Despite BioWare's efforts, Star Wars: The Old Republic's economy is still completely out of control

Darth Malgus
(Image credit: EA)

Star Wars: The Old Republic is in a strange—but not terrible—state. After its ambitious, fully-voiced, eight-storyline release back in 2011, SWTOR has endured a bumpy ride. Its updates have been glacially slow, and 2022's expansion Legacy of the Sith suffered from a star-destroyer sized slew of bugs. Despite these flaws, I've still been having a great time on my return to a galaxy far, far away. 

That's thanks to the game's focus on evergreen quest lines and quality of life updates. Of course, once you're done with everything you'll be stuck waiting for patches, with dry spells that make the patch droughts of other MMORPGs seem tiny by comparison. 

I don't think this is necessarily the developers' fault, for the record—MMOs just aren't supported the same way they used to be, and the skeleton crew manning the ship seems determined to do its best with what it's got, even if it comes short with bugs that can take months to fix. Still, a spectre looms over the game like a Force Ghost: the Galactic Trade Network—the game's equivalent to an auction house or market board—is completely busted. 

There's the usual suspects, such as paid cosmetics going up for a small mortgage's worth of intergalactic currency, which is understandable. However, one hilarious example from u/gua543 on the game's subreddit shows level 24 accessory items going for a whopping 49 million credits.

Granted, this could just be a convenience fee for the rare low-level PVP enthusiasts with money to spare, as powerful items like this are the only way to get a leg-up. But as u/gua543 notes the crafting materials for the items themselves can't be worth more than 50,000 credits a pop. 

In the same thread, u/Ok-Boysenberry2215 notes that Grade 11 crafting materials were going for half a million credits for two items, while "The crew mission that costs like [6,000 credits] will get you 10-12." That's a major mark-up just to avoid an admittedly dated crafting system. 

This issue hasn't escaped the developer's notice. Back in February, the team announced its  Credit Economy Initiative, a series of changes introduced in patch 7.2.1 to counter inflation. This added credit costs to Quick Travel as well as other teleport systems, a bump to repair costs, and an adjustment to how quickly equipment degrades. There are also further changes to the Galactic Trade Network announced for 7.3. 

It's a breath of fresh air to see this kind of consideration come from a smaller dev team, especially for an older MMORPG. Star Wars: The Old Republic may never quite live up to the ambitions it had at launch, but these changes show a consideration for the long-term health of the game. Here's hoping they'll be able to calm things down before this disturbance in the force gets even more out of hand.

Harvey Randall
Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.