Playing SWTOR as a free to play player so far has been an ok experience. As an ex-subscriber there are certainly some convenience features I miss, although not enough to prompt me to re-subscribe.
I haven’t yet decided to buy the Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion which would give me new content to play on my level 50 consular. I did potter around a bit on Ilum doing some dailies just to get some practice on playing him again. Currently the most pressing decision to take is whether to buy the Authorization: Artifact Equipment for this character or my account.
It’s a double dilemma. Firstly as I’ll mostly be leveling my new Jedi knight I wasn’t thinking I’d really need this for a while. Then on our first run through the Esseles flashpoint I received both a new shiny orange lightsaber AND a purple might mod for it. Without thinking I slotted this overwriting the default blue one in place and then realised I’ve rendered the lightsaber unusable unless I either a) swap it back out for a blue one (which I’ll have to buy) or b) give in and buy enough cartel coins to do the unlock.
The same unlock would be useful on my level 50 of course if I want an easier time doing Ilum dailies or for the start of the expansion content since I have an almost complete set of free Tionese gear sat in the bank. This free purple armour is quite a bit better than the questing green or blue gear I left him equipped with when I stopped playing. An account level unlock is 2700 cartel coins, which is just over $20. The single character unlocks are on the GTN on Progenitor today at 900,000 credits. My main character has approx 150,000 so I am no where near affording these using in game credits unless I grind dailies like crazy.
Otherwise there’s not much I really *need* at present. Yes I’d like to have my character titles displayed (a snip at 200 cartel for the account level unlock) and perhaps also the third crew skill slot. The only remaining purchases I’m likely to have to consider are the consumables. I can’t see me caring that much about fleet passes, nor quick travel. The med probe limit for in-place revival is going to be a problem when we hit more difficult content. I guess we’ll try and live with it at first, it’ll be like old school WoW corpse runs I suppose.
The loot rolls limit is another potentially annoying issue although it’s not at all clear how this really works. We ran Esseles last night and gear was showering down, and after some hesitation we just got on with rolling and received all with no countdown or indication of reaching a limit. This thread appears to indicate it’s based on a 3 final boss loot limit – so I guess we can run at least three a week (we wouldn’t normally have time to do this many)? In any case you tend to replace gear so quickly while leveling that I suspect this isn’t such a big deal unless you were to want to level through chain running flashpoints instead of doing normal questing/missions.
So in conclusion I don’t know actually whether I’ll spend anything yet or wait and see. The restrictions sound on paper really harsh, but then I’m looking from the privileged position of the (ex)subscriber. Perhaps in reality it won’t be that much of a barrier to enjoying the extensive and engaging content we available for free.