Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Confusion about cartel coins

Star Wars: The Old Republic is going Free2Play tomorrow. And the transition is causing some confusion. As the game had been designed with one business model in mind, switching to another isn't evident. And Bioware had announced things they then retracted, added to the confusion. Now Syp from Bio Break is claiming that "If you’ve been thinking about going back and are anticipating getting some of the new store currency that BioWare’s promised, it’s important to note that you’re not getting Cartel Coin one unless you’re subscribed at the point of F2P launch".

I do not think this is true. The reason why I think this isn't true is that I am not subscribed to SWTOR now, but Bioware sent me a mail telling me that I had Cartel Coins. Logging into the official SWTOR site and checking my account even shows 300 Cartel Coins. Apparently I got 150 Cartel Coins twice for having subscribed for 60 days via a game card after the free month. I do think you would get *more* Cartel Coins if you were subscribed at the point of F2P launch, but I don't think Bioware will take my 300 Cartel Coins away tomorrow.

[EDIT] Okay, I was wrong. Bioware WILL take my 300 Cartel Coins away tomorrow. Their FAQ specifically answers that question:
Do I need to be a subscriber to receive my Complimentary Cartel Coins when the Free-to-Play option becomes available?

Yes, the Complimentary Cartel Coins that are visible in the Cartel Coin Ledger now will be granted to you when the Free-to-Play option becomes available as long as you have active game time on your account. This game time could be from a recurring subscription, from a Game Time card, or part of the 30 days of Game Time that comes with the purchase of Star Wars™: The Old Republic™.
Note that this is in direct contradiction to the mail Bioware sent me, which under the subject of "You’ve Been Rewarded with Compliment​ary Cartel Coins!" told me that "You have already earned Complimentary Cartel Coins!" I would think that most people receiving such a message will miss the small print in the FAQ saying that this is conditional to you paying Bioware $15 for the "complimentary" coins you have "already earned".

You have until December 20th to resubscribe to collect those coins.
It's a goodwill gesture rather than something you are owed for subscribing in the first place so they wouldn't be 'taking them away'. I would say that the wording used is a little ambiguous about that though.
Why is every months subbed to the game in the past for 15$ monthly rewarded with 150 Cartel Coins but the game purchase for normal edition for 60$ rewarded with ZERO Cartel Coins?
I logged onto my account after getting the same notice. It seems to suggest I have 600 cartel coins waiting, but it also looked like I needed to resub to get them. I'm waiting to see what happens when F2P switches on tomorrow. I don't particularly care if I get the coins or not, unless the overall free play experience is too hampered to be worth my which case I'll simply not play. If, on the other hand, the free experience is engaging enough that coin purchases simply enhance it rather than bring it up to a minimum standard then they may have me back. We'll see...
Whats funny is you need to subscribe to use the coins. Is there nothing this game can do right?
Yeah, this reminds me a LOT of the 'free month' they 'gave away', back in... what. May? The whole, "OK, we totally fixed the game with this latest patch, we'll give you free game time to check it out! ...As long as you're already subscribed."

The catch was that you had to resubscribe in order to be eligible for the free month. So... only free in the way that a two for one meal is free. It's a discount coupon.

It LOOKED like they were targeting players who had quit, giving them a reason to come back, but then charging them to take a 'free look' at the patch.

I recall being pretty disgusted by the catch, at the time because of the way they had handled it.

Their PR really needs some work.
I also got the mail saying i received cartel coins but in the same mail it also stated
"Remember, you must return as a Subscriber to take advantage of this golden opportunity!"
So it seems there is no contradiction, just a case of wishfull reading.
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