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BioWare and EA Reveal Star Wars:TOR F2P Restrictions

By - Source: VG247 | B 20 comments

SWTOR's gone F2P at least. Here are the restrictions for free players...

Star Wars: The Old Republic, EA and BioWare's Star Wars MMO, has finally made the leap from subscription model to free-to-play, just less than one year after its release. Though SWTOR had strong starting numbers, a lack of new content release has caused the MMO to lose hundreds of thousands of subscribers in a few months.

More and more MMOS have made the leap from subscription to free-to-play as of late, and it was obvious that SWTOR wasn't far behind. However, in making the switch, BioWare's sectioned off significant parts of the game to be for subscribing players only.

The official SWTOR website delineates all restricted content, which happens to be everything except the story content. However, free-to-play players will be given preferred status if they decide to purchase in-game content, giving the advantages of the ability to sprint, access to bank slots, higher login priority, and increased access to chat and trade options.

For those transitioning from subscription to free-to-play, there's no need to worry about losing characters. Unfortunately, since non-paying players have fewer character slots, such a transition means players will have to make the tough decision on which characters they'd like to keep active.

BioWare's also whipped together an entire FAQ dedicated to answering player questions about the transition, including questions about how many Cartel coins subscribing players will be receiving.

 

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Top Comments
  • 23 Hide
    Benthon , October 19, 2012 3:19 AM
    So.. basically... it's not free to play at all. Great model, NOT.
  • 12 Hide
    fuzzion , October 19, 2012 3:22 AM
    BenthonSo.. basically... it's not free to play at all. Great model, NOT.


    Life taught me that nothing is ever free in this world.
Other Comments
  • 23 Hide
    Benthon , October 19, 2012 3:19 AM
    So.. basically... it's not free to play at all. Great model, NOT.
  • 12 Hide
    fuzzion , October 19, 2012 3:22 AM
    BenthonSo.. basically... it's not free to play at all. Great model, NOT.


    Life taught me that nothing is ever free in this world.
  • 9 Hide
    hotroderx , October 19, 2012 3:32 AM
    This screams we are just trying to make a little more off Starwars before we shut the servers down. The games already dying so they put on a a ton of restrictions.

    They wanted to see a semi decent F2P business model they should have looked at Cabel.
  • 7 Hide
    techguy911 , October 19, 2012 3:50 AM
    LOL free to play? - you have to pay for content=not free to play wow thats pretty bad nope not going back if it's like this aion is free to play, gw2 buy the game and free to play.
  • -4 Hide
    A Bad Day , October 19, 2012 3:56 AM
    It reminds me of Valve's F2P policy regarding TF2.

    The Hat infection is irresistible. Those 50 item slots don't last long.
  • 8 Hide
    jimmysmitty , October 19, 2012 4:42 AM
    A Bad DayIt reminds me of Valve's F2P policy regarding TF2.The Hat infection is irresistible. Those 50 item slots don't last long.


    The difference is that you buy one item, even the cheapest item, and you get full player status. It makes sense considering that there are millions who spent $20 bucks on it.

    But this just sounds bad. Like WoW F2P bad.

    GW has always had the best F2P model. Buy the game and have full access, sure you can buy more player slots or storage space but thats i. Not content.
  • 6 Hide
    Hunter_Killers , October 19, 2012 4:51 AM
    I'm sure all of those players that either never bought it or stopped playing are just dying to come back with all these restrictions. 3 Warzones a week won't get you crap. The best one had to be that you have to pay to use purples.
  • 8 Hide
    fantanel , October 19, 2012 4:59 AM
    sorry to hear that BW. I was hoping F2P looked decent, but this is an insult.
    You guys truly deserve your fall. RIP.
  • 5 Hide
    nukemaster , October 19, 2012 5:41 AM
    Yay more Pay2Win games. Ok this is much worse. It cuts out WAY too much.
  • 4 Hide
    cats_Paw , October 19, 2012 9:25 AM
    Lucky for me, i can enjoy actually free games for a very long time (trackmania 1, tribes ascend...).
    Lets see how fast EA drops this game from its servers due to negative income.
  • -1 Hide
    blackjackcf , October 19, 2012 10:04 AM
    nukemasterYay more Pay2Win games. Ok this is much worse. It cuts out WAY too much.


