Star Wars: The Old Republic is easing restrictions for free-to-play and preferred players

    
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Still here, guy.

It can be difficult to play Star Wars: The Old Republic without paying; the game has some pretty strict restrictions in place for free players and even formerly paying members. But the game’s next major patch is actually lightening up on those restrictions significantly. No longer will players have to suffer with a low credit cap, for example; free-to-play and preferred players will now have a cap of 1,000,000 credits, thus allowing much more freedom to buy things, earn money, and otherwise enjoy the game.

Free-to-play and preferred players will also have access to quick travel and medical probes without any need to purchase consumable items, as the previous restrictions on those features will be listed. There will also be an additional hotbar unlocked for both account types, so free players get three bars and preferred players get five, a notable increase from before. All of this should make the game a bit more fun to play even if you’re not currently siphoning money into it directly.

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Feyd Darkholme

I mean let’s be honest, the best part of the game, which is mostly outstanding, are the character stories that you go through when leveling. So it’s worth playing just for that if you haven’t. These changes will make that experience a little less of a pain in the arse for free/preferred players, but is WAY too little, too late and doesn’t go nearly far enough. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times since the F2P switch; The absolute worse decision you can make is fracturing your player base in an MMO via subscription paywalls. They monetized SWTOR like a mobile game instead of an MMORPG, and made just about every mistake in the book when making this game instead of learning from those that came before them… at this point I don’t think they’ll ever learn that lesson. I am sure they still make money on this game, but they would make SO much more if they lifted content restrictions for people that aren’t subscribed. One time fees are fine for most of it, especially if a lot of it was unlocked via expansion purchases. Random SWTOR pic…

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Zandohaha .

Yeah. I enjoyed the Warzones. I’d probably have gone back and played more of the game if they didn’t restrict me to doing 3-5 a week.
Neuter the rewards for non subs after the first 3-5 war zones each week? Fine.
Just let me keep playing the game when I’m having fun rather than stopping me and asking for money.

A one time payment to unlock Warzones permanently would be a nice compromise. You are never going to get me to pay continuously for a sub just because I’ll occasionally fancy an evening of Hutball and I’m just going to not bother installing it if I go to play a game I’ve already spent well over a hundred pounds on and it tells me that I’m no longer allowed to keep enjoying myself unless I pay, right after I get back in it and start having fun. Its just not going to happen.

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Castagere Shaikura

The only reason for me to even play is the class stories. I could care less about anything else in the game.

kofteburger
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kofteburger

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Anton Mochalin

Is it worth it to join for free to play the main progression very casually? I heard SWTOR is about the story – is it fun to play through some significant portion of the story with a F2P account?

Also, I heard SWTOR has tab-target combat, is it at least challenging? How dynamic is it with non-boss enemies? Is it just standing and pressing the same sequence of buttons again and again or something more varied?

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Love Art Machine

Natalyia below gives some good reasons to play. As an original player and coming back as a F2P with my wife I have a slightly different impression.

Is it worth playing causally through the stories? Yes absolutely…as a casual.

Is it at least challenging? Absolutely not. My main complaint about this version of SWTOR is there is NO sense of accomplishment…at all. A single character can plow through anything given time with no fear of death. I think in my hardest fight so far had my health bar down to maybe 2/3 ‘rds. And if you play with a partner it gets colossally boring. Because the combat is sooooo easy you end up only using maybe 5 or 6 skills, toss out all healing skills, DOT etc (you don’t need them because npc’s die so easily and hit so lightly) and you have a pretty manageable hot bar.

With that said it is fun as a very casual “I just want to hear the light saber turn on” game. And stuff after the character stories might be fun, we haven’t gotten there yet.

But hey it is F2P, the only loss you have to try it out is your time and a download. :)

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Jim Bergevin Jr

Making speedleveling the norm without an option to turn it off killed any challenge leveling had, despite the equally problematic forced “level scaling”. The leveling game is the best part of the game, and they decimated it with 4.0

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Feyd Darkholme

Short answer, absolutely yes. The main character stories are by far the best part of the game and totally worth doing, even with the restrictions… especially if you’re a Star Wars fan.

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Witches

This would be great before raiding became sub only, also only subs are included in GC, so you have an avenue to gain gear that is aimed solely at subbers that don’t raid.

And the whole hotbar thing is just a pointless and stupid PR disaster, many games have less hotbars and less slots for abilities, but as long as you insist on charging for something that is free in virtually every other game out there, you are asking to be ridiculed.

Still it seems to be a step forward, a baby step but it’s better than nothing.

SayyadinaNox
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SayyadinaNox

It’s a good start, but SWTOR still has one of the most restrictive F2P models in gaming. Other commenters have already mentioned the restrictions on gear level and content restrictions for F2P. But for me, the most galling part of SWTOR’s model, is how many of those restrictions are carried over to Preferred players.

There are other F2P MMOs that follow a similar 3 tier structure. Games who treat their Preferred players with markedly fewer restrictions than SWTOR does. As a gamer who preordered the game at full retail price, paid a subscription for 2 years, and even recruited new players to the game, I find the restrictions placed on Preferred players to be so onerous that it negatively effects my enjoyment of the game. When it comes down to it, SWTOR is just not worth playing unless you pay the monthly sub.

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Zandohaha .

Yeah. Even if they want to increase the threshold of what counts as preferred status to multiple months of sub, they should still remove some of those restrictions on preferred players. I’ve spent a lot on that game years ago. It really takes the piss that the game asks for yet more money if I just want to spend an evening playing some warzones.

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Arthen Wolfsbane

I took a look at the changes in the hope that they might allow free to players more access to their battleground pvp ( or whatever its called in game ), if they had done that I think I would have tried it again . But as others are saying here its too little , too late .

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Sorenthaz

Kind of too little too late. Also still restricts you from wearing orange or purple gear, whichever it was, and blocking you out of raids among other things.

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Bruno Brito

Purple. You can wear the orange/moddable armor and they were mostly your best stuff to equip while pvp’ing while leveling.

MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

That’s still no reason for me to return.

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Natalyia

If you’ve not played the original class stories, and up to KotXX once on the Imperial and Republic side, even F2P with the old restrictions, SWTOR was worth playing.

Heck, for a force-using character I’ll even give them a single playthrough of the Knights storyline. It’s got issues, and some slog, but there’s some good stuff in there too.

I don’t know that the changes are going to drive vast numbers, but they’re nice for people who enjoy the occasional trip to a galaxy far, far away. What’s the saying? Don’t look a gift-bantha in the mouth? :)

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ghostlight

Well-said. As I’ve noted here before, every Star Wars, RPG, and/or MMO fan should play at least one or two of the SWTOR original class stories. The way the MMO industry has been going these days, I think it unlikely we will see anything comparable to the SWTOR original class stories again anytime soon, if ever.

Fav Republic story: Jedi Consular.
Fav Imperial story: Sith Inquisitor, with an honorable mention to the Sith Warrior.
Most underrated story: Bounty Hunter – Lots of unexpected laughs, cool companions, and a very satisfying ending.
Most overrated story: Imperial Agent – Still a very good story, but not the be-all-end-all many would have you believe.

Apridise
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Apridise

Years ago after getting several characters to end level, I needed a break and never went back due to the end game content being completely locked out unless you sub. Now that none of my old guildmates are playing anymore this completely laughable at thinking this will do much at increasing there subscriptions. And definitely not enough for me to even come back for free.