IGN News - Star Wars: The Old Republic Goes Free Next Week

Uploaded by IGNentertainment on 08.11.2012

Starting Thursday, November 15, you can play Star Wars: The Old Republic for free. Without
signing up for a subscription you’ll be able to play as any class and experience all
the base game’s level 1 through 50 story content.
Naturally, there are plenty of restrictions if you’re a free user. You can only join
a few Warzones per week, for example, which are The Old Republic’s player-versus-player
arenas. If, while leveling from 1 to 50, you feel like participating in more Warzones,
you don’t need to subscribe. Passes to access content like this more frequently can be purchased
individually. These passes can be gifted or sold to other players for in-game currency,
so directly purchasing from developer BioWare isn’t the only method of acquisition.
Free players will have their number of available character slots, item storage space, and ability
to equip rarer gear restricted, and BioWare will implement ways to bypass those restrictions
with paid purchases. So we're talking about microtransactions.
You’ll make these purchases with a virtual currency called Cartel Coins. These can be
purchased with real money in packs from $5-$40. If you’re still paying a subscription fee
for The Old Republic, BioWare says you shouldn’t expect much of a change on November 15 aside
from a likely increase in the number of players running around on your server. If at some
point you decide to stop paying a subscription fee, you’ll still retain ‘Preferred Status’,
which means you’ll keep some of your subscription perks, including cargo hold storage access,
access to chat, the ability to sprint, and more ways to trade.
Also on November 15 BioWare will launch additional content in update 1.5, which, among other
features, includes a new level 50 quest area called Sector X on Belsavis with a storyline
that involves the Dread Masters. You’ll also be able to complete a series of quests
that begins in Sector X to acquire the snarky assassin droid HK-51. While this content will
be available to subscribers, free-to-play players will need to pay to see it.
Overall it seems free-to-play players will get access to a lot of content without paying
anything, though the restrictions on items and storage space seem pretty severe. We’ll
have to wait until the free system goes live next week to determine if free-to-play in
The Old Republic is actually fun or just an irritating series of reminders that you should
pay real money to keep playing. For more on all things Star Wars, stay tuned
to IGN.