GameSpot is reporting that Star Wars: The Old Republic Lead designer Emmanuel Lusinchi has indicated Bioware is "looking into" dropping the subscription fee in favor of a free-to-play business model.
BioWare is examining the possibility of making its massively multiplayer online role-playing game Star Wars: The Old Republic a free-to-play title. Speaking to GamesTM, lead designer Emmanuel Lusinchi explained that the MMO space is constantly evolving and BioWare must adapt to the changes.
"The MMO market is very dynamic and we need to be dynamic as well," Lusinchi said. "Unless people are happy with what they have, they are constantly demanding updates, new modes, and situations. So we are looking at free-to-play, but I can't tell you in much detail. We have to be flexible and adapt to what is going on."
Lusinchi went on to note his belief that free-to-play games are elevating in quality, becoming genuine competition. This competition, he said, is driving BioWare to consider its options moving forward.
"If it was just free-to-play games and they weren't very good it wouldn't even be a question but there are definitely good games out there and good games coming out, so of course all of this competition impacts your plan with what you want to do," he said.
I had some fun with The Old Republic, but I didn't get past the late 20's early 30's.
The main problem was that what Bioware wanted to do with an MMO simply can't be done with the standard MMO mechanics. If you want the storyline, settings, and RPG choices to be the main drawing point of the game, then you have to make the player feel like their choices really did something and that simply doesn't work when dozens of players are all doing the exact same quests in the exact same map.
"On a long enough timeline, The survival rate for every 360 drops to zero."
I enjoyed the story aspect - but as Roflusprime said, the choices you make has to make a difference. And, scale the mobs. So boring to go fight a mob when you are 24 and the mob is only 21. And, more starting locations... And...
__________________ I have 1,000s or so posts around here somewhere...
I'd happily return if it was free to play. I still have a Sith Sorcerer I want to see the ending for, then there is the entire Republic side I never saw.
The story was definitely interesting, but the game itself was pretty bland. They should really just take this game offline and call it Knights of the Old Republic III. I'd even buy it again... at full price. *opens wallet*
Even at free, it's a waste of time. The SS story completely falls apart at the end.
I got turned off on the story in SWTOR. At first it's great, leveling is one of the strong features it had that didn't make typical mmo questing boring. But as a Smuggler, my storyline got so old so fast. If you haven't played a Smuggler, you basically chase this dude that backstabbed you from planet to planet, and at least early on you are constantly "one step behind" him. i.e. when you get a planet he's at, he's already moved onto the next one.
Maybe that evens out in the last 30 levels or so, I think I made it to about level 24 but the personal story just got repetitive for me.
I did however have a lot of fun with friends doing the dungeons (flashpoints), and the pvp was pretty epic especially in Huttball but the lack of endgame content, the unbalanced pvp at launch, it just didnt hold my interest (and the game ran poorly for me as well) so I didnt really continue after my first free month, even my friends stopped around then as well.
It has potential but I think by the time they tap that well, their 2 million subs (give or take, rounded up from 1.7) will have dwindled.
From the free weekends, I can vouch that the first 20 levels or so are definitely worth playing with a couple of different character classes if you are a fan of Star Wars & KotoR.
F2P seems exactly like what this game needs, along with some fresh and interesting endgame content.
Don't forget fair and balanced (or rebalanced, as the case may be) PVP.
The PVP was the most horrid thing I ever saw, particularly after every Empire player and their new exploited the living fuck out of illum. Republic didn't stand a chance in level 50 PVP on most servers (since most servers are unbalanced in favor of the Empire) after that debacle. Free Battlemaster FTW!