Ubisoft are sticking with their games long after they're launched and For Honor is no different. Season two content introduced dedicated servers and now Ubisoft are looking to boost the player base by inroducing the starter edition.
For Honor's starter edition is in large part the same as the one for Rainbow Six Siege, which is basically just paying the entry fee of £11.99. You get full access to the game but in order to unlock different characters you will need to grind your skin off. Players who buy the starter edition will receive three unlocked heroes - Warden, Raider and Kensei who will be fully customizable.
Three additional heroes will be unlocked based on the faction players choose when starting the game. These additional unlocks will not be fully customizable and you will have to make them that way by paying 8000 Steel, for each of them. For Honor's official site claims earning this much Steel is between 8 and 15 hours of gameplay, but I would wager it's a little bit more than that. So based on Ubisoft's approximation, it will take you 24 to 45 hours of gameplay just to unlock the ability to customize these three heroes. Alternatively, you can dish out ~£7, €8 or $8 for each of them.
As of this moment, the game has 18 heroes available, 6 of which are post-launch heroes. This means you will have to unlock 12 of them either through grinding Steel in game or spending more money. There are 6 vanilla hero unlocks that will also cost 8000 Steel and its equivalent in real life money, while the 6 post launch heroes cost 15000 Steel each.
If we convert this to time spent using Ubisoft's calculation, it will take you an additional 48 to 90 hours to unlock the 6 vanilla heroes and ~94 to ~178 hours for the post launch heroes. In total, it will take players ~166 to ~313 hours of gameplay to unlock all heroes and their customization.
Speaking plainly, this is very similar to the business models found on browser games where you can play for free but unless you become their whale and shell out money left and right, you will spend your time grinding while at a disadvantage. Ubisoft's starter edition comes at a small price of £11.99 for a AAA game but then it traps you into a grind-fest you can't escape without microtransactions.
If players could upgrade to the standard edition after buying starter one, it would be a praiseworthy model for giving players a taste of the game without paying the full price. As it stands now, when you buy a starter edition, you have to buy the standard edition on top of it at full price, in case you don't want to spend hundreds of hours grinding for Steel.