In this weeks Community Q&A Damion Schubert goes solo, and answers all questions you may have about the “Free to play” model. This will also be the last community Q&A in this format, as BioWare are changing strategy and will instread be focusing on bringing us more frequent and consistent developer responses in the forums instead.
Check it out below:
ButeoRegalis: Are subscriptions the only way to gain Cartel Coins (CCs) in the future, meaning, aside from the bonus coins we’re getting until the Free-to-Play option goes live? Can you purchase them without a subscription?
Damion Schubert (Principal Lead Systems Designer): All players will be able to purchase Cartel Coins by purchasing them on our website and eventually in-game. These coins are used to buy various virtual items from the Cartel Market. Free-to-Play members can also use Cartel Coins to unlock certain game restrictions.
Samohnat: Will Cartel Coins be available via in-game mechanics?
Damion Schubert: Not initially. We may expand this in the future, but it’s not a goal for launch of the system.
Several players asked: Can you give us more detail about the restrictions on Free-to-Play members? If not, when can we expect more details?
Damion Schubert: Giving more information about these limitations is a core part of our communication efforts over the next few weeks. Our goal is to allow Free-to-Play members to play the game from levels 1 to 50 and encounter most of the class and world content along the way. However, it is equally important to us that the subscription members will have access to a significant number of convenience features that make the game easier to play – leveling speed, bank access, inventory size are all good examples. Once these details are published, I think that most players familiar with the game as it is now will agree that while Free-to-Play members will be getting a good experience andthe subscription members will be getting a substantially improved gameplay experience.
Alahnah: I am interested in more detailed comments about future content releases and how the Free-to-Play option will impact on current bug fixing efforts and the level 50 Operations / 50+ content expansion time frames.
Damion Schubert: We still have a significant portion of the development team focused on creating new content (Operations, Flashpoints, Warzones) – and we have plans to increase the cadence that we deliver new content. One of the nice things about this approach is that it should also speed up the cadence that bug fixes get out to you as well.
Tatile: It’s said that content will continue to come, but will it be like the content we’ve already seen (Operations and Flashpoints in patches with class balancing and new gear) or will the content only be fluffy happy stuff, like speeders and mini-pets?
Damion Schubert: We definitely have plans in the works for more Flashpoints, Operations, Space Missions, and Warzones. Generally, we will have more frequent updates for the game.
Thorvath: So if I cancel/switch to the Free-to-Play option are you going to automatically delete all my Rakata/War Hero gear?
Damion Schubert: You will retain your gear.
LOWTHOR: What happens if all the characters I have already created while subscribed (before Free-to-Play announcement) are now restricted species?
Damion Schubert: Your characters will not be deleted and you CAN still use those characters in the active slots you have as a Free-to-Play member.
VulcanLogic: I have all 8 character slots used up. If I choose the Free-to-Play option, do I get to decide which character slots will be active?
Damion Schubert: Once we institute these limitations, players will absolutely be able to choose which characters are their active characters.
ChazDoit: I’m not much interested in Flashpoints and Operations but will I be able to purchase other features like full access to Warzones, purchase extra character slots, bank slots, and travel features?
Damion Schubert: Yes! When the Free-to-Play option goes live, players will be able to purchase key upgrades to their game experience allowing them to bypass some restrictions, and this list will expand as time goes on. We will have more information about some of these in coming weeks.
We’ve been listening to your feedback, and as of today, we’ll be discontinuing the Community Q&A blog as a weekly feature. However, this means that going forward, we will be focusing on bringing you more frequent and consistent developer responses in the forums to your questions and concerns. Make sure to watch the dev tracker to make sure you don’t miss anything!
We’ll definitely do a Q&A like this whenever we have big announcements in the future, but again, we won’t be doing a weekly Q&A blog post.
This is a part of our new overall community goal of increasing communication. If you haven’t read Joveth’s recent address to the community, we encourage you to check it out.
And for those of you wondering, you can continue to expect big news and announcements as standalone blogs.
Thanks to everyone who has submitted questions to the Q&A. If you have a question that never got answered (or just have any question you’re curious about), we encourage you to post a thread in the forums. We’ll be looking for good questions and passing them up to our developers very frequently!