Thursday, 16 August 2012

Leviathan Release Date and Cost

Well hello there. It seems that I try and get away from it for a bit, but Bioware just pull me back in.

I honestly thought to myself, “Right, that’s it. No more Mass Effect for a while, I don’t want to get bored with it or anything like that.” So I played a little Knights of the Old Republic, then a little Football Manager. I started playing KotOR II but got bored part way through Nar Shadaa. I might go back to it. I even started playing some Indiana Jones and The Fate of Atlantis on Steam.

Then I thought, sod it. I’ll do a “shitty evil bastard” playthrough of Mass Effect with my mega bitch, Millicent Shepard.

I went through Eden Prime, punching the crazed scientist, telling Kaiden to suck it up and belittling Ashley whenever I could. I then told disrespected the Council, and made something of a fool of myself, in front of the galactic audience. Saren had pwned me.

After being told Anderson was out of the investigation, and I should speak to Barla Von or Harkin…I saved the game. Turned it off. Put on Family Guy.

“Jessica Biel and Megan Fox, wearing nothin’ but their socks, is all I really want for Christmas this yeeeeear!”

Last night as I switched on my Xbox, I thought, do I continue Millicent’s rampage of being a true cunt across the galaxy? Nah, tonight I’d rather use a rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle to get to Hook Island to insult Meathook’s baldness – in other words I put on The Secret of Monkey Island SE, and played about 15% of it before calling it a night. Content thinking that no, I would hold off on Mass Effect at least until I find out the release date of the Leviathan DLC. I was going to play through Monkey Island, then maybe continue that Indiana Jones game, then I dunno probably play some GTA.

Then I wake up this morning, get up and out of bed. Ready for work. I go to work. While I’m sat there working, I figure it’s time for a quick break – I don’t take fag breaks or tea breaks like most other people, I take gamer breaks. So I went onto the Bioware forums, onto the announcements page and BAM!

Yes…”BAM!”. There it is, Leviathan Release Date. Tuesday 28th August for the Xbox 360 and PC, and Wednesday 29th August for the PS3. At the moment I know it’ll cost 800MP for the Xbox and 800 Bioware Points for the PC, so I’d expect the price to be in the £6-8 range for the PS3.

So in 2 weeks time, actually 12 days time, Leviathan will be here and from what I’ve seen of the trailer it looks the fucking shit. It really does.

I for one, am now going to finish Monkey Island, then continue my evil Mass Effect playthrough. By the time I get to ME3, Leviathan should be out, and my experience should be seemless. My last evil playthrough didn’t go as I’d planned. I’d softened up a bit by the time I reached ME3. Not this time though, Millicent looks evil, and that’s the way she’s gonna stay!!!

So yeah, mark it in your calendar, and get starting on that Mass Effect playthough, like me, by the time you reach ME3 (if you just play in the evenings), Leviathan should be downloading onto your Xbox, PC or PS3.

So here you go, the trailer for Leviathan...You have come too far...

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Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Red Dead Rebellion?

Well it's about time I tried to start bringing you some more news. I should really try and move away from BioWare since my last 2 posts have been regarding their latest epics Mass Effect 3 and The Old Republic.

So I move on to Rockstar, with their wonderfully crafted Red Dead Redemption still giving gamers the world over hours of enjoyment and torment as you battle through New Austin as John Marston, ruthless gang member turned family man, turned government lacky against your will.

The further through the game you go, you realise more and more than John has had his family taken against their will and he is being forced to cooperate in order for their safe return. It's really like GTA thrown back a century, with the themes of the government being seedy and underhanded starting here, only to continue into Rockstar's modern epics, GTA.

Right anyway, Rockstar are an enigmatic company, while sometimes they'll do a very lovely trailer for a new game, most of the time they'll just say a few things that leave you asking questions and wanting more answers. In this, they are experts, and by being experts they allow us all to sit, mouth-watering until the next morsel of information, or image is released to make us waiting peons speculate further on what could come from them.

Take the trailer for GTA:V. There was an older gent in the trailer, which immediately led to web outbursts and speculation that the older gent was Tommy Vercetti from Vice City. So much so that Ray Liotta's agent had to deny that the actor was returning as the 80's gangster and eventual crime lord of Vice City.

Now, according to ITK (In the Know) types, Rockstar has begun development on RDR2 and it is due to be called Red Dead Rebellion, this news is a few months old, but it's the "insiders" that leak little bits here and there which is something I would not put past Rockstar to include in their mighty arsenal of advertising weapons. Release "secret" information as an insider source, and even if it's 100% accurate, people will discuss and debate whether it is true or not and speculation rises further.

