While I am preparing a thorough post with my feedback about free-to-play, my main gripe is with the way flashpoints, operations and warzones are handled for non-subscribers. I can understand that those would be the main reason someone would subscribe after playing the game all the way through to 50 with a character, but this is an alternate way to handle it :
- Allow players access to all normal Tier 1 flashpoints.
- Allow players to purchase access to normal Tier 2 flashpoints.
- Allow players to purchase access to Heroic Tier 1,2 Flashpoints
- Allow players access to all Tier 1 operations.
- Allow players to purchase access to Tier 2 operations.
- Allow players to purchase access to Tier 1 Heroic Operations.
- Allow players to purchase access to Tier 1 Nightmare Operations.
- Allow players to purchase a single Warzone for unlimited play.
Bundles could be made to include [Heroic Flashpoints] [All Normal Operations] [All Heroic Tier 1 Operations] [3 Warzone Pack] etc.
This would allow free players to experience the storyline of Operations and Flashpoints, while giving the option of paying a one-time fee to unlock content (like Section X for example). The weekly pass for operations and warzones never made much sense to me (in my opinion, a monthly pass would be a more logical choice).
It comes to reason that subscribers will always have the edge over preferred/free players, an option would be to allow purchasing newer Tiers of content after a certain amount of time (2 weeks/1 month) for preferred accounts. From an economical viewpoint, it makes sense that people who want to really put time in the game will subscribe, as it will be cheaper than buying all the content separately, but people who don't play fixed amounts of time (I may log in 5 times one month, and log in every day another), just straight-out buying the content I want to play will make me a happy customer.
A good idea would be after a certain amount of time to open the oldest content Tier (i.e. we are at Tier 4-5, open Tier 1) to free accounts. Most players (especially subscribers) will have little to no reason to run those instances anyway.
This system is modeled strongly after Age of Conan's shop system, which gave the option of either a subscription and full access, or limited access but
the option to buy literally all
the game's features (including heroics,raids, expansions etc.). I believe this will echo strongly to the people who are unwilling to pay a subscription because they play sporadically, but still want access to everything.