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The Old Republic F2P This Fall

EA announces that they are adding a free-to-play option to Star Wars: The Old Republic this fall, a move many have been expecting for the Star Wars MMORPG, which has not exactly being WoWing everyone with its subscription model. Word is: "This option will give players access to each of the eight iconic Star Wars character class storylines, all the way up to level 50, with certain restrictions*. Unlimited game access, including new higher-level game content and new features will be made available through individual purchases or through a subscription option." Here's more:

Starting this fall, there will be two different ways to play Star Wars: The Old Republic:

  • Subscription – A service designed for players who want unrestricted access to all the game features via ongoing subscription or by redeeming a Game Time Card. In addition to gaining access to all game content as our current subscribers do now, Subscribers will receive ongoing monthly grants of Cartel Coins**, the new virtual currency that will be introduced later this fall. Cartel Coins can be used to purchase valuable items including customizable gear and convenience features that will enhance the game play experience.
  • Free-to-Play –The first 50 levels will be free-to-play, with some restrictions on access to new content and advanced player features. Some restrictions can be “unlocked” with Cartel Coins.

As the first step towards adding the new Free-to-Play option this fall, in August at retail Star Wars: The Old Republic will go on sale for $14.99 USD, including one-month of free subscription.

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79. Re: The Old Republic F2P This Fall Aug 2, 2012, 20:04 Veterator
 
Bhruic wrote on Aug 2, 2012, 09:03:
Veterator wrote on Aug 1, 2012, 23:09:
I am not sure we have the computing capability to do it, but it doesn't seem like anyone is even looking in that direction.

Oh, something like that could be doable. But you're overlooking human behaviour. You're always going to have people who find it more fun to ruin other people's experience than to do something on their own. Who's going to be interested in building things when you know that when you log off, someone can come along and destroy it all?

The trouble with so many of the truly interesting concepts when it comes to large-scale cooperative gaming is that they tend to rely on people having a cooperative mindset that just doesn't translate into reality. It's extremely difficult (hence why it hasn't been done) to create something truly open, and not have people end up abusing it.

Well that is kind of the point as well. You can't just build something and call it good until the end of time either.

You obviously can't have a system where someone can ruin the project from the safety of your own faction where there are no repercussions, checks, or blocks to prevent it.

But you also can't just build something and have enemy factions unable to sabotage, destroy, or otherwise counter it.

If you can prevent your own factions/side/whatever from ruining it, everything else is part of the game IMO. Aside from glitches, hacks, etc. If a clearly enemy player can get into your works and mess it up, it must not be important enough to warrant people monitoring/guarding/etc it.

In my head I see it like this: Personal projects are possible, but you're going to be building them in centralized and well protected places if you want to make any progress on them. Group/guild projects are possible in the less central areas, but definitely not on the enemy lines. On enemy lines you'll need the cooperative, massive scale efforts to pull off what would be trivial elsewhere. Guards, defenses, supply line protection, etc.

It could be something simple as permissions to enter sites of your own faction, or a reputation system. Bounty system to take out contracts on people who work against their fellows. It'd be quite easy to have 2k people come up with the sum to get a sizable bounty on someone who purposefully hindered your project. Versus say having one person take out the bounty on someone they don't like....if you do your bounty system correctly.

I favor the bounty system, because it has implications beyond just cooperative efforts. Perhaps you have someone who is cheating people on prices or is otherwise messing the game up for a load of other people. Get a bounty on him, make all of his belongings and cash steal-able by same faction entities through in-game systems and authorities. It'd be interesting to let the players police their population to some degree, with oversight from the devs/GMs for groups abusing it.

Far too many of the MMOs today let a lot of players get away with very questionable things, and there are no repercussions players can take against them. The best example is in WoW where people steal from the guild bank in large quantities. You can barely do anything to them if they stay on server. And less if they switch servers during a free move. And that's a cooperative environment (in some sense) that if you limit it too much it's useless. So you're stuck opening yourself up to people thieving with no way to punish them. They could remedy this if they really wanted to.


 
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78. Re: The Old Republic F2P This Fall Aug 2, 2012, 09:03 Bhruic
 
Veterator wrote on Aug 1, 2012, 23:09:
I am not sure we have the computing capability to do it, but it doesn't seem like anyone is even looking in that direction.

Oh, something like that could be doable. But you're overlooking human behaviour. You're always going to have people who find it more fun to ruin other people's experience than to do something on their own. Who's going to be interested in building things when you know that when you log off, someone can come along and destroy it all?

