A SWTOR F2P First Impression

One of my friends who played Star Wars: The Old Republic… until he ran out of content and unsubscribed… news flash, I know… decided to to check it out now that it has gone free to play.  He left me a few messages on IM about the attempt.

so i logged into swtor.  it is ridiculous

you have to buy hotbars.  you get one.  you get 2 character slots, and i cannot find anywhere to purchase additional ones

past that i said the hell with this and logged out.  the other highlight–you have to buy the ability to toggle whether your head gear displays or not

I thought they had canned the single hotbar thing?  Didn’t that cause a huge blow up on the forums?

And it sounds like they haven’t gotten the store quite worked out yet.

So much for first impressions.

12 thoughts on “A SWTOR F2P First Impression

  1. Green Armadillo

    They upgraded the free tier from the unplayable single hotbar to the highly inconvenient two hotbars that were originally reserved for lapsed subscribers and other “preferred” former customers. You’re looking at roughly $5/character or $11 account-wide to get back up to the four bars that came with the game at launch (subscribers now get up to 6). Less obvious is how you actually activate the additional bar you are entitled to in the UI, I went through the interface settings.

    Character slots purchases are indeed not yet implemented – with the minor silver lining that the character slot limit is also not yet enforced on lapsed subscribers with more than two characters. You can’t make more if you’re over, but you keep access to as many as you had (limit for subscribers is currently twelve per server, some people are actually above that due to merges).

    There are indeed some extremely petty things that they charge for, including hiding your helm, displaying your title/legacy name, and the “match my armor to my chest piece color so I don’t look like a clown” button. Purely cosmetic, but it definitely feels petty.

    Right now, the bigger issue than what you can buy is what you cannot. All purchases – including from gear token vendors – are subject to a permanent 25% penalty that non-subscribers cannot pay to remove. All currencies – including the daily quest commendations that you can chew through in the hundreds – have caps that non-subscribers cannot pay to remove. If the feature matrix is to be believed, non-subscribers can never mail credits, even to their own alts.

    I’m currently subscribed for a single month so I can roll up all the odd-species alts I want (racial restrictions are not enforced on lapsed subscribers). I would like to continue paying them on a non-subscription basis, but they’re doing a fair amount to make that option unappealing.

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  2. pkudude99

    I found my authenticator yesterday so I logged in. Got my ui set back up how I like it (this is a new pc, so my settings weren’t saved on it), got my chat set, etc. . .and ran into the brick wall of the 2 hotbars. I can’t even get all my active abilities on 2, much less my buffs or a mount or consumables, legacy abilities, etc/.

    Now the thing about that is, in any given fight I’ll probably only actually use 6 buttons, so a lot of the situational abilities could be left off for general solo play, but it still felt wrong not to have “everything” available “just in case.” So I logged back out in disgust and while I still may give it a go again in the future, I’m still rather annoyed, so it will likely be a long way in the future.

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  3. Clockwork

    At one point I jogged down all the ways I thought of ruining a game via F2P…ignoring the obvious like “Money = power”. A concerning number of my ideas (or variations) appeared in SWTORF2P. I considered starting it up again, but between posts like this and others….not happening.

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  4. bhagpuss

    It took me five years to get around to trying World of Warcraft and it could be easily that long before I find myself so out of options that I finally decide to give ToR a run. As with WoW, the box cost and subscription fee were never the barriers to entry – my believing the game would be poor was.

    I was wrong about WoW, which both Mrs Bhagpuss and I were surprised to find was far from the dumbed-down MMO-lite many guildmates in other games had described. I thought it was a pretty good three-monther, which was almost exactly how long I lasted there.

    I may also be entirely wrong about ToR, which looks ugly in screenshots, features characters and settings for which I have no empathy and is based on an IP that I don’t care about. Making me pay real money to take my hat off, however, is not the way to change my mind.

    Oh and I offer Joe Cocker’s belter, better-known as the Tom Jones cover, as a gift blog-post title for anyone that cares to have it : “You Can Leave Your Hat On”

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  5. raiden55

    I wanted to try yerterday, after playing the trial as a warrior sith and liked his storyline, I wanted to continue it. However having changed my computer I had a secret question to answer, and it didn’t worked. Tried changing password, but question was still here. Had to send a petition, and they answered me to contact them by phone. Like hell I’ll use an international call for some company sav that must suck…

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  6. HarbingerZero

    Just to give some perspective, the STO forums were alive with worry that their game was going to die now that TOR was F2P. I mean, gosh, its such a better game, and such a better company is running it…a company that really *gets it* you know? Grass is greener and all that jazz…

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  7. Darraxus

    I logged on for a couple of minutes and ran around the Space Station. Then I realized that I was in no mood to play TOR. The story is good one time through. Couldnt get into it otherwise.

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  8. tithian

    Here’s the thing…

    when you buy anything for Cartel Points (i.e. the quickbars) they do not automatically unlock for you, but instead you get an item that is bound to your character for 1 day. Using that item unlocks the feature

    After that one day, you are free to do with the item whatever you want. Trade them, sell them on the auction house, anything…

    So far I’ve seen unlocks for quickbar slots going for 100k credits (which is really really cheap). So yeah, I don’t see what the fuss is about. If you don’t want to spend money up front (and you really don’t have to if you’re just starting out) then grin and bear it… and eventually buy the stuff you want for in-game currency.

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