Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Don't resubscribe for cartel coins

Update from previous post: Knowing now that I would need to resubscribe to Star Wars: The Old Republic for at least a month, I wondered whether that would even be worth it. So I checked how much cartel coins are actually worth and found this: "BioWare confirmed that the entry point will be $4.99 for 450 Coins. which breaks down to 90 Cartel Coins per dollar. The most expensive pack is $39.99 for 5500 Coins, which breaks down to 137 Cartel Coins per dollar."

Thus paying one month subscription to get my 300 complimentary cartel coins, plus 250 for being subscribed tomorrow, plus 500 for being subscribed 1 month only nets me 1050 cartel coins for $15, which is just 70 cartel coins per dollar. It is cheaper to just ignore that offer. Even at the lowest conversion rate $15 would buy me 3x450=1350 coins if bought directly.

I wouldn't have thought that a big company could mess up a Free2Play transition so catastrophically, but Bioware proved me wrong.

It's not like they would get you far though. You need around 10000 coins to buy all the unlocks just to get rid of the annoying restrictions. Even than, there are some restrictions that have no way to unlock without a subscription.

It's really weird. They said the reason people quit was because of the subscription, and yet, the only real viable way to play is still with a subscription. It's not a balanced system where a dollar is a dollar. Instead a subscription dollar is worth far, far more than a non-subscription dollar.

I can understand this somewhat because a subscription is a more reliable payment to them, but that issue is usually alleviated by price. Subscription is usually the cheaper path to stay up to date with all the content while free with microtransactions requires constant piecemeal purchases. But still free with microtransactions should be able to unlock enough to get the same experience as a subscriber (for the right price). Not the case here.
How long were you subscribed?

Current/Former subscribers get 150 Cartel Coins for each paid month prior to July 31, 2012.

Current/Former subscribers get 200 Cartel Coins per paid month from August 2012 until Free-to-Play option launches.

I've been subscribed since the game launched on December 20th.

I get 250 for buying the Digital Deluxe Edition.

I get 150 coins for each month I was subbed before July 31. That's 8 months or 1200 coins.

Then I get 200 coins for each month for August through November. I'm not sure if it will count as 3 or 4 months. We'll take the lower 3 months for another 600 coins.

I'll be subcribed tomorrow for another 250 coins.

So I'm looking at about 2300 coins when F2P launches.
When your F2P scheme is marketed to cause a spike in subscriptions, I think that's a clear sign that you just don't get it.
Bioware has continually displayed baffling ineptitude in managing SWTOR. Launching with too many servers and waiting too long to merge them. An absolutely anemic pace of content development, a problem that is compounded by most new content only being available for a week. Giving meaningful quest rewards to only 15% of classes in the last event. At every turn they have made absolute amateur hour decisions that no-one that even follows MMO news would have made.

I doubt that the FtP transition is going to be handled any better.
Well....that's a shame. Thanks for the update though, Tobold. Sounds like Bioware could take a few lessons from Turbine on how to do this without making it worse.
Buying _everything_ a la carte is always more expensive than buying a packaged deal.

If you want to do everything in the game and/or want to play multiple characters doing lots, then, yes, subscribing is the cheapest way to go (especially since subscribers will get grants of cartel coins per month). That said, if you want to play just a single character and focus on a single area, say, pvp, then you can actually get by at a cheaper rate than subscribers.

Even as someone presently enjoying SWTOR, I'm surprised you were even interested the game.

You've made it clear that you're burnt out on hotkey themeparks.

How many Cartel Coins would Bioware have to throw at you to change that?
@Bernard: I can't speak for Tobold, but for me personally I don't think they could throw enough ever. MAYBE if they were buying new planets/episodes/story arcs.

I mean... to me, SWTOR isn't a MMO as much as a drop-in co-op KOTOR3.

The strength of the game was its rich characterization, well-told and enjoyable story, which really drew me in and got me attached to both my character and my crew...

