There's an old saying goes "they won't buy the cow if they get the milk for free."
Their goal is not to let people play the game for free.
The goal is to get people to subscribe to the game.
You do that by making the subscription option the more attractive option.
It's easy to cry 'nickel and diming' when you're not the one fiscally responsible for the business.
So you really think this is the way to make the subscription option so attractive? People will have to pay cartel coins to unlock many other aspects of the stronghold. That micro-unlock model is more frustrating than attractive and has been slammed so many times since the inception of Free To Play in SWTOR. Considering the population decline, they should definitely revisit the nickle and diming. I am a subscriber and get all these "perks" but find it disconcerning that Free To Play have that many restrictions.