Star Wars: The Old Republic Going Free-to-Play This Fall

#1 Posted by Crunchman (380 posts) -

“Players want flexibility and choice. The subscription-only model presented a major barrier for a lot of people who wanted to become part of The Old Republic™ universe”

The first 50 levels for all eight classes will be available for free. There will be certain restrictions with "new game content" and whatever "advanced player features" are.

http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/email/alert/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsLang=en&newsId=20120731006602

http://www.swtor.com/free

#2 Posted by TheHBK (5464 posts) -

Wow. So not even a year? At least that means the Elder Scrolls Online will be free to play pretty soon after launch.

#3 Posted by Brodehouse (9606 posts) -

Great, give me incentive to get back in. I'd like to do the Imperial Agent stuff, I was going to originally, but I couldn't say no to heavy armor and Jennifer Hale.

#4 Edited by White_Silhouette (470 posts) -

Well I admit I was wrong. I thought it would be at least a year or two before it went.

Those waiting for it to go f2p. I recommend checking out some of the class quests. Some of them are really good.

#5 Posted by believer258 (11665 posts) -

@TheHBK said:

Wow.

So not even a year? At least that means the Elder Scrolls Online will be free to play pretty soon after launch.

Precisely.

#6 Edited by Marz (5643 posts) -

kind of saw it coming but yeah guess i can still play my level 50's whenever i want now.

no one has an excuse not to play the Imperial Agent storyline now.... it's one of the best game stories that I've played in awhile.

#7 Posted by RE_Player1 (7551 posts) -

I'm happy. Love the game and this means more people to play with. I'll gladly keep supporting it through this new model. I hope this also makes more GB users get in so we can have more active guilds for both factions.

#8 Posted by Village_Guy (2501 posts) -

Great, I wanted to check the game out, but I didn't feel like it was worth paying for. Although it is alarmingly early, this venture seems like it has been horrible for EA (financial wise I guess), with that kind of time and money spent on it.

#9 Posted by Zenogiasu (192 posts) -

I feel like this is obligatory.

#10 Posted by zyn (2591 posts) -

I knew this would happen. HA!

#11 Posted by Benny (1947 posts) -

@believer258 said:

@TheHBK said:

Wow.

So not even a year? At least that means the Elder Scrolls Online will be free to play pretty soon after launch.

Precisely.

How can an MMORPG launch with a monthly fee after this? The single most expensive game in the genre is flip-flopping to F2P quicker than any game before it (I think?)

Also "Now is the time to play The Old Republic™!" is fantastic. As if $42 is going to equate to the rewards you will get for continuing to pay for the game until it goes F2P.

Laughable.

#12 Posted by mosdl (3228 posts) -
#13 Posted by adoggz (2045 posts) -

fuck you too EA.

#14 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7613 posts) -

The monthly fee was my single biggest gripe with the game, considering the tried to pass it off as an MMO with the depth of a single player RPG story. Being forced into the MMO/recurring payment thing just never made much sense for the game.

That said, the game had plenty of other flaws, so the fact that it's just now becoming free doesn't seem like enough reason for me to go back. Especially if they're making the switch around the time of Guild Wars 2's release.

#15 Posted by SeanFoster (856 posts) -

After I've torn through all of the fall games I'm excited for, I'll definitely head back and spend some time leveling a character or two.

#16 Posted by BigDaddy81 (318 posts) -

And to think I almost shelled out the $150 for the collector's edition. Too bad it doesn't go F2P until the fall, as I'm gonna be deep into Borderlands 2 well into next year.

#17 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

They really gimped the Free play stuff. 

#18 Posted by Irvandus (2826 posts) -

As much as I defend this game, I'll be straight up and say I play it as a single player rpg and looking back the monthly fee doesn't make any sense to me. I'm just interested in finishing off the main stories of each class so it doesn't sound like I'll be investing much in new content. If they sells stuff that makes traveling to the fleet less of a pain in the ass I'll buy that I guess.

#19 Posted by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

That was faster than I expected even if they still restrict some stuff.

#20 Posted by DonChipotle (2694 posts) -

I literally just renewed my account and now I feel like I should be angry.

#21 Posted by BabyChooChoo (4297 posts) -

I could not possibly be any less surprised.

#22 Posted by Moreau_MD (402 posts) -

@mosdl said:

@adoggz said:

fuck you too EA.


@The_Laughing_Man said:
They really gimped the Free play stuff.

Here is the feature differences list. I guess we can restart our guilds, I'll probably start hopping in again.

Wow, I think we're all sort of missing the real issue here. No operations unless you pay? This means you'll essentially have nothing to do once you hit 50 if you're F2P. Guarantee those features that are 'limited' will also mean F2P peeps won't be able to actually get any real use out of them.

Seems like an extended demo rather than F2P. I've heard of perks in free MMOs before, but this basically amounts to metaphorical disembowelment of the game for those who don't have the cash...and that race restriction is just plain mean.

