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Star Wars: The Old Republic Goes Free-to-Play

/ Nov 17th, 2012 4 Comments

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic

To those who are not force sensitive enough to know, the popular Lucasarts published massively mutliplayer online role-play game (MMORPG), Star Wars: The Old Republic by Bioware, a studio under the ownership of Electronic Arts, has become free to play. The developer finally gave into a trend affecting many other MMORPGs and, after much expectation, finally made the shift from its subscription only model.

Players can now explore the expansive worlds of Star Wars: The Old Republic by themselves or with friends with absolutely no obligation to pay. There are unfortunately limitations, as with many MMORPGs on a free to play model, that will still remain closed or restricted to players taking advantage of the game’s new freedom. Though all story based content will not be affected, players who want to take advantage of features like gaining specific skills such as sprinting more quickly, sending mail to other players or getting more inventory space, will have to pay to do so. They can upgrade to preferred status by making a purchase of $4.99 that will slightly remove some of the restrictions. If gamers want to unlock the game fully, they will need to pay for a subscription.

No matter how players decide to play the game, Bioware hopes that by moving to a free to play model that they have attracted more new players and stimulating the interests of those already playing.

“We want to give our players the freedom to enjoy Star Wars: The Old Republic when and how they want,” General Manager of BioWare Austin Matthew Bromberg said. “There has never been a better time to start playing with us.”

Bioware has also updated the game to version 1.5.  Among the new features added include a new nightmare mode for the Operation:  Explosive Conflict mission on the planet Denova. Completing it will unlock a powerful new mount and the final pieces of the Dread Guard gear set. On the planet Belsavis there is a new location known as Section X and an opportunity to attempt to stop servants of the Dread Master acquiring a powerful new weapon. Another addition to the planet, and the spotlight of the update, will be an extensive new quest that, if you win, will add the deadly assassin droid HK-51 to be your ally.

The force is indeed strong with this update. Star Wars: The Old Republic can be accessed via the game’s official website.

Jonathan Anson

Jonathan Anson

A resident of Southern California, Jonathan Anson has been a lover of games ever since his father brought home a Windows 95 computer where he was first introduced to his first games. He previously worked for The Gamer Studio before jumping ship to Gaming Illustrated where he can be found showcasing his other love: writing. He is also in the process of attempting to acquire an AA degree in Journalism from Saddleback College.

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  • Isidore12

    I just spent few hours SWTOR F2P, and to make it short, it is appalling. They cut in everything so you have to pay in $ to “unlock”. For example, most of the rewards are now for subscribers. You pay to extend your inventory, to equip a purple item, to have normal exp, to respawn where you die, to teleport, etc. You think you are going to level up? Normally you have to finish all the missions to be able to change of planet. Now they have downgraded the exp, you will stuck on the first one.
    Lucas have been greedy and is going to lose its gamers for that.

    • http://gamingillustrated.com/ Sean Gibson

      Bummer, I had hopes they wouldn’t nerf the entire experience, but now it sounds like it’s free-to-try rather than free-to-play.

    • pie

      I would be wary about spending any real money on their unlocks or purchases. I’m on the Bastion server. A few days ago their server kicked everyone off and rolled back an hour. Meaning that any quests you did were undid and any items you purchased with cartel coins (what you buy with real $) were lost. Bioware’s response to players that had paid money to buy virtual items that were lost in the rollback was basically that you agreed to abide by the ToS and they won’t reimburse you for any items lost, and not refund you the coins you spent for items that were no longer in your inventory due to the server rollback.

  • Arguens

    Actually it’s worse than I hoped… the ‘rest’ experience many games nowadays use can’t be used by free players either. Simple cosmetic change of ‘hide helmet’ has to be unlocked too. There’s a cap on credits of 350k and at level 42+ you need about 50k of credits just to purchase one of the upgrades. What made the Star Wars The Old Republic having wonderful features was probably cut down and I only wonder what will happen.
    If you do try it, I hope you’ll enjoy yourself.

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