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[Column] Star Wars: The Old Republic: The Burden of Freedom

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,583MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Now that Star Wars: The Old Republic has presented players with a 'free to play' option, many are thinking of trying it out. But, as they say, caveat emptor. In our Devil's Advocate column today, we examine the 'F2P' option and offer some thoughts. Read on before joining the conversation in the comments.

Quem deus vult, perdere, dementat prius.

Sometimes misattributed to Euripedes, this quote means, “Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.” I felt this was fitting, considering today's Devil's Advocate is more of a Consumer Advocate than anything else. The message of today's Consumer’s (not Devil’s) Advocate is simple: if you want to play the free-to-play version of Star Wars: The Old Republic, make sure you know what you're getting into.

Read more of Victor Barreiro Jr.'s The Devil's Advocate: The Burden of Freedom.

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

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Comments

  • GrakulenGrakulen Staff Writer St. Charles, MOPosts: 460MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

    I cannot in good faith recommend SW:TOR's free to play option to anyone.

  • RocknissRockniss Youngstown, OHPosts: 1,034Member
    What a mess. It's to bad too because it still had potential, I was hoping this f2p would be a second wind, but it looks like its just going to be another punch to the mouth.
  • NaucanoNaucano ZaventemPosts: 80Member

    LOL !

    I was there in 2008 on BW's forum. I have read all the statements that this could not go wrong because it was Bioware. I was there on the server stress tests in Beta and downloaded the heavy 20 Gig game ... and then when time came Bioware told me I could not pay with PayPal in my country.

    WTF ?

    Now, with F2P I patch up the old system and tried it out briefly. Well just this ... it's a joke.

    Bioware failed to make a MMO simple as that.

    Rated M for Mature - May contain content inappropriate for children

  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingPosts: 2,714Member Uncommon

    Nice column, and a well-written summarize of the many threads discussing what's the problem with TOR's fp2 model. I guess it's better if you hide behind an anti-fanboi energy shield, they will come in squadrons :)

    And it was fun to see the ferengi reference, I used a similar as well concerning EA :)

  • gelraengelraen Vancouver, BCPosts: 227Member
    I haven't played Swtor for a whilte now, but their f2p model definitely doesn't seem like something that would lure me back.  
  • Elevenb4Elevenb4 CajamarcaPosts: 282Member Uncommon

    I have never in my life seen so much hate towards a game. People don't just talk bad about it once or twice, but keep beating the dead horse. Why? Not only do they talk bad about the game, but flame and troll, to no end, the people that actually enjoy it. Other than the official forums, I mention SWTOR anywhere, and the thread usually fills up with flame after flame. Surpasses what I would define as online bullying.

    Blows my mind. Leave the game alone and let people enjoy it ffs.

    -Unconstitutional laws aren't laws.-

  • PheonyxPheonyx Chandler, AZPosts: 8Member

    Right now with their F2P restrictions, Bioware/EA is creeping up to NCSoft The MMO KIller in terms of customer dissatisfaction and horrible business practices. If EA thinks this is how they should run SWTOR, they may want to take a look at the stock prices for NCSoft since the Player Rally in City of Heroes September 8. Their stock price is now worth about half of what it was before September 8. Their decision to kill a game that was earning a small (in comparison to some of their other games) consistant profit has cost their company 44% of their stock price and still falling.

    One other thing you forgot to mention that is on the SWTOR F2P Matrix: Free and Premium SWTOR players earn less XP than Subscribers. That's right, they messed with the most basic of game mechanics and put it behind a pay wall. To me, THAT ALONE kills any interest to play this game or suggest it to other people, and there are a LOT of Star Wars fans where I live. I was going to try SWTOR yesterday, but seeing that they screwed with XP I downloaded DCUO and Planetside 2 instead... so much for EA bringing in new customers.

