Star Wars: The Old Republic's free-to-play model tweaked thanks to feedback
Ahead of Star Wars: The Old Republic's impending free-to-playness, lead designer Damion Schubert has posted a comment on the official forums detailing changes made based on "internal and community feedback here and further deliberation." Free-to-play players (free-to-players?) will now be given a second quickslot bar, they can now engage in five warzones per week instead of just three, and "the Cartel Coin item lock (i.e. temporary bind) will be reduced to 3 days for Free-to-Play players, and 2 days for subscribers." Massively interpret that to mean that the temporary lock timer for cash-shop items will be reduced.
In the post, Schubert reveals that "originally, the second quickslot bar was part of preferred status [players that cancel their subscription and move to free-to-play], but this morning based on feedback here and what they were seeing in the community we decided to give it to everyone."
If you like SWTOR but not the subscription fee, however, you probably shouldn't get too excited - Schubert makes BioWare's priorities perfectly clear. "One of our golden rules is that the Free-to-Play experience should not cheapen the experience for paying subscribers. If it turns out that the Free-to-Play conversion results in a degraded Warzone experience once we go live for subscribers, you can rest assured that we will quickly make adjustments to the system to ensure that subscribers have an optimal experience.
That being said, it is important conversely that the subscription offers subscribers strong, tangible benefits over the Free-to-Play experience. We value our subscribers greatly, and they are crucial to the success of Star Wars: the Old Republic."
Free-to-play is currently being tested, but it will be made available to everyone sometime this Autumn.