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SWTOR designer cops to “looking at free-to-play”

Friday, 15th June 2012 06:49 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Star Wars: The Old Republic lead designer Emmanuel Lusinchi has said BioWare is scoping out competition from the free-to-play scene very carefully.

“The MMO market is very dynamic and we need to be dynamic as well,” Lusinchi told GamesTM.

“Unless people are happy with what they have, they are constantly demanding updates, new modes and situations. So we are looking at free-to-play but I can’t tell you in much detail. We have to be flexible and adapt to what is going on.”

It seems the developer didn’t mean BioWare is investigating the possibility of taking The Old Republic entirely free-to-play – it’s already set to go free to level 15 – but rather, that the team is checking out what competition exists in the freemium sphere. Additional comments suggest BioWare is aware of a pinch from a number of competing products.

“I think it’s more than the free-to-play model – it’s more that there is a lot of competitive offers,” Lusinchi said.

“If it was just free-to-play games and they weren’t very good it wouldn’t even be a question but there are definitely good games out there and good games coming out, so of course all of this competition impacts your plan with what you want to do.”

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14 Comments

  1. Hunam

    I think the biggest problem with SWTOR was releasing Mass Effect 3 during a content dry spell. I can’t tell you how many of my guild spent a couple of weeks on the Normandy and never came back. This of course had a knock on effect of taking most of the guild out as one person leaves, so does another, which then causes another etc.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. roadkill

    So how long will it take until they switch to F2P? I think it’s going to be 1 year. Tops. :))

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Puggy

    I do not even think going F2P would help that much. I mean… unlike some other MMO(s) I do not have a reason to log in every day, or at least every odd day.

    Sure, I got online for the Raid days, but honestly that got old quite fast, and “alting” was not even half as fun as it was said to be.

    Ah, well another lesson learned. Never trust the hype-mind.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. viralshag

    Going F2P will help it out as much as it ever does for most games that make the transition. Your initial user numbers will explode and go up, then drop off. You will still have a higher “player” base but it will mostly consist of people jumping on when there is nothing else to do or just scratch an itch.

    I don’t have anything to back all that up of course, I’m just speculating that’s the way it goes. TOR’s a good game that made some bad decisions. It’s worth playing for a month or so to get through one of the class stories for sure.

    As #3 said though, alting is not very fun, as for the most part there is too much samey questing in between the excellent class quests.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. roadkill

    @3 I agree with you Puggy I think the combat is seriously flawed (as in repetitive and stats-based) so I definitely won’t play it for too long but I just want to finish it once.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. viralshag

    @5, I don’t think the combat is that bad. It is very traditional action-bar-MMO combat but I think they had decent variation between classes and even in some cases between the advanced classes.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. GrimRita

    This video sums up the SWTOR Dev team – making claims that they didnt deliver on. Thinking that they understood the player base, the MMO genre, when all they did was copy a stale format.

    PvP combat was ok, apart from the incredible amounts of stuns, roots, snares – all from ONE class – that for the majority, was/still is a deal breaker because its just out right stupid.

    I think if they actually hired people who knew what they were doing, then this could/should have been miles better. Gear grinding is SO early 2000s but yet anyone wanting to join pvp(for example) will have the biggest grind of their life just to gear up.

    F2P may boost this, but they need to add value and the only way to do that, is to use their brain – LOL

    #7 2 years ago
  8. viralshag

    @Grim, I would agree with you that they did and do seem to be handling the game like complete MMO amateurs. As I said earlier, some of their decisions were just outright bad moves.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Hunam

    They have changed the way gear in PVP works. You can now buy tier 2 stuff with credits. Tier 1 had just gone now, and Tier 3 is the normal reward style stuff. Meaning you can get a good baseline pvp armour set soon as you hit 50.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Erthazus

    F2P already?

    How fast. Bioware…

    #10 2 years ago
  11. roadkill

    Well everyone will have his own preferences but I prefer skill-based (where everyone has the same skills, the same attributes and the same items) combat (like in Guild Wars) and not item-based (where everyone has different attributes and items) combat (like in WoW, SWtoR).

    #11 2 years ago
  12. GrimRita

    @9 no matter how you look at it, its still a grind. Its the single biggest thing that put me off Rift pvp when I hit max cap. Essentially, you remain canon fodder right up until you get War Hero gear and/or a mixture of recruit/Battlemaster stuff just to scratch someone else.

    If you are trying to attract a new audience to your pvp this is NOT the way to do it.

    The fact still remains that this game has been run into the ground by a dev team full of idiots who *think* they know what every one wants, without actually listening, to what the player base want.

    The format is stale(not just this but other MMOs) and thats why so many are struggling to keep players. If you’ve invested years in World of Warcraft, like the majority have, they are looking for some fresh ideas – not the SAME game with the SAME grind. So they quit, and return to where their investment sits.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. viralshag

    @Grim, While I somewhat agree I don’t see how MMO PvP will be anything other than a grind. Even GW2, you may not have to grind for gear but then I don’t see how the lack of requirements makes it any more or less fun.

    Just because it’s a “level” playing field doesn’t automatically make it a balanced fight each time.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. roadkill

    “Just because it’s a “level” playing field doesn’t automatically make it a balanced fight each time.” Actually, it does. :) I played Guild Wars 1 for 3 years. At a hardcore level. It’s always a balanced fight. Your skill and wits are the only things that make the difference.

    #14 2 years ago

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