I just found out that Asheron's Call is now Free to Play, and the developer, Turbine Entertainment, is no longer adding new content.
Very interesting. I beta tested AC back in 1999 and played it constantly for almost 5 years. I took a hiatus and played for about two months in December 2013 until February 2014. It seems like last summer it went free to play, but there's a one-time $10 fee to reactivate my account.
Tempting. I'll stick with SWTOR, I think. AC by far is the best MMORPG I've ever played and super unique. This is the only game I played where you have direct access to raising the attributes of specific skills and abilities. Formerly, this was more unforgiving before AC had skill sellback. Once you invested in a skill, that was it. Period. Now, at least you can restructure.
The maximum level is, I believe, 275, and that makes all of your abilities maximized. I think my archer was somewhere around 240 when I stopped.
The problem with these games is that it's never ending. And there's no pause button. Maybe that's why I enjoy SWTOR so much? I can just walk away when I have to. There's zero consequences. However, in AC, if you die, you lose your items AND some of your ability expertise.
Conclusion: AC was by far the best, hardest, most challenging MMORPG I've ever played - and I played hardcore raiding World of Warcraft for about 8 years. It was a very good game, but it's very dated. Let's let it go.