When Darkfall opened up its doors to community discussion, one of the major points mentioned by the developers was that free-to-play was completely off of the table. The developers are now discussing the possibility of a free-to-play shift. The difference, as the post explains, is that free-to-play means there are no optional subscription models, but an optional free playstyle makes for a freemium game model.
Depending on your level of interest in the fine details of MMO business model terminology, you’re either nodding enthusiastically, rolling your eyes, or just whispering “what?” at your monitor.
The practical upshot of all of this is that the developers are actively exploring a free-to-play model with optional subscriptions, which is far from the impression given when it was said that free-to-play was completely off of the table. The major impediment to this is apparently working out backend settings for account, so players should keep their eyes peeled for further developments.