I remember it like it was yesterday, the loud beating of nerd chests everywhere as people pranced around, declaring the upcoming super MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic would be the saving grace of the Pay-to-Play world. An MMO to finally take away a sizeable pie chunk of World of Warcraft subscribers. I’ll admit, I bought it.
SWTOR showed us though, that even with hundreds of millions of dollars, voice acting galor, and an IP whose fans are about as loyal as they are rabid for the series, doesn’t mean anything when it comes to shouldering a P2P MMO in an inevitably dying payment model.
So, with just under a year of P2P time under its belt, the Sci-Fi, almost monumental in size MMO will be making the inevitable F2P switch on November 15th. Something we have known about for a while. This is EA though, and you can bet a switch to F2P without would not be complete without a few annoying restrictions.
Some of the restrictions, are of course, limited to cosmetic items only available in the new Cartel Store (cash shop). I did find it funny that you can purchase cosmetic axes to replace your lightsabers; didn’t I want to wield a lightsaber? Is this now a fantasy MMO?
The deal breaker for some though, will be the fact that a F2P user cannot participate in raids, and only has access to a limited amount of PvP Warzones and instance loot per week. EA recently altered the system to allow for 2 more Warzones per week. But when that brings the total to just 5 and you figure an average Warzone only takes 15 minutes, that is not a huge increase.
SWTOR is not a bad game, it has great voice acting, cool classes and a well-crafted story. But when gaps like this are created between the F2P users and the P2P users, and it is made to appear as if the P2P user is sitting on a luxury island filled with all the things the F2P user could only wish for, that doesn’t help your case for F2P transition. Check out the official F2P preview above for more info on the upcoming SWTOR changes.