When the Free to Play model for Star Wars: The Old Republic was first announced, a November timeframe was given. Now we have the exact date. On a conference call with members of the media yesterday, BioWare confirmed that Free to Play and Game Update 1.5 will go live on Thursday, November 15th. Luckily enough for us, we were selected as part of the group of sites to take part in the call and were able to ask questions of our own of the developers.
Several other details came out of the call, including the pricing for Cartel Coins. Packages for Cartel Coins will start at $4.99 for 450 Cartel Coins and go up to $39.99 for 5500 Cartel Coins. Several additional packages will be available in between with the value players get for their dollar increasing as the size of the package increases. Also noted was that subscribers who pay for several months at a time will receive more than 500 Cartel Coins as their monthly reward though BioWare gave no example on the amount that players would receive in exchange for the extra months.
Additional notes from the call can be found after the jump.
Update: Free to Play Preview Part 2 added to the bottom of the post. Podcast where we discuss the incoming features is available now as well.
Free To Play and Game Update 1.5 Details
- Free to Play and Update 1.5 go live on Thursday, 11/15/2012. (No details on the maintenance period were given.)
- The cheapest package for Cartel Coins: $4.99 for 450 Coins. (90 Cartel Coins per dollar.)
- The most expensive package for Cartel Coins: $39.99 for 5500 Coins. (137 Cartel Coins per dollar.)
- Several additional packages will be available in between those two prices. The more expensive the package, the better value the player receives.
- Subscribers on the one month plan will receive 500 CC per month. Players on the 3 month or 6 month plans will receive more per month. (Exact numbers were not given but will be available next week.)
- Former subscribers automatically receive "Preferred" status.
- New F2P players receive "Preferred" status upon buying anything from the SWTOR store. The $5 CC package and the security key fob being the cheapest items that will grant Preferred status.
- buy.swtor.com will be the site for purchasing Cartel Coins and other items.
- Services such as character renames and appearance changes being purchased with CC are possibilities for the future.
- Most items bought on the Cartel Market, including content unlocks, can be traded or sold on the GTN by design.
- Physical Cartel Coin packs will be available from retail stores. They'll make a great stocking stuffer!
- The plan is to update the Cartel Market with new items every month or so.
- Players will be able to purchase additional character slots with Cartel Coins shortly after F2P launches.
- Limited time or seasonal Cartel Market items are something they're considering but can't commit to at this time.
- There are currently no plans to adjust the monthly cost for subscribers.
- There are currently no plans to sell subscription time (ala Plex system in EVE) via the Cartel Market.
- Character transfers to the PTS are something they are currently working on and will be available in the near future.
- From the press email "All former subscribers who reactivate their subscription by the new date of December 20, 2012 at 11:59am CDT will be granted Complimentary Cartel Coins for their prior paid months up to November 15, 2012."
Video Preview Part 2
Be sure to check out the 1.5 coverage post for all the details on what to expect with this update.