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Developer Update: Free-to-Play Option

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion
Developer Update: Free-to-Play Option
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Thylbanus's Avatar

11.08.2012 , 12:02 PM | #91
Quote: Originally Posted by Urael View Post
What is to stop people from leaving after level 50?

This addage applies here: "If you are giving the milk away for free, why would they buy the cow?"
Because no one will pay the price asked for that broken down old cow that gives no milk, to respond to your addage. The "subscription barrier" as defined by EA is reverse logic. They believe that they have a great MMO. The fact is that they have a great game, but terrible MMO.

The simple response to why someone left is "the cost of the subscription" The correct answer is "the VALUE of the subscription" I would say that most of the people who left, left to go pay subscriptions in some other game. Those who are F2P players would not have signed up for this game at launch or beyond. So those who have left are completely compfortable with the idea of paying $15 for a subscription, as long as they were getting their money's worth.

So basically everyone that ever had an account will be Preffered Status and anyone who ONLY pays the minimum of ~$5 US. FOREVER? It is not stipulated. If one only has to pay for a slightly degraded subscription for a one time fee of ~$5 US. Why would they ever subscribe?

Anyone else see the flaws in this plan?

Um... no. This is a common tactic among F2P games. It seems EA has cherry picked elements of F2P from current games rather than design one of their own. This is probably the best decision for EA, but only because this territory is so unfamiliar to EA. To play Devil's advocate for EA (yea, I can't believe I'm doing it either), they have no experience with this sort of gaming, so don't expect them to get it right at launch. This game wasn't right at launch, why would the F2P or CCM be any different? It's unexplored territory.

Well, lets analyze this.

Quote: Originally Posted by Deewe View Post
The F2P model is broken because you are making people pay not for the content but for the tools needed to enjoy it.

You have two issues: [LIST][*]New players will not find normal paying for features that are free in others F2P MMO or that are not up to the market standard.
Somewhat correct without critical analysis. F2P is meant as a gateway. A means to which one can progress for casual gamers, and not have to pay the "start up fees." The features you mention, I assume, are the quickbars and bank space. Well in the course of playing the game, we need to consider that you don't need that much space for either. I don't usually expand my quickbars until after the home planet. That's around level 16-19. I have had toons that didn't need more than two until I reached level 40 (if I find I don't use a skill or item, I remove it). So for a casual player that wants to try out this game, it may take them several months to half a year or more to get off Coruscant or Dromund Kaas. Only spending around $5-$10 over several months, beats the $15 per month fee. Plus it's a one time layout.

  • Former players won't come back in the F2P model, or should I say won't spend money in it.
That is mere speculation and can't be substantiated by any means. Former players (or any player for that matter) will spend money, IF they believe they are getting their money's worth. If a former player comes back to play the game and finds that it is to their liking, they will spend the money. The smorgasbord that is the CCM is perfect to customize personal gameplay to meet the gamer. So in that, I find nothing wrong.

Thing is now a player has to pay more upfront than a monthly fee to be able to have a good game play experience.

You are implementing an entry barrier that's higher than the former one.
While you are trying to hide it, dividing it in subsets. Soon enough players will do the math and the word will spread out on the social networks, ruining your relaunch tentative. Never underestimate the MMO players...
True about underestimating, there is collective intelligence and wisdom. To the rest of your statement, it seems skewed. Let's do the math:

