So, The Old Republic is Free to Play now...

#1 Posted by JamesJeux007 (470 posts) -

...and I think this speaks for itself.

#2 Posted by Village_Guy (2509 posts) -

I noticed that there was plenty (read: too much) that was locked behind a paywall, I think two character slots is also on the low side.

I doubt I'll play much more though, it really only made me want to play World of Warcraft again...

#3 Posted by Kidavenger (3516 posts) -

Oh you poor little boy, is bioware charging you for hat related technology?

Wonder where they came up with that.....

BLAME VALVE!!!

#4 Posted by Ares42 (2591 posts) -

I gotta say the server selection says more. On the EU side there's 9 servers, PvE, PvP and RP all in either English, German or French. And when I log on to the English PvP server there's still only about 100 people at the fleet.

#5 Posted by TwoArmed (110 posts) -

To me, the only truly "offensive" thing about their pay walls is the fact that you are limited to two actions bars. I know they were originally going to only let free players have one, so I guess it was nice of them (?) to up it to two, but that still seems like a dick move.

#6 Posted by Death_Burnout (3793 posts) -

Well that's disgusting, looking at all these changes pretty much confirms me not paying them a for a sub again. Looks like that worked didn't it?

#7 Posted by Red (5994 posts) -

@TwoArmed: Yeah, that's the one thing that kinda irks me. Helm-hiding is a bit odd, but it--and the vast majority of the rest of the F2P locks--is just cosmetic. UI should not be behind paywalls.

#8 Posted by Levio (1784 posts) -

@TwoArmed said:

To me, the only truly "offensive" thing about their pay walls is the fact that you are limited to two actions bars. I know they were originally going to only let free players have one, so I guess it was nice of them (?) to up it to two, but that still seems like a dick move.

Wait, what? If the game is like WoW, then free players couldn't possibly use all their skills since there's no room to put them anywhere...

#9 Posted by Mr_Skeleton (5138 posts) -

People complain about free games, this always gets me.

#10 Posted by ajamafalous (11876 posts) -
@Levio said:

@TwoArmed said:

To me, the only truly "offensive" thing about their pay walls is the fact that you are limited to two actions bars. I know they were originally going to only let free players have one, so I guess it was nice of them (?) to up it to two, but that still seems like a dick move.

Wait, what? If the game is like WoW, then free players couldn't possibly use all their skills since there's no room to put them anywhere...

The game's combat is essentially WoW circa BC. And yes, your assessment is correct. Here's a screenshot of my UI from back when I was playing PvP seriously (bigger version here):
 
As you can see, that's way more skills and keybinds than two bars. I was excited to play the game again once it went free (I really enjoyed the combat in ToR and my time with the game), but the extent to which they locked vital things behind a paywall really soured me, to the point where I'm not even really interested anymore. Maybe once they get a ton of negative feedback they'll make changes? Here's to hoping, I guess.
#11 Posted by murisan (1119 posts) -

Yep. It's now free to play. And I still haven't played it since December of 2011.

#12 Edited by doosmacleod (187 posts) -

@Mr_Skeleton said:

People complain about free games, this always gets me.

The idea is for their free model is to entice people to eventually pay.

People aren't complaining about the free game, they're complaining that the free model is such that it's a pretty cruel model (being so wholly restrictive, you'd get a better play experience watching 4 month old videos on YouTube). I would not be too surprised if people were turned away from the game entirely after finding out the F2P model allows for you slightly more than nothing.

Sure, "It's free; you get what you pay," but that's not the point of F2P design. It's meant to be bait. The bait is bad.

#13 Posted by Hungry (165 posts) -

@Mr_Skeleton:

When someone asks me if I want a free meal and they try to literally feed me a pile of shit I am going to complain. Especially since the point behind free to play games with cash shops (that are healthy for games) is that they should impress and please you enough that you want to spend money on them, not that you feel required to spend money on them. When you feel like you have to spend money that is when it is all about the big buck and not about making a good piece of entertainment.

#14 Posted by iceman228433 (604 posts) -

I would not call it free to play in any way, the only thing you really get for free is you can get the story up until level 50 that is about it.

