Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cash Shop!

The Cartel Market is live on the PTS!  Darth Hater has a wonderful write-up about it, as well as a bevy of screenshots.  It looks ... well, to be honest, it looks quite interesting!

It's been no secret that this Free to Play stuff has worried me greatly.  We all know EA; we saw what they did to Warhammer Online.  I feared the same for SWTOR, and justifiably so.  But after perusing the Market ...

Guys, this thing is going to be a homerun.  Seriously.  The prices aren't ridiculous.  The items are neat.  They are all fluff, save for the armors (which we can talk about in a bit), and they're all fun, useful, or just downright cool.  Most gamers seem to be coming down hard on the 'Cartel Packs,' basically randomized loot bags, but I think they are BRILLIANT.  Bioware has basically copied the same system from the Mass Effect 3 multiplayer mode; you buy random packs of stuff and you're guaranteed a couple of drops that are rare or even super rare.
An exclusive sample of the finest goods from the Cartel. Each Pack contains very rare bonus items found nowhere else! Two rare bonus items with a chance of a Super Rare! Chances of a Super Rare bonus item are greater than from a Black Market Cartel Pack. One boost item, for either Experience or Social Points. One crafting material of at least Prototype quality. One companion gift of at least Prototype quality.
That's an example of a Cartel Pack.  That's available for 360 Cartel Coins.  Other packs are priced similarly as well.  Guys, those look like fun.  You can even earn titles from packs, like Blockade Runner, Crime Lord, Space Pirate, Cartel Collector, and Skip Tracer!  Speeders aren't $20!  If the 1:1 conversion rate for pennies to coins is used (as we think it'll be), the speeders are about $7.  Armor is $12.  Boosts and bonuses are $1-$2.  This isn't the insane pricing structure I was expecting.  The armors are a minor gripe in this; they are statted but the mods can be removed.  They are recolors of existing armor, but we were expecting that anyways.  Most of them are adaptive, so that's good.  All in all, the statted armor sales irk me a tad but not nearly as much as I thought it would.  Overall, the Cartel is ... well, it looks like fun.



They've made the Cartel Shop into something fun

This is a GOOD thing. It's not mandatory.  It's not required.  It's for sheer fun.  Some of the items in the packs have bound decay timers.  That means after 3-5 days, they are no longer bound to you.  That means you can put them on the GTN.  My god.  It'll go crazy.

I'd be hard-pressed to argue a Free-to-Play user isn't getting sort of shafted.  They have to spend money to unlock certain sections, to unlock warzones for a week, to unlock species, flashpoints, etc etc.  I guess that's the downside of playing for free; expect to be nickel and dimed ad nauseam.  To get around most restrictions, they'd need to subscribe.

And to be frank, it'd be a good deal.

I think that was Bioware's plan all along.

Bravo, Bioware.  You could have gouged us.  Instead you chose to make it fun.  You chose to take our side.  For the first time in a LONG time, I can look at SWTOR and say, "Yes.  You are on the right track."

Feels good, man.


  1. Does it not bother you that there are crystals equivalent to the current highest quality crystals in the game available for cartel coins?? With artifice as my primary crafting profession, it concerns me that people will now be able to buy the items that I sell to make credits for cartel coins.

    1. As a selfish non-artificer, no it doesn't. But as a general player, yeah I can see where you're coming from, but I caution you thusly ... what prevents people from stripping out crystals from Rakata weapons now and shipping them around in legacy gear? Isn't that the same? I dunno.

    2. They are all different colours though, so I would think that there should still be a market for the ones that can only be crafted.

  2. What stops players from doing what you suggest Targo, is that not everybody has a BoL bowcaster from the last event. Weapon barrels / crystals have an out through the BoL bc, but LS users have nothing that can be used to bring a hilt across.

    It's pretty bad for artifice, especially since I hear the removed crystals are coming back via the store (read that on either reddit or the official boards in a non-bioware authored post, so accuracy not guaranteed). Unless they bring in a schem, artificers get the short end. IMO crafting anything besides level 24+ modes/armor pieces and biochem is a waste of time because of TOR's limited crafting in the first place.

    All things considered, I'm still paying and playing. Let's hope they don't bioware* it up like they have everything else.

    *verb indicating dishonesty to paying customers and ignoring the desires of their payerbase.