SWTOR going free to play this fall, keeping Subscriptions too

Announced today, SWTOR is going Free to Play, sort of. You see, players will be able to maintain a subscription, and have unlimited access to the game. Meanwhile, free-to-players will quest right alongside the subscribers, albeit with limited access. For example, only Subscribers can complete Operations.

Additionally, SWTOR will be opening something called the Cartel Market, in which you spend… wait for it… Cartel Coins. Cartel Coins seem similar to Doubloons for my Puzzle Pirates fans out there (anyone, anyone?). Anyhow, the website describes that “Cartel Coins may be used to purchase specialty items that allow you to customize and equip your character cosmetically. With Cartel Coins you will be able to purchase in-game items including customizable gear and convenience features that will enhance the game play experience.”

Got it, so cosmetic gear… and convenience features? Ok, now you have my attention. Not knowing what this means, I’m not going to guess… but I will say the problem that was plaguing this Guild many months ago is that we were all at different levels, making it difficult to quest together, and when server populations dwindled, it was difficult to find someone to run Heroic quests with.

All in all, it looks like there is a commitment to this product, with much more content (including 10 new level 50+ space combat missions, neat) promised in the coming months. There is quite a large market to cater to here, it will be interesting to see how balance is brought to the game. For example, if all of the content is for end game characters, new players might feel disenfranchised, the opposite would be the same if everything was made for new players. And how will existing, but dormant, guilds of various level players get their mojo back… what ever the answer, I hope it’s…  convenient. 

Read more about the announcement here. 

What do you think? Time to get the band back together? Sound off in the comments.


Hi, I’m one of the founders of Nerd Appropriate and the Rated NA podcast.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Fluidfyre

    I am happy to see they’re leaving the subscription as an option. If they’d gone completely free to play (and relied on the cartel coins or whatnot), I think it’d have turned me off – as someone still playing and enjoying it at that 😛

    It’ll be interesting to see. With all the server moves, there are more people online at all hours now (less servers), and the recent group finder addition has made the flashpoints/operations more accessible. What server were you on? The husband and I are on Drooga’s Pleasure Barge now, haven’t ever really been in a guild though. Maybe that’s it… since we have two people at all times, it makes it easier to accomplish a lot.

    As for focusing on end game content, that’s really how you’re going to keep players around. New players will be intrigued by the new content (since it’s still all new), but you need the additions to keep the oldies.

    As for guilds of different levels, I don’t know what to think. I always imagined guilds helped each other no matter the level, that it was more about playing together? And it seems to me the multiple-levels of characters in a guild would just be a general MMO problem, rather than strictly SWTOR? Enough blab from me haha. Ehm.

    1. Fluidfyre

      And just to add, I really don’t think the subscription is that much at all. It’s like $12-15 a month. Think about what else most of us willingly spend that on – two or three coffees? Even if you only play 5 hrs in a month, that’s still cheaper than any movie. Can you tell I like the game 😛 agh Star Wars nerd here.

      1. Scott

        I secretly (not so secretly) would like to keep playing, and it’s not even so much a matter of cost but a matter of time — both the time to play and the overlap of time with friends that play. I’m definitely interested, but it’s just not the same without a gang to roam with.

        1. Ash

          I really enjoyed this game until I finished my character’s story line. Once my Sith Warrior was maxxed out, I only had a hand full of options to keep me occupied. I could grind for gear, grind for cubes, or grind PvP for more gear. The space combat did nothing for me, and exploration felt dull after a while. But damn, the story was great.

          1. Scott

            The space combat doesn’t really do a lot for me either, aside from being nostalgic about space exploration / combat in galaxies, which was the high point of that game for me.

          2. Fluidfyre

            Yeah it’s the story I love honestly (well and the PvP warzones). We’re on a second and third character, and I’ve really enjoyed all the story so far. I agree with Scott below — while interesting at first, it’s not a whole lot now (since it’s fairly repetitious task and course wise). I realize I have an advantage of someone I always play with – it’s very well suited to two people playing through the storylines etc.

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