#15 Posted by jozzy (2041 posts) -

@Hungry said:

@Mr_Skeleton:

When someone asks me if I want a free meal and they try to literally feed me a pile of shit I am going to complain. Especially since the point behind free to play games with cash shops (that are healthy for games) is that they should impress and please you enough that you want to spend money on them, not that you feel required to spend money on them. When you feel like you have to spend money that is when it is all about the big buck and not about making a good piece of entertainment.

I wouldn't complain, I just wouldn't eat it. Hey, interesting ... how about you don't play this game.

Apparently you can pretty much play all the single player content without ever paying, I wouldn't compare that to shit. Also, for people that still don't understand what free to play means: They still need your money because making and running games cost money.

#16 Posted by connerthekewlkid (1803 posts) -

you dont really need more than 3 bars until about level 30

and this stuff was released a month ago why are people complaining about it now?

#17 Posted by doobie (605 posts) -

@doosmacleod said:

@Mr_Skeleton said:

People complain about free games, this always gets me.

The idea is for their free model is to entice people to eventually pay.

People aren't complaining about the free game, they're complaining that the free model is such that it's a pretty cruel model (being so wholly restrictive, you'd get a better play experience watching 4 month old videos on YouTube). I would not be too surprised if people were turned away from the game entirely after finding out the F2P model allows for you slightly more than nothing.

Sure, "It's free; you get what you pay," but that's not the point of F2P design. It's meant to be bait. The bait is bad.

are people actually think EA or any publisher is really going to say here... please just take this game we spend millions developing for nothing.

its a way of trying something for free, but if you want everything. its going to cost you.

sounds to me like EA are actually give quite a lot here away for FREE.

#18 Edited by EXTomar (4530 posts) -

@Levio said:

@TwoArmed said:

To me, the only truly "offensive" thing about their pay walls is the fact that you are limited to two actions bars. I know they were originally going to only let free players have one, so I guess it was nice of them (?) to up it to two, but that still seems like a dick move.

Wait, what? If the game is like WoW, then free players couldn't possibly use all their skills since there's no room to put them anywhere...

I'm fond of this image which I have stored on GB...

I believe that you don't get a full set of skills till you max out so are they suggesting free players will quit before they need a third bar? In any event, most other Free-To-Play games are "feature complete" no matter what you buy. Parts of their pay scheme are bad where as much as I want them to continue to go on I really don't want them to have success doing that.

#19 Posted by connerthekewlkid (1803 posts) -

@EXTomar: http://boards.4chan.org/v/

#20 Posted by Hungry (165 posts) -

@jozzy:

I don't have any intention on playing the game, but don't you think it is a little ridiculous some of the things they are limiting you for doing? I mean action bars, really? If you don't have enough action bars to put your abilities on they are gimping your gameplay capability (same with limiting the quality of loot you can wear) just because you aren't paying for the game. This is an unhealthy way to create a free to play environment with premium options.

Saying that I can just not play it and have no gripes about it is a ridiculous sentiment. I want the free to play version of SW:TOR to be the best it can be for all the people who DO want to play it. I am fine with locking out some things to free to play members, but some of the things they are locking out are ludicrous and does nothing but drive away the people the free to play initiative is trying to bring in.

#21 Posted by amir90 (2154 posts) -

Complain about restrictions in a free game? ;P

Just buy 1 month, if you hate the game by the end, don't play it anymore, we didn't have the option to hide helmet Launch either.

#22 Posted by jozzy (2041 posts) -

@Hungry said:

@jozzy:

I don't have any intention on playing the game, but don't you think it is a little ridiculous some of the things they are limiting you for doing? I mean action bars, really? If you don't have enough action bars to put your abilities on they are gimping your gameplay capability (same with limiting the quality of loot you can wear) just because you aren't paying for the game. This is an unhealthy way to create a free to play environment with premium options.

Saying that I can just not play it and have no gripes about it is a ridiculous sentiment. I want the free to play version of SW:TOR to be the best it can be for all the people who DO want to play it. I am fine with locking out some things to free to play members, but some of the things they are locking out are ludicrous and does nothing but drive away the people the free to play initiative is trying to bring in.

They want you to pay money for stuff you need when you really seriously want to play the game. I understand what you mean, but I don't think it's ludicrous to ask people to spend some money when they are really invested in the game. I think comparing it to shit was a bit much too.

