Star Wars: The Old Republic Goes Free In One Week

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Star Wars: The Old Republic Goes Free In One Week

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BioWare will fling open the doors to its Star Wars MMO on November 15.

We've known for awhile now that this was going to happen, but now we finally know when: November 15 is the day that BioWare takes its last, best shot at turning the around the troubled Star Wars: The Old Republic. The free-to-play launch will take place in all regions where the game is available, allowing all players to advance to level 50 at zero cost.

Those who do subscribe will still enjoy benefits, however, including complimentary "Cartel Coins" and preferred status, which eliminates or "greatly reduces" many of the restrictions of free-to-play accounts. Paying players will also have two extra quick slot bars, a purchasable Cargo Hold tab and can access the same experience boosts as free-to-play players, letting them advance at an accelerated pace. Former players who reactivate their subscriptions by midnight on December 20 will also be given free Cartel Coins based on the number of months they maintained a paid subscription prior to November 15.

To find out more about BioWare's free-to-play plan for Star Wars: The Old Republic, hit up swtor.com/free.

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I'm sure their sub numbers will increase from this, but I guarantee most people picking it up now will just be playing 1-50 for the story and then dropping it without paying a dime.

they can make money off it by using TF2's crate and hat system. That way they can avoid the limitations.

How many cat avatars can post on one page? @Fappy:

If my recollection is correct, I think this is the second quickest conversion from subscription to F2P in MMO history. DCUO still claims that dubious honor. I hope they'll put some dev time and money in to the actual "game" after they make this change instead of pumping millions in to the story that people played once before they dropped the game to head back to WoW.

Great, I can play the whole game now, after spending nothing on it, they really haven't thought this through, I only hope it lasts long enough for me to do at least two playthroughs.

Well that give me a week to prepared my reply to my mate to why I don't want to play it (he finally caught on that it going F2P). No offence to those who do enjoyed the game but I don't to install a game I know I will be bored with (I wasn't impress with the game videos I've seen after it came out) and to uninstall it afterward. However in saying so he did got put off with some of the restriction.

Fappy:
I'm sure their sub numbers will increase from this, but I guarantee most people picking it up now will just be playing 1-50 for the story and then dropping it without paying a dime.

Exactly what I'm going to end up doing.

I'm with you guys, I'll play the 1-50 like it's KotOR 3, and probably use cartel coins to lessen the impact of the more hindering "features" of the F2P. I really don't think I'll spend more than the 15 bucks for the one month I'd spend anyway finishing it.

Hell, maybe by that time we'll have had fun and decide to be subscribers for a while? I can be optimistic.

I feel like it's too late in the day for them.

I hate to go 'quote E-C' on something but their talk on micro-transactions rings true, those that were lured in with the promise of more StarWars goodness have already paid the sub and then either stayed or left, and the 'it's a decent game but not in the long term' has buried that hook under a pile of 'meh, why bother' for the long term MMO fans.

Most people are going to over look it, or probably play it for a little while and never send a single coin their way again.

And all this 'those who subscribed are the elite players'... Is a horrible thing to balance and can make the dirty, unwashed, free-2-play newcomer feel unwanted at the party. That's. Bad.

Include all in the majority of things from the get-go and then ease 'pay for convenience' over time or you risk overwhelming newcomers and sending them running.

And they will. I see this floundering and sinking at an unprecedented rate. Which is surprising. I was totally on the 'this might actually kill WoW' wagon. Until it launched.

Hell MapleStory despite the blubbering over bloated mis matched mess that it is now, started the right way. For a year, everyone was equal. No one was above the other, the game struggled for that time, but millions played and enjoyed the simple 2D gameplay.
Later, the cash shop premiums were introduced slowly and surely, people began to invest in their characters. And voila a booming and sinister business model took hold as people competed for ugliest character on their servers (This is a thing if I remember).

Sylveria:
If my recollection is correct, I think this is the second quickest conversion from subscription to F2P in MMO history. DCUO still claims that dubious honor. I hope they'll put some dev time and money in to the actual "game" after they make this change instead of pumping millions in to the story that people played once before they dropped the game to head back to WoW.

