With the Free To Play launch coming soon to Star Wars: The Old Republic, current subscribers will be faced with an important choice - Continue to subscribe or cancel their subscription and convert to a free account? Many factors must be considered when making that decision. Among the considerations are: Which types of gameplay does the player participate in? How often does the player engage in those activities? How important is character and companion customization? How many character slots do I want on each server? Are crew skills and access to the GTN necessary?
Players who remain active subscribers will generally not be limited in any of those ways. Players who cancel their subscriptions will have to unlock or purchase access via the new Cartel Coin currency. After the jump, we take a look at the limitations imposed on players who choose to no longer subscribe and the cost in Cartel Coins in order to unlock the features that subscribers have access to.
Note: The restrictions and costs described here are based upon the version available on the Public Test Server as of 10/30/2012. These details are subject to change with future updates to the PTS before the update is applied to the Live Servers. This guide will be updated to reflect changes as they become available.
Before diving into the details, it's important to note that there are actually three different access levels once the new model launches:
- Subscriber - Players who continue to pay the monthly subscription fee will receive most game features as part of their subscription.
- Preferred - This status is reserved for players who were previously subscribed and have cancelled or players who have made a purchase of Cartel Coins.
- Free To Play - Players who have never subscribed to the game previously and have not purchased any Cartel Coins.
For the purpose of this article we will be examining what is known as "Preferred" status. This will essentially gives current and former subscribers an idea of what to expect if they decide to play SWTOR without continuing their subscription.
As revealed recently by BioWare, players with Preferred access will get a few additional perks that will not be available to new Free To Play players. These perks include:
- The Sprint ability at Level 1
- Access to your Cargo Hold (an 80 item Player Bank)
- Access to Secure Trade
- The ability to send Mail, including one (1) attachment
- Increased allowance for chat message frequencies in Public chat channels (such as /general)
- An increased Credits Cap (350k credits)
- Access to the Who List
- Three (3) additional Sale Slots on the Galactic Trade Network (for a total of 5)
- One (1) additional active Crew Skill Slot (for a total of 2)
- Reduced skill point respecialization costs
- Increased Server queue priority
There are still several features and perks that former subscribers have become accustomed to that will be restricted to Preferred players. Most of those can be purchased with Cartel Coins.
Features that can be unlocked via Cartel Coins can be unlocked on two different levels - on a "per character" or "account wide" basis. For players who plan on playing several characters regularly, the account wide purchases likely make more sense. The per character unlock may be more attractive for players who only plan on spending the majority of their time on a single character or for features that not every character may need (such as additional Crew Skills or GTN listings).
Below is a list of the unlocks available to Preferred and Free To Play players that will give them access as close to Subscribers as possible:
|Functional and Gameplay Unlocks||Per Character Cost||Account Wide Cost|
|2 Additional Quickbars||500 CC (250 CC Each)||1080 CC (540 CC Each)|
|Access to Artifact Equipment||1200 CC||2700 CC|
|Access to Event Equipment||175 CC||400 CC|
|Total:||1875 CC||4180 CC|
|Customization Unlocks||Per Character Cost||Account Wide Cost|
|Crew Member Appearance Customization||325 CC||725 CC|
|Hide Head Slot Customization||350 CC||775 CC|
|Display Titles||100 CC||200 CC|
|Display Legacy Name||100 CC||200 CC|
|Total:||875 CC||1900 CC|
|Crew Skill, GTN, and Guild Bank Unlocks||Per Character Cost||Account Wide Cost|
|Additional Crew Skill (Preferred get 2; 1 needed for 3.)||420 CC||945 CC|
|50 GTN Sale Slots||625 CC (125 CC per 10)||1400 CC (280 CC per 10)|
|Guild Bank Access (Assuming your guild has one.)||600 CC||1350 CC|
|Total:||1645 CC||3695 CC|
Grand Total For All Unlocks: 4395 Cartel Coins for a single character. 9775 Cartel Coins for an entire account.
BioWare has not yet said how much Cartel Coins will cost in real currency. However, for active subscribers who are eligible for "Bonus Cartel Coins" when F2P launches, these totals make it clear that the bonus coins will not be nearly enough to unlock everything a subscriber has access to.
Up to this point we've only looked at feature unlock costs. The other important restriction placed upon Free To Play and Preferred players is access to content. For non-subscribers the content is unlocked via weekly passes for each type of content. It is worth noting that these passes only apply to access for a single character. There is currently no option to unlock the content on an account wide basis.
|Weekly Content Pass||Per Character Cost|
|Operation Access||240 CC|
|Warzone Access||240 CC|
|Space Mission Access||240 CC|
|Unlimited Flashpoint Loot Access||240 CC|
|Total Per Week:||960 CC|
It's unlikely most players will purchases all four passes in a given week. Players who choose to do that would most likely find it more cost efficient to be subscribers. However for players who only participate in one or two of these activities or who do not play every week in any given month, the option to selectively purchase content passes may be attractive.
It has become clear that players who choose to cancel their subscriptions will lose access to many of the features they enjoyed as subscribers. How important each of those features is will vary from player to player. For example, while most players will find it almost mandatory to have 4 Quickslot Bars available, not all players will feel that Companion Customization is something they need to have to enjoy the game. The Free To Play model does allow for players to pick, choose, and purchase the features that are most important to them. The charts above will allow for players to get an idea of what is available to unlock and for what cost. For players who are still trying to decide whether to maintain their subscription or not, hopefully this information helps them make an educated choice.