Friday, 9 November 2012

SWTOR Going Free to Play Next Week

Scart sith warrior
If you don't play the game, this guy will come to your house
It didn't take very long for Star Wars: The Old Republic to change its business model. A year ago at this time it was still being hyped up as the next big thing, and that it had a good chance of dethroning World of Warcraft as the dominant MMORPG in the market. Now here we are less than a week away from the game going free to play.

The question is how many people will come and check it out now that they don't have to pay money to play it. If you go full on F2P in how you approach it, SWTOR will be a very limited experience, though, granted, a lot of games of that type can be described the same way. Players will only be able to enter a limited number of PvP matches, instances, and space battles per week, chat communication will be limited, and their characters will receive experience a lot slower than normal. So, it looks like the game is really trying to encourage people to fork out some cash to get the most out of the experience be it through purchases on the cash shop that is about to be implemented, or simply subscribing, which gives players access to all that the game has to offer right away.

A dual wielding jedi
Jedi vs Machine
I played SWTOR a fair bit when it first came out, but eventually got tired of it after a couple of months. A lot of the gameplay mechanics were too similar to WoW for me, especially coming off that game which I played pretty consistently for seven years. Instances and PvP had a very similar vibe to Blizzard's MMO juggernaut, and combat was pretty much hot keys and cooldowns. For all of the hype that SWTOR had saying it would make surpass WoW, I thought it was just too similar, and eventually gave up.

Maybe now that it's free to play, I'll go and fiddle around in it now and then. I'd be taking a very, very casual approach to it. I have no interest in the PvP, the instances, or the space battles. I pretty much just want to enjoy the stories, and explore the game world. That's about all I would do in it, and at a very leisurely pace. So, maybe it could be worth it at some point. I'll need to clear a bunch of space on my hard drive first, but possibly one day I'll get to playing it again.

Jedi throw
When you fart, don't try to pass the
blame to a jedi. They don't like that.
It's weird, though, because the only things I'm interested in about the game are ones that could just as well have been implemented into a single-player experience, and that's kind of what I would have preferred in the first place. I'd have liked it if Bioware hadn't made SWTOR, and just did KotOR 3 instead. Give it a big galaxy to explore, and maybe toss in some limited multiplayer in the same vein as Saints Row 3. That would have been pretty great, I think. For now, I'll just have to make due with a free to play SWTOR.

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