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Star Wars: The Old Republic Launches Free-to-Play Option Today

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#1
BioWare, a studio of Electronic Arts Inc., and LucasArts announced today that the new, Free-to-Play option for the critically-acclaimed, massively multiplayer online game Star Wars: The Old Republic is now live. Players can experience the complete storylines of all eight, iconic Star Wars classes, all the way to level 50 for free. This new option complements the existing subscription offering, providing players with maximum flexibility in how they choose to experience Star Wars: The Old Republic.

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





Also today, BioWare released Game Update 1.5: HK-51 Activated, which adds new areas to explore, a new Companion character and more, including:

Get ready for an action-packed adventure to earn control of one of the galaxy's most deadly Assassins, HK-51. Submerged beneath the icy surface of Belsavis lies a derelict ship and if you are brave enough to venture through the wreckage, you will embark on a mission that ultimately rewards you with a powerful new, yet familiar, ally: the ruthless Assassin Droid, HK-51.
Explore Section X, a previously untouched area of the prison world of Belsavis. The Dread Masters' servants are searching for a powerful and ancient weapon. Fly to Section X and secure the target of their search to be richly rewarded.
Travel to Denova to take on Operation: Explosive Conflict - now with a Nightmare Mode! Teams who complete in this new mode can earn the final pieces of the Dread Guard gear set and a brand new mount that will be sure to cause tank envy!

Star Wars: The Old Republic is a story-driven, massively multiplayer online (MMO) game with a Free-to-Play option from BioWare and LucasArts. Set thousands of years before the classic Star Wars movies, players team up with friends online to fight in heroic battles, explore a galaxy of vibrant planets and experience visceral Star Wars combat, all set to a sweeping musical score. Players are asked to join forces with either the Galactic Republic or Sith Empire and choose one of eight iconic Star Wars characters, including the Jedi Knight, Jedi Consular, Smuggler, Trooper, Sith Warrior, Sith Inquisitor, Bounty Hunter and Imperial Agent.

For more information on the different ways players can now experience Star Wars: The Old Republic, including the Free-to-Play option, please visit www.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com/FREE or http://Origin.com.
 
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#2
If there was a demand for this game, it wouldn't be free to play.

This will be the way of TES MMO also.
 
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#3
Arent all MMOs Free-To-Play with limitations

Isnt WoW the most popular, Its been F2P up to lvl 20 with dungeon limitations for awhile.

F2P doesnt mean demand. Its they way they are going. Crack dealers, First fix is free so you get hooked and then they charge you for the "good stuff".

Its just the new structure of the MMO world. Even if advertised for Free-to-play there is Microtransactions that take place of subscribtions or a combo of MTS & Sub to generate revenue.
 
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#4
If there was a demand for this game, it wouldn't be free to play.

This will be the way of TES MMO also.
There is a demand but it was ruined by all the haters. I've never seen a MMO so torn apart by people than I have TOR. It had the smoothest launch of all MMOs, not even WoW came close. Yeah it had its share of bugs and BW screwed up with the Hero Engine choice (which is almost completely gone now as the game has been ported into their own proprietory engine), but man, it was so much better than other launches. The actual game was intact, there was a playable endgame, and even in beta it looked a decade better than WoW current build. If they had held off 2 more months it would have been much cleaner than that.

If any MMO should be dead it is Star Trek Online. It was a nightmare. The RP community kept it alive and it finally went F2P but it didn't die. It got stronger. I'd still say it has no real endgame but it is fun when they add episodes.

F2P does not mean a game is dead. MMOs have to compete with not only other MMOs but also F2P games on social media/etc. TF2 went F2P but did it die? No. LOTRO went F2P but did it die? No. You have no real credible evidence of games dying from going F2P. I personally hate the F2P model but people love it so whatever.

I've been subbed with TOR since launch and I get sick and tired of all the hate. Kotaku especially should be ashamed of themselves. They never post anything good about it and most information they post is very dated. Personally I hope the haters stay in WoW and never come back to TOR. WoW's community is beyond terrible and I argue it was them, the most vocal and trollish, who hurt TOR's success the most.

TOR is good, the endgame isn't as heavy as others but the fights are fun and the content is coming. Much better than anything Blizz has come up with in the last few years. The puzzle fights alone actually require good coordination and strategy. The server consolidation helped matters a lot for people who couldn't get groups.

F2P won't end TOR. If anything it'll get those who hesitated cause of the trolls to finally try it. The things BW has done to encourage growth over this last year have worked over time. The 1-15 free did bring in some. My guild has grown from a small Ops guild in the top 20 to 3rd or 4th ranked on Bergeren Colony with 200+ members. A bunch of the members we gained within the last two months came on when they started that 1-15 program. Most of my core members have stayed with us the entire year too. Only ones we lost were due to real life situations that were out of their control.

The one problem with the TOR F2P is that they are a bit extreme on some aspects. The death limits shouldn't be there. Some of the regular quests are rough depending on the class. Most regular button mashers won't be able to do them. Really you can't do squat on F2P other than the story. I know they are trying to encourage subs but I think some of the limitations are more than what is needed. But we'll see.
 

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#6
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#7
F2P is the current/future money cash cow. I tried Blacklight: Retribution two weeks ago and I can't get my hands off it. And the thing is I already know that I will spend money on it- to get a better gun and better support items. So F2P works and it works well :D, when the game is good ;)
 
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#8
F2P is the current/future money cash cow. I tried Blacklight: Retribution two weeks ago and I can't get my hands off it. And the thing is I already know that I will spend money on it- to get a better gun and better support items. So F2P works and it works well :D, when the game is good ;)
Meh, stopped playing BLR months ago, they only just now delivered much of what was promised months ago.
 