Then I hit 50 and the ONLY option for progression was to turn my powerful, influential, personable character into a faceless mute clone, wearing the same BiS gear as a dozen other equally-faceless/silent characters, running the WoW-style raid/daily treadmill.

My powerful sith lord had defeated his nemesis, married his wife who now refused to talk to him and called him weird or creepy for trying to even start a conversation, and was reduced to sitting in the VIP bar drinking his sorrows away and listening to Carbines in the Wind in between repetitive raids or tug-of-war PVP against the same old repubs.


I'll probably log back in and pay for whatever decently lengthy content actually allows me to expand on the story of my character, the powerful but compassionate sith lord and his mercenary Bounty Hunter buddy whose only creed was "Always for credits. Always the original job, no higher bids after", as opposed to shunting the two of them back into pack-mauling some giant lizard as one sith thug in a pack.
It still surprises me that Bioware/Mythic/EA could develop two completely different types of game style, and be surprised that players would respond well to one and not the other.
I'm totally with you Tobold. I was going to re-subscribe to claim my bounty but after doing the math I came to the same conclusion you did.

While it might be a nice little bonus to current subs (looks like enough for a cosmetic armor set and a couple lottery boxes) it sure wasn't enough to bring me back.

All that said, I had a fun 6 months in TOR and as far as free single player games go, you can't beat it.
Here's the thing though, you're completely discounting the value of the sub for that month.

If you intend to do some pvp or group-pve, then you can buy a sub which would allow you to play any amount of Warzones or Flashpoint without limitations. Since the weekly passes go for something like 2.5$ , even if you don't do both activities, that's 10$ saved right there.

And after you enjoy the perks for 1 month, you are still left with a bunch of CC (essentially a refund on that payment) to unlock any other restrictions you may find annoying.

If on the other hand you just want to level a new character and see the story, then yeah, the sub is not worth it.
Subbing just for the coins is not worth it. The sub is more worthwhile if you use the time to roll up restricted species and play a few levels so you can unlock bagspace for credits. This may be the first relaunch where I actually play using both the payment models.
What a bunch of garbage. This game has been one giant FAIL from start to finish. And it is finished trust me
I had great fun playing DDO and Lotro as ftp... enjoyed the game and spent more than 30euro for each one... to support the game and buy me some commodities... And the most attractive option is that you can earn tp (turbine points) playing the game... BW is just too greedy... You have to pay even to say Hello! to them... so sad... and they call it ftp... Free To Play means that you can play the game for free... what is really free is not TOR... is a bounch of restrictions extended trial... they deserve their end... rip
As a follow-up, I am disappointed to see that Bioware doesn't even offer me the option to buy character slots; you get 2 slots only across all servers (that's 2 slots total, not per server) and all the other odd limitations that only a subscription to's like they don't have a clue how this F2P thing works. They are limiting how much money people will throw at them, the same people who refuse to rent the game on a monthly sub but would happily spend several thousand coins to unlock extra character slots, no strings attached. SWTOR lost me even as a F2P, a real shame.
I love how Bioware is to blame when we all know that EA could screw up a wet dream and we all know that EA is the money behind this. I believe bioware is not so much to blame here as people are intimating. Someone remarked about slow content development however bioware has already implemented more MAJOR patches than WoW did it's first year by far. Someone has talked about low numbers and while it's true that before F2P there hve been declining numbers, at its low point the numbers were still as high as eve online which is considered a highly successful game in terms of community. People pissed and moaned about server megers then after it happened people pissed and moaned about it happening. Bottom line is nerds are bitches that like to bitch.

I just wanted to bump this because they seem to still be trying to tred water. A google search can show you major changes to bioware being murdered by EA.

A log in showed me that I actually have to pay to hide my helmet slot ROFL. Not to mention insane costs for such things.

It's really sad all together. I had such high hopes and so much fun at the start :(
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