Months ago, I predicted SWTOR would end up having to go free to play if EA and Bioware didn’t get their act together and sort things out. Yesterday, I wrote an article detailing how I think World of Warcraft has gone a long way toward ruining MMO gaming (to the disdain of many fanboys) and it seems that I’m just scoring bullseyes all over the place.
So anyway…It’s been announced that SWTOR will be going free-to-play this fall. There will still be subscription accounts available, which will give the player “cartel coins” which will allow them to buy various trinkets and other silliness at the SWTOR store (that rhymes, by the way).
Here’s some of the stuff the SWTOR web site has to say about this situation.
Over the coming months there will be more frequent Game Updates, including group content like Flashpoints, Warzones, Operations, dynamic in-game events and more included with your subscription.
Shenanigans. They’ve been saying this since release and they just got rid of a major portion of the SWTOR dev team. So, yeah…
And here are some “coming soon” items.
Operation: Terror From Beyond
Fight unseen horrors on the new Gree-controlled planet of Asation as you seek to slow the rise of the Dread Masters!
Warzone: Ancient Hypergate
Seek control of the new planet of Asation in an all new player-versus-player Warzone which introduces brand new game mechanics.
New Space Combat Missions
Fly your ship to victory in 10 challenging new Level 50+ Space Combat encounters.
So…this is stuff they’ve been promising for…well, since forever. And now that the game is going to go f2p, they’re going to deliver? Please.
And what’s available with free to play vs a subscription? Well………….
Free to play will allow limited access to character creation options, flashpoints, space missions, warzones, the GTN and travel features while subcribers will get login priority (like that’ll be a problem, amirite?), access to operations (which f2p players won’t have, in the beginning), and full access to all of the game’s features…Plus, of course, those cartel coins…Here’s a blurb about that.
Cartel Coins can be used for the purchase of great in-game items through the Cartel Market, coming soon! Loyal subscribers can spend their Cartel Coin rewards on items, including:
Kowakian Monkey Lizard Pet
Get one of these lively little mascots, a favorite of the Hutts.
Sith Meditation Throne
Harness the Dark Side of the Force™ in the most menacing manner with your own personal Meditation Throne.
Lost Helm of Darth Nihilus
Strike fear into your enemies’ hearts with this legendary mask from the mysterious Sith Lord who stalked the galaxy in the years after the Jedi Civil War.
So…those coins aren’t worth anything, really…like I said, trinkets and silliness.
Look, let’s be honest. When a subscription based MMO goes free-to-play, it’s sounded its death knell. We’ve seen it happen before and we’ll see it happen again. Bioware released this game way too early and now they’re paying the price for doing so. It’s really sad, too, because SWTOR was a really good game until you hit level 50. I even gave it a 9, in a review.
On to the next one, I guess.