The latest morsel however came from Rockstars own Ask and Answered blog. Someone from Facebook asked if a new RDR would be coming "anytime soon" and Rockstar responded with:

"We love Red Dead too – and are thrilled that so many of you loved John Marston’s tale and are excited for more epic Western action."
"As we mentioned in our last set of Asked & Answereds to similar questions about the future of other game franchises like Bully and L.A. Noire, we don’t always rush to make sequels but that does not mean that we won’t get to them eventually."
"Stay tuned for further announcements about the future of the Red Dead series."
So RDR2? One day maybe....
Rockstar are a wonderful games company, their games are developed and published by themselves so they don't have to abide by anyone's rules but their own. If they say that yes there'll be another RDR they'll do it, when that will be is anyone's guess because they can afford to spend as much time as they want developing the games to publish them when they choose to do so.
Here's a surprise, I'm going to refer to Mass Effect - well BioWare really. Mass Effect 3 came out roughly 2 years after Mass Effect 2, a lot of time to some maybe, but for games of this caliber more time should be taken. Now I'm one of Mass Effect's biggest fans, a look through the blog should testify to that, but a lot of the themes were missing from the 3rd, the Dark Energy plot that was hinted at in ME2 was missing and the endings weren't best received by the fans of the series. A lot of the blame however has been placed squarely at the feet of Electronic Arts, who seemed to rush the development of the game, giving a release date months in advance only to put it back by 4-5 months.
It all seemed a bit, ridiculous really, especially in the months leading up to the release, when you couldn't swing a dead cat around without hitting a new image or trailer for the game.
Rockstar however do not have this problem, they are their own beast and can dictate their own timetable, only giving out release dates when they are damn sure how realistic it is.
But the last comment from Rockstar is what really grabs peoples attention - "Stay tuned for further announcements about the future of the Red Dead series." Now that is a good enigmatic, open ended comment. The future announcement could be that a new RDR DLC is coming, along the lines of the Lost and the Damned from GTA:IV, or it could be that Red Dead Rebellion is coming, or it could mean that because they are focusing on GTA:V nothing in Red Dead will be coming anytime soon.
It's left to the readers to discuss what was meant and what the future could bring for Red Dead.
Also good to see was mentions of Bully. I liked it but never really got into it that much, but the wife loved it! I must try that again one day...
So there it is, Red Dead Rebellion? Oh yeah, Rebellion was the name given by someone ITK back in April. I suppose we'll just have to fall in line with Rockstar and stay tuned for further announcements...
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Mass Effect 3 - Leviathan DLC and Other Stories

Spoilers Aplenty - Just Sayin'...

So BioWare have officially announced the Leviathan DLC as you can see here:

It also has a trailer – Check this shit out!

Well that’s brilliant! 800 MSP for some DLC which will give you more narrative into Kasumi’s mission, I should assume more narrative when Balak shoves a gun into the back of your head (if he survived you encounter in Mass Effect 1’s DLC – Bring Down the Sky) and has already been pretty much confirmed to give you some more dialogue with The Catalyst.

Looking back at the DLC for ME and ME2 this does look rather promising. Bring Down the Sky and Pinnacle Station for ME1 for me felt more like XP drives as opposed to anything that added to the story, so they were all good with me. Like a couple of little side-plots that didn’t matter if you got them or not. Then ME2 came out, and with it the DLC’s came thick and fast with the following DLC:
  • Normandy Crash Site
  • Firewalker Pack
  • Zaeed – Price of Revenge
  • Kasumi – Stolen Memory
  • Overlord
  • Lair of the Shadow Broker
  • Arrival

Not to mention the Cerberus Network, a crap load of alternate appearance packs, weapons etc etc. BUT the crux of it is this, look at the playable DLC above - much more than the 2 packs for ME1. And of them, the only one I don’t like that much is the Firewalker pack, because let’s face it the M-44 Hammerhead is shit compared with the Mako. Fact. And it doesn’t really add anything, apart from like a silvery orb at the end of it. Whoop.

Normandy Crash Site felt like a very personal little side-quest, added nothing to the story but I ensure I do it every time I play through.

Zaeed and Kasumi DLC introduced us to a couple of the franchises best characters. Zaeed for his gruff British, hardman status and Kasumi for being a funny, Japanese kleptomaniac. Not to mention their skills as well.

