I don’t normally do “gaming news” posts – mostly because I’m not exactly quick off the mark! However I felt this one deserved a quick write-up and a bit of a celebration! Since I wrote my SWTOR Free-to-Play Review, Bioware have announced a number of changes coming to F2P players in Patch 5.10.4 that should make life a whole lot easier (known as QoL – Quality of Life changes). To those who aren’t aware, F2P offers the base game of Star Wars: the Old Republic up to Level 50 for free. There are a bunch of restrictions, as you would expect – if you pay in, you should get more out. F2P-ers are those who haven’t yet invested real money into the game. Okay with that explained, let’s get into these fab changes for F2P!
Update: During July 2019, SWTOR announced Free Expansions for F2P Players!
Credit Cap Increased to 1 Million Credits
The previous credit caps were:
- Free-to-Play: 200,000
- Preferred: 350,000
For players who can’t afford to put money into the game, being able to buy from other players via GTN is the main way of acquiring armour sets, mounts etc. Markets change over time and so items that were affordable years ago, for these players, no longer are.
From sometime in July (see below!) the credit cap for both Free-to-Play and Preferred Members will be 1 Million Credits. More to spent on GTN!
This will really help:
- Ability to buy crafting materials instead of having to log in/out multiple times for gathering
- Acquiring new stat gear, creating outfits, mounts and much more
- Reduce those intensely annoying “You’re nearly at your credit cap” messages that happen every time you repair your gear and sell your trash!
- Not hit the limit so quickly once your character starts earning more credits the higher level they are.
So that’s a celebration from me!
Now if we could get Subs to charge 1m or less for the unlocks that only Preferred or F2P players need…
Important! Did You Have Funds in ESCROW Already?
As of 16 July the new 1 million credit cap is in force However, if you had credits in ESCROW already none of those have been released. They are still in your ESCROW. If SWTOR change this I will update this post. But here’s the tweet I put out when I realised this.
— Fibro Jedi (@FibroJedi) July 16, 2019
Extra Quickbar – Maximum of 3 or 5 Bars for Free
While quickbars can be unlocked via the Cartel Market, the game has reached a point where you can fill up your free 2 Quickbars really quickly. Given that most of the game is combat, you realistically need all your abilities accessible during the fights.
Here my L25 Operative has only one slot left:
Free-to-Play & Preferred Accounts, New Quickbars!
From July the number of free quickbars increased:
- Free-to-Play: 3
- Preferred Status: 5
F2P players will find that the third quickbar seriously enhance game play flexibility and will make a huge difference in combat. Preferred Members will have more space for ‘fluff’. By that I mean, I use the 4th and 5th bars on my main account for things like mounts and pets.
Medical Probe and Quick Travel
And lastly, I’ll quickly talk about the change that impacts me the least, but I believe some players will notice. Being able to revive yourself from where you fall when defeated is a serious time saver. As I understand it, F2P-ers had a limit on medical probe usage, with additional ones being purchasable from the Cartel Market.
Now Free-to-Play, Preferred Members and Subscribers will all be able to revive and continue where they left off. No more huge walks back after being knocked-out!
What is the Cooldown on Quick Travel for F2P?
After this update landed it seems that pure F2P-ers now have a starting cooldown of 6 Minutes, down from the 26 minutes pre-patch!
— The Old Republic (@SWTOR) July 15, 2019
On the 21st July 2019, SWTOR announced that Free-to-Play players would be soon receiving two expansions for free. This, by necessity, will also raise the Level Cap for F2P-ers to Level 60.
- Rise of the Hutt Cartel, based on the beautiful planet of Makeb
- Shadow of Revan, which starts with some Flashpoints (which you can solo), then develops on the Pirate world of Rishi, leading ultimately to Yavin 4.
Additional changes will be coming to Free-to-Play players. With the launch of ‘Onslaught’, Free-to-Play accounts will gain access to The Rise of the Hutt Cartel and Shadow of Revan Expansions! More details coming in the future. pic.twitter.com/z2bi5i9YwL
— The Old Republic (@SWTOR) July 21, 2019
Even after all the content that’s been released since, Shadow of Revan is still my favourite story (after the class stories anyway). And Makeb is still one of my favourite planets. Assuming GSI Missions are open to F2P-ers (which I think they are) then you’ll be able to do the Makeb GSI dailies too.
For More Details and F2P Tips
TL;DR Great to See QoL Changes for Free-to-Play
From a business perspective, games should see F2P players as future paying customers. Either they will need to buy expansions, or buy items from the money market, or as potential subscribers. By making even small changes to the Free-to-Play experience, I believe they increase the probability of realising that goal. SWTOR have to balance ensuring that paying customers get more features against not giving too much away and I think these changes go some way to bringing a bit more balance to the Force.