During this week's podcast, we mentioned how most of us had issues with a few of the restrictions going too far. Well, BioWare appears to have listened to the community at large who also professed concerns regarding a few of the restrictions. Principal Lead Systems Designer Damion Schubert jumped on the forum to let players know how they plan to change Free-to-Play in response.
We've been observing PTS closely over the last few days. In that time, we have generally been very pleased with how well the build has been performing, as well as overall reaction to the build both on the boards and in-game. That being said, based on community and internal feedback here and further deliberation, we will in short order make the following changes to the Free to Play restrictions:
- Free-to-Play players will now get a second quickslot bar.
- Free-to-Play players will now be able to do 5 Warzones per week instead of 3.
- The Cartel Coin item lock (i.e. temporary bind) will be reduced to 3 days for Free-to-Play players, and 2 days for subscribers.
We've found some crucial bugs that needed stomping, which is good. These changes will make their way to you probably early next week.
There are a couple of key concepts that should be kept in mind as you review free to play changes. The first is that, to be honest, all of you are looking at a gameplay mode that you will likely never see. Subscribers who choose to cancel their account will typically revert to something that we refer to as preferred status. My fellow designer Nathan Emmott will in short order have a post up describing the ins and outs of preferred status. Originally, the second quickslot bar was part of preferred status, but this morning based on feedback here and what they were seeing in the community we decided to give it to everyone.
The second is Warzones. Perhaps the most interesting point regarding the Warzones limitation is that some players have concerns that putting limitations on Warzone runs might make Warzone queues less likely to fire. While it is possible that this may happen, we don't think it will -- our subscriber base likely will not shrink much, and for some of our competitors, converting to Free-to-Play has resulted in a subscriber increase! Which means that Warzone queues should likely see improvement from what you experience in game, and at minimum be relatively unchanged in experience.
That being said, one of our golden rules is that the Free-to-Play experience should not cheapen the experience for paying subscribers. If it turns out that the Free-to-Play conversion results in a degraded Warzone experience once we go live for subscribers, you can rest assured that we will quickly make adjustments to the system to ensure that subscribers have an optimal experience.
That being said, it is important conversely that the subscription offers subscribers strong, tangible benefits over the Free-to-Play experience. We value our subscribers greatly, and they are crucial to the success of Star Wars: the Old Republic.
Thank you for helping being our guinea pigs through this experience, and please continue to keep posting your feedback on issues here. We're listening!
To see the thread, hit the official forum.