Overlord DLC

Overlord gets me every time, the first playthrough of it I thought “Shit the bed, the sound of that electronic shouting is just pissing me off!!” but then as you progress through and realise what happened to David…”The square root of 906.01 is 30.1…it all seemed so harmless…” – honestly? My honest opinion? I’ve never been quite as moved by a computer game as the reveal in Overlord. My next playthrough of it made me realise that the shouting throughout – even at the start when it just sounds like shouty noises, is David screaming “Please make it stop”. Urgh, now I’ve got goosebumps and shivered a little.

Now we move onto the 2 heavy hitters of ME2 – LotSB and Arrival, 2 of the best chapters in the ME trilogy in my opinion. LotSB follows on from some of those little side missions that you did for Liara on Illium, where Cerberus, being the nice chaps they were – kinda – gives you some intel on the Shadow Broker which Liara can use to find out where he’s hiding. It all culminates with some brilliant story-telling, epic battles, funny asides (“Remember the days when you could just slap Omni-Gel on everything?”) and a great ending which sets you up nicely with Liara’s story going into ME3.

Then you have Arrival. An absolute must for any player wanting to go from that Eden Prime run with Cpl Jenkins to meeting The Catalyst. Part way through ME2, Admiral Hackett gets in touch and tells you about an Alliance deep cover agent who had been captured by the batarians in their space. It’s up to Commander Shepard to make use of the Normandy’s stealth drive, and his own badass-ery to get the agent out and back to their project. It turns out, that the agent had found a Reaper artefact on an asteroid, set up a massive base around it and it was indicating the imminent arrival of the Reapers into that particular system. What makes things worse is that, that particular system’s Mass Relay is known as the Alpha Relay – able to jump to any other relay in the Galaxy – which is presumably why the Reapers parked outside the Galaxy nearby to this system.

Arrival DLC

Originally the project’s plan was to slam said asteroid into the Mass Relay, destroying it and delaying the Reapers arrival by months or years. But after a while you find that the entire project has become indoctrinated, and you have to fight your way through all of them to launch the asteroid, since they are all of the opinion that they must just sit and wait for their master’s glorious arrival. Anyway, you end up sending the asteroid into the relay just getting out in the Normandy in time as the resulting explosion destroys the nearby batarian colony and Cdr Shepard becomes a mass murderer of over 300,000 people, hence his incarceration on the Earth at the start of ME3.

On to ME3 – most of the DLC so far has been multiplayer DLC, so I wont go into that (even though the MP on ME3 is brilliant) and a lot of pre-purchase DLC involved robo-dogs and hoodies. I’m here for the Story based DLC, of which there have been 2 chunks of thus far – From Ashes and the Extended Cut.

Both have caused controversy, firstly From Ashes - the Day 1 DLC. This caused uproar amongst the ME community because if you didn’t go for the Collectors Edition, you had to pay 800 MSP to play it, which is about £6.99. The reason this got peoples goat was because there was a lot of hoo-ha about the From Ashes files being with the normal edition of the game, prompting theories that it was never meant to be DLC – just a part of the normal game, and that it was cut out and sold as DLC to earn a quick buck. Whatever, I don’t care I got the Collectors Edition.

Javik - The Last of the Protheans in From Ashes DLC

Anyway, From Ashes for me was another thought provoking piece of DLC and a fantastic addition to this was the extra scenes through the game, the addition of Javik the Prothean, and the addition of unique dialogue from squadmates through the mission. One thing that rankled me in ME2 during the DLC was that, apart from Liara in LotSB, nobody said anything. From Ashes hopefully was a sign of things to come in ME3 DLC.

Then came the equally controversial Extended Cut DLC – probably the best DLC in all the ME games. Right, I played ME3 and felt let down by the ending, but I played through again, and enjoyed every second – up until the crappy old ending. Then a load of shit happened with cupcakes and donations to a charity and finally the Extended Cut was released. And all was forgiven. The ending made more sense, and actually felt like an ending! Except the Star Gazer bit, I don’t like that. EC adjusted the endings and added a 4th “fuck you” ending to the series. For me, it was a resounding success, brilliantly signing off the series and giving me personally the sense that any future ME games will either be prequels or set way off in the future – fortunately Liara will probs still be in it…man if those titties get any bigger…

Anyway, I read today that Leviathan (which was hinted at heavily on the BioWare forums shortly after EC released) has officially been announced by BioWare and is going to be 800MSP. It looks like it’ll follow the plotline in the post I did a few weeks back ( anyway I read the article and thought – YES!!!! AMAZING!!! I cannot wait. I really can’t, I’m giving myself and my wife’s ears a break from ME for a while, while I plough through KotOR and KotOR2, and I’ll probably jump back in once Leviathan has been given a date.

