Star Wars: The Old Republic Goes Free-to-Play

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Fr]anc[is:
So I probably wont be able to play as a green human, a blue human, grey human, or a human with bits of metal taped to their face. I can live with that.

Can anyone tell me what the difference between an operation and a flashpoint is? There's so many silly names for everything, is any of it single player stuff?

It's strange that they are adding a 4th kind of currency. From what little I've seen in the free trial, there's regular money, social points, and commendations. Social points cover the Leia bikini and things like that as far as I know, so why don't they just sell those?

Normal flashpoints is something easy to do with 3 other people to get better gear when you lvling.

Operations is only for 8 or 16 man, lvl 50, and Operations (Story mode, Hard mode, Nightmare mode) are hard, requires attention, tactics and gear.
The flow is this, you lvl to 50 then you do hardmode flashpoints (hard modes unlocks after lvl 50 ) to get some gear to bring your char to the point where you will be able to do first operation (EV story mode) then from there you forget about flashpoints and grind OPS. EV then KP then EV and KP hardmodes then EC and only then EC hardmode. To be regular and successful OPS runner you will need a good guild with voice coms.

KeyMaster45:
They seem to have mistaken "F2P" for the "eternal demo" model of business. If you're going F2P then all aspects of your game need to be available to everyone who logs in. By gating things off to subscribers only you defeat the purpose of even going F2P, especially in what they're doing with TOR. I see no incentive to play the game as a free user, in fact it looks more like they're punishing people who want to play free by relegating them to what is essentially the single player experience in an MMO. This reeks of crappy EA business decisions, and I'm sure they'll end up rethinking their model when they see it's not going to change anything in regards to their profit with this game.

But that's just it, the only good part of TOR is the single-player stuff. PvP is a joke, Flashpoints are crap as the rewards aren't worth the hassle of trying to get a group together, especially as chat is restricted to individual planets that usually only have 5-10 people on them at a time, and unless the endgame has significantly improved Ops will still be boring as sin. Blocking off certain races might be an issue for some people, but really it's just a different coat of paint. Space battles were fun at first, but on your second character they are mind-numbing affairs you can do with your eyes closed. Really the only thing that I would want to pay for, if I could do so without having to pay for a full sub., is the use of Speeders as the planets at the 20+ level are a pain in the ass to walk around.

Edit: Keep in mind I left back in March/April, after getting three characters to 50. They were supposed to be adding a bunch of stuff but I left before that so it is possible some of this is no longer true.

YES! I tried the trial, and to my surprise, I enjoyed it a LOT more than Guild Wars 2. Now, to see if their F2P model works well.

CriticKitten:

mirage202:
-snip-

Worth noting that this is obviously not true, since some MMOs still survive and even thrive to this day on F2P models, whereas most "pay to play" models experience a spike and then a quick downward slide to significantly lower figures.

Also worth noting that while Guild Wars 1 isn't technically F2P (it's actually "buy to play" like any other non-MMO game) or even an MMO at all, its cash shop has not only sustained the game since it released back in 2005*, but it's also brought in enough revenue for them to afford a full-fledged MMO sequel under the same franchise name....an MMO that will use pretty much the exact same model.

People don't go F2P just to boost profits for "a month tops", they do it because it works in the long term. The market has changed significantly since the days of premium subscriptions. Free to play isn't synonymous with "piece of garbage" any more, and premium no longer necessarily means "top of the line" either. With the lines blurred, people are becoming less willing to fork over monthly payments for an experience they can essentially get for free. It's not as simple as "just make your game better".

* EDIT: Biiiiig typo there. '05, not '02. xD

Hmm I obviously didn't quite make it clear enough that the month tops part, was my personal time investment before hitting the paywall, or finding a glaring lack of depth at the endgame, not anything to do with the change of revenue model.

I'm not against F2P games, I'm just confused why F2P is being lauded so strongly by all these companies that insist on churning out the same crap over and over. They try copy WOW, fail, hail F2P as the future, instead of, well, innovating.

I suppose what I am asking is, has the market really changed? or has it just gotten fed up with Generic Fantasy MMO #7433? TERA, Aion, TOR, Secret World, all big budget MMO's, all claimed to be the next big thing. Well, didn't happen did it? Generic Fantasy MMO with a slight game mechanic change #7434 #7435 etc etc. What if the F2P model only has its current popularity due to everything being the same, either a WoW clone, or yet another carbon copy asian style fantasy MMO.