    [color=blue]"The coward knows only death; the hero knows only life"- Kakita Toshimoko, Legend of the Five Rings CCG/RPG

  • zomard100zomard100 karlovacPosts: 228Member
    Strange i see full servers and  fleet station. Only WOW  have more players for now. It is still best mmorpg today after wow, at least you have something to do and not only 4 buttons to push on bar like some new titles. I know, i know everything is fail when you watch forum allo day long :)
  • Elevenb4Elevenb4 CajamarcaPosts: 282Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by zomard100
    Strange i see full servers and  fleet station. Only WOW  have more players for now. It is still best mmorpg today after wow, at least you have something to do and not only 4 buttons to push on bar like some new titles. I know, i know everything is fail when you watch forum allo day long :)

    I agree with this wholeheartedly.

    -Unconstitutional laws aren't laws.-

  • Storman1977Storman1977 Columbus, OHPosts: 207Member

    They want this game to survive and make a push towards "profitability"?  They need to open up on the restrictions and get serious about the item shop.  Players are (or should be) too savvy to be nickel and dimed for things that are crucial to gameplay.  You don't limit your biggest draws (warzones and flashpoints).  Until they add more compelling content beyond the warzones and flashpoints, people are just going to stop by twice a week and then bugger off until the timer is up.

    There are a few companies out there that have "successfully" made the jump from pure subscription to hybrid that EABW just has to go back and look at the steps they took, and the stumbles (Turbine charging people Turbine Points to level up in DDO), to see what people are willing to pay for and what they're not.  As the saying goes, those that forget history are doomed to repeat it...

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  • NewmoonNewmoon NeverNeverLand, KYPosts: 127Member Common

    It's because none of the suits ever considered what the purpose of f2p is. It is to populate a dying game so that people who ARE willing to pay have someone to group with. There are some truly great MMOs still out there, that because the population is so low, I won't play (e.g. Horizons-LOVE the crafting, but almost no pop). Even people who are ardently solo like to be solo in an area with many other soloers:P ( We like to drink alone, yeah yeah, with nobody else).

    I want to solo build a village. EQ2 took a page out of Ryzom and turned dungeons over to player to be furnished (with any housing items you like), populated by mobs, and even given the ability to say things before jumping a player. The put the ability behind an expansion, but anyone can play them without it. SoE also stole the plex system from EvE, when they realized how popular it was. SoE is more than willing to do what it takes to monetize a game without completely killing it (though the Vanguard F2P is quite restrictive, they added the kronos option to ease the sub pain).

    EA has won itself the worst in the industry award many times, through poor customer service and money grabbing. This is just proof that they still haven't learned ( I mean, when you can hold SoE up to a gaming company as an improvement????)

     

    PS- much of the hate is about the way a beloved IP was destroyed, on top of the rediculous amounts many of us shelled out for pre-order collector's editions, only to get, well.....

    I mean, when you have to have instancing at 200, and have horrible lag at 100, you know the server infrastructure is cheap junk. I LOVED the personal story. It broke my heart to see them essentially put racing fats, spoilers, lift kit, and sprakling spinning hubs on a freaking Pinto.

    image
  • DracondisDracondis Reston, VAPosts: 176Member
    Just wait for Disney to get involved.  At least they know how to get their customers to enjoy themselves, even if they are getting gouged at the checkout.
  • n3v3rriv3rn3v3rriv3r NowherePosts: 349Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Elevenb4

    I have never in my life seen so much hate towards a game. People don't just talk bad about it once or twice, but keep beating the dead horse. Why? Not only do they talk bad about the game, but flame and troll, to no end, the people that actually enjoy it. Other than the official forums, I mention SWTOR anywhere, and the thread usually fills up with flame after flame. Surpasses what I would define as online bullying.

    Blows my mind. Leave the game alone and let people enjoy it ffs.