But then I thought, I’ll look through some of the comments on the GameSpot UK’s article.

Then instead of being elated at the news of DLC, I was angry at some of the comments. Ignorant, closed-minded and generally thick as pig shit gamers moaning about – the ending…still. The ending is vastly improved, and is a better ending(s) than you get with a lot of games, you’re not funnelled into 1 ending like the CoD games or things like that, and the ending scenes show you the effects of some of your decisions.

But no, still lots of moaning and whinging and lots of “OMG it’s not even free, well fuck you BioWare” type comments and lots of “urgh BioWare didn’t listen to us, they just want our money, they suck, the only way to change things is to boycott them.” – these weren’t actual posts, but paraphrases of a lot of posts.

Right, firstly let me get this clear – I hated the original endings. They were sloppy, confusing and left too much open – they seemed rushed. Secondly, the EC addressed an awful lot of what was wrong with the original endings, and makes the game that much better for it. I would have given the game a 9.9/10 before the EC, but with the EC it gets a perfect 10. The game itself was brilliantly put together, the combat vastly improved, and the character development out of this world.

A misquote from Abraham Lincoln which is still true says “You can please some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot please all of the people all of the time.” It was actually “fool” not “please” but the point stands and still makes sense!! You will never make 100% of people happy with 100% of what you have done, it’s just that some people are unwilling to shake off this view that BioWare are suddenly bad game makers and poor story-tellers – which is just a complete crock of shit.

For those people though who go on about the ending, and how they’ll never play it again? More fool you. The game is epic, the endings are amazing and the experience of playing through the 3 games is the best gaming experience I’ve ever had. If they want to miss out because of some misplaced sense of pride or something, then I’m not going to coax them back, let them come snivelling back when people have forgotten that there was even a ME3 without the Extended Cut.

But yeah, so BioWare have announced Leviathan DLC – personally I can’t wait, and am going to amuse myself with other games while I await its arrival onto my Xbox 360. Happy Days!

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Epilogue: Something else that’s confused me. A lot of comments on various sites have been along the lines of “Why should we give a shit about Earth? It’s barely touched upon in the other games and your Shepard might be a spacer or a colonist – so I don’t get why the importance of getting Earth back.”

Really? People want more motivation than the fact that we live on Earth, and that it’s where human’s originate from or in other words – it’s our home planet. It really confuses me that people could really be so thick as to question the importance of Earth, like it needed an explanation. Like some of the people who don’t get why it’s so important don’t realise that the Earth in Mass Effect is a future sci-fi version of Earth from the here and now. Hence why you can see Big Ben in the Earth finale. Really though, if anyone can explain why people feel so detached from wanting to save Earth, I’m all ears.

Even Miley Cyrus get's it. Durrrr.....

Right one point I can kinda get, why should the other races give a shit about Earth when their own homeworlds are burning? Like Palaven or Thessia. Right, basically to start with, it’s made pretty clear that Earth faces the brunt of the invasion, the batarians got butt-fucked by the Reapers due to their own shortcomings and the fact that most of the government and influential people were indoctrinated by Leviathan. That much is clear. The Reapers rolled over the batarians before they could warn the rest of the galaxy. Then they assaulted Earth and Palaven seemingly at the same time, however Earth got the brunt of it because A: Commander Shepard has continually bitchslapped them, and B: It’s made abundantly obvious in ME2 that humans are versatile creatures, and that when the Human Reaper is being made, it looks like a human – not like a Reaper Cuttlefish.

So it would make sense for the galaxy at large to assault the Reapers en mass at the point of the fiercest fighting – then it’s made clear that the Citadel is the Catalyst for the Crucible, therefore the battle should shift from Earth to the Citadel. Then the Reapers move the Citadel to Earth – their most heavily populated point, so the battle still focuses around the Citadel, but they need to sneak in the back door – via Earth. London. Possibly Hyde Park. I’d like to think it’s Hyde Park.

Anyway, epilogue over. See you later.

Star Wars: The Old Republic - Free 2 Play

A long time ago, in a Galaxy far, far away…

That’s what the opening line is to every film, and pretty much every game am I right? Yeah I am right. Probably. I can’t speak for the Clone Wars animated series, but I would have thought that for 20-25 minute episodes that they might forgo that one line that has become so synonymous with Star Wars it may as well just say “HEY LOOK IT’S STAR WARS!!!”