I guess I just refuse to see the sub model as dead until a company actually steps up and releases something new and most importantly different, with a monthly sub. If/when that failed, then I could see lauding F2P as the future being anything other than a weak excuse to explain away massive failure on the part of these publishers.

Francis:

itsthesheppy:
Thats one hurdle down. Now all they need to do is make Origin unnecessary to run it and I might actually play.

Get it straight from the site and you don't need Origin.

Direct from the FAQ on their own website:

Will I require an Origin account in addition to a SWTOR account?

Yes, you will require an active Origin account in addition to a Star Wars: The Old Republic account. You can create a new Origin account by going to the Origin Account Registration page, entering your email address in the appropriate space and clicking "Start my EA Profile." This will take you to a screen where you can create your EA Master ID and set your password.
You can also start a new Origin account by logging in with either your Facebook or PlayStation Network accounts, or by downloading and running the Origin client for the first time.

This is the part that has me a little confused. Do you just need the ACCOUNT but not the client?

I'll have a look at it but i didn't quite understand one thing about that, Are some races or classes and stuff like that sealed off from the people who start playing it now when it goes F2P?

itsthesheppy:

Francis:

itsthesheppy:
Thats one hurdle down. Now all they need to do is make Origin unnecessary to run it and I might actually play.

Get it straight from the site and you don't need Origin.

Direct from the FAQ on their own website:

Will I require an Origin account in addition to a SWTOR account?

Yes, you will require an active Origin account in addition to a Star Wars: The Old Republic account. You can create a new Origin account by going to the Origin Account Registration page, entering your email address in the appropriate space and clicking "Start my EA Profile." This will take you to a screen where you can create your EA Master ID and set your password.
You can also start a new Origin account by logging in with either your Facebook or PlayStation Network accounts, or by downloading and running the Origin client for the first time.

This is the part that has me a little confused. Do you just need the ACCOUNT but not the client?

Yep, basically. You need an account to log into the game, but you don't need Origin itself installed on your system to run. TOR has its own login client.

Arina Love:
A very informative quote

I figured it was something like that, thank you.

itsthesheppy:
This is the part that has me a little confused. Do you just need the ACCOUNT but not the client?

That's what I've heard prior to all the F2P news. It doesn't actually need the Origin program, but a TOR account counts as an origin account. Same thing with the free trial I played. Doesn't need Origin itself, but the signup page said it might be turned into an Origin account or some such nonsense like that.

Fr]anc[is:

Arina Love:
A very informative quote

I figured it was something like that, thank you.

itsthesheppy:
This is the part that has me a little confused. Do you just need the ACCOUNT but not the client?

That's what I've heard prior to all the F2P news. It doesn't actually need the Origin program, but a TOR account counts as an origin account. Same thing with the free trial I played. Doesn't need Origin itself, but the signup page said it might be turned into an Origin account or some such nonsense like that.

I'm happy so long as my computer remains origin-free.

Great, now Secret World, go Free 2 Play. We all know it's going to happen, and you look like a fun game.

And with that... the last nail is fully in the coffin housing ToR.

Unlimited access to story mode... but... no access to certain parts of the story mode. (IE flashpoints, etc) Yeah ok.

And if your going to do the whole F2P thing... giving free access to the only part of your game that is even remotely good, while restricting access to the worst parts of your game (Space combat ahem.) gives no one any sort of incentive to purchase pointless and incredibly stupid microtransactions.

So way to go. Youve managed to pull a hat trick of stupidity with this game.

Hello everyone. I would like to present to you.

The people that spent an alleged 300 million dollars on this game, neglected any game that was going to be released other than their sports branch and established franchises in favour of this one, issued a rabid marketing campaign and now not even a single year after it's release, are crawling back into their cave out of shame for thinking a subscription MMO can survive in this day and age.

The reason WoW can survive is because of dependency, it's users depend on it for social interaction and their mental investment. You don't have that. You can never have that because you are living in 2012, a recession era where people are desperately looking for work, stealing and dealing if they can't find any work and where most adolescents and young adults who generally play such games no longer have the time nor money to invest to become dependant on your game.

