The Old Republic Goes Free-To-Play
Posted by Blessing of Kings [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 August 2012, 2:20 am
So EA/Bioware has announced that the old Republic will go Free-to-Play later this year. As a current subscriber, I'm somewhat disappointed. I don't really like F2P games, and I don't think they end up in a good spot. Maybe I'll write a longer post on F2P later.

The structure of the F2P option is interesting. Levels 1 through 50 are free, and you get a limited number of flashpoints and warzones per week. Operations are reserved for subscribers. There's a pretty clear division where they're hoping that transient players are attracted by F2P, and the extended players stay on subscription.

What I expect--though it's not explicitly stated--is that the free player will only get 1 character slot, and will have to pay to unlock more slots. This way TOR gets money from the people who want to see multiple class stories, which are the major selling point of the game.

It's possible that TOR will end up putting more emphasis on raids, because those players are the dependable revenue stream. The people who pay the bills call the shots. This might end up being a good thing for raiders.

Though, maybe all the raiders will end up dropping their subscriptions. The thing is that the raiding in TOR is decent, but the class stories are the major attraction. Right now, you have to sub to get both aspects. When it goes F2P, it might better for an extended player to switch to another game for raiding, while maintaining TOR in a F2P mode to finish the class stories at leisure.

Basically, I don't think the marginal value of TOR raiding is worth a subscription.  Class story plus raiding, definitely worth it. But not raiding alone.

I am rather leaning to that plan at the moment. I was having an internal debate about what to do when Mists of Pandaria comes out, but now my plan is pretty set. Drop the TOR subscription, and maybe leave it installed and play the class stories. But if I want to raid, I'll raid in Pandaria.

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