Star Wars: The Old Republic's Free to Play model is live. BioWare posted a new video on the official Star Wars: The Old Republic site providing some additional information. Cory Butler explains details regarding "Preferred" status, highlights several customization options available on the Cartel Market, and talks about limited time Life Day items.
Game Update 1.6: Ancient Hypergate is now on live servers and with it comes a new assortment of items for the Cartel Market. In order to show the community at large the items, we created this post to serve as a listing for them. Initially, this post will only contain brief summaries with images due to time constraints. As the day progresses, we will make a list in entirety. As with new Cartel Packs, items may take a while to find for some but when we come across them, we will add them here. For the current items, hit the gallery below.
With Game Update 1.5 and the F2P conversion upon us, many people have spent the last few weeks dissecting and analyzing all of BioWare’s decisions regarding how they have structured the conversion and the new Cartel Shop. Some have been received positively, others with disdain and dislike. However, there is one aspect that immediately gets my blood boiling -- Cartel Packs. Read on after the jump as I lay out just why I think these lottery boxes are possibly the worst thing to happen to The Old Republic, and MMOs in general.
This week's Open Forum is a little different from what we usually do. Since Game Update 1.5 and the Free to Play option just came out, we’d like to see what the community at large thinks about the new content. How many Cartel Coins did you start out with? What did you spend those initial coins on? Did you end up buying more coins even as a subscriber? If you do not subscribe, did the game convince you to buy coins to use on things? If so, which points convinced you to buy coins to unlock? If you have a comment that does not fit these questions but you think is relevant to the subject, feel free to add it after the jump as well.
We will hand select a few choice comments to be featured in the next podcast episode. Be constructive with your comments and do not flame or degrade others. We will moderate accordingly.
With the Star Wars: The Old Republic launch of Free to Play and Game Update 1.5 today, also comes the launch of the new SWTOR online store. Located at buy.swtor.com, players can now purchase Cartel Coin packages of various size and cost:
- $4.99 - 450 Cartel Coins (90 Cartel Coins per dollar)
- $9.99 - 1050 Cartel Coins (105 Cartel Coins per dollar)
- $19.99 - 2400 Cartel Coins (120 Cartel Coins per dollar)
- $39.99 - 5500 Cartel Coins (137 Cartel Coins per dollar)
For the full list head over to buy.swtor.com. For additional information on items available for purchase with Cartel Coins, check out our piece listing all available items and their costs as well as our article examining the real money costs of these items.
Update: Additional details regarding the bonuses players receive for subscribing, using security keys, and more are available now as well.
With the Star Wars: The Old Republic Free to Play model launching tomorrow, players have several decisions to make. Former subscribers are considering coming back to the game. Current subscribers are debating whether or not to cancel their subscription and continue playing as Preferred status. New players of all backgrounds and various levels of MMO experience will be coming to the game for the first time. Recently we took a look at how many Cartel Coins it would cost Preferred and F2P players to unlock the same features available to a subscriber. At that time, we did not know how much Cartel Coins will cost in real money. BioWare gave us some price points during last week’s Press Q&A session. Today we do some math and present some real money numbers with the various Cartel Market unlocks.
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.
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.
With the latest patch to the Public Test Server, the PTS now has the Cartel Market in the game. In order to bring you the news of what is contained in the market as quickly as possible, we setup a gallery below with all of the items listed with their descriptions. Feel free to browse the Cartel Market.
Note: Text version is now available. Our DB is now up to date with all of the items added with the update.
Earlier this morning, BioWare’s Principal Lead Systems Designer Damion Schubert answered a few questions regarding the upcoming Free-to-Play option. Both of the questions involved responses to the restrictions and changes the game will incur. In the first, Damion Schubert outlines the future of the security vendor and fleet passes.Quote from Allison Berryman
I asked Principal Lead Systems Designer Damion Schubert this question. He said that the Fleet Passes will still be available on the Security Key Vendor when the Cartel Market launches. As with anything, the contents of the vendor may be changed in the future, but we do want to have strong incentives to encourage subscribers to apply security measures to their accounts. Free-to-Play players won't be able to apply security keys to their accounts at the launch of the Cartel Market.
Damion Schubert then addresses if players can acquire Cartel Coins through in-game activities.Quote from Allison Berryman
I talked to Damion Schubert (Principal Lead Systems Designer) and asked about this topic to get some official clarification. He said that players will not be able to earn Cartel Coins from in-game activities when the Cartel Market launches, but that it's something we're investigating for the future. We like the idea but needed to focus on ensuring we had a solid framework for Cartel Coins and the Market first.
Both threads you can find in full on the official forum.
With the Free to Play launch fast approaching, more information is becoming available regarding the details. BioWare posted a new video on the official Star Wars: The Old Republic site providing new information. In the first of what appears to be a series of preview videos, Blaine Christine tells us about some of the restrictions placed on Free to Play players:
- Three species available for character creation: Human, Zabrak, Cyborg
- PvP Warzones restricted to three Warzones per week. New Warzone launching this fall.
- Party Jawa available to those who are subscribed when Free to Play launches.
- Former subscribers who return to SWTOR at the launch of Free to Play will be granted "preferred" status which grants certain feature unlocks.
- Sneak peek at Cartel Market features: Carbonite Chamber, Longspur Sportster Vehicle, Crime Lord's Cartel Pack, Colored Crystals, and a Holo Rancor.
With Star Wars: The Old Republic’s Free-to-Play option launching in November, players will receive a stock of Cartel Coins based on a few factors outlined in the FAQ. To assist players in finding out just how many they will receive on the launch of the Free-to-Play option, BioWare setup a page where players can do just that.Quote from BioWare
BioWare and LucasArts are excited to announce a new Cartel Coin Ledger page on www.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com. This new web page is located on the left hand navigation bar within the “My Account” section. It gives you a detailed list of all the Complimentary Cartel Coins you could potentially receive at the launch of the Free-to-Play option!
You will receive Complimentary Cartel Coins for all your previous and current subscription months. There are additional grants for the purchase of a Collector’s Edition or a Digital Deluxe Edition, as well as a one-time reward at the launch of the Free-to-Play option. You’ll only receive your Complimentary Cartel Coins if you’re active and subscribed when we go live with the new Free-to-Play option.
The Complimentary Cartel Coins you will receive can be used to acquire must-have pets, vehicles, XP boots, and more from the new Cartel Market when the Free-to-Play option launches.
For more information on all of the rewards you could potentially receive visit the Free-to-Play FAQ.
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