The trouble with so many of the truly interesting concepts when it comes to large-scale cooperative gaming is that they tend to rely on people having a cooperative mindset that just doesn't translate into reality. It's extremely difficult (hence why it hasn't been done) to create something truly open, and not have people end up abusing it.
 
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77. Re: The Old Republic F2P This Fall Aug 1, 2012, 23:09 Veterator
 
KS wrote on Aug 1, 2012, 13:59:
Veterator wrote on Jul 31, 2012, 20:38:
I like class based games when they are done well. I think WoW did a good job with it's classes, they have some overlap, enough that you can pick the class which will give you the alternate play styles you want in most cases.

And I don't care much for COMPLETE sandbox MMOs because you end up too scattered and unfocused as a player base. There's no easy way to focus people over all into an effort without some kind of incentive/story/quest/progression line to follow. However what disappoints me about modern MMOs is that they have not evolved into allowing players to truly modify the world. Maybe not to the extent of Minecraft where you could empty the world of blocks if you wanted, but that you could sculpt it somewhat. And create new lanes of travel with a concerted effort amongst the player base. Not just a single guild, but double digit percentages of your player base per server working toward it.

But it would be interesting if you could wipe out an enemy species or race, kill a forest, create a lake, divert a river to flood a valley or cut off water supply to an area. You would actually have to protect yourself, your domain, and surrounding domains from people trying to do this stuff to you. Beyond fighting in a dungeon or exploring the world if you want it to mean anything to others. Which I believe is the point of an MMO, your actions should impact others. Positively if you're on their side, negatively if you're against their side.....generally.


Believe it or not, this was the original plan for a little-remembered but much hyped festering turd (they abandoned almost all this in favor of MMORPG cookie-cutter) called Horizons.

The original Horizons plan was ambitious -- you could fly, true 3D travel ala City of Heroes. You could build things, and even tunnel and change landscape.

There were a number of normal classes, but there was also a full dragon class. The dragon class was intended, at the endgame, to be an even fight for any 3 of the other classes.

The dragon plan was you would go find or burrow out your lair cave, then actually start stocking up a real dragon hoard. The goal was endgame PvP of dragon vs. Players with normal chars trying to raid and steal the hoard.

In a precursor of SW Galaxies and Eve, the dragon had to be unlocked, and alao had progress timers to stop them from advancing too quickly -- a year was discussed -- and by then you'd be forming your lair and dumping your phat loots into it, and the bigger it was, the more power you had but the more player adventurers would start drooling.

They preserved the dragon as a class, but it was wimpified. No lairs, and your "hoard" was an item grinder you dumped your loot into to build up a special dragon power number, again hardly giving severe advantage according to the old plan.

Also, to add insult to injury, it was grossly cartoonic (unlike early screenshots) and dragons were these fat little puppydogs.

The tale of the feature collapse (and takeover) was legendary, easy to Google.

Yeah I recall Horizons, I played a little of it in Beta. Was a pretty piss poor game. The roadway travel on it was very irritating, it made sense in a way, but the roads were narrow and the travel was f-in irritating to keep gaining and losing the speed modifier.

I don't remember all the plans you listed there, but I didn't follow it too closely. I thought the dragons part sounded cool on it, and found it to be mediocre. So perhaps I am just mis-remembering some of the pre-game hype that got me interested in the first place.


I just like the idea of MMOs being more than just social chat rooms with a game slapped on. I think a storied out Minecraft type game meant to be driven by large groups of people to really push the story and game should be where the games will pick up a new interest in the MMO market. Without modifying the world (not trivially like Vanguard and houses in pre-fixed places) you're stuck with what the devs make available for content and how many times you can stand to re-run it. Once players can change the landscape and what not, it could be triggers for lots of other things in-game like NPC assaults, PC assaults, and other unforeseen consequences like unearthing dungeons/traps/new enemies.

With something taking a lot of people and a period of time, their decisions could drive the development process versus what the devs think they want.

I am not sure we have the computing capability to do it, but it doesn't seem like anyone is even looking in that direction.

I'd also like to see tornadoes, volcanoes, etc in games as well. And people having to deal with them with the tech/magic and perhaps combining efforts to control/stop/re-direct these things.

 
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76. Re: The Old Republic F2P This Fall Aug 1, 2012, 14:18 KS
 
Someone mentioned a game where level differences didn't matter w.r.t. higher level monsters. You could hit them for normal damage even if your damage was pathetic by the monster's standard.

I ran into the opposite here, too. At one point I abandoned doing all quests except my class ones and Kira's, or whatever that sidekick's name was.

