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[Column] Star Wars: The Old Republic: Is SWTOR Moving Toward the Dark Side or the Light?

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,632MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Now that Star Wars: The Old Republic has officially adopted a 'free-to-play option', some players are beginning to wonder if BioWare and EA went far enough. Check out what we think in our latest Free Zone column and then leave your ideas in the comments.

Back in August, a short while after this was announced, I presented the initial thoughts and feelings expressed by the representatives of four companies that are active in the F2P sector. Since that time, I've had the opportunity to think further, to discuss the topic with industry members whose opinions I respect, and to read what a number of other writers and many consumers have said. So, it seemed appropriate to devote this iteration of The Free Zone to a few things that have come to mind during the past three months. 

Read more of Richard Aihoshi's The Free Zone: Is SWTOR Moving Toward the Dark Side or the Light?

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • MMOGamer71MMOGamer71 Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 1,930Member Uncommon
    SWTOR "F2P" too restrictive, as already mentioned in other threads and posts.
  • JoreelJoreel Oceanside, CAPosts: 79Member Uncommon

    Unfortunatly EA/BW have created one of the worse F2P models on the market. It limits the premium and former subbers so much that it doesn't really give you any reason to stick with the game for more than a few hours to see what it's like.  

    I agree that the boys upstairs missed a lot of chances to make the game more fun and user friendly by implementing so cheapest F2P model buy making some really stupid player restrictions... no sprint (makes you move a little faster), premium/ former subbers only get 2 chracter slots (same as Free players), races are locked and can be unlocked for a expensive price, but they races don't make a difference in play style (ie. not racial benefits), etc.

    It's ashame that BW even got in bed with EA as pretty much everyone in the gaming world know that EA kills just about everything they touch.

     
     
  • defector1968defector1968 Nar ShaddaaPosts: 393Member Common

    i wanna see a new poll with which mmo has the worst f2p

    last one winner was the lotro

    i really wanna see the today results

  • NaralNaral Solway, MNPosts: 751Member Uncommon

    They need to look at the PS2 F2P model. As much as SOE can screw over the customer, their free to play model for PS2 is actually pretty good. 

    Just make progress slower if you are unwilling to pay for the game. Say, cut xp in half unless you pay or something.

    Charging for hotbars and sprint? That is going to do nothing but drive people away. Hell, if they changed up the game a bit I might go back, even as a subbed member, but this plan is horrid. It reeks of what it is: fleecing the last dollars out of a failed game.

  • meddyckmeddyck Athens, GAPosts: 1,140Member Uncommon
    They should have just followed what Arenanet did with GW 2 and made the game buy to play. They could then have charged for xp boosts, cosmetic gear, new species, extra character slots, and other stuff that players would have been fine with paying for. Having to pay to unlock the standard number of quickbars, the ability to hide headgear, the ability to wear purple gear, and the ability to display titles is just insulting.

    Camelot Unchained Backer
    DAOC [retired]: R11 Cleric R11 Druid R11 Minstrel R9 Eldritch R6 Sorc R6 Scout R5 Healer

  • PurutzilPurutzil East Stroudsburg, PAPosts: 2,924Member Uncommon
    To restrictive. Don't mind a freemium model but coul really do without some harsh money restrictions, maybe giving you the option to level to a certain point before they are removed. I know its for gold spammers and all but its just silly to screw everyone over for it.
  • CyclopsSlayerCyclopsSlayer Minneapolis, MNPosts: 532Member

    All that SWTOR's F2P shows is just how clueless and lacking in creativity the Devs have become.

    I see nothing in there that would even remotely tempt me to return. F2P for an aggressive cash shop, shallow gameplay, and linear worlds. It is rather like simply setting fire to the junk heap that SWTOR was of old.

  • dominiadominia round rock, TXPosts: 191Member

    I think it will be ok once they sell 'packages' at a discount price (which they've already alluded to).