I don't think EA's dreams of power and star wars glory lasted for longer than 6 months. It is still a very good single player game I will play entirely solo when it does go FTP. So thank you EA I will enjoy what I would have enjoyed had you not made this an MMO. You on the other hand, won't get any money, because it is an MMO that failed.

You know it baffles me. Eve, has something like 350k subscribers, runs a massive cluster for a single shard universe, gives away free content updates (because lets face it they must) and maintains very respectable profits.

Yet these big 'tripple A' mmos can't seem to stay a float or be worth producing new content for with out tons of subscribers. I think the corporations running these MMOs are looking at the MMO model in a flawed way. Instead of trying to grab a huge chunk of the market and holding onto it why not first build a solid base of players and then expand your subscriptions by refining the game until it is a polished gem.

I can't help but feel that all this 'short term' greed ends up hurting everyone in the long run.

Going free to play: not a bad idea

Separating a bunch of standard content to the people who still want to pay, thus segregating your player base on a game that implements social interaction: fucking stupid

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

We told y'all! We warned you about the TORtanic Bro! We told you bro!

IT KEEPS HAPPENING!

400 million dollars confirmed for down the drain.

EA confirmed for retards!

Bioware confirmed for as clueless as they are talentless!

This has to be end of rhine.

Another big-budget crapsack by developers that claim to listen to the community while cutting corners everywhere. And nothing of value was lost.

mirage202:
Why are subscriptions dead?
Why is Free 2 Play the shining knight on his white steed?

Everyone that isn't Blizzard is heralding F2P as the only course of action. Interestingly, everyone who isn't Blizzard, heralding F2P, are also the same people churning out reskinned WoW clones.

My mind just seems to stick to the point that subs aren't dead, just the minor detail that nothing worth paying for has been released.

Active WOW sub 2005-2010 (Lost interest eventually)
Active Eve sub 2004-Current (Still worth paying for)

F2P games with cash shops maintain interest for.. a month tops I guess. Perhaps if they stopped A) Applying traditional game retail values to MMOs and B)Actually produced games worth paying monthly for, this wouldn't keep happening?

Because it has shown to be the only way to keep players and revenue going for every MMO that isn't WoW. Lord of the Rings, Conan online, and so many others doubled if not tripled both player counts and revenue after going F2P. The more people leave, the emptier the game feels, and the emptier the game feels, the more people leave. WoW hasn't gone F2P yet because it's massive player base is more or less self sustaining, and even that is dropping.

The market has changed. The economy is still crap, their is to much free competition, and traditional MMO gameplay is becoming obsolete. World of Tanks, Tera, Plantside 2, even Guild Wars to some degree all have actual gameplay, and require skill beyond "click the hotkeys at the right time." TOR is both traditional in gameplay, and feels old. Besides the well written story and the setting, what really makes it better than a billion other MMO's that don't cost a dime to play?

Well, at least I can try this game without spending a single dime.

frizzlebyte:
While I am not a big fan of TOR, simply because I wanted KOTOR 3 instead of this, I will be playing it now. Can't say I would ever do a microtransaction at all, but going F2P is a good thing, IMO.

mirage202:
Why are subscriptions dead?
Why is Free 2 Play the shining knight on his white steed?

Everyone that isn't Blizzard is heralding F2P as the only course of action. Interestingly, everyone who isn't Blizzard, heralding F2P, are also the same people churning out reskinned WoW clones.

My mind just seems to stick to the point that subs aren't dead, just the minor detail that nothing worth paying for has been released.

Active WOW sub 2005-2010 (Lost interest eventually)
Active Eve sub 2004-Current (Still worth paying for)

F2P games with cash shops maintain interest for.. a month tops I guess. Perhaps if they stopped A) Applying traditional game retail values to MMOs and B)Actually produced games worth paying monthly for, this wouldn't keep happening?

We have a winner!

I honestly don't think that the huge movement is towards ftp as a standard or as a preferred business model. Rather ftp is the only viable way to rescue a game that fails to gain traction as a subscription game. It's the MMO equivalent of the $20 bin at Gamestop. People didn't stop playing SWTOR because of the subscription fee. They happily paid that to check it out. There are some subscription games that have been going for 10+ years. The problems aren't "the subscription model". The problems are unrealistic expectations by publishers and developers, un polished, un finished games, and the constant stream of look alike wow clones.

