convenience which speed up the process of things which take time, like leveling the Char or items.

Players always fear that F2P can mean "Pay 2 Win", which basically means that you can earn advantages for real money which other players can´t aquire without spending real money. A good example for this is World of Warships. You can achieve a lot of things ingame. But there are also Ships in the Shop you can not get without spending real money. Some of the ships are really good and players which buy them may have an unfair advantage.

However, I could not see anything in the beta of SWL which let me think it is Pay 2 Win. You can get things which speed up different things like leveling up. But you can also decide not to spend money and accept that you will spend more time achieving things.

Daily Rewards * Everyday you log in to the game for the first time, this window pops up, offering a daily reward. This can be buff items, upgrade items for weapons and equipment, Ap, SP, Anima Shards or bags with random items.

If you do not log into the game for one or several days, you will not loose your progress through these rewards. You can pause the game for a couple of days, return and claim the next reward instead of starting on the first, like in other games. This is my window on the 9th day of the beta.

Subscribers - also called Patrons - get one Free Cache Key per Day in addition.

Patron

You can subscribe to the game to become a patron. This will give you some bonus things as reward. The complete content is free, you are not going to be locked out of something if you are not a Patron.

Subscription will be 12,99 USD per 30 Days, according to the subscribe window ingame. There may be better deals if you get more months at once, like in TSW

Here is a complete list what subscribers get:
  • 1 Bonus Scenario Key per Day
  • 2 Bonus Lair Keys
  • 4 Bonus Dungeon Keys
  • 15% Bonus Anima Shards from Missions
  • 2 Healing Potion Capacity
  • 50% Discount on Healing Potions
  • unlimited Anima Leap
  • 8 hour mission Cooldowns
  • Direct Trade with Patrons
  • Free Global Auction House Delivery
  • 10% Bonus XP
  • 1 Free Daily Cache key
I explain the keys below, so I skip them right know. Anima Shards are basically what Pax where in TSW, primary used to upgrade gear, teleport around, removing Death Penaltys and such things. Patrons will not only get more of them per Mission, they will also have free anima leaps with no cost at all.

Healing Potions work different than in TSW. You do not buy or craft them anymore. Instead you are getting one single healing potion, which seems to adjust while you level. You can use this healing potion only a few times per day for free. F2P Players will get 3 Uses, while Patrons get 5. Once you used up all of them you can renew them. Right now I am unsure if this was done with Anima Shards or Marks. In addition to these Healing Potions you get a gadget slot in both the Char Paperdoll and the UI. At least I think that this is what gadgets where in TSW. I got one during the first levels which provided a decent heal. This is not used up, instead it triggers a cooldown. So, when Situation got worse I used my Gadget first, if Situation got worst then I used a Healing Potion.

Free global auction global house delivery is nice, but, and Patrons are allowed to trade with each other directly while it seems that you can not trade with F2P Players. This is an effective countermeasure to fight Goldsellers.

8 hour mission cooldowns are extremly useful if you do daily challenges in low level areas or if you farm missions which give costume bags.

Keys

Funcom did change the way Dungoens work. All the content is free, you can play through dungeons and scenarios, even if you don´t have keys. But you will not get loot from bosses.
Instead after each boss fight a chest will appear. When you click on it you get a window, showing what loot might be inside and an option to unlock the chest, using up one of your daily keys.

Boss Loot Chest

What this Window is missing here is the option to buy additional keys. That shows only then when you used up every key you had. Everyone gets 12 Dungeon Chest Keys, 3 Lair Keys and 2 Scenario keys per Day, Subscribers get the additional keys mentioned above.

This system is not the worst. The window shows a preview of what may be inside the chest and you decide if you want to spend one of your keys on this.

I did not play Lairs or Scenarios, but they share the same mechanic.

The devs mentioned in one stream that you can sell keys but I think that he did fluff at that moment. The Keys are like currency and are placed in your ingame wallet. You can not take them out and trade them or place them in the auction house. However, you are able to sell what is inside the chests. I think that´s what the devs meant.

There is one point left which I did not mention: the Cache key. I do explain Caches in the Loot Section. They contain cosmetic items, boosts, themed weapons, upgrades, buffitems and Third Age Fragments. Patrons get a key per day for free to open one up, additional keys have to be bought with aurum.