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Star Wars: The Old Republic F2P restrictions eased

Monday, 29th October 2012 00:47 GMT By Brenna Hillier

The free-to-play version of Star Wars: The Old Republic won’t be quite as restricted as previously advertised.

Under the new scheme, free to play members will have access to a second quickslot bar, and will be able to participate in five warzones per week.

The cooldown on shop items has been reduced for both memberships too, to three days for free-to-play and two for subscribers.

BioWare’s original proposal for how the free-to-play model would work was met with a lukewarm reception.

Lead designer Damion Schubert said the changes are a response to “community and internal feedback” and noted that most subscribers will never even see the free-to-play experiences; lapsed accounts will remain as “preferred status” customers.

Nevertheless, BioWare is taking concerns from both sides very seriously.

“One of our golden rules is that the Free-to-Play experience should not cheapen the experience for paying subscribers,” he said, in the MMORPG’s forum.

“If it turns out that the Free-to-Play conversion results in a degraded Warzone experience once we go live for subscribers, you can rest assured that we will quickly make adjustments to the system to ensure that subscribers have an optimal experience.

“That being said, it is important conversely that the subscription offers subscribers strong, tangible benefits over the Free-to-Play experience. We value our subscribers greatly, and they are crucial to the success of Star Wars: The Old Republic.”

Star Wars: The Old Republic is expected to launch its free-to-play option before the end of the year.

Thanks, PC Gamer.

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11 Comments

  1. Talkar

    This is a great step in the right direction, but i still think they should reconsider giving away all of the story content for free, and instead removing some of the other restrictions.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. roadkill

    But the number of flashpoints and space battles that we can take place in is still 3 each. Right?

    #2 2 years ago
  3. GrimRita

    For a change, Bioware have actually used their brain. The restrictions were plain stupid.

    The problem they face is that they clearly dont want to go totally free, yet at the same time, hardly offer anything new. There is no level cap increase, no additional new races(bar one), and limiting players to X amount of warzones or flashpoints will just have the same impact on the servers.

    If Bioware are serious about saving this white elephant, the only option is by going totally free to play, then offering items to purchase with real money, like introducing some superb looking armour, adding boosts to PvE and PvP XP and coms collections and cloning how Arena does this with Guild Wars 2.

    Then, they may bring back some of the 1.7 million players they lost in record time.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. NeoSquall

    “Under the new scheme, free to play members will have access to a second quickslot bar”

    What, there are restrictions even to the number of quickslots available?!?

    #4 2 years ago
  5. viralshag

    @4, Yeah, it sounds like it… which I think is completely crazy.

    @3, I don’t really think GW2 is the shining example of “how to do MMOs” in my opinion. That faded for me and most of my friends faster than TOR ever did.

    I’m back on TOR (again) and loving it (again). This time I’m playing as the Agent (sniper) and I have to say I think it’s one of the best stories I’ve come across in game so far.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. GrimRita

    @5 Im not on about ‘how to do MMOs’, but how to be free to play and charge without limits. Or if they copy Riots format with XP boosts, skins etc and yet allow players to enjoy the game without limits.

    If you limit peoples playing experience, you therefore run the risk of having low populated servers during the week, which SWTOR cant really afford to do again.

    A friend of mine said that the Sniper had a superb story line but as Bioware have found out, ppl wont pay £9 a month for ‘story’ alone.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. viralshag

    @6, But what I’m saying is I don’t think GW2′s way of doing F2P is even that good. Especially if you’re a company out to make money. Once people have wised up to the fact that spending money on gems is a complete waste of money, that source of income will decrease dramatically.

    There’s absolutely no sense in them going completely free to play yet as there are still people willing to pay. Why lose those people if you don’t need to? I imagine at this stage all those not willing to pay for a sub have left and those that will are still playing.

    And regarding to what people are willing to pay for, you could say that about almost any MMO that’s been released in recent years, F2P or not.

    What recent big-name MMOs haven’t seen major drop offs in player numbers? If the forums/rumors/personal experiences are to be believed, which obviously I’m not sure if they are, GW2 being an MMO designed to be F2P can’t even retain players.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Ireland Michael

    @7 WoW dipped to about 9 million for a while, but jumped back up over 10 million again recently.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. viralshag

    @8, I wouldn’t even bring WoW into the conversation. I have nothing against the game, obviously, I play it myself. But WoW is a game that will never stop ticking in my opinion. I think it will always retain enough die-hard/committed fans to keep the game healthy.

    You have to admit though, most MMOs that have been released in maybe the last two years are treated a lot more like regular games. People buy them, play them until they’ve had their fill, and then move on. Most likely never to return to it.

    A lot of newer MMOs can’t seem to sell more than a very popular game, and will then only hold on to the same amount of players as any other online game.

    I just don’t think there is as big a market for these new high-profile MMOs as there once was. I might be wrong, Titan or something might draw 6 million plus subs or players… I just highly doubt it.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. GrimRita

    Personally I think SWTOR should just swallow the pill and go full free to play. So far, every attempt at increasing the player base has failed because Bioware have been half baked in their efforts for everything.

    You could argue there is a small base of players paying – yes but the idea behind any F2P model is to increase the amount of players you have. These kind of limits wont do anything to make that happen.

    After all, if you have well populated servers, you have a foundation to attract new players, who in turn, tell their friends etc etc etc. SWTOR is SO frustrating because I loved how my class played – my Assassin, enjoyed the combat in pvp(despite the stunfest) but found the game SO limiting and lacking creativity(fucking hell, this is Star Wars so there is NO excuse for that!).

    GW2 combat wasnt to my taste and I found the entire WvW a blast but then it just became a zergfest combined with a timezone issue – so the matching up wasnt smart!

    But Bioware can save SWTOR if they just show some initiative, start working WITH the fans(and limited fan sites left) and just switch fully to F2P and copy League of Legends/Riots way of having MTs in the game.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. viralshag

    That still makes no sense whatsoever though. Why throw away subs in the hope of gaining more players for which the majority won’t pay anything at all?

    Since the server consolidations there’s absolutely zero problems with populations.

    #11 2 years ago

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