I thought APB beat it, if you only count time active as a subscription game, and not the time it took it to actually go F2P. Since APB was actually taken down shortly after launch. Also, I thought Crimecraft went in the first six months, but I'm not 100% sure.

Regardless, I know APB has the record for the shortest lived Subscription game, at around 45 days.

DrunkOnEstus:
I'm with you guys, I'll play the 1-50 like it's KotOR 3, and probably use cartel coins to lessen the impact of the more hindering "features" of the F2P. I really don't think I'll spend more than the 15 bucks for the one month I'd spend anyway finishing it.

Hell, maybe by that time we'll have had fun and decide to be subscribers for a while? I can be optimistic.

Well, this should kill that enthusiasm.

You have to pay to unlock additional quick slot bars, you have to pay to play PvP, Flashpoints, and Operations more than a couple times a week, you have to pay to equip gear beyond a certain rarity (I forget which one), accessing your bank, the ability to hide headgear, the ability to display any title you've earned...

Yeah, it's some lovely stuff...

So credits WILL do fine?

hmm i might go back and finish out some story lines now. I never finished any of my republic characters due to family and other games coming out.

Lol people actually play this over MOP? I admit I picked this up at launch when Cata / DS was stale as fuck. But honestly, end game is so piss weak poor - I got full epics in 1 raid week, then stopped...No amount of F2P will save this crappy game.

Edit: Oh and what numbnut at EA thought it would be a good idea putting in restrictions for a F2P game? EITHER STAY PAY to PLAY or COMPLETELY go F2P...none of this half-half bullshit.

DIAF SWTOR!

with other, possibly better games comming out in november..... ah, well.
i guess i cant give a fuck to even try it.

it will be like a shitty kotor 1 clone but instead of gathering 5 pelts for a quest i'd have to gather 120 pelts to complete a mission.

Starke:

DrunkOnEstus:
I'm with you guys, I'll play the 1-50 like it's KotOR 3, and probably use cartel coins to lessen the impact of the more hindering "features" of the F2P. I really don't think I'll spend more than the 15 bucks for the one month I'd spend anyway finishing it.

Hell, maybe by that time we'll have had fun and decide to be subscribers for a while? I can be optimistic.

Well, this should kill that enthusiasm.

You have to pay to unlock additional quick slot bars, you have to pay to play PvP, Flashpoints, and Operations more than a couple times a week, you have to pay to equip gear beyond a certain rarity (I forget which one), accessing your bank, the ability to hide headgear, the ability to display any title you've earned...

Yeah, it's some lovely stuff...

Oh. Well...um...so, basically, look at the graphics/engine/combat, then subscribe if you have the nerve to want to play the damn game? I thought the idea was to charge money for superfluous and vanity items, not give new players the worst possible impression of the game they're being asked to subscribe to. Nevermind?

Here's the make or break question when it comes to SW:TOR at least where I'm concerned.
Do you need Origins to play it?

This is great. I'm really looking forward to this.

Honestly I don't see this as the best way to monetize the game, but they wouldn't be getting a cent out of me otherwise anyways. Besides, It's not my problem. All I need to do is sit back and finish the storylines of my characters who have all been hovering around level 15.

DrunkOnEstus:

Starke:

DrunkOnEstus:
I'm with you guys, I'll play the 1-50 like it's KotOR 3, and probably use cartel coins to lessen the impact of the more hindering "features" of the F2P. I really don't think I'll spend more than the 15 bucks for the one month I'd spend anyway finishing it.

Hell, maybe by that time we'll have had fun and decide to be subscribers for a while? I can be optimistic.

Well, this should kill that enthusiasm.

You have to pay to unlock additional quick slot bars, you have to pay to play PvP, Flashpoints, and Operations more than a couple times a week, you have to pay to equip gear beyond a certain rarity (I forget which one), accessing your bank, the ability to hide headgear, the ability to display any title you've earned...

Yeah, it's some lovely stuff...

