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Star Wars: The Old Republic Adding Free-To-Play Option In November 135

EA and BioWare announced today that Star Wars: The Old Republic will be getting a free-to-play option later this year. Players using the F2P option will be able to reach the level cap and play through the full class stories, but their access will be limited for other parts of the game; they will only be able to play a certain number of Warzones (their PvP battlegrounds), Flashpoints (their instanced dungeons), and space missions each week. Access to travel functionality and the game's auction house will be limited as well. F2P players won't be able to participate in Operations, the end-game raids. Subscribers will retain access to all of these features. There will also be cosmetic items sold through the 'Cartel Market' using a virtual currency.
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Star Wars: The Old Republic Adding Free-To-Play Option In November

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  • Dear Bioware (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @05:43PM (#40834829)

    I didn't want yet another free-to-play mmo. Lord knows there are enough of those. I (and many others) just wanted KOTOR 3. Now that your little mmo has jumped the shark, can we haz?

  • by Shivetya ( 243324 ) on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @06:16PM (#40835265) Homepage Journal

    that being, no real diversity in where you level. It was worse in Star Wars. You could not even start a new character with a friend and play together unless you both chose the same type character, force user or non force user. Afterward you could meet up but then that is where the problem surfaces.

    TL;DR - Game was release three patches too early and seemed to excel in having every bad feature WOW discarded, if not all games discarded. As if their design document was completed ten years ago and never changed.

    Beyond the two starting worlds all progression through levels is always the same worlds, the same quests except for class specific quests. However the absolute worst part was the punitive travel. Oh I mean overly convoluted maps; especially palaces; where you had to run mostly empty areas around and around to meet a quest giver/target locked in the end of some crazed maze. For a game that provided you a star ship by level 15 they could never quite explain why you could not land where you wanted or worse, had to wait till 25 to buy a land speeder. Really? I have a star ship but no land craft?

    The game did have some good highlights. The voice acting and stories were pretty good, but many were space bar skip them as it could become tedious and if you were on your second or third alt it was a bit much. The sounds of the game were pure star wars, the ships, the npcs, about everything looked right. The companion system was good but got a bit creepy with the romancing a computer avatar bit. Far too many players would dress their female companions, if not characters, in the absolute skimpiest outfits imaginable. Serious declaration of idiocy amongst the players.

    Yet you were trapped in a world were far too many mobs were "strong" or had eight second stun attacks. Where your characters could do AWESOME moves and demonstrated AMAZING powers but only in cut scenes. I kid you not. Force users rending blast doors - only in a cut scene. By the time you were mid level you had so many abilities the game became an exercise in cool down management than playing for fun.

    The game was released three patches to early. From a woefully unpolished interface to horrid zone loading times for many. Very bad and in some ways incredibly obvious exploits that rarely if ever went unpunished to an Auction House that was nearly unusable. Even mirror classes; each class had an exact copy on the other side, the effects were different; were not truly mirrored... and early raids were bug city, as in luck let you beat them more than skill.

    A great idea saddled with poor execution and far too much investment in voice acting over content. Best of luck, but with Guild Wars 2 coming at the end of the month and WOW's next expansion in September their chance is basically over

  • by twocows ( 1216842 ) on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @06:33PM (#40835491)
    I think what angered me most about it was that it purported to continue the KotOR storyline. Instead, it tramples all over it. Revan is a low level boss that drops pants, everyone and their mother is a Jedi or a Sith, and it pretty much retcons everything from KotOR 2 (my favorite game of all time, speaking of which the community restoration mod "The Sith Lords Restored Content Mod" went into its final release version about a week ago, definitely check that out). Maybe I was naive to expect something more along the lines of SWG in this day and age. Still, I was pretty upset.
  • by flimflammer ( 956759 ) on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @07:28PM (#40836041)

    I wish more game studios saw and understood this. There's too many games out there that feel like they should be fun but suffer in some way by control and by association, character animation. Movement in wow is precise. The character goes when you want it to, stops when you want it to, and manages to do it while looking good, as opposed to just swapping animations which is what a lot of games still do. It's also rather jarring when you play a game where a character is moving but his feet animate either too fast or too slow for the speed they're actually going and the character slides across the ground. It's one of those touches that I see often overlooked in games, but it seems so obvious when you consider it's the most common action you will ever see as a player.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @10:32AM (#40842207)

    The "gradually" part is the problem. WoW kinda killed that possibility for MMOs now.

    WoW was terrible at launch. And I mean terrible. By today's (WoW's, ironically) standard, it would sink in less than 6 months. Days, not hours, of downtime, bad enough to convince Blizz it's maybe an idea to give people a few WEEKS of free play time. Bugs that prevented you from completing class defining quests (and quests that gave you a class defining, critical skill). Class balance that was SO shot that a single shaman could solo encounters that five paladins couldn't overcome. And while we're at paladins, their complete and utter uselessness in endgame. Couldn't heal worth jack (and there was near zero plate armor with heal stats), couldn't hold aggro and hence completely useless as a tank and his damage was so sub par that even a shadow priest (who lacked sensible damage either) could outdamage him. And let's not get started about the skill trees.

    But then again, there wasn't really that much endgame to speak of. Molten Core, Onyxia and ... well?

    Few people remember that pre-2005 WoW time. Those that do were mostly used to other MMOs, and how other MMOs were quite similar at launch. Frequent crashes, random bugs, lack of endgame content, no sensible class balance. That was the norm with the launch of a new MMO. That actually IS the norm, still, for the obvious reason: It takes a lot of time and try-and-error to find those minimal, but crippling, issues. You cannot sensibly iron out those kinks on the drawing board, these things have to be found out during testing. But what company can afford having its players play through a year of testing for free, 'til they start raiding and see the endgame? How many of them would still buy the game if they've already seen everything?

    The main issue here is now that people are used to the post-2009 WoW. A world that had over five years of development and redefinition. A world where the developers had a load of data to draw from and millennia of playtime from its players to find the problems. This is an advantage no other MMO can muster, and most certainly not at launch. Hell, not even half a year after launch.

    But we came to expect that from an MMO because we're used to it from WoW. We don't accept daily downtimes for patches anymore, we don't accept crooked class balance for a few months anymore, and we most of all don't accept buggy class quests and lack of content anymore. We don't, because we're used to the way WoW handles it.

    But such a game cannot exist at launch. Simple market rules dictate it. You cannot develop a game for 10 years, blow a billion bucks on it and offer a "finished" MMO. Yes, you could do that. But you will NEVER be able to recover that investment. Not to mention that you will most likely not find anyone willing to risk that money on a venture like this.

    This is, though, what WoW has behind its success. I would wager that a billion easily went into development so far, of course that is something WoW did easily regain.

    Repeating this seems quite impossible, though. And I guess the chances to ever see a game like WoW again surface is close to zero. WoW pretty much ruined the market, by "spoiling" the players. Measuring a new MMO against WoW will make it appear in a bad light, because it simply can NOT be as polished as WoW is.

C makes it easy for you to shoot yourself in the foot. C++ makes that harder, but when you do, it blows away your whole leg. -- Bjarne Stroustrup