Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Free to Play Fuckcrap Version 2.0

So, I was wrong.  Really wrong.  Like, totally and completely wrong.  Not only was Free to Play on the agenda, it was right around the GODDAMN CORNER.  The above post was made a grand total of forty days ago.  Forty fucking days.  FORTY.

**WARNING - BRIEF WHINING AHEAD **

And here we are, on the precipice of Free to Play-mageddon.  Oh, it's not right around the bend (scheduled for November), but for right now we subscription players are left in limbo.  After all, when someone hears that their MMO is going F2P, the natural reaction for the paying playerbase is despair, right?  I know that's what I feel.  Oh, I'm not upset about the Free to Play transition.  I knew it was coming (although, not THIS quickly) so I was mentally preparing myself for the day this would turn into a space station cash shop.  What I'm despairing over is this: the F2P conversion is the final nail in the coffin of a once promising game.  I had such high hopes for SWTOR (still do, but F2P dashes a lot of it).  Converting from sub to Free to Play is the final admission from the guys and gals in Austin that, yes, SWTOR has failed to deliver.  Utterly and completely failed.

And that part makes me sad.

It has so much damn potential.  There are some truly GREAT gaming moments in SWTOR.  GREAT moments.  Earning your legacy.  Defeating Soa.  Ending Chapter One and realizing that, wow, you have two more chapters to go.  Getting your ship.  There's just such a wealth of story and actual RPG elements in an MMORPG that it's breathtaking.  For the guys at Bioware to come out and say that it was essentially a failure ... well, that's a hard pill to swallow.  Fuck.

** WARNING - BRIEF WHINING ENDED **

Ok, let's get into this Free to Play fuckcrap.  What's included, what we know so far, and what we can expect.  First, a few links.  Here's a my blogpost of what's going to be included in the F2P conversion and the announcement itself.  Here's a good interview over at MMORPG.com with Jeff Hickman, Executive Producer of Live Services at Bioware.  In it, it pretty much details what's going to be included in each payment plan.  Subscribers will get access to all content and will receive a stipend of Cartel Coins each month to spend on vanity stuff.  Free to Play players will have access to the 1-50 content as well as limited access to the GTN, flashpoints, warzones, character slots, inventory and bank space, and character creation.  All of this will be (presumably) unlockable with Cartel Coins.

Speaking of Cartel Coins, they haven't released how much they'll retail for.  I imagine that it will be very similar to LOTRO's store (since the announced features so far seem to be incredibly similar to Turbine's F2P conversion) and the coins will run about $20 for 1500 coins.  New content and expansion packs for LOTRO generally run about 1500 - 2000 points, so I'd expect the same price range for SWTOR's cash shop.  Of course, subscribers will get access to all content for free ... as far as we know.  There aren't any particulars about what will be accessible or not.  I'll update as I find out more.

3 comments:

  1. Yeah I'm not... *happy* about this. I'm pretty sure the alternative was a stagnant game with few updates. I'd rather have a game that has enough money... as long as I don't have to pay for things on TOP of my subscription.

    I kinda play in a "bubble" of my guild - and we're all going to have to subscribe to do ops. Not much is changing there. Now, the world at large? There may be more unpleasant changes for people who interact with STRANGERS on a daily basis.

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  2. I hate it when the trolls are right. *sigh*

    My only concern is that they stop producing story-content because that and my roleplaying buddies are what keep me in the game. And right about now I am flailing to keep most of them from quitting the game after the f2p-bomb hit. :\

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  3. I think they've implemented the new free-to-play option in a way that won't alienate those of us, like me, who prefer to pay for a subscription, while welcoming in new players who prefer to splash out on things as they play. LOTRO's change to free-to-play seems to have resulted in tons more new content and keeping that game community vibrant. I'm hopeful it will be similar for SWTOR as well -- and we already have a solid community base to start from.

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