EA fails to restrain its gargantuan greed once again.

#23 Posted by Karkarov (3000 posts) -

@Benny said:

How can an MMORPG launch with a monthly fee after this? The single most expensive game in the genre is flip-flopping to F2P quicker than any game before it (I think?)

Also "Now is the time to play The Old Republic™!" is fantastic. As if $42 is going to equate to the rewards you will get for continuing to pay for the game until it goes F2P.

Actually it is the single most expensive game ever made period. As for how fast it flip flopped, I am confident someone else did it sooner though I would have to do some research to "prove it" and frankly I don't care that much. Truthfully it doesn't even matter since the vast majority of mmo games launch free to play from day one now anyway. I would say this happening doesn't even relate to the state of the game but is just SWtOR's response to Guild Wars 2, just like Pandaria in September is Blizzard's response to it.

#24 Posted by deox (210 posts) -

It was only a matter of time, I'm just surprised at how soon they are making the switch... Fall? I thought for sure they would try to stretch it out until 2013.

#25 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -
@Moreau_MD said:

@mosdl said:

@adoggz said:

fuck you too EA.


@The_Laughing_Man said:
They really gimped the Free play stuff.

Here is the feature differences list. I guess we can restart our guilds, I'll probably start hopping in again.

Wow, I think we're all sort of missing the real issue here. No operations unless you pay? This means you'll essentially have nothing to do once you hit 50 if you're F2P. Guarantee those features that are 'limited' will also mean F2P peeps won't be able to actually get any real use out of them.

Seems like an extended demo rather than F2P. I've heard of perks in free MMOs before, but this basically amounts to metaphorical disembowelment of the game for those who don't have the cash...and that race restriction is just plain mean.

EA fails to restrain its gargantuan greed once again.

Limited times you can run stuff as well. Also limiting the travel ways on a planet? I played a trial. The running around was a massive hassle.  
 
So ya. They are more or less gimping their game unless you pay. 
#26 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

Yay. Guess I'll play it some at some point. Maybe. Or maybe not. I liked my Sith Inquisitor playthrough and matched PvP well enough, especially Huttball - but with the wealth of other options to spend my time on - maybe free just isn't gonna cut it anymore.

Pay 2 Play MMOs are the future. Pay me to play them, that is.

#27 Posted by Benny (1947 posts) -

@Karkarov: Agreed, the way they've had to change their games from monthly fee to F2P wont help them stand up against Guild Wars 2 which was built from the ground up with no monthly fee in mind. Seems like damage control at this point. It's a real shame because I'm sure a lot of talented people worked on the game and had much grander ideas that I'd bet were restricted by EA's shrewd business sense.

#28 Posted by Dourin (232 posts) -

I think that in the gaming media, this is going to be spun as a negative, as if swtor somehow failed, and it going F2P proves this. I really hope Patrick (because we all know he'll write an article on it, if not Jeff) realizes that this is probably the best thing that could have happened for both Bioware/EA and the players.

EA is seeing the writing on the wall, and knows that F2P is the direction the market is going, and is being proactive about adapting to it rather than trying to hold out with an ultimately failed system (with the obvious exception of WoW, though even their numbers are starting to see a sharp decline in the last year or two), unlike other companies like Mystic. The microtransaction shop will allow Bioware to recoup dev costs and allow for further development on swtor, and the lack of a sub fee means not only new players will join in, but players like myself who were subscribers in the past will totally be ok with coming back, even if maybe not all the features we wanted in the game are quite there yet.

I know that last sentence probably seems obvious, but with how swtor has become the MMO whipping boy for the gaming media throughout this year, I will be very surprised if those points are even brought up when they report on this great news.

#29 Posted by Karkarov (3000 posts) -

@Cloudenvy said:

That was faster than I expected even if they still restrict some stuff.

Some stuff? I just read the list, you can't even do unlimited space missions as free to play, damn they aren't even fun to begin with.... Hell you can't do raids at all and limited warzone participation??? They basically said you can level to 50 but forget about the endgame. So unless you are just going to solo for the story you pretty much have to subscribe. This is less F2P MMO SWtOR, and more Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 3 with online only DRM and really grindy gameplay.

#30 Posted by mosdl (3228 posts) -

@Moreau_MD How dare they try to make money to pay developers, I know.

#31 Posted by Kidavenger (3511 posts) -

Game was on sale for $15 yesterday at a local store, I almost went for it.

It's funny that the part of the game they are giving for free; 1-50; is the only part of the game I've heard anyone say anything good about.

#32 Posted by Moreau_MD (402 posts) -

@mosdl said:

@Moreau_MD How dare they try to make money to pay developers, I know.

You do that by adding additional features that people want to buy not by gutting your own game to the point where people need to spend money in order to get to the meat of things. That's like saying you'll offer me a roast chicken and then brinigng me a plate with just the skin- "oh, but you need to pay in order to actually get the chicken itself or else the chef dies". Hardly free is it?

