With the recent cancellation of Shadow Realms and the increasing hype for The Force Awakens, I think it’s about time SWTOR had a look at their Free to Play System and improved on it. If they want to capitalise on the hype of TFA, they really ought to make some adjustments and improvements to not only bring old players back but to attract new players.
It looks increasingly likely that they are going to attempt to capitalise on the TFA hype with the creation the Star Wars Game News Website which features SWTOR, vague hints from the Road Map and from other mumblings here and there that they have big plans for this year. Removing some of the F2P barriers and restrictions and improving on the rewards would be a great way to complement the ‘big plans’ they have.
Whether the plans they have will turn out to be ‘big’ remains to be seen…
Less Restriction’s on Former Subscribers
People who have been subscribers (for a certain number of months to years) at any stage should have less restrictions as preferred status. Anyone who has been subscribed consecutively for say a minimum of 6 months or for a year should not have any restrictions on ‘fluff’ perks such as:
- Artifact Equipment Authorisation
- Ability to hide head slot like subscribers
- Access to all 6 Quickbars
- Same price as subs for mod removal and adding augment kits
- Ability to equip event rewards
It’s a shame that people who have been long time subscribers and who may go preferred for whatever reason are so heavily penalised. Obviously the duration someone has to have been subscribed before they have less restrictions as preferred status is up for debate, but I think either 6 months to a year is pretty decent.
Make PvP More Accessible for F2P (with exemptions)
Both the 10-29 and 30-59 brackets of PvP should be fully accessible to all players regardless of their subscription status. I’m still undecided as to whether F2P should have access to 60 PvP but I don’t think they should have access to Ranked at all (or maybe they could with a weekly pass).
People can already dodge needing to be a subscriber for PvP by grouping with a subscriber then queuing for PvP anyway. So it makes sense to just make it more easily and readily available for everyone to PvP anyway.
More Rewards for Subscribers
Other games do a better job at this in my view (like Wildstar’s lootcrates). Yes, we get 500 cartel coins a month but that’s barely noticeable. Perhaps every couple of months someone stays subscribed give them a cartel pack or instead do something like WildStar’s lootcrates which have random fluff in them like pets, mounts, decor and colour crystals.
The point is, you need to make your subscribers feel more valued give them cute little gimmicks and fluff that they can show off and feel special about. But make the items exclusive. Long term subscribers say 2 plus years should get even more bonuses. Just a little more something to make subscribers feel special and to make having a subscription look even more appealing.
The key to a good free to play system is having the right balance between making a subscription worth your while and making the game somewhat playable for free to play players. SWTOR’s F2P system has been heavily critisised in the past and some mark F2P as the downfall of an MMO. But there is no denying that SWTOR has had great financial success by adapting to this system.
It could however be improved up on and simply making PvP content more accessible, not penalising long term subscribers who go preferred and adding in more fluff rewards would be a step in the right direction. You can’t just make bad advertisements for your game and expect people to come play it. You need to give them some incentive and good content.
Improving the F2P system is merely one step in taking advantage of all the hype for The Force Awakens. I will make more posts about this in the future.
What are some ways SWTOR could change/improve their F2P system? What other improvements would you like to see them make to SWTOR (besides PvP content cause that’s an obvious one)?by