    They're working off of a model that's sort of similar to LOTRO. Apparently, that's been pretty successful for Turbine (the dev).

    But compared to most F2P MMORPGs today, I'd have to agree. The thing hyped about SWTOR was its allegedly different type of "storytelling" from most MMORPGs. I wonder if BioWare and EA continue to push that in marketing that players will hop on?

    At some point, if profitability does go down, I'm sure EA will figure out something else. From all the casual F2P games that EA's pushed out, it'll probably make the switch to cutting out less content and making the game F2P simply by microtransactions with vanity items. Well... I can only hope that this will happen.

    - Catherine Cai
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , October 19, 2012 10:25 AM
    re: a few restrictions

    your permanent name is jar jar binks and your title will forever be padawan learner
  • -2 Hide
    alidan , October 19, 2012 11:11 AM
    HotRoderxThis screams we are just trying to make a little more off Starwars before we shut the servers down. The games already dying so they put on a a ton of restrictions. They wanted to see a semi decent F2P business model they should have looked at Cabel.


    everquest 1 had a sustainable player base of probably less than 30k people before they went free to play, i doubt they ever sold 1 million copies of the game

    that said, they would never axe this after dumping so much money into it... at worst the game will stagnate but stay online as many people always love replaying low levels to high.

    blackjackcfThey're working off of a model that's sort of similar to LOTRO. Apparently, that's been pretty successful for Turbine (the dev).But compared to most F2P MMORPGs today, I'd have to agree. The thing hyped about SWTOR was its allegedly different type of "storytelling" from most MMORPGs. I wonder if BioWare and EA continue to push that in marketing that players will hop on?At some point, if profitability does go down, I'm sure EA will figure out something else. From all the casual F2P games that EA's pushed out, it'll probably make the switch to cutting out less content and making the game F2P simply by microtransactions with vanity items. Well... I can only hope that this will happen.- Catherine Cai


    take a look at a game called numen, its basically an mmo styled game in a single player envirment.

    the game is crap at low levels, and if i payed more than 2$ for it i would have been mad, but apparently once you get out of the first area or so, the game starts to get good.

    im not saying that its a great game, or that it is worth it, but i can really see ea going in and tweaking the hell out of this game to make it single player and sell it at a reduced price of maybe 30$ for new players, and 5$ for existing, because from what i heard, TOR was more or less swtor 3 story wise.

    all they would have to do is rebalance the game to be friendly at a single player level, and possibly re tweak raids (dont know what they are like in this game at all) and even if it was still mmo play style, i dont think there would be many people complaining to hard.
  • 2 Hide
    Azimuth01 , October 19, 2012 11:46 AM
    EA cares nothing about the people actually playing the games. For them it's all about numbers to show the shareholders. All executive decisions that they make can all be traced back to that simple fact. In this case I believe that EA is attempting to increase subscriber numbers by limiting character slots per account. This will force FTP players to make multiple accounts thereby increasing subscriber numbers at least on paper. In the next few days/weeks, if EA announces a new "program" to transfer characters from one account to another (for a small fee of course) then you can be sure this is the motivation for the current changes.
  • 1 Hide
    bigdragon , October 19, 2012 1:31 PM
    Azimuth01EA cares nothing about the people actually playing the games. For them it's all about numbers to show the shareholders. All executive decisions that they make can all be traced back to that simple fact. In this case I believe that EA is attempting to increase subscriber numbers by limiting character slots per account. This will force FTP players to make multiple accounts thereby increasing subscriber numbers at least on paper. In the next few days/weeks, if EA announces a new "program" to transfer characters from one account to another (for a small fee of course) then you can be sure this is the motivation for the current changes.