So the xp from those wasn't enough to keep leveling me at the rate those special quests were going up and forging into higher areas.

I didn't care. I like my games a challenge. I'd go into an area with level 50 monsters, and see most others in the area were 52, and I would be 46.

I couldn't be any lower, because at some point, my level 50 butt had pushed through the 54s into the 55s (it was 5 level diff I think) and suddenly my damage evaporated as I wiffed some 98% of the time.

Well, screw you, game.

World of Warcraft at least had this pushed off to +10 levels. And yes I managed to solo a handfull of +10 skulls in my career, and one skull player on a PvP server, but that's a story for another day. No he wasn't afk.
 
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75. Re: The Old Republic F2P This Fall Aug 1, 2012, 13:59 KS
 
Veterator wrote on Jul 31, 2012, 20:38:
I like class based games when they are done well. I think WoW did a good job with it's classes, they have some overlap, enough that you can pick the class which will give you the alternate play styles you want in most cases.

And I don't care much for COMPLETE sandbox MMOs because you end up too scattered and unfocused as a player base. There's no easy way to focus people over all into an effort without some kind of incentive/story/quest/progression line to follow. However what disappoints me about modern MMOs is that they have not evolved into allowing players to truly modify the world. Maybe not to the extent of Minecraft where you could empty the world of blocks if you wanted, but that you could sculpt it somewhat. And create new lanes of travel with a concerted effort amongst the player base. Not just a single guild, but double digit percentages of your player base per server working toward it.

But it would be interesting if you could wipe out an enemy species or race, kill a forest, create a lake, divert a river to flood a valley or cut off water supply to an area. You would actually have to protect yourself, your domain, and surrounding domains from people trying to do this stuff to you. Beyond fighting in a dungeon or exploring the world if you want it to mean anything to others. Which I believe is the point of an MMO, your actions should impact others. Positively if you're on their side, negatively if you're against their side.....generally.


Believe it or not, this was the original plan for a little-remembered but much hyped festering turd (they abandoned almost all this in favor of MMORPG cookie-cutter) called Horizons.

The original Horizons plan was ambitious -- you could fly, true 3D travel ala City of Heroes. You could build things, and even tunnel and change landscape.

There were a number of normal classes, but there was also a full dragon class. The dragon class was intended, at the endgame, to be an even fight for any 3 of the other classes.

The dragon plan was you would go find or burrow out your lair cave, then actually start stocking up a real dragon hoard. The goal was endgame PvP of dragon vs. Players with normal chars trying to raid and steal the hoard.

In a precursor of SW Galaxies and Eve, the dragon had to be unlocked, and alao had progress timers to stop them from advancing too quickly -- a year was discussed -- and by then you'd be forming your lair and dumping your phat loots into it, and the bigger it was, the more power you had but the more player adventurers would start drooling.

They preserved the dragon as a class, but it was wimpified. No lairs, and your "hoard" was an item grinder you dumped your loot into to build up a special dragon power number, again hardly giving severe advantage according to the old plan.

Also, to add insult to injury, it was grossly cartoonic (unlike early screenshots) and dragons were these fat little puppydogs.

The tale of the feature collapse (and takeover) was legendary, easy to Google.
 
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74. Re: Dark Souls PC Port Issues Aug 1, 2012, 12:51 Bhruic
 
Ant wrote on Aug 1, 2012, 12:40:
Prez wrote on Aug 1, 2012, 11:16:
Ant wrote on Aug 1, 2012, 10:38:
... I would have payed them for a single player version of the game, it was the monthly fee and lame sounding end game I didn't care for. The questing itself, at least what I played in beta, was quite good.
Payed?

You knew what he meant though, didn't you?
Yes. I am just being a spelling nazi.

I dunno, it's possible that he would have let out some rope in order to play a single player version...
 
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73. Re: Dark Souls PC Port Issues Aug 1, 2012, 12:40 Ant
 
Prez wrote on Aug 1, 2012, 11:16:
Ant wrote on Aug 1, 2012, 10:38:
... I would have payed them for a single player version of the game, it was the monthly fee and lame sounding end game I didn't care for. The questing itself, at least what I played in beta, was quite good.
Payed?

You knew what he meant though, didn't you?
Yes. I am just being a spelling nazi.
 
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72. Re: Dark Souls PC Port Issues Aug 1, 2012, 11:16 Prez
 
Ant wrote on Aug 1, 2012, 10:38:
... I would have payed them for a single player version of the game, it was the monthly fee and lame sounding end game I didn't care for. The questing itself, at least what I played in beta, was quite good.
Payed?