...damn I'm hungry

#33 Posted by mtcantor (947 posts) -

The thing that worries me the most is the limited transportation options. What the hell does that even mean? Speeders are VIP only? F2P people have to walk?

#34 Posted by Demoskinos (14578 posts) -

I'll have to play this then when it goes F2P.

#35 Posted by Brodehouse (9606 posts) -
@mtcantor Yeatsrday F2P people couldn't even go outside.

It's unbelievable the vendetta people have with this game. If they offered the entire game for free, people would be pissed. If they offered limited access for free and full access for pay, people would be pissed. If they made the entire game for pay, people would be pissed. There's no winning.
#36 Posted by White_Silhouette (470 posts) -

@mtcantor said:

The thing that worries me the most is the limited transportation options. What the hell does that even mean? Speeders are VIP only? F2P people have to walk?

My guess is F2P people will have bum ride from P2P players to get from planet to planet.

#37 Posted by mtcantor (947 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

@mtcantor Yeatsrday F2P people couldn't even go outside. It's unbelievable the vendetta people have with this game. If they offered the entire game for free, people would be pissed. If they offered limited access for free and full access for pay, people would be pissed. If they made the entire game for pay, people would be pissed. There's no winning.

There's no point in making it F2P if they restrict the game so much that playing F2P isn't fun. People won't stick around if they make the experience shitty.

#38 Posted by mtcantor (947 posts) -

@White_Silhouette said:

@mtcantor said:

The thing that worries me the most is the limited transportation options. What the hell does that even mean? Speeders are VIP only? F2P people have to walk?

My guess is F2P people will have bum ride from P2P players to get from planet to planet.

Unlikely. They already indicate that F2P people will be able to play a limited number of space missions per day. What would be the point of having the spaceship if they don't let you use it to move from planet to planet.

#39 Posted by connerthekewlkid (1803 posts) -

Aside from the what I consider mean tortanic jokes I'll jump back in for sure

#40 Posted by Marz (5643 posts) -

@White_Silhouette said:

@mtcantor said:

The thing that worries me the most is the limited transportation options. What the hell does that even mean? Speeders are VIP only? F2P people have to walk?

My guess is F2P people will have bum ride from P2P players to get from planet to planet.

that'd be funny and cool if i could charge a few cartel coins from other players who needed a ride.... make use of that fat car i got from Karagga's Palace.

#41 Posted by connerthekewlkid (1803 posts) -
@mtcantor Probably free to play can't use personal speeder but just taxis
#42 Posted by mtcantor (947 posts) -

@connerthekewlkid said:

@mtcantor Probably free to play can't use personal speeder but just taxis

Or maybe just the high end speeders are restricted. I dunno.

#43 Posted by JCTango (1358 posts) -

Totally saw this coming from a long ways away.

#44 Posted by doosmacleod (186 posts) -

@JCTango said:

Totally saw this coming from a long ways away.

Yeah. Pretty much.

From what I've heard from just about everyone who played the game, it was pretty much great story-wise, but lacking with the persistent world(galaxy, I guess) feel that one would get from a subscription based MMORPG. From that, I always thought they should have made their game more F2P, with being able to pay small fees to get new content. Paying to be part of the next patch, so to speak.

I'll definitely give it a swing once it goes F2P, always heard the storylines were great, so I'd like to be able to actually try it out.

Doubt I'll ever subscribe, however.

#45 Posted by Hupsel (10 posts) -

Level design killed it for me. Couldnt even tell the difference between Nar Shadaa and Coruscant, both planets were long corridors filled with mobs. So disappointing :/

#46 Posted by MrMazz (929 posts) -

The restriction on Flashpoint and Ops is a major deal breaker for me as a percpectve returning player. Will these FP and Ops be one time purchases or will I have to pay a buck to go do the bidding of the Emperor? I don't really care about PVP.

I didn't see any mention and this might be moot since credits were way easy to come by but is there a limit to how many you can have? My main racked up 5 million credits and there was just nothing to buy. Depending on prices of the Cartel Coins I can see myself actually paying for stuff but I don't like the lack of being able to earn your way through things.

#47 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

Does not even seem worth it to update my client. 

#48 Edited by EXTomar (4507 posts) -

The restricted features are kind of a "huh?" I mean a problem is that there is a complaint that there is a lack of content so gating off content, even bad content, behind pay doesn't feel like a good idea.

#49 Posted by Arrested_Developer (708 posts) -

I don't know how their F2P model will work but I recently started playing the Star Trek and even though it's free to play I've easily paid over a months subscription on their damn lockbox grab bag drops.

#50 Posted by SmasheControllers (2544 posts) -

@DonChipotle said:

I literally just renewed my account and now I feel like I should be angry.

I just resubbed too, the amount of stuff free players don't get is worth paying for. No Ops and limited amount of Warzones a week.

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