SWTOR goes Free to Play!

A moment’s silence for the best Star Wars MMO since Galaxies. Yeah I know it’s the only one. You don’t need to say it!

I’m sorry to interrupt the normal flow of things and I realise this has nothing at all to do with wargaming, but this simply could not wait until next Monday. SWTOR is going F2P. The biggest, most expensive, most anticipated MMO since WoW (perhaps I’m over hyping it… but it’s Star Wars!) has officially announced that it will be offering its game as F2P.

There is a catch. It sounds as though there will be two types of accounts from now on. F2P accounts that will lack certain things, most notably certain species choices, character customisation options and ACCESS TO OPERATIONS!!! but will essentially be able to do the same as everyone else, albeit in a slightly condensed manner. You will only be able to do a finite number of Space Missions a week for example. Oh, what a shame.

Now I’ve made my position on TOR quite clear, especially in my previous post, but I should point out that I did enjoy playing it. I did. The reason I ended up quitting was largely due to a lack of community (on my dead US server in particular) and the fact that I could not help but feel that I was just playing WoW again… a game I’d vowed never to touch again.

Sith Imperial Agent: one of the options potentially not open to F2P’ers?

I do feel a slight sadness for handing in my lightsaber and hanging up my rebreather mask, but never really enough to justify going back to it. It’s a game I’m finding surprisingly easy to quit. Still, the news that the game is going for the F2P option, an option that is generally conceived to be a sure-fire indicator that an MMO is going down (LOTR:O and a few others excepted), fills me with a mix of strange and conflicting emotions.

It’s like I’m presiding over the funeral of a friend that I’ve long since lost contact with. I feel the slight emptiness in my chest, knowing that they’re gone, but at the same time I can’t deny the reasons for us losing contact remain. It’s a bitter sadness.

Still, good things came out of my time in TOR, not the least of which is a whole bundle of ideas I will be using for my fiction. Even before the game came out I was writing long and hard about my character and the characters in my guild. I admit that being quite frustrated with the Star Wars setting it had precious little to do with the universe in which it was set, but being the resourceful and devious being that I am I see no reason not to reuse these ideas.

So there we are. Gute Nacht mein Freund. We shared some good times. You just weren’t that great.

It’s not me, it’s you.

Farewell TOR, your slave outfit shall be sorely missed. I mean… Coruscant. I’ll miss Coruscant. I love a good ecumenopolis.

For the record I realise that SWTOR is not in fact dead, and that for all I know it may rock its new status and surprise us all. It may go on to be the most daring and impressive MMO with a F2P option of all time. It may even one day regain its status and start charging everyone subscriptions again, or it might simply recoup the money via microtranslations. It might, and I won’t deny that I know too little about these things from a business point of view to say definitively that this might happen.

It might… but I doubt it.


About A. R. Whitehead

I'm an aspiring author, with a degree in English and Creative Writing. I love books, comics, games and film. My favourite genres are Science Fiction and Fantasy.
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