SWTOR downgrades F2P madness to a calm lunacy

Just a quick follow-up to yesterday’s SWTOR article in the interest of fairness.  BioWare came out with a couple posts regarding some changes and clarification to F2P, and I think they go some ways to making the whole system less antagonistic (although not totally) to free players — particularly those who have put some money in the system.

First of all, we’re up to two quickbars and more warzones per week, and the former there is fine with me.  I can survive on two hotbars in most MMOs (although not EQ2, which requires something on the level of 39 full hotbars per character).  That’s one less thing I’d have to buy.

Then there was a great post clearing up what “preferred status” was (which, again, is all current and former subscribers as well as anyone who buys even one thing through the cash shop.  The big things here for me is that this comes with cargo hold access (another thing I won’t have to purchase), level 1 sprint, two crew skills, and an increased credit limit — among a long list.  Plus, any current characters will be able to retain legacy unlocks, species rolled, inventory and cargo expansions, and artifacts equipped.

This feels a bit better than what we were looking at before.  I’m still not thrilled that some mission rewards and lockboxes won’t be accessible and that there is a slower XP gain rate, but that’s not a dealbreaker.  I think I can finagle a character out of this that will be playable on the side.

It’ll be interesting to see if BioWare makes any other changes to the F2P plan prior to release.

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2 thoughts on “SWTOR downgrades F2P madness to a calm lunacy

  1. Are you planning to play an MMO for free or a single player game for free? If you’re going for the latter, then it works out pretty darn perfect. If you’re going for the former, shouldn’t there be a cost for you accessing the toolset that gets you connected to other people? TOR no longer has a box cost.

    The lockboxes issue is due to botting. Slicing is (always has been) a broken skill that is 99% revenue positive. With a zero barrier to entry, it would be trivial to set up accounts that just sent companions on slicing missions 24/7. When the barrier of entry is nil, then the security risks go up like crazy. Even the preferred status is minimal if you buy the cheapest thing.

  2. I’m not even bothering to do my normal analysis on this stuff right now, because experience has shown that the most dysfunctional F2P retrofit is sometimes one additional unlock added to the store away from being vaguely reasonable. The very first iteration of the EQ2X beta was a very different creature from the live F2PYW model that SOE uses today – like the current PTS version of SWTOR, early EQ2X really felt like the design intent was for the subscription not to be optional at max level. (I still get that feeling sometimes, but EQ2 is now playable as a non-subscriber, and the “preferred” status is a big step in that direction for SWTOR.)

    That said, the combination of a cap on currency (including daily quest and raid tokens) and a 25% penalty to vendor prices (including endgame gear token vendors) is not a restriction I’ve ever heard of before. I also don’t understand why a game that is planning to make money off of allowing people to buy cash store items to resell for credits on the auction house would want to strictly limit the ability of non-subscribers – who are most likely to need stuff from the cash store – to farm credits and use them to encourage others to buy stuff for them in the cash shop. .

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