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#9
We all saw this coming when the game first came out.
 
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#10
There is a demand but it was ruined by all the haters. I've never seen a MMO so torn apart by people than I have TOR. It had the smoothest launch of all MMOs, not even WoW came close. Yeah it had its share of bugs and BW screwed up with the Hero Engine choice (which is almost completely gone now as the game has been ported into their own proprietory engine), but man, it was so much better than other launches. The actual game was intact, there was a playable endgame, and even in beta it looked a decade better than WoW current build. If they had held off 2 more months it would have been much cleaner than that.

If any MMO should be dead it is Star Trek Online. It was a nightmare. The RP community kept it alive and it finally went F2P but it didn't die. It got stronger. I'd still say it has no real endgame but it is fun when they add episodes.

F2P does not mean a game is dead. MMOs have to compete with not only other MMOs but also F2P games on social media/etc. TF2 went F2P but did it die? No. LOTRO went F2P but did it die? No. You have no real credible evidence of games dying from going F2P. I personally hate the F2P model but people love it so whatever.

I've been subbed with TOR since launch and I get sick and tired of all the hate. Kotaku especially should be ashamed of themselves. They never post anything good about it and most information they post is very dated. Personally I hope the haters stay in WoW and never come back to TOR. WoW's community is beyond terrible and I argue it was them, the most vocal and trollish, who hurt TOR's success the most.

TOR is good, the endgame isn't as heavy as others but the fights are fun and the content is coming. Much better than anything Blizz has come up with in the last few years. The puzzle fights alone actually require good coordination and strategy. The server consolidation helped matters a lot for people who couldn't get groups.

F2P won't end TOR. If anything it'll get those who hesitated cause of the trolls to finally try it. The things BW has done to encourage growth over this last year have worked over time. The 1-15 free did bring in some. My guild has grown from a small Ops guild in the top 20 to 3rd or 4th ranked on Bergeren Colony with 200+ members. A bunch of the members we gained within the last two months came on when they started that 1-15 program. Most of my core members have stayed with us the entire year too. Only ones we lost were due to real life situations that were out of their control.

The one problem with the TOR F2P is that they are a bit extreme on some aspects. The death limits shouldn't be there. Some of the regular quests are rough depending on the class. Most regular button mashers won't be able to do them. Really you can't do squat on F2P other than the story. I know they are trying to encourage subs but I think some of the limitations are more than what is needed. But we'll see.
If SWTOR was actually a good game, 2/3 of the subscribers wouldn't have quit.

They didn't port the game to their own in-house engine, they finally got around to optimizing the game client to what it should have been at launch. SWTOR was basically a paid subscription to beta test their game for the first 6-7 months.

SWTOR gets all the hate it does because EA and Bioware hyped it up as the next generation of MMO games, when it was just a poorly cloned WoW with a facelift. It lacked many modern MMO features, the levels/worlds were lifeless and the mob placement was retarded.
You can tell the game was rushed by the clusters of NPCs that are identical, just cut and pasted into the game world for the sake of it.
EA forced them to release 8 months early and basically killed a golden goose.
 
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#11
Still seems a bit pricey for the content.
 
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#12
Meh.
 
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#13
I logged back in last night and yeah its still the same as it was before but now everyone spamming on world chat how bad F2P is on this game so yeah same old same old this game has a garbage community. You cant even make jokes in this game everyone just rages.
 
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#14
This isnt even free to play it still requires a subscription, all that is free is that actual game, they need to rethink using free to play if you still have to pay for a monthly subscription.
 
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#15
SWTOR got a lot more hate than it deserved. Yes, it was nothing phenomenal, but It was a damn fun game to play--while leveling. The way I see it, faction imbalance and mediocre endgame content really destroyed SWTOR. How EA\BioWare didn't see Sith being infinitely more popular than Jedi is beyond me, and most of the dungeons just weren't that exciting, and quite a few of the Heroics\Nightmare modes were broken for the first few months.

But the game was a shit load of fun to play while you were leveling your character. Honestly, just buying the game to play through the story for every class would be more than worth it. It's one of the few games I bought at launch and was actually able to make it to level cap because the story was rather engaging. I still think it was a damn good game at launch, that just needed some polishing up. The problem was that people expected a game to launch in the condition WoW was in after what, a 6 year head start? The problem with MMO's is people can't stay reasonable.

All that being said, everything I've heard about their F2P model seems pretty mediocre at best. Forcing people to pay for access to basic elements of the game? A recipe for disaster. What they should do is sell access to certain tiers of raiding and such (I believe LOTRO does something like this) so you see the benefit of paying only if you're a progression raider who want to see the newest content at launch. Along with the cash shop, that should generate plenty of revenue.
 
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#16
Yes, the story is good for this game, also the worlds are the most beautiful I've seen in any MMO. The only downside is the extremely unbalanced PVP system. Once you're reaching lev 50, you can say bye-bye to wining against guys that have a life purpose on only doing PVP and gear up like is the end of the world.
 
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#17
They should just scrap the MMO aspect of the game, and re-tune it as singleplayer Knights of the Old Republic III.
 
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#18
They should just scrap the MMO aspect of the game, and re-tune it as singleplayer Knights of the Old Republic III.
Then people would complain about it being too different from the original games. The game is fine as an MMO, EA is just no good at running MMO's. This "Free-to-play" model is one of the most confusing and ineffective I've ever seen, and fails to really address any of the underlying issues.