Now, I don't know how much extra action bars cost, but if you playing to level 30 over a couple of weeks I don't think it's that crazy to ask the player to pony up a couple of dollars to keep room for all their new skills. If you don't want it you can always rotate some skills out, I seem to recall when I was playing it that I only used 5 or 6 skills to get through the normal PVE content.

#23 Edited by MB (12089 posts) -

The sense of entitlement some people have is straight up bewildering. You're complaining about a free game.

FREE.

@jozzy said:

Now, I don't know how much extra action bars cost, but if you playing to level 30 over a couple of weeks I don't think it's that crazy to ask the player to pony up a couple of dollars to keep room for all their new skills.

It seems pretty reasonable to me as well. I mean, even setting aside the cost of development (which was astronomical), there are still costs associated with keeping this "free" game running, fixing bugs, hosting the servers, employing customer service...and last but not least, this is a business. They're still trying to make a profit.

Moderator
#24 Edited by Mykander (14 posts) -

Not only action bars, but you can't select from every available quest reward if there are multiple unless you're a subscriber. You know, I'll pay for new content, or opening up existing content, and I'd even pay for hiding the helm (well, I wouldn't because I don't care, but if I did care). What won't I pay for? A functional UI and allowing me to expend the effort of completing a quest and then blocking the reward for doing it. If you didn't want to give me the reward, then lock me out of doing the quest in the first place and charge for it, don't kick me where it hurts after I've already done the work.

Edit:

Not to mention I'm a former subscriber. I paid full price for the game at launch and a couple months, and despite that I'm still locked out of the basic UI. By the average in other F2P games I've already invested more in the game then the average person after F2P's release.

@jozzy said:

Now, I don't know how much extra action bars cost, but if you playing to level 30 over a couple of weeks I don't think it's that crazy to ask the player to pony up a couple of dollars to keep room for all their new skills. If you don't want it you can always rotate some skills out, I seem to recall when I was playing it that I only used 5 or 6 skills to get through the normal PVE content.

If you convert Cartel Coins to US dollars then opening an action bar is roughly $3 for a single character (just one action bar, and there are six total) or $5 per action bar for your account. Even if you only go as far as to say 4 is a reasonable amount by the end of game you're still paying 2/3 the subscription price just to open two action bars for all your characters. God forbid you decide to play one character only, unlock bars for that character, and then decide you want to play another character.

#25 Posted by GERALTITUDE (3018 posts) -

I booted this up, made a character, and played for about 20 minutes. Why do all MMOs control like such crap? Not quite tank controls but I always feel so uncomfortable just moving around.

#26 Posted by Beb (240 posts) -

As someone who bought the game at launch and later quit, I was pretty surprized at how badly they are nickel and dime-ing the f2p side of things. If I handn't experienced the 'real' game I would have done a 180 and uninstalled right away. As it is I plan on clawing my way through the story and then stopping. Compared to Guild Wars 2 this is a joke. Only two UI bars makes the game borderline unplayable, not to mention the other stuff they lock way (like quest rewards).

#27 Edited by Amilmitt (237 posts) -

This game is not Free 2 Play, its is Freemium.

and all those people says you shouldn't complain about getting stuff for free. this is by far the worst free 2 play model ive ever seen.

practically all actual F2P games offer you the whole game and then sell convenience items and costumes. and those saying they have to because of server cost and what not are spewing bullshit. Firefall and Planetside 2(both F2P) selling only convenience and cosmetic, when their server structure is probably far more expensive then Swtor.

#28 Posted by Nights (607 posts) -

@GERALTITUDE said:

I booted this up, made a character, and played for about 20 minutes. Why do all MMOs control like such crap? Not quite tank controls but I always feel so uncomfortable just moving around.

They don't, it just takes a bit of time. It's all about muscle memory. Ed Park over at Taugrim made a fantastic guide: http://taugrim.com/2011/04/07/guide-to-strafing-movement-and-keybindings/

If you're looking to PVP or just improve your overall ability, I suggest you try QWE (instead of WASD) for movement. For one, you should never be keyboard turning. You should be changing direction/back peddling with the strafe keys and your mouse (panning the camera). It also frees up a lot of real estate on your keyboard for skills. My current setup below.