    Oh I see. So if we post an opinion about our experience in f2p swtor it is trolling only if we point out the bad sides? If we praise it is all good.
    Let me give it my opinion to you anyways: Misleading EA (or BW) marketing. This is not free to play but "buy more to play".
    You know what it is online bullying? Tons of marketing materials for this game on every site.
    Oh and why the hate? Probably you have been told by many: because they didnt deliver what they promised... again. I was prepared to give them a considerable amount of money for their shop if they made a good f2p - they messed up again.Greedy. Thats why the hate.

    p.s. If you don't want opinions of others it is easy. Just dont read the posts. Talk only with your like minded friends and you will be shielded from all us "trolls".

  • NaucanoNaucano ZaventemPosts: 80Member

    Cant you see why we keep on beating the dead donkey ?

    Because BW promised us TOR and we remembered the awful good game.

    BW promised us a MMO with new features. And we remembered WoW.

    And alot of people willing to forgive and forget and wanted to play were deceived.

    You can't hurt that many people without leaving a mark. And then you ask why we complain ?

    That is why we come back, time after time, and hit the dead donkey which should have been a horse. Because gaming industry, and notably EA should get a warning they can't mess with gamers. Bioware became worse then EA: they should have known better.

    Rated M for Mature - May contain content inappropriate for children

  • YakamomotoYakamomoto Osaka, ARPosts: 363Member
    sadly I have to agree with this article
  • Sevenstar61Sevenstar61 Centreville, VAPosts: 1,690Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Elevenb4
    Originally posted by zomard100
    Strange i see full servers and  fleet station. Only WOW  have more players for now. It is still best mmorpg today after wow, at least you have something to do and not only 4 buttons to push on bar like some new titles. I know, i know everything is fail when you watch forum allo day long :)

    I agree with this wholeheartedly.

    Agree. Servers are full of players. And not much complaining in general  chat comparing to this forum.  I guess people just enjoy the game.

    image
    Sith Warrior - Story of Hate and Love http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxKrlwXt7Ao
    Imperial Agent - Rise of Cipher Nine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBBj3eJWBvU&feature=youtu.be
    Imperial Agent - Hunt for the Eagle Part 1http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQqjYYU128E

  • ZagavaVonnZagavaVonn Akron, OHPosts: 249Member Uncommon
    Trying to shoe-horn a F2P system into the existing SWTOR loot-tables was bound to cause headaches. So they seem to be limiting every and any type of access past the most basic stuff. I was in SWTOR Beta, and am now playing the F2P SWTOR and yes I'm a bit biased form my SWG days, but even so this is a bad F2P model if there ever was one. How come you can hop into any number of F2P games and get full content (albeit with longer times to skill-up, etc) but in SWTOR it's like a brick wall? I grew-up with Star Wars but this F2P isn't very 'epic' or 'heroic', just a lot of key-mashing and paying extra to get past GUI limitations like a single toolbar... :(
  • n3v3rriv3rn3v3rriv3r NowherePosts: 349Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Sevenstar61
    Originally posted by Elevenb4
    Originally posted by zomard100
    Strange i see full servers and  fleet station. Only WOW  have more players for now. It is still best mmorpg today after wow, at least you have something to do and not only 4 buttons to push on bar like some new titles. I know, i know everything is fail when you watch forum allo day long :)

    I agree with this wholeheartedly.

    Agree. Servers are full of players. And not much complaining in general  chat comparing to this forum.  I guess people just enjoy the game.

    You know, I still remember not long ago, sentences like yours were repeated again and again...oh yes many full servers then ...


    .... and then they announced server merge. Rmemeber?

     

    I think it is time to learn something from history - for EA and BW I have lost hope.

  • Sevenstar61Sevenstar61 Centreville, VAPosts: 1,690Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by n3v3rriv3r
    Originally posted by Sevenstar61
    Originally posted by Elevenb4
    Originally posted by zomard100
    Strange i see full servers and  fleet station. Only WOW  have more players for now. It is still best mmorpg today after wow, at least you have something to do and not only 4 buttons to push on bar like some new titles. I know, i know everything is fail when you watch forum allo day long :)

    I agree with this wholeheartedly.