You knew what he meant though, didn't you?
 
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
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71. Re: Dark Souls PC Port Issues Aug 1, 2012, 11:06 MattyC
 
Ant wrote on Aug 1, 2012, 10:38:
... I would have payed them for a single player version of the game, it was the monthly fee and lame sounding end game I didn't care for. The questing itself, at least what I played in beta, was quite good.
Payed?

I.e. I just wanted another KOTR, but I would have settled for a single player WoW with a StarWars theme. I had fun with the SWTOR beta *shrug*. Ill take this for free, but I would have payed for a non-MMO. I just wasn't interested in their end game or really a new MMO. I had no issue with paying for the game, I just didn't want a monthly fee when I didn't care about the MMO bits at all.

This comment was edited on Aug 1, 2012, 11:14.
 
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70. Re: Dark Souls PC Port Issues Aug 1, 2012, 10:38 Ant
 
... I would have payed them for a single player version of the game, it was the monthly fee and lame sounding end game I didn't care for. The questing itself, at least what I played in beta, was quite good.
Payed?
 
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69. Re: The Old Republic F2P This Fall Aug 1, 2012, 10:38 Bhruic
 
Jonny wrote on Aug 1, 2012, 10:24:
As for TOR, one of the big gripes was that the solo, story focused leveling suddenly stopped at 50 and turned into a generic dungeon/raid/pvp grind. More dungeons, more raids and more PvP hasn't reversed the subscriber loss, so what is their big plan for future F2P content? Raids, PvP and a group quest line. /facepalm

That's the biggest problem for me. They set up these interesting storylines, which are primarily solo, and then you get to "end game", and there's really nothing left to do solo. It's like they completely change the game at that point. I mean, yes, I can start a new character with a new storyline, but as about 90% of the quests are non-storyline, you tend to get burned out rather quickly. I mean, if it were a single player game, that'd be the point where I'd say I'm done, and move on to another game (which is what I do with MMOs). Now if they are happy with that happening, fine, but they tend to want people to stick around and keep playing. Well, what exactly am I supposed to be doing? I have no interest in the dungeon/raid system, and pvp isn't fun for me.

That's one of the problems inherent to the system they've all (mostly) chosen - the leveling system. You keep dangling level ups in front of people, but at a certain point, you stop giving out new levels, and people are left wondering what the new carrot is. I don't know what the solution is, but they really need to come up with a new single player friendly carrot if they want to keep people playing.
 
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68. Re: The Old Republic F2P This Fall Aug 1, 2012, 10:29 nin
 

Imagine your weekly shop at the supermarket, if you had to join up with 4 strangers? One wants to run through as fast as possible because Coronation Street is on, two want to bumble around looking for offers and taking their time, while the last has never been there before and doesn't know where anything is? It'd be a nightmare of normal people turning into total assholes, so it's no surprise that it's virtual equivalent does the same.

Very apt description...made me laugh.

 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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67. Re: The Old Republic F2P This Fall Aug 1, 2012, 10:24 Jonny
 
Closed Betas wrote on Jul 31, 2012, 18:54:
As for single player games.. SWTOR is a single player game.. lol...
So was Age of Conan, so is just about everything else.
Why its online is anyone's guess.. Until a game removes solo'ing ability from the MP games, they will suffer and the game communities will fail because it gives a reason to be a douche.. If you needed others, you'd think twice about how your acting in game.

I think you've got that the wrong way around. People act like dickheads in current MMOs because if you take 5 random people and force them to work together to get shit done they're not going to like it.

Imagine your weekly shop at the supermarket, if you had to join up with 4 strangers? One wants to run through as fast as possible because Coronation Street is on, two want to bumble around looking for offers and taking their time, while the last has never been there before and doesn't know where anything is? It'd be a nightmare of normal people turning into total assholes, so it's no surprise that it's virtual equivalent does the same.

Forced grouping creates the social problems. People should socialise because they want to, they should hang around with their friends or chat because they feel like it, not because someone has arbitrarily decided they should find 4 other people to kill an internet dragon.

tl;dr Forced grouping generates asshole behaviour. Social play should be assisted and encouraged, but never required.

