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Star Wars: The Old Republic: The Free-to-Play Experience Detailed

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,571MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

The Star Wars: The Old Republic blog has been updated with a terrific new post detailing the developers' thoughts about the free-to-play experience. Key to the success of the new model will be that players can reach level 50 without paying a dime and that their user experience is not degraded in any way from those who are subscribers.

The first core rule is that we want to be sure that players can reach level 50 without paying a cent, if so desired. The final design meets this requirement: Free-to-Play players can play levels 1 through 50 and enjoy the vast majority of the classic storyline and side quests during their journey. A member of our Marketing team once observed that Star Wars: The Old Republic is roughly 24 times the size of the original Star Wars™: Knights of the Old Republic™ game. Well, now BioWare is letting players have all that story content for free! That’s not to say there won’t be restrictions – Free-to-Play players will earn experience more slowly, for example, and several aspects of the gameplay experience are limited. If you have friends who love Star Wars™ and the BioWare-style storytelling, but were uneasy about the monthly subscription, or paying $60 up front for the box – well, come mid-November, those concerns should be erased.

Read the full post as well as gain new information about the subscriber rewards on the Star Wars: The Old Republic blog.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
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Comments

  • PurutzilPurutzil East Stroudsburg, PAPosts: 2,923Member Uncommon

    Not limited a all... except limited action bar slots and race choices and item choices and warfronts and space rail shooting time and crew skills and....

     

     

    Haha seriously though not to unexpected for F2P. At the very least it does offer a good bit of content and the ability to get to level 50 with the little good parts (story) of the game in tact. Sure its no single player RPG but the story is at least enjoyable here compared to recently releases that have in most cases did a poor job with it.

  • AsamofAsamof La Canada, CAPosts: 738Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Purutzil

    Not limited a all... except limited action bar slots and race choices and item choices and warfronts and space rail shooting time and crew skills and....

     

  • MargraveMargrave Knoxville, TNPosts: 633Member Uncommon

    'earn experience more slowly'

    Wow, and I thought the charging for quickslot bars was bad.

  • Rommie10-284Rommie10-284 Systems CommonwealthPosts: 238Member Uncommon

    The limited quick travel and resurrection are just killer roadblocks.  BW is trying so hard to encourage microtransactions that they can't see the forest they've built: It'll be easier to WALK AWAY than climb the barriers.

    Just one final mistake in the epic disaster.  They bungle lowering a lifeboat and dump all the people into the water.

    Avatars are people too

  • 77lolmac7777lolmac77 Herp Derp, PAPosts: 496Member
    this game really did crash and burn.
  • BurninatorXBurninatorX rancho cordova, CAPosts: 25Member
    I don't care for this game really at all. But to be honest I think paying for XP speed is wayyyyyyyyyy better than paying for in game items. I wouldn't mind if a game was free but slower instead of it being free but unbalanced or less features.
  • SuperXero89SuperXero89 Amory, MSPosts: 2,544Member Uncommon
    Earn experience more slowly? It is easy enough as it is to get behind.
  • ThorHalThorHal CottbusPosts: 89Member

    So you get "preferred-status" if you ever had this, like bought the box for $60.

     

    the blog states: "In addition, Preferred Status can be earned by any Free-to-Play player who spends a minimum of $4.99 at our web store."

     

    Seems like a good original investment.

     

    NAWT

  • JakdstripperJakdstripper logan lake, BCPosts: 2,126Member Uncommon

    this F2P has nothing but money on it's mind. THAT is the why this game flopped. no soul, just money. They all thought spending big money on it would make it awesome, and when it didn't all they can focus on is milk that money back in every way possible.

    Vision and talent make great games, not money.

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,175Member Uncommon

    This statement cracked me up:

    "The Old Republic is roughly 24 times the size of the original Star Wars"

    It is about one tenth the size of the original SWG.

  • KonfessKonfess Dallas, TXPosts: 949Member Uncommon
    I keep reading whining posts regarding F2P. You have to pay for xp boost, you have to pay for more toolbar slots. Or you have to pay for more cargo space, and the ability to trade and wear purple items. The F2P player base seems to think this is unfair. What exactly is this player base willing to pay for. The term “Vanity” items keeps coming up, but I think this is a euphemism for stuff you have no intention of buying or using.

    You have all heard this before and it deserves repeating, Nothing in this world is free. There is no Free to Drive, no Free to Wear, or no Free to Eat. The idea that “Vanity” players will pay to the playtime of free players isn’t going to happen.

    A legitimate KoTOR experience was made into a MMO game. The complete single player KoTOR experience (storyline) is now being offered for free. And the MMO service is being offered on an incremental payed scale. As with any service the public is being asked to pay for what it uses.

