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Old 1st Aug 2012, 11:16   #1
Gareth Halfacree
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Star Wars: The Old Republic to go free-to-play

Shrinking subscriber numbers and waning popularity lead to a familiar model shift for BioWare and EA...
http://www.bit-tech.net/news/gaming/...free-to-play/1
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Old 1st Aug 2012, 11:21   #2
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this really is reminding me of Earth and Beyond - really enjoyed it till they killed the serveres due to dwindling numbers
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Old 1st Aug 2012, 11:25   #3
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The funniest part is seeing them trying to spin this in a positive way...

'Our team is extremely excited about this new plan,' added Hickman. 'We are working hard and having a lot of fun preparing new content and items for the game.'

Suuure...
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Old 1st Aug 2012, 11:35   #4
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http://www.gamasutra.com/view/featur...d_.php?print=1

Quote:
Current projections, he says, show enough success that BioWare is investing in the future and keeping the entire team of hundreds of people together.

"Unlike a lot of other game companies that, once they launch a game, downsize their teams radically, our plan is to keep the team together and continue to focus on building content."

Indeed, Ohlen says his experience has been that, once a game is finished, he always moved on to the next game right away, sometimes even before the game was done. But SWTOR will be different, he insists.

"There's no secret project currently being done in the Austin studio," reveals Ohlen. "We're very much focused on Star Wars, Star Wars, Star Wars for the foreseeable future"

followed by

http://uk.gamespot.com/news/bioware-...c-team-6378106

Quote:
The Star Wars: The Old Republic team is smaller today, as Electronic Arts studio BioWare has confirmed a round of layoffs to the team behind the sci-fi massively multiplayer online role-playing game. BioWare co-founders Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka called the move a "restructuring" in a public statement.
and now its gone F2P
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Old 1st Aug 2012, 11:37   #5
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It's surprising (to me at least) just how difficult it is to maintain a community around a game nowdays after the initial buzz has worn off.
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Old 1st Aug 2012, 11:43   #6
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Not a big shock game lacked content at end game and struggles because of it
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Old 1st Aug 2012, 12:09   #7
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Cant wait to get back into this. I really enjoyed the story lines but didnt want to pay a monthly sub for what I felt was KOTOR3 with a chat interface.
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Old 1st Aug 2012, 12:41   #8
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The game was released unfinished. The basic functionality needed to build community was missing or inadequate. LFG, Guild UI for example. Without the resources to build a strong community it was doomed to fail. Which is a shame really, cos I really liked it.
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Old 1st Aug 2012, 12:47   #9
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Unless they've raised it level cap is at 50, which is kind of impossible to advance beyond, lol.
"gamers will have access to characters up to level 50 for free, after which they will have to take out a subscription to advance"
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Old 1st Aug 2012, 12:56   #10
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I played this quite heavily and ended up quitting due to lack of end game content. The funny thing is that it wasn't particularly lacking (when compared to other MMO's, even WoW), it's just that they made it too easy to get the top level gear.

They had a "heroic mode" like system where some of the dungeons you completed while levelling were boosted up to max level and allowed you to get level 50 set gear. Only problem was you could do the end game operations without gearing up first and get far better gear, so everyone skipped straight to those and cut out potentially weeks of grinding.

Not interested in returning for a F2P version to be honest, MMO's realistically get one shot to be huge and that's passed by for this game, as it did for Warhammer and AOC before.
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Old 1st Aug 2012, 13:38   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin
this really is reminding me of Earth and Beyond - really enjoyed it till they killed the serveres due to dwindling numbers

Except Earth and Beyond was a much better game! I still miss it.
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Old 1st Aug 2012, 14:35   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodspoon View Post
Unless they've raised it level cap is at 50, which is kind of impossible to advance beyond, lol.
"gamers will have access to characters up to level 50 for free, after which they will have to take out a subscription to advance"
There is a planned Level Cap increase with the next set of content (at least, when the new Operation and Planet are released).

With regards to a lack of endgame, i think that's improved immensely. I could see how early on the single Operation would have been tiring to repeat, however now with 3 Operations, 1 of which being immensely challenging, i think there's enough to satisfy most people (our Guild has been around since launch and whilst we've lost quite a few players, one of our Ops teams has only just started tackling Hard Mode Denova).

Obviously "Hardcore" MMOers will never be satisfied with the endgame because they rush to the end at a pace like no other, but for the majority i think the current endgame is sufficient, but slightly growing old.
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Old 1st Aug 2012, 14:46   #13
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I quit because my play time didn't justify the sub although I was enjoying it. I will go back when it is F2P, it's nice to know I can play a couple of hours a month and not feel like I'm wasting a tenner!
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Old 1st Aug 2012, 15:00   #14
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Just make UO2 dammit, EA!
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Old 1st Aug 2012, 15:18   #15
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I'd love to play it now it's free as I realy like the KOTOR games.
The problem is I just don't have the spare time needed to play MMO's.
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Old 1st Aug 2012, 17:59   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yazooo
I quit because my play time didn't justify the sub although I was enjoying it. I will go back when it is F2P, it's nice to know I can play a couple of hours a month and not feel like I'm wasting a tenner!
this is pretty much my exact argument about subscription games. It's like going back to the bad old days of Pay as You Go mobile phones where the monthly call time vouchers expired if you didn't use all the minutes you had paid for.

Paying a fixed fee per month regardless of time can either be great if you have lots of spare time, but it sucks if you only get a couple of hours a week of free time.
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Old 1st Aug 2012, 18:24   #17
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Guild Wars: Yes I paid for each campaign and the expansion (for two accounts). But in six years I never once paid a monthly fee. I'm pretty much done with it but if I feel the need I can hop back in any time - for no extra charge. Needless to say that I preordered Guild Wars 2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yazooo View Post
... it's nice to know I can play a couple of hours a month and not feel like I'm wasting a tenner!
This.

Quote:
Originally Posted by l3v1ck View Post
I'd love to play it now it's free as I realy like the KOTOR games.
The problem is I just don't have the spare time needed to play MMO's.
And This.
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Old 1st Aug 2012, 19:54   #18
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Think we could get a thread merge? We don't need two threads in articles saying the same thing.
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Old 1st Aug 2012, 20:28   #19
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"End game" is a term used for theme park mmos, which will inevitably fail to keep the interest of the ritalin popping Worst. Generation. Ever.

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Old 2nd Aug 2012, 02:02   #20
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