Jul 312012
 

SWTOR adding Free-to-Play options

Many have speculated that Star Wars: The Old Republic would go completely Free-to-Play or have some sort of option along those lines. The speculating is over, SWTOR will have a Free-to-Play option coming this Fall. What will this mean for current subscribers or those just starting the game with the subscription model?

More details on on SWTOR’s Free-to-Play option after the Jump…

 

As stated above, there will be an option to play the game from level 1-50 in the Free-to-Play model. However, this does not mean subscriptions are not viable for the future of the game. In fact, to have access to new content like Nightmare mode for Operations you will need to have a subscription. There will also be the addition to a new vendor system, known as the Cartel Market. This will be a place to purchase new customizable gear and convenience features.

Now all of this is “hot off the press,” so the exact details of when and how this will all work is still not completely known. In my opinion, this is not a complete Free-to-Play as it is like how ArenaNet runs their Guild War franchise.  Whatever form payment takes this Fall, does mean some big changes coming to the SWTOR Universe. Change is not always welcomed, but it is not always a bad thing.

For complete details, please be sure to read the official FAQ and news release from BioWare.

  7 Responses to “Free-to-Play Option this Fall”

  1. My only experience with subscription to F2P conversion was with Cryptic and Star Trek: Online, which was a severely negative experience that led to my abandoning the game and I still have hard feelings against them and will never play anything else made by them.

    #1 Don’t screw over people who have played a year (by that time) by doing what Cryptic did – convert to a new currency and only give you 2/3rd the value of the currency vs what doing the exact same thing gets you after F2P conversion, and don’t hike prices by 30% to 200%.

    #2 Don’t make another Cryptic mistake of introducing lockboxes or other elements of gambling.

    #3 Don’t make another Cryptic mistake of sliding into pay to win, starting with cosmetic items and ending with buying new powers you can’t compete against as a free player.

    #4 Don’t make another Cryptic mistake of distracting developers with the constant focus on lame gimmicks to bring in cash. I’m ok with offering legacy benefits for cash alternative to game currency ($1 per 100k credits would be fair to me) so long as it doesn’t result in enormous price hikes.

    #5 Don’t make another Cryptic mistake of selling individual items that cost as much as or even four times as much as a month’s subscription previously did.

    That said, I would have been all for nixing the box cost and introducing cash options for legacy stuff to make up the difference, but given how severely I was burned by Cryptic’s F2P move I am leery of what is coming. Regarding their Cartel coins, I hope they have something worth spending on given how completely lackluster the game enhancements for buying the Digital and Collectors editions were – the speeder was really the only benefit. When Legacy came out I was really hoping that Dexlue and Collectors edition owners would get discounted rates for paying extra real money, but that didn’t happen.

    Depending on what “some restrictions” there will be on F2P, I can easily see myself still subscribing to the game and even purchasing a lifetime subscription if offered.

    What they are doing in August with a box cost of $15 w/1mo free time is what I think ALL MMO’s should do, there shouldn’t be a large box cost that provides barrier of entry. Paying for additional content levels I can certainly see, For example you get Act 1 for free, Act 2 for $10, Act 3 for $10, etc. with acts 2 & 3 being enhanced to have the same density of story progression/interaction that Act 1 has.

  2. P.S. Something I would ABSOLUTELY pay for is decorating my ship interior. This is something I REALLY loved about the game “Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance”. Another great thing would be the guild capital ships that were discussed pre-launch and make them customizable. Star Trek Online just introduced Fleet Starbases which are esssentially the same thing and since then I’ve been logging in daily to help my old guild construct their Starbase, which is the only part of the game I participate in, because that was such a major goal of our guild prior to F2P when I was still playing.

  3. @Jobeleca Thanks for the detailed comment. 🙂
    You make a lot of very good points. I am hoping they go the route Turbine has gone with LoTRO. I am so crossing my fingers no pay-to-win features, but I am also open to give some of the Legacy perks to folks for money if they don’t wish to level up Legacy that high etc.

    I also like your idea on getting rid of boxed games. I think this is coming anyway. You have some good ideas on pay for the acts as you go. How would you figure in Warzones and Operations etc.?
    How many character slots do you think is going to be open for the Free-to-Play option?

    Keep the comments coming!

  4. Another idea I had too. Like LoTRO has with their instance housing. I wouldn’t mind an apartment in Kaas City to spruce up or place trophies in my ship. Btw check out at the bottom of announcement page, one thing they mention you will be able to purchase a chair like the Emperor…perhaps you willget to decorate your ship after all 😉

  5. @Jason Taylor

    Warzones and Flashpoints should be free, they are things that suck in players which is a good thing. I could support paying for Operations, if you’re doing Operations, you’re hardcore and I would expect to be willing to play for very well done top level content. No much, but $1-$5 would be reasonable for an Operation.

    I saw the carbonite thing and the chair thing, but they seemed to be more like the holo dancer where you summon it for a few seconds in the open world. They would be great ship decorations though.

    If they do player housing, I would like it to be one of a limited number of apartments you could buy, all in the same place to access for everyone though. Star Wars: Galaxies had sprawling cities of player housing which started out good but from what I read became quite unwieldy over time.

  6. I missed your comment about character slots. This is one thing I do not propose limiting, I think that due to advanced classes everyone should have 16 open slots. Slots to do more characters means more characters to buy things for, which means SWTOR can run longer or pay for more staff for an improved development cycle.

    For Legacy abilities, I think that per-character abilities should be completely separated from being called Legacy. All relevant current legacy abilities that would be relevant on a per-character bases should be listed as per character. The game should keep track of purchasing the same ability on multiple characters. All abilities should be able to be converted to a true Legacy account-wide ability for an additional price, all purchases of that ability on a per-character basis should be applied towards the legacy price. I would recommend setting legacy pricing equal to the cost of buying an ability on for characters to provide incentive to do so and to ease the path for the heavy players which are a valued core for the game community to be built around.

  7. Hello:

    I think that they way they have said things are going to work will be nice, they will have both systems in place which is a really good way to help keep the pay to win out.

    My only other MMO before this was PWI (Perfect World International) which was FTP and is was great for the first year and a couple after but they started offering “packs” that were specifically for gambiling on getting great gear. After that they introduced game changing gear that if you did not buy it no one wanted you. I really hope this does not go that way.

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