Star Wars: The Old Republic Update 1.6 is live on all servers, and it was time for me to come back to SWTOR to check out the recent changes. Over the last couple of days, I explored the new Section X Dailies area, completed my HK-51 companion quest, tried the new Ancient Hypergates PvP warzone and explored the new Cartel Market Store. All in all I enjoyed myself quite a bit and will probably continue to play for at least the next month.
However in a few months my subscription will expire and I am seriously considering the free-to-play option. This does not mean I will not pay to play, its just I don't want to pay a subscription during my absences from SWTOR as I play or try other games. This is why over the last few days I have looked very hard to make sure I am ready for my subscription to expire. Here is what I have learned so far.
As a current subscriber I have been given 2350 cartel coins thus far and will receive 600 per month until my subscription expires in February (3550 total cartel coins). However before that happens I want to make sure I unlock some of the more annoying restrictions:
- Authorization: Artifact Equipment (1200) (You need this to wear any good gear)
- Customization Control: Display Titles (100) (I think you need this to display Darth title)
- Customization Control: Unify Colors(350)
- Customization Control: Hide Head Slot (350)
Optionally I may need to unlock the following depending on my future needs
- Access Authorization: Section X (600)
- Authorization: Event Equipment Requisition (175)
- Unlock: Inventory Module (175)
This means that at a minimum I will need 2000 cartel points for my must haves, leaving me with 1550 cartel coins I can use on optional purchases or weekly Operations/Flashpoints/Warzone passes (240 each).
However I recently found out that you can purchase some of these unlocks at the galactic trade network (auction house) from other players. Honestly I have not seen this in other f2p titles and I find this very interesting. Since I will be limited to having only a maximum of 350K credits as a Preferred player (somewhere between f2p and subscribed player) I will have to spend some of my extra credits anyways. So far I managed to purchase Authorization: Artifact Equipment and I have seen both Authorization: Section X and Unlock: Inventory Module for reasonable prices.
This means I can potentially end up with 2750 cartel coins to use on weekly passes for Operations/Warzones or Flashpoint (240 each) allowing me to say do operations for 11 weeks before I pay anymore money.
What happens after I run out of cartel coins? Its very likely that for the vast majority of the year the 3 flashpoints/warzones per week will be sufficient for me. However once a while I get in the mood to go back to SWTOR hard for a month or 2 and I can always re-subscribe for that short period. I can also buy 2400 cartel coins for $19.99. This would allow me to purchase an additional 10 weekly unlocks for Flashpoints/Warzones/Operations.
The biggest issue with going f2p is what happens next, will I have to unlock access to the next expansion or new content, I am guessing yes. This happens allot in other f2p titles like Dungeons & Dragons Online or Lord of the Rings Online. f2p players have to either re-sub to get the new content or buy access to it (often for a large price). This usually splits the server populations between those who have access to free or early content and those that subscribe and have access to everything. I am not saying that we should get everything for free, however I want to make sure that f2p or buy what you want game play style is feasible in this game beyond the 1-50 content.