     

    Quite honestly F2P is basically a free trial to level "untill you run out of hotbar space".

    Currently Playing: GW2
    Retired: Shadowbane, DAoC, WoW, FFXI, Eve Online, SWToR

    The Aphelion MMO Blog - GW2 Initial Impressions

  • JerYnkFanJerYnkFan Kenilworth, NJPosts: 339Member Uncommon
    Limiting UI bars is the biggest bush league move I have seen out any company moving to freemium model.  It was worse than LOTRO making you pay for an additonal bag space even if you are a subscriber.
  • erictlewiserictlewis Cottondale, ALPosts: 3,026Member Uncommon

    All I got to say is that they fremium they set up is way to retrictive, it will chase away more folks than invite them to play.  As far as gameplay mechanics nothing has change between how it was at launch to how it is now. 

    You have to make the game fun, and somewhat accessable.  It is not now.

    The are too greedy and I will not be one adding a number to the population increase. 

     

  • achesomaachesoma Portland, ORPosts: 1,000Member Uncommon
    F2P is pretty much a misnomer with SWTOR.  It should be called an endless free trial.  Anyone looking to play even somewhat regularly would be much better off just subscribing.  It's the far better and cheaper option.  Even if it's just for a few hours a week.  EA is most certainly living up to its reputation here.  Ironically, the F2P model is as restrictive as the game itself.  I must say the game performs much better than the last time I was playing.  Not having lag or much FPS drops as I was at launch.   

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  • nuttobnuttob Plantation, FLPosts: 291Member
    I logged back in, and I am going to at least play a couple of characters thru all of the story.  It's strange that they didn't add character slots to the cartel market, but maybe they are working on that one... Despite the 2 character slot restriction, I can play any of the alts I created when I was a subscriber. Never have seen having to pay to hide your helm before.  That seems a bit over the top to me...  I can't believe they are down to just a handful of servers.  The exodus was worse than what I thought it would be.
  • bbbb42bbbb42 none, FLPosts: 297Member Uncommon
    bioware are a bunch of ego maniacs so  the light side

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  • GaborikGaborik Roseville, MNPosts: 251Member
    I think the ones who cry and whine about all these mmos not being "free enough" are the problem. Todays society is leaning more and more to feeling entitled to things for free, now the mmo community is trying to go the sane route. Its no good for a society to be this way and not good for a gaming community. The ones that whine and cry would be whining abd crying no matter what. They HATE TOR but why make a post that caters to theses people who feel they are entitled? Why play into their cheap whining crying games. Some people enjoy the game sorry its not "free enough" for some. That statement alone just shows how sad some people are when it comes to their argument.
  • marz.at.playmarz.at.play Mississauga, ONPosts: 912Member
    Reading all the F2P restrictions and forum posts around the net, I'm staying away. It reminds me of Age of Conan going F2P. At first people tried it out, but soon as they realized how restrictive it was they jumped shipped making for an empty game.

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  • vgamervgamer Texas, IAPosts: 195Member
    This 'no sprinting' is a new one. They must be either getting desperate or they are really creative.
  • vgamervgamer Texas, IAPosts: 195Member
    Originally posted by Gaborik
    I think the ones who cry and whine about all these mmos not being "free enough" are the problem. Todays society is leaning more and more to feeling entitled to things for free, now the mmo community is trying to go the sane route. Its no good for a society to be this way and not good for a gaming community. The ones that whine and cry would be whining abd crying no matter what. They HATE TOR but why make a post that caters to theses people who feel they are entitled? Why play into their cheap whining crying games. Some people enjoy the game sorry its not "free enough" for some. That statement alone just shows how sad some people are when it comes to their argument.
    Sure, enjoy your dead game. Believe it or not but people who say 'not free enough' would rather not see this game die. Nobody asked for F2P but the developers felt the need to do it.

