I never thought I would be on a tirade about Bioware’s design decision for SWTOR. I was a huge supporter for nearly a year. I tried to think of their decisions from the developers perspective to combat the negativity and bad press the game was getting. I was really hoping that their decision to finally go Free-2-Play would resolve a lot of the harsh criticism. Instead it’s made it worse; even I am pretty peeved.
The concept of the Cartel Coins and Shop seemed like a good idea. Similar shops have worked for other games in the past. I was looking forward to spending the coins that I had earned from my past months of paying their subscription to play the game. When F2P launched, I found out that the only way I can get those coins that I earned would be to resume my subscription. Oh, and if I don’t resub by January 7th, I will lose all of them! By the way, when they show you the price to unlock something, that is only for the character you are currently logged in on. Double that amount if you want to unlock it for all your characters.
If you want to feel like you are making any progress on your character’s end game (i.e. completing heroic dungeons) its going to cost you weekly cartel coins. Someone actually did the math and determined that it would cost approximately $56 a month for a free player (the link is a 3-page article of a rather harsh, and deserved, criticism of Bioware’s F2P business model).
Apparently Bioware’s defense for their decision to nickel-and-dime players is to encourage them to purchase the subscription. Sorry, that’s not how I felt. In fact I feel like just uninstalling the game. I feel ridiculous for 1) having defended Bioware all this time and 2) for spending the money on the collector’s edition. They are clearly taking advantage of Star Wars fans. They must think we are all just a bunch of suckers! Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
They are going to have to make another drastic change if they want to salvage this game (if its even possible to salvage it). Perhaps now that LucasArts is owned by Disney someone at Disney can slap some sense into their business department and find a better free-2-play model. I like Funcom’s model. In fact I think I’m going to be playing The Secret World now instead of SWTOR.