    Pardon any spelling errors
    Konfess your cyns and some maybe forgiven
    Boy: Why can't I talk to Him?
    Mom: We don't talk to Priests.
    As if it could exist, without being payed for.
    F2P means you get what you paid for. Pay nothing, get nothing.

  • darkrain21darkrain21 philadelphia, PAPosts: 274Member
    To be honoest i think if they did it like DCUO they would rake in the new subs and even bring back OG players. You pay monthly you get everything, You already have the game or you put money into it you get all old content and ether have to sub or pay for new content(i.e new flashpoints, warzones, questing zones, and operations) you get some limited bags and you get limit money hold and the rest is saved in an escrow. Then the actual F2P people just get the very very basic of leveling. If it was like that id go back casually, but alas its EA trying to nickel and Dime massive profit out of something that is now "Free" when we all know if you try to play this for any amount of time with out subbing you are going to put more money in their pockets than just subbing. I say if you want a F2P star wars experiance go to a thrift store and get yourself a copy of Kotor 1 or 2 and you will get a more rewarding experiance at a fraction of the cost.
  • KonfessKonfess Dallas, TXPosts: 949Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Ozmodan

    This statement cracked me up:

    "The Old Republic is roughly 24 times the size of the original Star Wars"

    It is about one tenth the size of the original SWG.

    The FULL Quote you are ridiculing is 24x the size of the original SW:KoTOR games. I replay the the original KoTOR every year since their release, and so do many gamers. The crafting and item customization of KoTOR games has always been below my preference, but that has not lowered enjoyment of the series. My main concern with TOR during development was that it would play like GW1, city hubs with instance questing worlds. Since that was not the case, I was happy with TOR despite the crafting.

    As for the three years I played SWG. The first half of that game was “Lets Unlock Jedi”. When WoW was release all the players who had unlocked or just were tired of trying left to play WoW. I stayed and ran the Mustafar raids until they seems more like a job than fun. SWG was not better than TOR, it was equal to TOR.

    Pardon any spelling errors
    Konfess your cyns and some maybe forgiven
    Boy: Why can't I talk to Him?
    Mom: We don't talk to Priests.
    As if it could exist, without being payed for.
    F2P means you get what you paid for. Pay nothing, get nothing.

  • FaelanFaelan CopenhagenPosts: 826Member Uncommon
    Hmm, so - subscribe for a month to get around the limitations, have fun playing it as a single-player game (assuming you like the gameplay of course after free-playing it for a bit), ditch it after a month once your done with the content since end-game isn't worth the sub. $60-15=$45 saved. Release day junkies being screwed over once more.

    I'm a big ol' fluffy carewolf. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

  • MyriaMyria Lowell, MAPosts: 570Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Margrave

    'earn experience more slowly'

    Wow, and I thought the charging for quickslot bars was bad.

    How is this unusual? Fallen Earth, to name one, has had the same thing for eons now and I don't recall anyone bitching about it. Quite the contrary, FE's F2P model is often held up as one of the better ones.

    I have to wonder, what do people consider "acceptable" for an F2P game? I mean, you people do know it's not really 'free' and the devs have to make money some way, right?

    I also have to wonder how much of the whining is simply because it's ToR and if it were any other game -- which, as it happens, most of this stuff is common in other F2P games -- they wouldn't even notice, let alone feel the need to write an acerbic post about.

  • achmed20achmed20 oldenburgPosts: 23Member

    "In addition, Preferred Status can be earned by any Free-to-Play player who spends a minimum of $4.99 at our web store."

    well this totaly makes up for the the 120 bucks i spent on the collectors edition. XD

  • darkhalf357xdarkhalf357x Brooklyn, NYPosts: 1,164Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Rommie10-284

    The limited quick travel and resurrection are just killer roadblocks.  BW is trying so hard to encourage microtransactions that they can't see the forest they've built: It'll be easier to WALK AWAY than climb the barriers.

    Just one final mistake in the epic disaster.  They bungle lowering a lifeboat and dump all the people into the water.

    OMG love your avatar! =D

    Its CLYDE!

    ...back to topic.

     

    Its F2P. I will be playing the rest of the stories to 50 and then probably unsubsc.... uhm stop playing :-)

    image
  • NonderyonNonderyon GyulaPosts: 175Member Uncommon
    I hope Disney poke there nose SWTOR soon and build an acceptable f2p model.
  • zinger71zinger71 Fort St John, BCPosts: 57Member
    Not even Disney can save this mess.
  • mmoguy43mmoguy43 , CAPosts: 2,439Member Uncommon

    With prefered status and 2 hotbars it is plausible that you could play for free and not feel impossibly restricted.