    Agree. Servers are full of players. And not much complaining in general  chat comparing to this forum.  I guess people just enjoy the game.

    You know, I still remember not long ago, sentences like yours were repeated again and again...oh yes many full servers then ...
    .... and then they announced server merge. Rmemeber?

    Yep. But like somebody else said it's a new "normal" now for MMOS. Content locusts coming and going. SWTOR population will come and go as content comes and goes. I hope they will deliver it now more frequently, so the popultion stabilizes.

    image
    Sith Warrior - Story of Hate and Love http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxKrlwXt7Ao
    Imperial Agent - Rise of Cipher Nine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBBj3eJWBvU&feature=youtu.be
    Imperial Agent - Hunt for the Eagle Part 1http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQqjYYU128E

  • SkuallSkuall UnknowPosts: 1,281Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Sevenstar61
    Originally posted by n3v3rriv3r
    Originally posted by Sevenstar61
    Originally posted by Elevenb4
    Originally posted by zomard100
    Strange i see full servers and  fleet station. Only WOW  have more players for now. It is still best mmorpg today after wow, at least you have something to do and not only 4 buttons to push on bar like some new titles. I know, i know everything is fail when you watch forum allo day long :)

    I agree with this wholeheartedly.

    Agree. Servers are full of players. And not much complaining in general  chat comparing to this forum.  I guess people just enjoy the game.

    You know, I still remember not long ago, sentences like yours were repeated again and again...oh yes many full servers then ...
    .... and then they announced server merge. Rmemeber?

    Yep. But like somebody else said it's a new "normal" now for MMOS. Content locusts coming and going. SWTOR population will come and go as content comes and goes. I hope they will deliver it now more frequently, so the popultion stabilizes.

    content locust? , in this F2p model? doubt it

     

    limited 3 FP and 3 WZ (or was 5?) 0 OP  , the medium high lvl planets are empty , still 7 korriban zones....

    no1 is gonna pay to unlock wz or FP (isnt worth the $)

    the question is how long this "new" players will stay? i dunno , but i guess not very long , with this f2p model.

    some will hit the "paywall" soon. Others will finish the story and quit.

    swtor f2p = sub or leave.... ppl not subbed before and they arent gonna start now .

  • KostKost Vancouver, BCPosts: 1,975Member
    Originally posted by Grakulen

    I cannot in good faith recommend SW:TOR's free to play option to anyone.

    Agreed, and great article Vic.

  • RaveiceRaveice MellerudPosts: 22Member

    Free to play is fine they are still limited to access stuff but hey its more like try before buy thing.

    This free to play option has really no different compare to other free to play with cash shop system.

    Use real money to increase ur own gameplay. 

    Subscripe if you want 100% access simpel is that.

    i Buy 2 month timecards work well for me.

  • GhostGeishaGhostGeisha AlbufeiraPosts: 286Member
    I used to trust Bioware but then i took an Swtor to the knee.
  • YakamomotoYakamomoto Osaka, ARPosts: 363Member
    Originally posted by Sevenstar61
    Originally posted by Elevenb4
    Originally posted by zomard100
    Strange i see full servers and  fleet station. Only WOW  have more players for now. It is still best mmorpg today after wow, at least you have something to do and not only 4 buttons to push on bar like some new titles. I know, i know everything is fail when you watch forum allo day long :)

    I agree with this wholeheartedly.

    Agree. Servers are full of players. And not much complaining in general  chat comparing to this forum.  I guess people just enjoy the game.

    well. less than 10% servers remaining 250 -> 24

    if they wouldn't even manage to get this number full, the game would have been shut down already

  • Jerek_Jerek_ tulsa, OKPosts: 409Member
    Its a bad f2p conversion because the game itself is a bad fit for f2p.  With the game as is there is no way to make the f2p crowd happy other than to just stop charging, and they would probably still find things to bitch about even then.  This is just another mistake in a long painful string of mistakes the people in charge of this game have made.
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