    Bingo. They want to claim massive account growth. The more people they get in the door, the more people they can claim to upsell with subscriptions. Having multiple accounts per person helps them pad their stats. EA is all about numbers and image. They care less about customer quality and experience. I'm sure they're already drafting the press releases claiming record account creation and subscription growth.
  • 2 Hide
    BulkZerker , October 19, 2012 2:05 PM
    alidaneverquest 1 had a sustainable player base of probably less than 30k people before they went free to play, i doubt they ever sold 1 million copies of the gamethat said, they would never axe this after dumping so much money into it... at worst the game will stagnate but stay online as many people always love replaying low levels to high. take a look at a game called numen, its basically an mmo styled game in a single player envirment. the game is crap at low levels, and if i payed more than 2$ for it i would have been mad, but apparently once you get out of the first area or so, the game starts to get good. im not saying that its a great game, or that it is worth it, but i can really see ea going in and tweaking the hell out of this game to make it single player and sell it at a reduced price of maybe 30$ for new players, and 5$ for existing, because from what i heard, TOR was more or less swtor 3 story wise. all they would have to do is rebalance the game to be friendly at a single player level, and possibly re tweak raids (dont know what they are like in this game at all) and even if it was still mmo play style, i dont think there would be many people complaining to hard.



    Guess you weren't around to hear eq get called evercrack. WoW back then wished it was EQ.
  • -1 Hide
    smithereen , October 19, 2012 2:06 PM
    TANSTAAFL.
  • 1 Hide
    CaedenV , October 19, 2012 2:43 PM
    I think they are confused between 'free to play' where you can actually get at the features of the game, and pay for perks, and 'extended demo' where you can play as long as you want but you will never get a real feel for the game until you caught up some blood/money.
    Anywho, I played the demo for a week and lost interest. The whole 'find agent' 'find target' 'gather item from corpse' 'give item to agent' model is no fun. Yes, every game has it, but it is normally just a part of the game play... not the main event. I really wish that more games would try and emulate a more social focused game like EVE Online. Yes, the game is not perfect (it is the wet dream of people who love spreadsheets lol), but what kept me in it for a long time was that my corp owned space which had resources, and we had to fight to keep ownership of said space. Sure there was a pre-scripted game that CCP created, but people only play that content for money or standings, not as the core mechanic that kept people in the system. Anywho, iDigress.

    EA would not be in this mess if they had just given us KTOR3 like we asked.
  • 0 Hide
    atticus14 , October 19, 2012 8:14 PM
    I think the biggest news is the cash shop that will be coming, EA knows the best way to fleece customers is to give your most rabid fanboys an unlimited amount of things to purchase. So they'll make the sub fee + fluff fees. Having a few morons buy ridiculous stuff = an equivalent income to handful of subscribers without the overhead.

    I've been told their Madden Card game is a money vacuum (people spending well over 100 bucks to get a good team) so expect an evetual card game...the most convenient thing is SWTOR already has a link to a very good one in Pazaak.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , October 21, 2012 4:13 AM
    BulkZerkerGuess you weren't around to hear eq get called evercrack. WoW back then wished it was EQ.


    i played eq from the first month it came out till half way through luclin, came back around depths of dark hollow, by the time secrets of faydower came out, i was the best non raid melee dps on the nameless server for a time, and with house of thuell i more or less soloed from 1-89 with a mage before the grind got to me for the final time. at the time i probably was one of the better players, again non raid, still on the server.

    everquest has some dated mechanics, like needing to type words to talk to npcs which got very frustrating if you didn't know the commands.

    over all, i find it better than wow, because if you get to level 60+ you have some guarentees that everyone knows how to play their classes, unlike wow, where you can end game and not know anything.