     

    Originally posted by Ozmodan

    This statement cracked me up:

    "The Old Republic is roughly 24 times the size of the original Star Wars"

    It is about one tenth the size of the original SWG.

    This made me laugh too. Wasn't it compared to 8 KOTORs because of the class stories? And now some market person claims it is 24 times the size of KOTOR. Right..

     

    As a poster pointed out that someone that spends $5 is getting what all of use spend at launch for much less.

  • GolbezTheLionGolbezTheLion Los Angeles, CAPosts: 331Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by mmoguy43

    With prefered status and 2 hotbars it is plausible that you could play for free and not feel impossibly restricted.

    Have you seen what the "Prefered Status" entails?

    It's a joke. This system is more restrictive than any by SOE, and that should be a giant red flag all on it's own.

  • Sevenstar61Sevenstar61 Centreville, VAPosts: 1,690Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by GolbezTheLion
    Originally posted by mmoguy43

    With prefered status and 2 hotbars it is plausible that you could play for free and not feel impossibly restricted.

    Have you seen what the "Prefered Status" entails?

    It's a joke. This system is more restrictive than any by SOE, and that should be a giant red flag all on it's own.

    Hmmm F2P in SOE limit you to wear just green gear... legendary and fabled are off limit. You can't upgrate your spells beyond Adept. You have limit - cap for earning gold - 5 g per level - and just to give you example - master spells cost from 1plat (100 gold) - to 300 plats. You can't buy anything on market for 5 gold.  Races and Classes are also lomited. See SoE chart

    image

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  • FrodoFraginsFrodoFragins Manchester, NHPosts: 2,926Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Asamof
    Originally posted by Purutzil

    Not limited a all... except limited action bar slots and race choices and item choices and warfronts and space rail shooting time and crew skills and....

     

     

  • mmoguy43mmoguy43 , CAPosts: 2,439Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by GolbezTheLion
    Originally posted by mmoguy43

    With prefered status and 2 hotbars it is plausible that you could play for free and not feel impossibly restricted.

    Have you seen what the "Prefered Status" entails?

    It's a joke. This system is more restrictive than any by SOE, and that should be a giant red flag all on it's own.

    Preferred Status

    • The Sprint ability at Level 1
    • Access to your Cargo Hold (an 80 item Player Bank)
    • The ability to send Mail, including one (1) attachment
    • Increased allowance for chat message frequencies in Public chat channels (such as /general)
    • An increased Credits Cap
    • Access to the Who List
    • Three (3) additional Sale Slots on the Galactic Trade Network (for a total of 5)
    • One (1) additional active Crew Skill Slot (for a total of 2)
    • Reduced skill point respecialization costs
    • Increased Server queue priority
    • Retain all cargo holds previously unlocked
    • Retain all inventory slots previously unlocked
    • Retain all legacy perks previously unlocked (including races)
    • Ability to use purple (artifact) level equipment without purchasing authorization from the Cartel Shop
    As of Oct 25 also included..
    • Free-to-Play players will now get a second quickslot bar. (for a total of 2)
    • Free-to-Play players will now be able to do 5 Warzones per week instead of 3.
    • The Cartel Coin item lock (i.e. temporary bind) will be reduced to 3 days for Free-to-Play players, and 2 days for subscribers.
     
    Aside from not having the other 2 hotbars (costs 1080CC for account wide of 4) it isn't too bad... Well, you know, to keep playing it like a singleplayer game.
  • thecapitainethecapitaine West Chester, PAPosts: 402Member Uncommon

    They don't get it.  I think most of these F2P-designing savants don't get it either.  Instead of inconveniencing their potential customers in the hopes that they'll love the game so much that they'll pay to have the annoyances removed, they should take the approach of making the game experience so awesome that people will clamor to invest more time and money in it.  I left STO because of their stupid lockboxes but, in general, their overall concept is one that works.  As a free player you basically get the full game but they have tons of stuff in the cash shop that their playerbase actually want to spend money on.  New ships and interiors, new uniforms, new races, new crewmembers.  If you know anything about Trek then you know that demographic will eat that stuff up.

     

    So why not do something similar for TOR?  Their modification system makes so much possible.  Awesome-looking blasters, attractive armor, robes, and helms for all levels.  Alternative versions of ships for each of the classes.  Modifiable interiors and brand new races.  New companion skins and exotic saber/blaster colors.  Integrate pazaak and swoop racing and make cards and accessories for each available in the store.  Heck, do like DCUO does and come out with periodic pay-for packs that add alternate missions and areas for each of the archetypes to fill out their storylines.  There's so much "fluff" that players who like the game (F2Pers and subscribers) will pay for in a Star Wars game that it's almost suicidal to ignore it in favor of what they have now.

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