For all the bells and whistles account wide - $141.20

But then lets look at what I NEED to enjoy the game.
Access Authorization: Section X - 600 per character, 1350 for entire account
I don't even know if I want to sub the game, why would I buy access to level 50? So - NO
Authorization: Artifact Equipment - 1200 per character, 2700 for entire account
I can't even get Artifact Equipment until I'm off the starter world, why buy it now? So - NO
Authorization: Crew Member Appearence - 325 per character, 725 for entire account
Again, not availible until after you leave the starter world. NO
Authorization: Event Equipment Requisition - 175 per character, 400 per for entire account
Unless an event is going on and I REALLY like the game. NO
Unlock: Guild Bank Access - 600 per character, 1350 for entire account
I'm just checking this game out. Most guilds woun't even invite me, nor would I even seek one out unless I plan to sub or pay anyway. NO
Unlock: 10 Galactic Trade Network Sale Slots - 125 per character, 280 for entire account
I can just vendor my junk. But, since I've said NO so many times, I'm going to say YES on this. Once.
Unlock: Additional Quickbar - 250 per character, 540 for entire account
I usually only use two over the course of the first chapter and since I can get that for free in Preferred status. NO
Unlock: Cargo Hold Access - 475 per character, 1050 for entire account
Gotta store my crap. - YES Once.
Unlock: Inventory Module - 175 per character, 390 for entire account
Again, gotta have room - YES Once, maybe twice if I'm only buying for one character.
Unlock: Crew Skill Slot - 420 per character, 945 for entire account
This one is debateable, but if I'm just cruising this car to see if the tires fall off. NO
Customization Control: Display Titles - 100 per character, 200 for entire account
Customization Control: Hide Head Slot - 350 per character, 775 for entire account
Customization Control: Unify Colors - 350 per character, 775 for entire account
Customization Control: Display Legacy Name - 100 per character, 200 for entire account

NO on all. I don't need these things to get into the game.

So on a trial, make only one character to test drive this puppy - $9.50
If I'm pretty sure I'll play, but I can't afford the layout/commitment - $17.20 for account wide. But that is only once and I can purchase as I play and NEED it. If it takes me 2 months to get off Tython or Korriban, that turns into $5.75 per month. (2 "free" months and $17.20 for the third)

This is based on the assumption that it will be $1.00 US for 100 CC. Priced according to the PTS CCM.

Also more players will have access to the game and tell others players how broken is the game, especially as they'll compare it to games like LotRo, GW2. It's going to give you bad press.

Thing is you aren't in a monopolistic market. You do have competitors that have higher quality products with same or even lower price.
So to quote Tim, "They sky is not falling", at least in the regards to F2P functionality. This game has many more issues than F2P/CCM functionality. The reality of the whole F2P is that it is just a way to hide statistics from the fickle investors who see plummeting subscriptions and equate it to failure. (Well it IS, but with a F2P model, it makes it moot). It's all about the income generated. It's a delicate balance to juggle company needs, with investor needs, and consumer needs.
It's amazing how loud a dollar can be.
"Computer games don't affect kids; I mean if Pac-Man affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in darkened rooms, munching magic pills and listening to repetitive electronic music." - Kristin Wilson

LucasEighty's Avatar

11.08.2012 , 12:21 PM | #92
i really do enjoy this game but i am amazed at how the devs have wasted so many opotunities to make the game alot better, get to work on the following to give ppl more to do at lvl 50

barbershop (should have been at launch)

capitalships for guilds

FFS bring back Open World PVP rewards

Several new WZs required

Pazaak (should have been at launch)

swoop/pod racing (PvP)

spacecombat (PvP)

new planets/races

honestly with all these things missing from the game its no wonder so many have left

irishfino's Avatar

11.08.2012 , 12:22 PM | #93
There were a lot of valid things brought up on FtP in the PTS forum. Some things needed major reworking and developers listened to that.

However, I am seeing an increasing number of subscriber's trying to get the devs to change the FtP model enough that they can drop their sub and still play the way they've grown accustomed. That is not going to happen. FtP is restrictive for a reason: to get people to subscribe. It is not "punishing" anyone. If you want to drop your sub, fine, but you will have restrictions until you pick your sub back up. It is not a "punishment" in any form.
I'll probably die if you group with me, but I'll go out with both lightsabers drawn stabbing someone in the face. Probably you, but it's cool. Forever Shenanigans!!

silvershadows's Avatar

11.08.2012 , 12:26 PM | #94
This just in from Facebook as of 24 minutes ago:

SWTOR will be launching Free-to-Play worldwide on November 15th, 2012!
Deception Assassin
<Tave Naefas Lazea>
A Sith endures.

