Hiya Players. This week we got another bit of information on Star Wars: The Old Republic’s (SWTOR) plan on their evolving Free-to-Play (F2P) model, this time including a nice easy-to-read comparison chart.
This simple chart outlines some of the major differences a player will get if they are free-to-play, or have a preferred stats (monthly subscription). In short, they’ve decided to allow full access to the story mode, which by most people’s opinions is their best content, to everybody and restrict the number of times a player can do other activities to a minimum. Warzones, Flash Points (dungeons), and Space Missions are limited to three times a week unless a player buys a weekly/monthly pass; Operations (end-game raiding) require a pass. Options like character creation, in-game storage space, and crew skills (professions) are limited and will require the player to purchase a pass or unlock using Cartel Coins, SWTOR ‘cash shop’ currency.
On paper this seems like a really good model targeted at casual players of the game. Running three dungeons a week seems realistic if you only play for a few hours. Operations generally aren’t targeted at the casual player, so it’s understandable that you need a pass for it. Weekly passes over monthly passes is also a good choice aiming at the casual gamer, so they aren’t forced to pay for a whole month just so they can play on their week-long vacation. Games like Wakfu and Dofus have been doing this for sometime, and though the games have a different play style the staggered content release schedule is very similar to that of SWTOR. If they want to keep a player at all, best to let them choose the dedication themselves. With the considerable amount of content offered to free-to-play gamers, it would be fairly seamless transition to a weekly pass and eventually subscriber – I might even try it again if it works out.
The only thing that truly comes off as a joke is the access to Death; Free-to-Play players can only die in the field five times a week, then it will cost them. This is outrageous when aimed at the casual player, who might not be as skilled as somebody that is more dedicated. This is as if Bioware said “You can come play our game, but you better not suck”. I’m hoping this applies only at a higher level or this get’s removed completely; If not they’re going to lose a lot of potential new players in starting zones.
What do you think about the changes to SWTOR’s marketing model? Are you for it or against it? What would you change if you were in their shoes? Let us know in the comments below.
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