  • Q = Strafe Left
  • W = Forward
  • E = Strafe Right

Quickbar 1:

  • Slot 1 = Mouse Back Button
  • Slot 2 = A
  • Slot 3 = X
  • Slot 4 = C
  • Slot 5 = F
  • Slot 6 = 1
  • Slot 7 = 2
  • Slot 8 = 3
  • Slot 9 = 4
  • Slot 10 = 5

For your additional Quickbars, use whatever shortcuts you're comfortable with. I usually just use Shift + 1, Shift + 2, etc. My hands aren't very large, so this type of compact setup suits me well. Being able to access your skills quickly while still being able to focus on the task at hand is key (especially in an action oriented game like Guild Wars 2 or TERA). You'll also want to avoid activating your skills with your mouse.

#29 Posted by Hungry (165 posts) -

@jozzy said:

They want you to pay money for stuff you need when you really seriously want to play the game. I understand what you mean, but I don't think it's ludicrous to ask people to spend some money when they are really invested in the game. I think comparing it to shit was a bit much too.

Now, I don't know how much extra action bars cost, but if you playing to level 30 over a couple of weeks I don't think it's that crazy to ask the player to pony up a couple of dollars to keep room for all their new skills. If you don't want it you can always rotate some skills out, I seem to recall when I was playing it that I only used 5 or 6 skills to get through the normal PVE content.

I don't think it is ludicrous for them to want people to spend money when they get invested in the game either, my problem is with the things they are taking away from you. If you are right in that you don't need an awful lot of skills to get through the content then I think that is a bit better, but it is still pretty dirty in my opinion. There is nothing wrong with asking for money in the freemium model, I just think it is real scummy to take away things really core to the game (like disallowing you to equip certain gear or force you to choose between abilities when a paying player will not). The problem becomes there that it will easily become "Pay or you don't get to play with or compete with the cool kids." I can already see people requiring you have X amount of action bars and being able to equip gear to get into their groups, even if it isn't high-level stuff.

@MB:

You know throwing around the word entitled is a little over the top. I don't think anyone should expect the entire game for free, but limiting things that hinders your ability to keep up with other people is scummy. If SWTOR was a 100% free-to-play game from the get-go with these restrictions we would call it a pay-to-win game. Also, I don't care how much money it cost them to make the game and they are trying to recoup, that doesn't mean you should resort to these kinds of things. The free-to-play people should be second class citizens (in things like character slot count, bag slots, etc.) but things that make it so that, in the gameplay, you are already number two is unhealthy for the game.

All I am saying is that I think freemium games should offer a level playing field in the gameplay aspect of it, and SWTOR doesn't seem to. Give the premium members infinite bank slots, inventory slots, character slots, whatever. But when it comes to actually playing the game everyone should be on even footing. Maybe Dota 2 has spoiled me on this concept.

#30 Edited by EXTomar (4530 posts) -

It would be like buying Black Ops 2, jumping in a multiplayer match and find out you can only "Pick 5" for free but can "Pick 10" for a fee. It isn't about asking players to "pony up" pay for performance which is something that FTP games really need to be careful about abusing.

#31 Posted by danmcn12 (86 posts) -

@doosmacleod said:

@Mr_Skeleton said:

People complain about free games, this always gets me.

The idea is for their free model is to entice people to eventually pay.

People aren't complaining about the free game, they're complaining that the free model is such that it's a pretty cruel model (being so wholly restrictive, you'd get a better play experience watching 4 month old videos on YouTube). I would not be too surprised if people were turned away from the game entirely after finding out the F2P model allows for you slightly more than nothing.

Sure, "It's free; you get what you pay," but that's not the point of F2P design. It's meant to be bait. The bait is bad.

It is the standard F2P model for MMOs. Only thing that is new is the limiting of action bars. That is clearly just a way to force high level players to pay more.

#32 Edited by danmcn12 (86 posts) -

@iceman228433 said:

I would not call it free to play in any way, the only thing you really get for free is you can get the story up until level 50 that is about it.

AKA: It is a free to play game. This has to just be errant EA hate they are only doing what every large P2P turned F2P MMO does, gimp people who don't pay and force them into eventually paying...

For comparison, you literally have to start buying content in LoTRO after about level ~25. You have to buy zone packs.

