Full access to class stories, but access to Flashpoints and Space Missions is restricted.
Taking any MMO from subscription-only to free-to-play is an absolute minefield. Give free players too much and existing subscribers feel marginalised, restrict too many gameplay aspects and those not willing to offer up any of their money dub your game ‘Pay to Win’.
BioWare’s approach regarding free-to-play comes somewhere in the middle, as they’ve announced exactly what free players can and cannot do when Star Wars: The Old Republic embraces the no pay model next month.
Here’s the list:
- Full access to class story content from level 1-50
- Limited character creation options
- No Operations
- Limited to three Warzones per week
- Limited to three Flashpoints per week
- Limited to three Space Missions per week
- Cargo Hold space is restricted
- One Crew Skill
- Longer Quick Travel cooling period
- No access to Emergency Fleet Pass
- Revive at the nearest med centre a total of 5 times in the field.
- No priority log-in status
- Cannot equip most purple items
Obviously all of these restrictions can be bypassed either by using the in-game store or continuing to subscribe. There are some rather unsettling restrictions in here though, especially that revive limit as we died a lot during our Smuggler playthrough, but then you have to remember that the biggest strength of Star Wars: The Old Republic has always been its class stories and every player can enjoy those from beginning to end for absolutely free.
That’s something that BioWare could have easily tried to monetise, a la Lord of the Rings Online, but instead they’re keeping their strongest content available for all to see without spending a penny.
Star Wars: The Old Republic is expected to go free-to-play next month. We recommend you book some time off and sample the Imperial Agent storyline, it’s a doozy!
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