Lennm's Avatar

11.08.2012 , 01:12 PM | #95
I think many of you are so focused on the flaws of this model, that you're failing to see the benefits for some players, which may even include yourself. Few points to consider:

1. Choice. Not everyone can fully dedicate their time to an mmo, some (most) have responsiblities. Ever had a month that you knew you were going to be up the closet full of work? As a subscription-only game, you'd basically waste the $15 dollars during such a month. Maybe you wouldn't have as much time to be active. Maybe you only wanted to play for an hour before getting back to your routine. This could allow you to toggle back and forth and make valuable use of your money and game time. I'm an active subscriber, and will continue to be one, but I wouldn't mind switching to F2P on a busy month or time period.

2. The bioware story is great, and some of the players who play this are hungry for a good story. Feed them a good one, and they come back for more. That's exactly the case with the F2P. The story will end eventually. What then? Players will be more likely to pay for extra game content after diving into a good story.

3. Keeping players active, even with F2P, keeps the game running smoothly; for example having to wait less on group finder for a heroic mission or warzones. Players tend to attract more players, so the population is bound to grow. And some of these new players have never even heard of Swtor, so they could be potential subscribers who were unaware of the game's existance. Yes, some people do live under a rock.

Just some opinions!

adamqd's Avatar

11.08.2012 , 01:41 PM | #96

Need more inter-faction interaction! Come on, its an MMO!

Viashivon's Avatar

11.08.2012 , 02:47 PM | #97
Is there anyway we can get a CM or a Dev to weigh in on this? My sub is up on Nov 14th and I was looking at doing the F2P option as I haven't much time for anything these days. I bought the DDE and have had a sub since day -7 and played (again, off and on since I now have a lack of time) since early release.

Does this really mean no Cartel Coins since this goes live on Nov 15th and my sub ends on Nov 14th?

I don't need trolls answering, as I'm sure there are a lot of folks wondering the same thing. I like the game, have since the start, just that with how life goes sometimes your priorities change and time to do what you want conflicts with life.

Amandar's Avatar

11.08.2012 , 02:56 PM | #98
The second core rule is that subscribers should not experience any degradation of their gameplay experience. Those of you who are still paying a monthly fee should still get the same gameplay experience and you wonít find anything taken away from you and the gameplay that you currently enjoy.
First of all, with the last server consoldation players have experienced a sever degradation of their gameplay experience due to server side lag which was not present for me until SWTOR decided to pile everyone on just a few servers. Since 1.4 dropped, you can add frequent kicks to character selection screen or crashes to desktop many times while doing nothing (and I'm not talking about getting booted due to inactivity time out).

Since the assumption is that the FTP players will be crammed onto the few remaining servers along with the subscribers, please explain how my gameplay experience will not be degraded (e.g., even worse server side lag)?

SumZed's Avatar

11.08.2012 , 03:08 PM | #99
Quote: Originally Posted by Viashivon View Post
Is there anyway we can get a CM or a Dev to weigh in on this? My sub is up on Nov 14th and I was looking at doing the F2P option as I haven't much time for anything these days. I bought the DDE and have had a sub since day -7 and played (again, off and on since I now have a lack of time) since early release.

Does this really mean no Cartel Coins since this goes live on Nov 15th and my sub ends on Nov 14th?

I don't need trolls answering, as I'm sure there are a lot of folks wondering the same thing. I like the game, have since the start, just that with how life goes sometimes your priorities change and time to do what you want conflicts with life.
what I would suggest is to sub for 1 month (15$) to get all your Cartel Coins...

but remember, you don't have to do it RIGHT AWAY! you have until December 20 to do so...

also, if someone's really willing to spend a LOT of money to unlock most of the locked features, why wouldn't you simply subscribe and unlock ALL!?

they're mostly only available for those who want SOME features unlocked, and ignore the rest.

Me personally, will keep subscribing.
I'm just hoping for more interesting purchasable things in the future. (not just recoloured existing armour open to all classes and adaptive type)

ripster's Avatar

11.08.2012 , 03:13 PM | #100
Quote: Originally Posted by SumZed View Post
but remember, you don't have to do it RIGHT AWAY! you have until December 20 to do so...
I have seen this (or a similar date) twice now, where did it come from?