Oh. Well...um...so, basically, look at the graphics/engine/combat, then subscribe if you have the nerve to want to play the damn game? I thought the idea was to charge money for superfluous and vanity items, not give new players the worst possible impression of the game they're being asked to subscribe to. Nevermind?

Kinda where I ended up. Except, if I'm going to play an MMO for just the combat and graphics engine, I've actually got a DCUO sub. :p

TheSYLOH:
Here's the make or break question when it comes to SW:TOR at least where I'm concerned.
Do you need Origins to play it?

You didn't used to. No idea if that's changed or not.

Having seen the feature set for F2P, I suspect this is going to be a pretty big failure (some early increase in revenue, but nothing lasting).

They took a game that people didn't think was worth the sub fees, stripped it of basic features like UI, ability to chat, quest reward (they will irretrievably disappear if you haven't purchased access to them) etc. and expect people to pay for them. Yet you can never unlock all subscriber features, such as unlocking the credit cap as a F2P and they haven't even added long time no-brainer requests such as character slots and greater character customization (they are apparently introducing one new race, Cathar, with his patch).

There is simply nothing compelling about staying a F2P person long term in that game. And, as stated above, the majority of people have already decided its not worth the sub cost. So, like many people have suggests, you will get a bunch of F2P additions who will consume as much single player story as they can stomach given the restrictions. Prolly spending very little if anything at all, then quitting, never to return.

kortin:

Fappy:
I'm sure their sub numbers will increase from this, but I guarantee most people picking it up now will just be playing 1-50 for the story and then dropping it without paying a dime.

Exactly what I'm going to end up doing.

you and me both. its what i plan to do as well

Tumedus:
quest reward (they will irretrievably disappear if you haven't purchased access to them)

This is the first I've heard of this one. You know where you saw it originally?

The SWTOR free-to-play model is extremely stripped down. It's an obvious bait and switch from EA to get players to subscribe and have access to all the basic features of the full game. But to play devils advocate; I can understand limiting the online features like warzones and flashpoints, but limiting things like character creation & crew skills are just pointless, shameless, nickel-and-dimming tactics.

GW2 players are laughing their asses of.

TOR will probably be one of the worst F2P mmos out there. It will see the jump in players that every f2p game sees, but people won't stick around, especially not with how restrictive they are being with the F2P option...

Sylveria:
If my recollection is correct, I think this is the second quickest conversion from subscription to F2P in MMO history. DCUO still claims that dubious honor. I hope they'll put some dev time and money in to the actual "game" after they make this change instead of pumping millions in to the story that people played once before they dropped the game to head back to WoW.

I could of swore champions online bit the dust faster than DCUO...... city of heros slayer my ass.

This whole thing is a joke, the content wont be any better than when we paid for it, the only difference is that there will be swarms of morons that no longer worry about getting banned for being complete fuckwads in chat and you'll be restricted from playing the worst parts of the game. Actually its not a joke, because its not even amusing, just pathetic.

eh ...

the story wasn't interesting enough to make me wanna finish it, offering it 'free' but heavly restricted is hardly a reason to go back

sooner go back to DCUO then ToR

Still not gonna play it especially with all the restrictions they are placing to try to force people to sub

Starke:

Tumedus:
quest reward (they will irretrievably disappear if you haven't purchased access to them)

This is the first I've heard of this one. You know where you saw it originally?

I saw it on their public test server as I have a friend who still plays. It was a couple of weeks ago, though, so its possible they changed it. But this was after they acquiesced on the 2nd hotbar and I haven't heard about any changes since then.

How it works is basically any quest reward that is purple and/or a lockbox (could be others but that is all I am aware of) will show up in the quest reward window with a little icon on it saying you don't have access to it without paying. But once you complete the quest, you don't get the item so that if you purchase access later you can use it, the locked item simply never appears in your inventory. It's gone forever. And some quests simply don't offer a free access item.

There are other really punitive things in there too that seem almost spiteful. From what I can see, the F2P is just not an enjoyable experience. It seems entirely tailored to annoy you into subbing rather than making unlocks and small purchases appealing.

