Although she knows that time flies, Alie could hardly believe that it has been almost 7 years since Star Wars: The Old Republic came out. Our editor therefore thought it was high time to see what BioWare and EA have changed / added to the MMORPG.
It has now been exactly 6 years, 11 months and 14 days since Star Wars: The Old Republic was released on PC. A lot has changed in these 6 years, 11 months and 14 days. So it’s high time to take a look at what’s new in the MMORPG.
From a subscription to a hybrid F2P
December 20, 2011 Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) was released on PC. After three days, the game already had more than a million subscribers. This made it the fastest growing MMO ever. However, as is the case with MMOs, a lot of people quickly disappeared. To entice new people / entice old players to come back, the game got an F2P option in 2012.
You can now even divide players into three flavors: Premium, Preferred and Free-to-play. The people labeled Premium are the subscribers, Preferred players are the people who spent more than € 5 on the game, while F2P players really play with closed wallets. You also get that Preferred status if you have had a sub in the past.
Actually you should see the F2P version of SWTOR as a very extensive demo. You can check a lot of content, but your account is very limited. Think of a cap on your amount of currency, not being able to wear high-end gear and not having access to the content from (later) expansions. As a Preferred player you have just a little more access to quality-of-life features, for example you have more character slots, you can send mail and the cooldown on your quick travel is shorter.
If you really want to be able to check all content, then there is no other option than to close a sub. That is not necessary for the rest of your SWTOR career: a month is enough to unlock all expansions permanently. However, continuous subbing does have its advantages, such as: faster leveling, rested XP and access to Operations.
How F2P is SWTOR really?
If you want to check SWTOR, you probably do so with an F2P account in the first instance. I will therefore go into more detail about this free version.
SWTOR offers a lot of content for the F2P player. Especially if you play mainly to enjoy the storytelling quests and check the personal story of your class, you will not experience that many problems. Okay, you have to empty your bags more often and after level 20 you notice that you earn more slowly xp, but that hardly gets in the way of your single player experience. For comparison, we take a look at World of Warcraft. The free version of that game only lets you level up to level 20 and gives you virtually no quality-of-life features. Then SWTOR does that pretty neatly. However, if you are someone who wants to completely ignore an MMO, then you cannot do anything other than sub (for a month). Otherwise you will run into the same “problem” as I did five years ago: a lack of endgame content.
If you sub, do not expect that everything in SWTOR is suddenly free. The in-game store is just as full for Premium members as it is for F2P players. Colors for your lightsaber, races and gear; be careful if you are sensitive to microtransactions and lootboxes.
The SWTOR of the past
Until about five years ago I played SWTOR quite fanatically. I loved the story quests mentioned above, which have the BioWare mark so clearly. Each (umbrella) class has its own storyline. You can choose between the Republic of Sith, each of which has four very different class stories. Within that you also have the option to make your character good or bad. For example, you can play a Sith with a conscience, or opt for a mean Jedi. For example, I played as a Sith Sorcerer with a heart of gold. Another feature that feels really BioWare-like is the addition of companions. Along the way, you collect more and more followers, who you can take with you on missions, start conversations with and even romance. My Sorcerer, for example, had a great time with the Bounty Hunter Andronikos Revel.
So, as a BioWare fan, I had the time of my life. I had a great time with my storytelling quests and my companions. Yet at one point I had to honestly admit that the game had very little endgame content. A game of PvP here, a dungeon there … After a year I saw it.
The six expansions of SWTOR
Fortunately, six expansions have been released since the release of SWTOR: Rise of the Hutt Cartel (2013), Galactic Starfighter (2014), Galactic Strongholds (2014), Shadow of Revan (2014), Knights of the Fallen Empire October (2015) and Knights of the Eternal Throne (2016). These expansions added areas, stories, features, modes, and systems, among other things. As a result, SWTOR has grown into a varied game, in which fortunately there is much more to do than five years ago.
The attentive reader has seen that the latest expansion was also released quite some time ago. That does not mean that the game is no longer supported / maintained. For example, I see a new companion, a new warzone and update 5.10 in my launcher.
My current experience in SWTOR
Thanks to my previous sub, I start the game with a Preferred status. That means my gameplay is less sparse than the people who check the game for free, but I still don’t get the full SWTOR experience. For example, I cannot access the latest expansions. Submitting for a month anyway …
This time I create a Jedi Shadow. After exploring the Dark Side five years ago, it is now time to join the Republic. Just like before, I enjoy questing again. Jokingly, I used to call the game the best single player MMO I know. A statement that I still support – even though ESO is a close second. I even have to remind myself to check out some other content as well, like the Space Combat and Strongholds. Fortunately, these (for me) new features are also not disappointing.
6 years, 11 months and 14 days later
In short, SWTOR now offers you a much more complete experience than before. I will therefore continue to play the game for a while. For starters, I have yet to complete the story of my Shadow Jedi. And then there are 6 more stories to check out .. In other words: a pretty well spent € 12.99.
Do you play Star Wars: The Old Republic? And if so, for how long? Or would you like to try the game again? Let us know this and more in the comments!
The x years later Serial
Thursday November 8 – Guild Wars 2: 6 years later
Thursday January 3 – Runescape: 17 years later
Earlier in this Serial
Elder Scrolls Online: 4 years later