Here’s What Is (and Isn’t) Included In Free-to-Play Star Wars: The Old Republic

Here’s What Is (and Isn’t) Included In Free-to-Play Star Wars: The Old Republic

We’ve known since July that Star Wars: The Old Republic would be going free to play this fall. Now, developer BioWare has published a detailed list showing just what the free tier of the game includes.

Players who keep paying a monthly subscription fee of course have access to all features and content. Free players, as is becoming standard practice in MMORPGs, have limited access to certain features that can be upgraded through microtransactions as players choose.

All players, paid and free, have full access to all story content, levels 1-50, today’s update clarified. Free players, however, not only have limited character creation choices and inventory slots, but also have limited access to Operations, Warzones, Flashpoints, and Space Missions. Warzones, Flashpoints, and Space Missions are limited to three per week for free players, or players can purchase a weekly pass that gives unlimited access to the content in addition to Operations.

Free players also get only a heavily limited number of revives in the field (five) and can't equip purple items without purchasing a licence. Travel is also more difficult for free players: quick travel has a longer cool-down than for paying players, and free players don't get an emergency fleet pass.

The full list is on the game's official site. No word as of yet on when, specifically, the full free-to-play option will open up, but from the back half of October, we don't have too many weeks of "fall 2012" left.

Subscription vs. Free-to-Play Features [Official site]

SWTOR Expansion to Free-to-Play Option - Frequently Asked Questions [Official site]


    • But if you went back and didn’t buy anything, you’d be costing them money with earning them anything. They’re trying to get people to use the free mode as a trial, then upgrade to full subscribers. Contrast with GW2, which uses free as the base game then makes additional cash from the shop full of nice things, which aren’t necessary to be able to play the game.

    • And what exactly were you expecting for free? Arguably for many people the 1-50 story experience of SWTOR is easily the best part of the game and that is all there for free. Of course you will be more inconvenienced by the FTP model (less revives, longer cooldown on Quick Travel times when compared to Subs) but you still get the core experience for free. I just don’t see what the problem is. If you like to PVP you can get the unlock for that month cheaper then paying for a normal sub if PVP is all you do. If you want to PVE you can get the unlock for flashpoints/operations depending on your level. If you want to do a mix you might as well sub.

      Also while the restriction of 3 Warzones and Space Missions per a week is correct, Flashpoints are only restrcited to 3 full rewards per a week (i assume meaning you can do unlimited flashpoints per a week but expect only full rewards like good gear for the first 3)

  • I actually installed TOR on my new PC when I got it last month, thinking I’d give it a go. While this list sounds rather limiting, if I even play this twice as often or as long as I played Star Trek Online, I probably won’t notice the limitations. :/

  • I think this is closer to ‘demo’ than free-to-play. I’m really not sure EA have their head around the FTP model at all.

    • No, that’s not a demo, it has more access than a demo. Blizzard employ a similar model with WoW, free to play until level 20, maximum gold cap of about 10 gold, cannot message other players unless they message you, cannot use the auction house. It’s pretty limited but some like that.

      • I would also describe the WoW account as a demo.

        Guild Wars 2 is Free to play. City of Heroes is Free to play. I do not see how this is anything like those models.

        • Ok – I’ve read more into it, and I have to concede that because you can do the story missions its more than a demo. BUT. They have done their best to make playing the game without a sub a massive PITA. This is not attractive, especially compared to other FTP offerings.

      • a lot of those restrictions however were added in over time to slow down the gold spammers (no whispers,max of 10g) in wow because they just create trail accounts to send out their whisper adds.

  • Doesn’t sound that terrible to me. I mean, full access to the story? If i were gonna play it, that’d be why. Certainly ain’t for the gameplay, because I don’t really need to play WoW in space. And the stuff they’re putting behind the paywall doesn’t sound too different from how other free-to-play MMOs have done it.

  • They are essentially competing directly against GW2 which is Buy2Play, SWTOR for the majority has also been B2P, its just their subscribers left what is a very ordinary game. With a massive amount of ‘limited’ functions I seriously doubt whether the effort they have put into making this a F2P game will be worth it.

    Like it or not ArenaNet have set the bar in terms of what you should get from a non subscription MMO, regardless whether you like GW2 or not, the model they are using for the game is excellent. It doesn’t gimp the player in any way, they don’t force you into the cash shop with UI advertising, this is no limited access to anything in the game. ArenaNet have done it very well and other developers need to either match them or raise the standard even more. This detailed list of what you receive from EA/BioWare is pathetic. Way to make an already average game worse in my opinion.

    • I don’t think it’s just that – I left SWTOR because I was bored. There was nothing left for me to do. I’m not interested in operations because I can’t reliably dedicate several hours in one sitting to the game, and I finished all the flashpoints and maxed out my gear that way (excluding the black hole gear which had the wrong stats for my build). F2P means I’ll let my sub lapse (I’ve kept it running as a just in case), but I won’t necessarily come back anytime soon.

      They’re focusing so much on bringing in more players with this f2p this, but I think it’s the wrong approach. They should work on keeping the players they have with new things and bringing in basic features we’ve wanted for a while. When your current players are happy, people will come back. Build it and they will come!

    • If GW2 had an endgame I would agree with you.

      As I see it, you play GW2 to level in a sparkly coloured generic fantasy land by facerolling your way across 5 keys at a time.

      Alternately, you can play SWTOR and level 50 levels with a compelling, unique story in a well established universe then optionally pay for endgame content if you get that far.

      Your choice.

      Also, yes, I’m mad.

  • Still not interested. Its just another wow clone but with star wars textures instead of the kiddy fairy and panda textures. When will they just remake the original star wars trench run arcade machine? Thats all everyone has wanted for the last 25 years.

  • Well I got the free 1-15 trial for free so didn’t even need to pay for the game and then 1-50 will be free?? That’s as free to play as you can get in my books. I think it’s a great game but you have to of liked wow at some point to really like it

  • Yh they need to make the star wars games we like.
    TOR us just a clone of WoW and nothing more.
    We want those Star Wars games that kept us playing for hours like Revenge of the Sith.
    Star Wars games have gone to shit.
    EA wont last long. There is a limit of crap quality games a publisher can Publish and Develop and EA went past that limit a while ago and consumers around the globe are tired of EA and listening about there BAD bussines plans.

    EA stopped being good when EA Stopped caring about us and more about the money and what they can milk out of us.
    Look at Need for Speed The Run. They had a great Engine and Team making that game, but as usual, EA gives there developers no freedom in developing and are allways pushing the games in directions they want them to go and not what we want.
    EA needs to go and die in a volcano. Cant remember the last time I pkayed an EA game, probaly because most of EA’s games are this Movie based games that exist only to destroy 5 mins ofvour lives and get a bit of cash profit for a cheap game.

    • It seems that by using the word “we” you are deluding yourself into thinking that everyone feels the same way that you do.

      Let me just stop your right here and tell you that they don’t.

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