As for TOR, one of the big gripes was that the solo, story focused leveling suddenly stopped at 50 and turned into a generic dungeon/raid/pvp grind. More dungeons, more raids and more PvP hasn't reversed the subscriber loss, so what is their big plan for future F2P content? Raids, PvP and a group quest line. /facepalm
 
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66. Re: Dark Souls PC Port Issues Aug 1, 2012, 10:24 MattyC
 
D_K_night wrote on Jul 31, 2012, 23:00:
Closed Betas wrote on Jul 31, 2012, 18:54:
Icewind wrote on Jul 31, 2012, 18:47:
The MMO has been dead as a genre for years. I know, tell me how everyone and your mother plays WoW and that Guild Wars was bluesnews.com's special game...but you know WOW is only popular due to gamer peer pressure and GW is, well...an old folks game.

The genre is dead.

Now can we make some singleplayer games for fuck's sake?

Sorry, you are just way off base. The problem is the approach of making the game, cookie cutter quest storyline character development, with no true combat, catering to the young player, with no clue how to create an economy or spending time on itemization. This is why they are all choosing the BIG NAME IP's, as its a easy cash out...
Nothing short of big suits, sucking up dollars with no real care for the products... Technology will advance and this will change..

As for single player games.. SWTOR is a single player game.. lol...
So was Age of Conan, so is just about everything else.
Why its online is anyone's guess.. Until a game removes solo'ing ability from the MP games, they will suffer and the game communities will fail because it gives a reason to be a douche.. If you needed others, you'd think twice about how your acting in game.

Let this be a lesson to any other would-be MMO makers.

1) Please don't purposefully exclude essential things like combat logs, dungeon finder/raid finder

2) Please don't spend a freaking fortune on voice acting which all but obliterated your budget. Everyone just space-bar'ed through it anyways(the second time around).

3) Think carefully before you hemorrhage cash on a brand name like Star Wars. Kotick ended up being right along, and that kills us.

4) Please make an auction house equal to, or better than, wow's AH. And yes D3's AH SUCKS. WoW's auction house is the standard - make yours either the same or better.

Without the voice acted quest bits I am not sure what the point of the game would be. I had fun with it in beta and play to play the F2P version. I would have payed them for a single player version of the game, it was the monthly fee and lame sounding end game I didn't care for. The questing itself, at least what I played in beta, was quite good.
 
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65. Re: The Old Republic F2P This Fall Aug 1, 2012, 10:16 Ant
 
nin wrote on Aug 1, 2012, 10:11:
Ant wrote on Aug 1, 2012, 09:38:
Finally! Maybe I will find get to try it or maybe not.

Doubt it.

I agree. I am struggling to keep up with the web sites like here too!
 
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64. Re: The Old Republic F2P This Fall Aug 1, 2012, 10:11 nin
 
Ant wrote on Aug 1, 2012, 09:38:
Finally! Maybe I will find get to try it or maybe not.

Doubt it.

 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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63. Re: The Old Republic F2P This Fall Aug 1, 2012, 09:38 Ant
 
Finally! Maybe I will find get to try it or maybe not.  
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62. Re: The Old Republic F2P This Fall Aug 1, 2012, 02:45 AnointedSword
 
The last thing we need are more new laws. With that said, how about research and listen to people that played the game? Another thing, we should stop listening to the hype. There are very few companies I would pre-order from these days. Recently, I even took Blizzard off the list.  
If you were right, I would be agreeing with you.
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61. Re: The Old Republic F2P This Fall Aug 1, 2012, 00:50 Steele Johnson
 
This game is even worse than a current gen mmo. It's a current gen mmo trying to be a single player game. Talk about a colossal #%@& up! They should have kept the workers and fired the whole marketing department and exec staff. What were they thinking? Do they even play games?  
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60. Re: The Old Republic F2P This Fall Aug 1, 2012, 00:36 mag
 
Closed Betas wrote on Jul 31, 2012, 18:42:
I think we need some new laws in regards to F2P changes once a "published" game is sold under a retail state using a published ISBN or whatever technical term is used today.. I think this can be some sort of fraudulent effort. To take a failed production, people invest in, then change it to a F2P model.. So soon, which is obviously already being done, the game sells at lunch, then is given away free, a sucker punch to the unaware consumer. Should not at the very least, the persons still playing who paid be compensated with what is now free? The $60 software bill.

Summed up in a nutshell (i learned of this with EA's Need for Speed World Online) which IMO I think they knew they was giving it away free a month later, and just ripped off all their real fans making it $19.99 at launch.

Maybe a change like this should incorporate some kind of "you must take item off market for 6 months" before changing your business model..... That would be a deterrent and then many won't get hurt... But what will happen if you dont make laws, is the obvious, oh real members will get a token item in their mailbox signifying a "founder" item... Woopdeedoo

What? No. Do you feel the same way for things that go on sale a month after release? Early-adopter tax. It's how the world works.
 
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