Now there is an important lesson to be learned. While ftp is not the end all be all holy grail and the way of the future. It is a part of it. New games would do well to learn the lessons of ftp and game demo's. Any game that releases should have a ftp demo of some sort. If your game is good let the players experience it. They will pay from there. Stop trying to dump sight unseen games on us.

Akexi:
Going free to play: not a bad idea

Separating a bunch of standard content to the people who still want to pay, thus segregating your player base on a game that implements social interaction: fucking stupid

This is such a true thing. I mean, it entirely depends on how limited it actually is. Do they mean like...a certain amount of flashpoints/warzones an hour/day/whatever or do they mean somethin else like a qol adjustment in the opposite direction like no group finder option?

Its a bit early to say just how bad it could actually be and how horribly Bioware/EA plan to shoot themselves. Given the history of the game itself and the developers/publishers absolute arrogance to the entire situation my money is on shoot themselves in the foot and the bullet somehow ricochets off the ground and hits them in the head right after.

Maybe I'll be surprised though and the limited access bits wont actually be as horribly limited as I expect.

Time to go back to the best online massively single player rpg I've tried. But I haven't tried Diablo III yet so we'll see if it holds onto that title. On a side note can one feel guilty and vindicated at the same time? I'm sorry I couldn't fund you KOT-I mean TOR! Hopefully you can still scrape out a living through off of cosmetic slave dresses and ship hull skins from an online store. *a space-folding sigh*

After investing so much money into this MMO, now it's F2P. Not that F2P is a bad thing (unless EA executes it horribly), but still. Sucks for them.

I'm going to try to sit here and not be smug. This was an inevitability. I'm just surprised it was this soon.

A terrible game is in a terrible position... right where it should be.

Hurray! I can't wait to start playing again since subscription was the only thing holding me back.

Awesome! I was just playing KOTOR II so this will be perfect. Can't wait!

Please let this be an example to other developers trying to put out an MMO *cough*Bethesda*cough*. Making a WoW clone in a popular setting is NOT guaranteed to be successful.

Wait, race will be restricted? So, what, can you only play as a human or something?

Will be forgotten at the end of the month when GW2 comes out.

It's common belief that all these subscription based MMOs flop because they cant compete with WoW. I think it's just that the subscription based model itself is a flop, when Blizzard releases their next big MMO, and it's forced to go free to play in a month, my point will be made. WoW just got lucky to hook a bunch of people before we all figured out what a scam pay to play is.

Of course, free to play is a flop as well. The only good way is the Guild Wars 2 way.

nodlimax:

major_chaos:
This is a good thing from where I'm standing. the sooner MMOs move away from the bullshit monthly subscription model the better.

You do know that Freemium or "F2P"are usually more expensive than the Sub based MMOs? But the costs in these models are kind of hidden for the uneducated kind of people.

DDO does it well, you never have to pay for anything, you can build up credit in-game to buy cash shop items, at a pretty good pace too.

Aaaaand...now I'll play the game. Thanks.

I was just waiting for this day; I got a copy of KOTOR for free at work but I'm not that interested in the game to pay a subscription. But now I can try it out and, hey, if it's a good game, I might subscribe.

Easton Dark:
Wait, race will be restricted? So, what, can you only play as a human or something?

Psh, why would you play any other races, you ARE a human, after all. Stop trying to be original and play the race you are, goddammit!

kortin:

Easton Dark:
Wait, race will be restricted? So, what, can you only play as a human or something?

Psh, why would you play any other races, you ARE a human, after all. Stop trying to be original and play the race you are, goddammit!

But I wanted to be an... um... a Darth Maul?

Easton Dark:

kortin:

Easton Dark:
Wait, race will be restricted? So, what, can you only play as a human or something?

Psh, why would you play any other races, you ARE a human, after all. Stop trying to be original and play the race you are, goddammit!

But I wanted to be an... um... a Darth Maul?

Oh.

Well in that case, go right in! We don't have nearly as many Darth Mauls around as we should!

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