#33 Edited by JamesJeux007 (470 posts) -

The problem I have with this game is not the fact that the F2P model does not give me everything I want, it's the fact that the way they have it set up, they give you the most shitty experience to force you to either buy more features or subscribe... And you would be a fool not to subscribe, because it costs WAY less to unlock everything for just the time you'll play the game AND you get Cartel Points for free. And you know what ? Yes, it works for some people. It worked for me. I wanted to go back to this game and maybe buy a thing or two in the store because I actually enjoyed the game. But I had no choice but to subscribe. Because if I was going to spend time playing the game, playing with the F2P restrictions would have made the game awful to play once you're out of the story moments.

I mean, take a look at this list of features for each type of player. Here's a list of features (not everything) you don't have access to if you're a F2P member : Only 1 profession out of 3, no bank, cannot upgrade inventory space, 5 PvP BG per week allowed, 3 Space Missions per week allowed, Quick Travel has a 2h CD instead of 30min, can only revive 5 times on the field per character, cannot equip purple items, respecialization costs more, vendors cost more, equipment modification costs more, less XP, no rest XP, only 2 quickslots out of 6, cannot participate in events, cannot hide your helmet nor unify your colors, cannot change your title nor display your legacy name.

See what I am talking about ? And it's not like the game is subtle about it. Everywhere you click, you'll get a message saying "If you want this feature, buy it or subscribe". I mean there is a way to make F2P that doesn't involve hindering the player's ability to have a good time. This is really one the most dirty use of the F2P model I've seen so far. It's up there with Sony's "Hey, you know how shitty it is for the PS3 to update all the time ? How about you give us some money and it will auto-update ?".

In the end, what pisses me off the most is that it makes the model really apparent and take over the game. And that sucks, because the game is actually pretty good. And this WILL drive people away from it.

#34 Edited by Viking_Funeral (1744 posts) -

@doosmacleod said:

@Mr_Skeleton said:

People complain about free games, this always gets me.

The idea is for their free model is to entice people to eventually pay.

League of Legends is a free game. I've been playing it for 2 weeks now, can't stop, and am seriously debating whether I can resist the temptation of putting real money in it.

So far I've seen nothing about TOR that makes me want to continue playing. There's is a pretty stupid model. Of course, if the gameplay was good and enticing in the first place, it never would have reached this point... so it's a bit of a Catch-22.

#35 Posted by eskimo (473 posts) -

They dont let non subscribers sprint until level 15. This game is a fucking joke.

#36 Posted by MasterVerhoffin (135 posts) -

@eskimo said:

They dont let non subscribers sprint until level 15. This game is a fucking joke.

They didn't let ANYBODY sprint until level 15 at launch. That said, it still is the worst f2p model I've ever seen.

#37 Posted by eskimo (473 posts) -

I've been playing all afternoon and I'm kinda over it. I'm tired of being forced to sit at the back of the space bus.

@MasterVerhoffin: That kinda blows my mind.

#38 Posted by Funkydupe (3312 posts) -

I could run when I started my F2P... but I bought the game earlier so I ended up as a sort of "Preferred F2P player". Weird stuff.

#39 Posted by I_Stay_Puft (3063 posts) -

So I was enjoying the story until I stopped earlier this year, but can someone finish the entire main story for their character playing F2P?

#40 Posted by Bane122 (784 posts) -

@I_Stay_Puft: Yeah, it'll just take longer with the reduced xp gain and limits on fast travel and whatnot.

#41 Posted by TheHT (10937 posts) -

Take the story telling of The Old Republic, the combat and social interactions of Guild Wars 2, and the space combat of Star Trek Online, and you'll have the best MMO ever. Hell, not even MMO, I'd say that'd be one of the best games in general.

#42 Posted by jdh5153 (1034 posts) -

I wish they'd just take the servers, put them in a giant pit and bury them and pretend that this absolute GARBAGE game never happened. Bought it on day one...Subscribed for three months...Couldn't take it so I quit. A few months later I subscribed again and there were literally 8 FREAKING PEOPLE on the entire planet I was on for an ENTIRE week. I e-mailed them, and they were like 'well it'll get better later this summer when we merge some servers'....I was like f* it I'm out.

#43 Posted by Funkydupe (3312 posts) -

Did you try to switch instances to a more populated one?

#44 Edited by TheHT (10937 posts) -

...this game is really fun. I'll probably play until 25 or so and if it keeps up I might have to subscribe for a bit.

#45 Posted by MeatSim (10782 posts) -

I am level 33 and so far this game seems playable if you put 5 to 10 bucks into it and I didn't really feel the need to until around level 15.

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