If you’ve been curious about BioWare’s Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO but weren’t willing to fork over a monthly fee, or if you’ve left the game and are looking for an excuse to return, mark your calendar for next week. BioWare has announced that SWTOR will go free-to-play next week, beginning on Thursday, November 15th.
So, how will the free-to-play model work? New players (or existing ones who switch to the new FTP plan) will be able to play all of the game’s level 1 – 50 story content. Given that there are eight different character classes — four Republic and four Imperial, and all of them available for FTP players — that’s a sizeable collection of content for your (lack of) dollars.
As you would expect, there is content that won’t be available to FTP players, or which will be available in limited ways. If you’re more interested in player-versus-player action, free players will be limited on how many Warzones (pvp arenas) per week. If you want to participate in more of them than the baseline FTP plan allows, you will be able to buy passes either from BioWare or from other players.
Existing subscribers who stick with the paid plan will get various perks for their money, including “Cartel Coins,” a new currency being introduced that will let you buy things in-game. Subscribers will earn a batch of Cartel Coins each month.
Next week will also see the introduction of update 1.5, which will give subscribing players a new quest area on the planet Belsavis, as well as a storyline that will let them recruit the assassin droid HK-51. Fans of the excellent Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic will likely recognize the HK designation and understand why that new companion should be a fun one. The new content will be free to subscribers, but FTP players will have the ability to purchase the expansion.
You can find out more over at the official SWTOR website.