Talking to that friend, he spent his entire allowance of cartel coins on the PTS just to get the game into a state where it didn't frustrate him. Now admittedly, he is used to being a subscriber with no restrictions, but that still doesn't seem like the right way to approach F2P.

Seems they're going the Microsoft route by treating free players as sub-class humans.

Pay for more quickbars? Pay to unlock the cargo hold? Pay to equip late-game items? Pay to get more than one crew skill?

Good god. The rest is acceptable, but these? These are just ridiculous.

EDIT: And I see they're charging for the ability to hide the head slot and match armor colors. Lovely.

Tumedus:

Starke:

Tumedus:
quest reward (they will irretrievably disappear if you haven't purchased access to them)

This is the first I've heard of this one. You know where you saw it originally?

I saw it on their public test server as I have a friend who still plays. It was a couple of weeks ago, though, so its possible they changed it. But this was after they acquiesced on the 2nd hotbar and I haven't heard about any changes since then.

How it works is basically any quest reward that is purple and/or a lockbox (could be others but that is all I am aware of) will show up in the quest reward window with a little icon on it saying you don't have access to it without paying. But once you complete the quest, you don't get the item so that if you purchase access later you can use it, the locked item simply never appears in your inventory. It's gone forever. And some quests simply don't offer a free access item.

There are other really punitive things in there too that seem almost spiteful. From what I can see, the F2P is just not an enjoyable experience. It seems entirely tailored to annoy you into subbing rather than making unlocks and small purchases appealing.

Talking to that friend, he spent his entire allowance of cartel coins on the PTS just to get the game into a state where it didn't frustrate him. Now admittedly, he is used to being a subscriber with no restrictions, but that still doesn't seem like the right way to approach F2P.

The thing that absolutely floored me was the restriction on hotbars.

Seriously. Fuckin hotbars need to be bought?

Treatin your future customers like shit and givin them the shittiest experience possible in the hopes that they'll get pissed off enough at the shitty system to throw money at you to make it less terrible is an awful awful idea.

What could a system like that possibly gain other than resentment form its customers?

I was planing on trying it. But with all those restrictions they slapped on. Sheesh.
I also just got into a big active RP guild in GW2 so, no time.

I have to say that EA's uber greed and the "Free To Play" model seem to go well together and also show both in their truest, most unfiltered sense.

There are plenty of ways to get people to want to invest money in F2P games, however what EA is doing here is pretty much taking the "harass to pay" model to an absolute extreme since to have anything like a comfortable playing experience your going to have to dish out a decent pile of dough.

The trick to doing the F2P thing "right" is to create a good game, and make it enjoyable enough on it's own where people want to spend more money on it, and try and trickle in the transactions a bit at a time, as opposed to trying to make huge piles of cash right out of the gate.

To be honest, it is going to be interesting to see what happens here. Either this will work and it's going to be a nightmare as more MMOs emulate this degree of cash sucking (pay for hotbars... ugh) or it's going to fail utterly making ToR not only a free to play record, but one of the first games of it's sort to try and go free to play and then fail utterly.

It's unlikely but through all of this I've kind of been hoping Star Wars Galaxies will be able to come back in some form (without being a total cash sucking f2p monster hopefully), I kind of miss my characters and houses and stuff there.

TheSYLOH:
Here's the make or break question when it comes to SW:TOR at least where I'm concerned.
Do you need Origins to play it?

Nope. When I bought it, it was its own client and the only login is directly into TOR. Still the case now.

Oh well. I still had the game on my HD, so I patched it up to get ready for the F2P launch. I'll probably go visit my level 50 commando on whatever server she ended up on, then remember why I got tired of the game in the first place.

I'm very curious to see if Lucasarts new paymaster may yet yank this license and run with a new one in the future, especially with new movies on the horizon.

Yay, I can finally finish the Imperial Agent story line! Been looking forward to that since summer.

Apart from that, I don't mind the F2P limitations and believe they will be largely ineffective. Everybody is there for the story anyway...

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