     

    Then you have two options. You either do it well and become succesful or you become 'one of those shitty ones' that barely make profit and barely have players. Pick your poison.
  • NewmoonNewmoon NeverNeverLand, KYPosts: 127Member Common

    F2P like Aion are the best implemented (buff scrolls, dungeon cooldown scrolls, cosmetics). When a game doesn't do well sub wise, F2P can save it. As much as you may hate the "f2p" crowd, it can save a game by providing population. People simply don't like to play MMOs that are empty.  When such a game offers a sub and a good f2p option, I usually sub for the convinience factor, but it's the f2p side that brings in the people so I have someone to group with.

    As much as people revile LOTRO for their plan, I don't mind it. If you want to f2p, you can recycle alts until you earn enough turbine points to buy whatever you want in the shop. If you're willing to grind, you can earn anything.

    In Atlantica, you can buy almost everything from other players for ingame cash- taking the sting outta the $30 a month most players pay (warrior pack plus blessing).

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  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,191Member Uncommon

    Interesting, a good column.  I think the f2p design they used will prove the games downfall.  If you have a capped character, attempting to play them as a f2p really takes all the fun out of the game.   Typical EA, give the finger to all the people who spent money on your game.

    Oh and there is nothing wrong with paying for a game you like, just that this game still has no end game, so what is the point?

  • itchmonitchmon west islip, NYPosts: 1,714Member Uncommon

    how much do you have to pay to have the soul put back in a soulless game?

     

    i'd pay it.

    RIP Ribbitribbitt you are missed, kid.

    Currently Playing EVE, DFUW

    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.

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  • bbbb42bbbb42 none, FLPosts: 297Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by vgamer
    This 'no sprinting' is a new one. They must be either getting desperate or they are really creative.

    i remember someone on this forum had a quote from EA that said when you in a game for 20min and you run out ammo and we ask for 1$ to reload your not going to be to price sensitive

    THE BIG PROBELM with that idealogy is that when we know we are going to have to pay that 1$ for a reload we will avoid that game because there is an almost endless sea of  shooters

     

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  • ThumbtackJThumbtackJ columbus, OHPosts: 539Member Uncommon

    I played for 6 hours straight last night and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I rolled a republic Trooper, spent about 4 1/2 hours doing Ord Mantell. General chat was wonderful and I had several interesting discussions with people, I grouped up a few times to do the 3 heroic missions (even after I had finished mine, just to help others), and then after I finished Ord Mantell and got to the fleet, some random player invited me to do the first flashpoint (the eisilles? sp?) and took me through it.

     

    That said, I am fully aware of the restrictions and would prefer that some of them be changed and/or lifted. For example, the UI(actionbar) restriction is just silly. Also, I think restricting purple gear (pre level 50) is lame too because I got three purple weapon mod drops (levels 9-12-ish) and I can't use them >:( .

  • jay8118jay8118 shelby, MIPosts: 29Member
    Paying for action bar slots. That should say it all.....
  • nolic1nolic1 Kingman, AZPosts: 687Member Uncommon
    See to me they should just add the actions bars to 4 for free players ethier way if we want the last 2 we can buy them as for the other restrictions if I pay to get preffered status then give me more then extra crew skill trading and a few other things for it allow me to have full chat, allow me to set ranks in guild and a few extras. Also allow preffered to get 2 extra character slots from the store then legecy will mean something to me. Other then that the rest of the restrictions are fine minus the Purple gear lock should start at lvl 40 + then restrict it till then let Free players chosse to pay the $15 to unlock it cause you can not buy just $12 in Cartel Coins.

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    To me I enjoy gaming I dont play to be uber I play to have fun. If a game is not fun to me guess what I move on and play something else till I find one that is. When I find that great game and not sure if in my life time there will be one I hope it has everything I want in an mmo.

  • CyclopsSlayerCyclopsSlayer Minneapolis, MNPosts: 532Member
    F2P the EA style, "attn dear loyal customer. You have exhausted todays movement allotment. To acquire a further 1000 steps, please your Cartel broker."
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