A couple a days ago I fell upon a Gamasutra review of SWTOR's F2P model and though it's tone throughout the post sounded rather harsh, I couldn't help but to feel dishearten and robbed that my time to swinging my double-bladed lightsaber may come to an end soon due to the money-grubbing tactics that seems to be killing SWTOR for the future
). I'm actually a subscriber by choice (for now) and a returning one at that and even I feel that the new Freepers coming to join SWTOR for the F2P won't be staying as long as we'd like for them to stay, and no I don't mean they will sub either. I understand that this game needs to make a profit and I don't want to say just give it all up NOW but honestly who in their right mind looked at this current model is said.... "Well.... that's all good as it's going to get!" And what's worst is that a TEAM (hopefully of way more than two people) had to agree on all of this. I thought we were in the hands of professional gamers, developers, and the most creative minds of our MMO legacies. Ok ok, sorry for the mini-rant but I'm just really getting concerned here but here's my suggestion: This game is all about the Story and our Legacy right!?
Well why not just BUILD that Legacy we've been waiting for this whole year? That garbage 1.2 Character Perks or whichever patch that was from (which shouldn't even be in the legacy tab for all I care) did not do the job. Where's the business part of this you ask? Well I'll get there. I'm thinking if you actually try working around your business back to the subscribers rather than nickel and dime-ing the Freepers trying to annoy and con them into getting a subscription they might actually be happier. Subscribers were leaving due to no one on the fleets/planets to play with leaving the warzones/flashpoints/operations harder to enjoy. With the current model limiting Freepers into doing well... everything but solo play the subscribers can't even stand them.
Sorry again ran into again rant, but the fix I'm looking for remodeling the F2P is to actually an additional restriction but hopefully would greatly reduced all the other restrictions if not completely wipe them (though I don't see that happening but at the same time I think some won't be too bad to stay). Restrict F2P users from access to their Legacy. EA/Bioware have been going on and on trying to show everyone the value of still being a subscriber. Honestly I didn't think it would be this hard but here it is. THE LEGACY. Sounds easy enough to me right? Why? Well since Freepers can't even have more than 2 characters (currently I hear this is account-wide and not server-wide) then why should they have access to Legacy anyways? Can you really enjoy being an alt-a-holic with 2 characters account-wide? Without the ability to purchase additional slots and to be honest I don't think they should, just subscribe and continue on with your legacy. Now for the part that pays, I'm a player that's used to paying a subscription for an MMO and yea, I like to keep the costs as minimal as I can get because I tend to feel like my 15 bucks/month is enough. However with those games I felt far more secure that my money had a value then and it gave me a good return in the MMO that I was playing. Unfortunately I don't feel completely the same was here due to numerous bugs and many of which still persist from launch? Rough updates followed by unscheduled re-patches within the same week? Game out since launch without combat logs?!?!?!? (sorry can't get over that) But you know what I mean, I believe this game has SOOOOOOOOO much potential yet, it's completely lackluster and over-hyped. For all the people involved in these projects this game has under it's belt it starts to really feel like not a single person in the dev. team has played an MMO in the passed 15 years. I don't mean go out there and copy the biggest MMO other there but come on. I think every person in the Dev. Team needs to go out and buy a copy of Guild Wars 2 and look at they're F2P model and other account-wide features.
Improved Legacy System: (When I say account-wide here it's mostly under the idea of across server)
- Legacy Crew Skills - Access to all Characters (of the same server) to Crew Skills. I think the Crafting system in this game is horrid but like many people will say a companion not out on a mission is a loss of credits. Matter of fact I would even be ok if this feature only gave access to companions that you actually raised to 10,000 affection and completed all their conversation cut-scenes first. The UI already tracks the one's you've finished anyways.
- Legacy Cargo Bays - Either allow access to all character's cargo bay (of the same server) or have account-wide cargo tabs (still of the same server). Maybe add a cargo bay or two for server-wide characters.
- Legacy Mount Collection/Legacy Pet Collection (server-wide) - Always hated when MMOs have all these things for you to collect only for you to do it again on each character you play. I find this to be EXTREMELY IRRITATING and a big waste of time. It's the bane of completionists.
- Legacy Mount-up/Pet-release customization - Would be cool to have a cool looking, but non-specific ability (tool tip) you can add to your quickslots that would randomly select any one of your mounts/pets that you can show off without you having to whip out your UI window and select them individually. That way you can better show off your collection. If you wanted a specific Mount/pet you could just use the normal ones that we have available now.
- Sith Corruption Display - not exactly a legacy perk but just a feature I still want that I mentioned before I left the game a while back. I was maxed on Dark V but I only wanted the Sith Eyes so I had to pick up Diplomacy and spend hours sending companions on Light side quests to get to Dark I. This should have been an easy feature to think off honestly, who wants to look like a beaten Sith ****** full time?
- Legacy Saved Talent Builds - The field re-specialization is a step in the right direction but honestly waiting for members to spend all those points and swap gear is getting rather tiresome. Why not have purchasable talent builds instead. Maybe to as many as 3 to 5 or so, you know for PvE, PvP, and a few test builds for hybrids or whatnot would be nice to have too.
- Legacy Saved Gear Sets - Of course this would be very well if a Saved Talent Build would be directly linked to the gear swap as well, would save a few headaches and QQing on forums later if Saved Talent Builds were implemented without the ability to save gear sets too.
- Legacy Bound Codex/Achievements - Like I mentioned before about mounts and pets, just annoying to re-obtain these to multiple characters.
Although some of these Legacy features would be nice if Ea/Bioware didn't just decide to charge for every one of these features I just mentioned and nickel-and-dime us for them again like the current F2P user base, but of course some of those features do warrant a price to have and some warrant a "here you go our loyal fans and thanks for being here with us and being subscribed" and to me honestly if these were implements and Freepers were given some slack off the ridiculous restrictions and the ability to play with the rest of us I would even be fine with the monthly allowance of cartel coins can be completely removed. If the Legacy system gets a huge revamp and a better focus then I wouldn't mind ACTUALLY buying cartel coins for some of those unlocks.
Of course if EA/Bioware really wanted to pick up on some extra cash with the renowned faith of their subscriber base they could easlily implement features some of us can freaking wait to have (using cartel coins would be ok) to purchase things like:
- BarberShops - Face/Hair re-customization.
- BodyShops - Facial or full-body Tattoos.
- Underworld Blackmarket - Race/Gender re-customization and Character/Guild Name Changes.
- Personal Ship Skin models (I honestly have no issue with the current ships but I hear many BH's getting tired of their hooptie ship LOL!
- Capital Guild Fleets
- Customizable Ship Decorations and/or furniture.
- Purchasable Speeders (how about throwing us a bone for the old Large Red PvP speeder-ship removed I think at 1.2? I wasn't valor rank 60 then give me a break!? =/)
- Better looking Color Crystals or better yet, How about letting the Artifice make money again by letting them craft these rare dual-colored crystals. I thought that's what they were here for?
- Legacy Bound Weapons (main and off-hand)
- Rework the Inheritance/Birthright gear to being scalable and providing an experience point increase like it was done in World or Warcraft. Maybe people will actually want to buy it and use it over orange gear. Would be nice to be about to swap it to another character and not have to be stuck with a Bounty Hunter set forever when you want to roll a Sith Warrior next.
I have a ton more ideas but as of right now I'm really deprived of playing the game that could be dying sooner than I'd like and I want to get back in before that. I would like to hear what everyone else has to say about my thoughts and ideas or even share the same concern for the future of SWTOR.