Star Wars: The Old Republic is Free-to-Play Done Wrong

the old republic free to play

Despite The Old Republic failing to grab me during its initial launch (and the error I had with getting my purchased copy of the game to actually validate so I could play past the first month) I was willing to check out its new free-to-play option. Besides clogging up my computer’s drive with gigabytes of game files, I wasn’t wasting money on it, so I figured there was no harm.

While The Old Republic might not suck up your hard-earned dollars, it has no problem with begging for them anyways. Right from the outset, you’re bombarded with the many awesome features that paying customers get access to, including the different playable races for the classes. I understand that BioWare and EA have to make money somehow, but beating players over the head with it just seems wrong. Even the Legacy system, which I unlocked during my first month as a Bounty Hunter, was closed off to me unless I was willing to plonk down some cash.

That’s in addition to the really weird gating that The Old Republic places on its free users, such as being unable to hide your helmet, send in-game mail or use more than two tool bars. For an MMO structured so similarly to World of Warcraft, you will need to have at least four bars available for use once you’re past level 30.

You can buy all these option of course, but those cost Cartel Coins, TOR’s new in-game currency. The amount of Coins you get and if there’s a discount (or free Coins) depends on whether you’re a free user or a preferred customer, someone who had subscription time paid for up to two months before the game went free. Of course, if you had the Collector’s Edition, there are more Cartel Coins for you to use.

Blocking out such basic things for free users as helmet toggling (which is necessary because the armor design in TOR is laughable) and action bars means that this MMO will do everything you can to get you to pay a monthly fee. If you’re looking for a way to experience The Old Republic’s decent player stories, you can do that, but anything beyond there is for paying customers only.

Has anyone else gone back to TOR? Have you reactivated you subscription, and if so, why?

Written by

mitch@gamersushi.com Twitter: @mi7ch Gamertag: Lubeius PSN ID: Lubeius SteamID: Lube182 Origin/EA:Lube182 Currently Playing: Stardew Valley, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords, Battlefield 4, Tom Clancy Double Feature: Rainbow Six Siege and The Division

5 thoughts on “Star Wars: The Old Republic is Free-to-Play Done Wrong”

  1. To be honest, I was already rather unimpressed with the game when it first came out. This F2P option is just making me back up further. I think I’d much rather play KotOR 1-2 again after years of not.
    In fact, this is a wonderful idea.

  2. I was going to try it but League of Legends has taught me just how expensive free games really are. That’s “very”, so you know.

  3. I’ve retained my subscription since launch, have 4 max level characters, and absolutely love and swear by the game. Unfortunate that some of the F2P stuff is a bit ridiculous, but I really urge people to try the game.

  4. I’m with Nic on this one, I would rather pay to buy the KotOR games again than try to struggle though TOR with F2P. Although if they didn’t cripple free players so badly I would be all over it just for the stories.

  5. I know this isn’t Star Wars related, but it is F2P related;
    I’ve just felt the same way about this, as I did with Mechwarrior Online. I downloaded it yesterday, in hopes that I’d be able to at least fool around on the awesome looking Mechlab. The one I’d seen so many videos and teasers about.

    While patching, everything was about buying MC points. Mechs, Camo, etc. I paid no heed to it. Upon loading up the Mechlab, giddy as could be, I found that there’s only four “trial mechs” you can use, and you can’t customize them at all unless you purchase them with MC points. I get that they want money, but only having *four* mechs available, when there’s 18 total to start, without customization, really was a blow to the head.

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