Since our initial foray into Free-to-Play on the Public Test Server, we wondered about the preferred status. Up until now, we had no idea exactly what it entailed or how players become a part of it. In a follow up post on Damion Schubert's changes post, BioWare Systems Designer Nathan Emmott jumps in to detail how players become preferred, their unique restrictions, and more.
Quote from Nathan Emmott
By now - from the comments here, on Reddit, and our community sites - y'all have gotten a good look at both our Cartel Market, and the Free-to-Play experience. I've seen a whole lot of back and forth discussions on what we are offering to our Free-to-Play Players, specifically when it comes to what features we have locked off or restricted when compared to Subscribers. Well, I wanted to jump into the discussions here to introduce our Preferred Player Status.
When we launch our Free-to-Play option this Fall, it will include three ways of playing The Old Republic: as a Subscriber, as a Free-to-Play Player, or with Preferred Status! We have previously mentioned Preferred Player Status on our website (http://www.swtor.com/free/features) but have not really gone into details, something I plan to address here.
Once our Free-to-Play option launches, Free-to-Play Players will gain Preferred Player Status by making a single purchase through our website. This purchase can simply be a quantity of Cartel Coins, or a Game Time Card, or even a month of a Subscription. Additionally, former Subscribers who are returning as Free-to-Play Players, will find they have Preferred Status!
As a Preferred Status Player, you will gain the following benefits compared to Free-to-Play Players:
• 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
• 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
In addition to the above benefits, Subscribers who return as Preferred Status Players will find that they retain any Cargo Hold and Inventory expansions they had unlocked, any Legacy Unlock or Perk they have gained (including Species) and can continue to use any Artifact equipment that was bound to them previously.
To view the thread, hit the official forum.
Update: Community Manager Joveth Gonzalez commented on security keys for preferred players.
Quote from Joveth Gonzalez
@zirak @BigDamn_Heroes @SWTOR FTP and Preferred cannot use NEW keys, but if you had one as a subscriber and then downgraded, you can.