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The Old Republic’s Cash Shop is Truly Awful

Surprising nobody (except Kotaku), Star Wars: The Old Republic has gone free-to-play less than a year after its initial launch. The soon-to-be-implemented cash shop, the Cartel Market, has recently hit the test server for bugtesting. Considering not even new raid instances received proper testing before going live back when I played, one can only assume that Bioware considers this to be by far the most important thing to ever be added to the game.

The Cartel Market will work much like your standard free-to-play MMO shop. Players can purchase a variety of items, equipment and services using a currency called Cartel Coins which are either purchased using real-world money or doled out monthly to those that choose to continue to pay a subscription fee. I’ve combed extensively through the list of goods and services that will soon be available via the Cartel Market, and can safely say that this is one of the worst implementations of the free-to-play model I have ever seen.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at some of these “services” that will be up for sale:

Authorization: Artifact Equipment: This Authorization allows you to equip and use most Artifact quality gear and item modifications. Subscribers automatically gain this Authorization. Applies to Story and PvP Equipment. 1200 CC

Unlock: Cargo Hold Access: Unlock access to your ship’s cargo hold. Gain storage for 80 items. Your Cargo Hold can be accessed on your Ship or from the Fleet. Subscribers and Prefered Status Players have automatic access to this feature. Makes a great gift for another player. 475 CC

Customization Control: Hide Head Slot: Unlock the ability to toggle the display of your helmet equipment. The cosmetic feature allows you to better control the look of your character. Subscribers have automatic access to this feature. 350 CC

Unlock: Additional Quickbar: Unlocks an additional Quick Bar for abilities. Can be used to acquire a total of 6 Quick Bars. Subscribers automatically have the maximum number of Quick Bars. 250 CC

Weekly Pass: Flashpoints: Allows unlimited access to Boss Loot from Flashpoints for 7 days. Duration begins on use of this item. 240 CC

Weekly Pass: Operations: Allows unlimited access to Operations for 7 days. Duration begins on use of this item. 240 CC

Things like paying to expand your inventory and bank capacity or speed up your leveling progress for convenience’s sake is one thing, but paying to have a bank in the first place? Paying for hotbars? For the ability to hide your helmet? Paying week-by-week to able to loot bosses in dungeons, and to even be able to zone into raid dungeons? Paying to be able to equip loot? Each and every facet of the game has been sectioned off behind a pay wall such that you would likely pay several hundred dollars just to be able to have the same basic features as a subscriber.

How much do Cartel Coins cost? The specifics don’t seem to be out yet, but considering subscribers paying $15 a month will be getting a monthly 500CC, unlocking these features sure as hell won’t be cheap.

The only thing that seems legitimately free here are the story missions, inconveniencing the player at every turn should they try to do anything involving multiple players in what Bioware continues to insist is a multiplayer RPG. It’s a system that is very obviously designed to make you either subscribe or stop playing, and I think the vast majority of new players coming in when free-to-play officially hits will choose the latter. If this is the best they could come up with to save The Old Republic, it won’t be long before the servers shut down altogether.

 37 thoughts on “The Old Republic’s Cash Shop is Truly Awful
  1. Holy crap, that’s beyond awful. Its like they’re doing everything they can to sink that ship.

  2. I’ve always enjoyed getting cheap wine 10,000 feet below the Atlantic Ocean.

  3. Adam Gulledge on said:

    I say, “Let the game die.” Simple as that. Paying for hotbars is something you’re only supposed to see in cartoons and such.

  4. GonnaGetDruids on said:

    The ship hits the bottom of the ocean, and their next step is to start drilling into the ocean floor to see how much lower they can get.

  5. AmericanAviator on said:

    At this point, the RMS Titanic satire are no longer appropriate. It’s time to move on to the RMS Lusitania.

  6. DrQuint on said:

    But how do you sink further than the floor in the deeps? http://i.imgur.com/m0Fpo.jpg

  7. Lamer Gamer on said:

    So have we officially reached the mole people?

  8. serpen1 on said:

    The earth’s core sure is expensive to sink to.

  9. This game has entertained me for months on end and the best part was I didn’t even need to spend a penny on it.

  10. conlac1 on said:

    you know for people who hate the game you sure do talk about it and promote it nonstop
    insert your tears into my cup please

    • Eric Bates on said:

      I think it’s mostly schadenfreude. Don’t you enjoy seeing something you loath fall at every turn?

      • conlac1 on said:

        i couldnt care either way i just thinks it funny your giving the game publicity when you seem to hate it so much

        • conlac1 on said:

          i mean as they say theres no such thing as bad publicity

          • serpen1 on said:

            Yes, there is. It’s getting publicity as a legendarily awful mess. At this point the only non-fanboys who will play it would only do so to witness the horrid failure firsthand, never buying a thing.

          • conlac1 on said:

            thats got to be the biggest over exaggeration ive ever heard
            bravo your /v/ness is showing

          • serpen1 on said:

            I’d say “your marketing is showing,” but that would be rude and probably not true, due to how small this website is. But I really wish you were. I thought people on GYP had better taste than this.

          • conlac1 on said:

            your implying a website that contains mostly members of /v/ would have taste and rational thought

          • conlac1 on said:

            or even like video games for that matter

          • madatom on said:

            BIODRONE ON GYP, MAN THE HARPOONS

          • What’s /v/? I’m from Gaia online. I came here because everyone there is now a self-loathing 20-something with an account that’s older than most SWTOR subscribers.

        • I thought this was article-worthy on the grounds of being abnormally shitty use of Free-to-Play, not out of any particular interest in bashing or promoting SWTOR. SWTOR bashes itself.

          • conlac1 on said:

            but you cant say it had a little to do with your hate for the game can you?

          • conlac1 on said:

            since i have noticed you write all the articles when it comes to TOR

          • I’m the only one on staff who ever played it, so I’m the only one who even has SWTOR on the radar I think. I didn’t hate it. Shit, I wrote a 5,000 word review suggesting ways it could improve. It was just terribly generic and uninspired.

          • conlac1 on said:

            thats a shame
            but like all MMOs it will live on with its fanbase i suppose and ill try it when it goes free since i still have this sub card siting here from a couple of months

  11. A fool and his money are easily parted.

    They wouldn’t try this shit if people didn’t buy it.

  12. Amer Hmaidan on said:

    Look, you don’t even get access to sprint without paying for it. They limit your ability to die. Yeah, you can only revive so many times a week before your locked out.

    I never wanted to play ToR before, and Bioware is increasingly making it easy for me not to ever want to. It’s like those warnings on a pack of cigarettes.

  13. conlac1, can i give you a word of advice? stay away from this game, go get SW:KOTOR 1 or 2

    • conlac1 on said:

      i mean i already played it for awhile at launch so i know my opinions on the game
      and ive beaten KOTOR and gotten halfway through KOTOR 2

  14. Holy shit that puts even Nexon’s Cash Shops to shame.

  15. madatom on said:

    the worst mmo gets the worst free to play?

    end of rine again

    • conlac1 on said:

      wat?

      • Their moderator of the forum said end of line.

        Why are you so overprotective of the game, do you have post purchase rationalisation with your limited edition or something. Sure you can like the game, but you cannot say that is is really good. They couldn’t merge, guild banks got lost, and now they come with F2P but even the most basic features are put behind a paywall.

  16. I thought it’ll be some items obtainable only through shop like the good ‘ol days.

  17. Scaldari on said:

    I personally was hoping SWTOR would go more along the lines of EVE Online. A truly open universe of possibilities…. What I have found is LOTRO with light sabers and blasters… *sigh*

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