Rise of the Hutt Cartel Market

I uninstalled Star Wars: The Old Republic a couple of weeks ago, mostly because I couldn’t settle on a character to play, had little time to plow through the entire story again, was more than a little rankled at the free-to-play setup, and generally felt like there were more interesting prospects elsewhere.  But I don’t bear the game any ill-will, nor am I going to say anything so rash as “I’ll never go back there again.”

So I’m not without some interest in the news of the upcoming expansion, titled Rise of the Hutt Cartel.  Yes, it’s a little unfortunate for BioWare to use a word in that title that instantly makes the players think of the cash shop, but what are you going to do.

I don’t have a lot of time right now, so here are a few off-the-cuff thoughts on this:

  • Bully for the studio in getting out an expansion.  SWTOR has not had the easiest of years, and players really needed a reason to have or regain confidence in the product.  Expansions are a good way to project, “Hey, this game has a future!” whether or not it’s true.
  • It really does feel like more of a chunk of DLC or a content update than an expansion, especially with a features list that includes: (1) a new planet, (2) a five-level bump in the cap along with more storyline content, and (3) “more information coming soon.”  If there is more to the expansion than that, it really would’ve been in the best interest of the studio to put that on the announcement page.  They couldn’t have brainstormed a couple more talking points?
  • Another thing I’ve been seeing is that the additional planet isn’t exactly new news at this point, making me wonder if Makeb was originally intended to just be part of a monthly update, but now that F2P has hit, it had the potential to make a few bucks.
  • On the upside, it’s not a traditionally priced expansion, costing either $10 for subscribers or $20 for everyone else.
  • Finally, I really like that the studio is finally doing something to give a lot of players what they’ve been asking for: the next part of their character’s personal storyline (unless I grossly misinterpreted what’s being offered here).  BioWare’s been mucking about far too long with endgame features to cater to the raiders and PvPers while ignoring what I see as the core audience of the game, the levelers.
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6 thoughts on “Rise of the Hutt Cartel Market

  1. If memory serves, this has been in the works since before launch – at a minimum, it was discussed at E3 last year.

    The price point, like most other aspects of the game’s relaunch, appears to be designed to push players to subscribe. If you have to pay $20 for the content alone and the cost with a one-month subscription works out to $25 including a 500 cartel coin stipend and a month of subscriber-only perks to use while touring the new content, you’re probably better off subscribing. That also means you’re paying $25 for what is almost certainly a single month’s worth of story content.

    I also don’t get why we’re supposed to be excited about getting a hard sell to pay now for content that is months away – doesn’t “Spring 2013″ mean no earlier than April?

  2. The more I think about it, the more this prepurchase thing seems to have gotten way out of hand. If you don’t prepurchase within two and a half weeks of the announcement, while the third bullet point is “more information coming soon” and at least 3-4 months before the content is ready, they’re going to hold the content hostage for a week? Is there any precedent for this kind of deadline this far in advance anywhere else in the genre? (To my knowledge, all past pre-purchase early-access campaigns have been open to walk-ups through the day the game went live.) Why are we as customers okay with this?

  3. I’m amazed why SWTOR limits character slots to max 2.
    With only way to have more during (and only) subscription.

  4. While they are adding more story it is not more personal storylines. It’s a storyline for each faction, Bioware has pretty much admitted they don’t have the money to create any more class specific stories.

    I’m still subbed and I did go ahead and preorder but I didn’t exactly feel good about it. To be honest, if I wasn’t such a Star Wars fanboy I probably wouldn’t be sticking around.

  5. I preordered while my sub is still active (to get the 50% off and because I do plan on playing it), but I’m going to downgrade to preferred status unless I get to play ops more often. I too am not feeling too happy about their business practices and a lot of the ideas lately, but I still like the base game and haven’t done everything I wanted with it just yet.

    they are upgrading available character slots to 6 to preferred subscribers and adding ability to purchase more in the same patch (no eta on that other then soon, but I’m guessing sometime prior to makeb, or at least WITH makeb) when looking at a price, I was thinking of it in terms of single player DLC’s that offer usually couple of hours of gameplay and cost about as much (or if you look at something like Dawnguard, which costs $20 and offers more hours.. but it still for the most part adds up).

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