SWTOR: Free to Play Day

Star Wars: The Old Republic goes Free to Play Today

I’ve already got my game patched and up to date as of the time of this post. Admittedly, I haven’t kept up with the F2P details of Star Wars: The Old Republic. There are two reasons why. In order, they are:

  1. The severe limitation on warzones for F2Pers.
  2. Guild Wars 2 was much better than I planned.

Today I took a cursory glance at the fine print below the shiny Free to Play sticker. I was not impressed.

Pay to Log In, Then Pay to Log Out

It’s not exactly that bad, but it’s close. You have to pay for nearly every feature in the game. Need more than two hot bars? Coins please. Did you still want to wear artifact gear? Coins please. How about displaying your legacy name? Coins please. This is the most blatant and absurd money grab I have ever seen. Did I forget to mention it costs more to unlock these features across all your characters?  That’s right.  A small fee to unlock on one key, or a large fee to unlock your whole account.  I’ve seen a lot of net rage over EA being money hungry. I used to think it was just being blown out of proportion. Used to think. I hope Disney yanks the IP lease from them as early as possible.  The biggest offense I saw was 100 cartel coins to unlock the ability to hide your head slot.  Given the history of MMORPGs, the head slot piece is the least displayed.  This is generally because they look absolutely horrid.  Star Wars: The Old Republic is no exception.  Paying more to hide an ugly item actually encourages Bioware to create inferior content.  Shouldn’t we be paying more for superior content?

There Is One Way Free To Play Might Benefit You

Once EA is done overcharging you for the basic essentials you need just to play the game, you might be able to catch a little savings. There is one, small, window where the F2P model for Star Wars: The Old Republic might benefit you.  If you’re like me, and really only want to do PvP (or any one thing), unlimited warzones for a week costs 240 cartel coins. At $5 for 450 coins, that’s at least a small savings over the $15 a month model.  If you buy more coins, you save more money too.

The Way Forward With The Free to Play Option

I don’t know yet.  I’ve got some coins coming, and I plan to use those after I try the game out as it stands.  We’ll see how things go.  Leave your feelings in the comments below, or anything you’d like me to report back on in the game.

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  1. Aydrien says:

    Yeah, we’ll see if the 650 (I have a security key and a longer sub so my monthly is higher) covers everything or not. Gear sets, for instance, are 1250 (or so. I’m not logged in right now…), so any new ones that I might want will either require me to have saved up or to buy more coins — which I’m pretty sure is the point, to get people to buy coins in addition to their subs. I haven’t seen the confirmation of it but I’ve seen several sources saying that, for instance, when they add new races, those will also not be available to subscribers but will have to be unlocked in the store.

    That said, it’s the same game it was before. They’ve fixed a few things and vastly improved a couple things (you can preview anything now. Weapons, mounts, pets, etc), and in the process introduced new bugs at about the same rate they’re fixing the old ones, but mostly, it’s the same as it was before. 1.6 will have recolored pvp gear with slightly higher stats, and new harder space missions that are mostly set in the same environments as the old missions but with different paths and objectives. The biggest deal with 1.6 is there’s a new WZ.

    After looking at pricing compared to the cost of unlocking everything, I’ll probably stay subscribed… but for the same reason I didn’t leave when we started playing GW2: the people on the server. The community is far smaller and prone to fits of drama, but it’s still got some really awesome people to game with and something about the stories going on is more engaging than the stories happening in other games. As for WZs, I’m pretty sure there will be people around interested in running them, but you may have to set up times to make sure they’re on at the same time as you are. That includes me. I usually log in to RP but my pvp gear is… actually not much farther along that it was the last time I ran WZs with you… so if you need a healer in the group, let me know.

  2. Aydrien says:

    I think if you were previously a subscriber you get preferred status, which still lacks a lot of features, but gives you a few of the unlocks. The most notably missing for f2p and preferred is the fleet pass. If you’ve got the security key you can get them off the vendor still I think, but the 16 hr pass that you are used to having by default is locked for f2p and preferred.

    As an aside, so you’re not surprised by it when you log in, there’s also a bug that’s sweeping lowbies into the Freighter if they’re grouped with a smuggler when said smuggler gets his ship… it puts the lowbie in every instance of the Freighter and they can’t leave. At all. They can’t see you, but you can see them. Couple days ago this guy was wandering around naked saying he was the Ghost of Christmas Past 😀

    As a subscriber, I haven’t really seen anything that’s going to require me to pay in addition to my subscription, which is something I was a little worried about. Some of the wording was vague on things like limiting where you can res, but I haven’t seen any changes to that. I do wish there was some way to change in-game currency for cartel coins though, like in GW2, even if it was only available for subscribers. You only get 500 coins a month for a subscription, which doesn’t go very far.

    • I think they intended the 500 coins as an allowance of sorts. You’ll be able to use it on whatever comes along in the future, as opposed to spending it on everyday amenities. I’ll have to take a closer look at the store. I haven’t logged in yet, and I am trying to wait until I can devote a few hours to it. I really want to enjoy this game, and would prefer paying a fraction of the subscription price to only do warzones. That is, as long as it’s just as fun as before.

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