MMORPG.come weighed in yesterday with some ideas on what a free-to-play Star Wars: The Old Republic model might look like. The full column can be found here. The term F2P (free-to-play) has been thrown around quite a bit in these past few months when it comes to SWTOR, but not just because of the worldwide decreasing server populations. That has a lot to do with it, sure, but many players simply feel SWTOR’s model would be well-suited to a F2P model.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons this MMORPG.com columnist came up with:
“BioWare could offer a base level of quest content (including class story), enough to ensure players aren’t gated on the way to 50, and pretty much treat the rest of the game a ’la carte. If you never plan on doing a Flashpoint, Warzone, Operation, or even Space Combat, well, don’t buy them! Some might scoff at this notion as nickel and diming a player, but honestly, options are great. I never do space combat, for example. If I could save on my monthly expenditures on the game by just not paying to unlock space combat, why not? BioWare’s got enough of this completely separated sort of content that they could easily offer players an experience tailored to their preferences just as the Legacy system does now.”
This is an interesting idea, and I definitely agree that the Legacy system is very F2P model-friendly in its current state. Add some additional fluff, and a model change would be quite easy for BioWare to pull off. But paying to run operations and flashpoints? I’m not sure I agree that’s a smart move. Players shouldn’t have to pay for group content. Fluff items, Legacy unlocks, additional character slots, costumes, bank droids, cool speeder mounts– yeah, that all seems fair. But keep the group content open to everyone, because that’s supposedly the allure of an MMO to begin with, right?
And then there’s the fact that just because the Legacy system might be a good fit for a F2P model, it doesn’t mean that SWTOR, as a whole, is ready for one. Are the players? That’s the big question. What do you think?