Well an earlier blog post that I put up on here told you all about the Top Ten Games from 2003, with Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic coming top of the tree and with good reason to. Just thinking about the game was enough for me to rush completing Mass Effect 3 again (with the new Extended Cut) and dive into BioWare’s other amazing RPG from 9 years ago.

Being set so far back in the universe’s timeline gave the developers a lot more freedom to put their spin on a story, to not have to include as many things that needed to be approved by LucasArts – for they are famously protective of their storylines, and Star Wars Canon. However, Bioware and in particular Drew Karpyshyn, were given a lot more creative freedom to create their own Star Wars epic that wasn’t anything to do with the Rise and Fall of Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker.

Anyway I’m getting a little ahead of myself here, or behind myself, I can’t think which. To cut this long story short – for a KotOR review post will be coming in the weeks ahead – KotOR finished, then Obsidian picked up the pieces and made KotOR II: The Sith Lords, which was panned by a lot of people and loved by a lot as well, but the more I play through KotOR the more I want to sink my teeth into the sequel which I personally loved. KotOR2 was another phenomenal game – rushed in places yes, with a shit load of cut content, but still a brilliant game that improved a lot on some of the aspects of the first game.

Anyway for years, I – along with thousands of others – searched and digged for news of KotOR III, we had to have more. MORE! MOAR!!!!

We craved the trilogy, it’s Star Wars for shitssake! It’s an epic story for gossake! Give us No. 3!!!!

But no. Nothing, for a while hope was there with LucasArts confirming that a 3rd game was on the way, then Lucasarts had some money problems, and couldn’t finance it.

Hearts were broken, mine included. You might think that sounds a bit melodramatic, a bit much? It’s a computer game right? Well what if you said to one of the millions of horny housewives that the much loved 50 Shades of Grey wasn’t going to have its 3rd book. That after the second one, EL James said “Well, I was going to do the third one, I even had the storyline kinda figured out, but I just can’t commit myself to it” and then never spoke of it again. How would those women (my wife included) feel? I’ll ask her shall I?

“No ending??? No bum-flogging, arse-melting cane-whipping panty-ripping bra-pinging ending??? Seriously? If they had told me I had sat and read two books full of Sunday tea-time Grey porn, ‘cos lets face it, its only shocking the first time he ties her up in his Red-Room o’ pain and gets down to the kinky fuckery by eating her nipples and caking her bum in Nutella and sprinkling jelly babies on top, after that I was skipping ahead to see if he died a big sexy dramatic death!

“Anyways, forgetting all that, to be told that the trilogy you’re reading is mentioned, dangled like a carrot to be cruelly snatched away without so much as a by-your-leave, would be Hell!

“I want answers, and I want endings! because that’s why we love our books and our games isn’t it? As unlike in real Life, we actually get to see where our final decisions take us and leave us. We fall in love with characters in books and games, make them a little extension of ourselves, in books we give them life, we give them faces, and in games, we ARE those people, we are the ones fighting the battles, and to be told you have come this far with a character you love, for the writers to cruelly say ‘Nope, end of the line bud!’ is plain n simply like being ditched by a lover! Best thing to do when this happens, start shagging around, or in other words, play summat else and forget the cheating bitch!”

Shit isn’t it?

Well that is what basically happened to me and a whole lot of others. We were shat on.

Then hope. BioWare and LucasArts started stirring things, as did EA (who in the meantime had purchased BioWare). Things started circulating…was No. 3 in the pipeline?

YES! And no. YES in that BioWare were developing a new Star Wars game. YES in that it would be set in the “Old Republic” era. And finally YES in that it would be a sequel to the KotOR series.

No in that it wouldn’t be Knights of the Old Republic III. No in that it wasn’t to be a direct sequel per se. No in that it wouldn’t be an RPG as we have been used to from BioWare.

It would be an MMORPG. You see, EA have been keen for quite some time to tap into the vast resource of devoted online gamers, much like with World of Warcraft. WoW have around 10million monthly subscribers, each paying around £9 a month to play the game with full access (you can play free, however you’re quite limited to the things you can do). Let me put it into context for you maths style. Let’s say that 9 million of the 10 million players pay their monthly fee, and don’t just go for the half access of the other millions. At £8.99 a month that equates to a monthly income of £80,910,000. No wonder EA wants a slice of that pie.

Anyway, with that The Old Republic was born. Promises from BioWare that the game in essence would be KotOR 3,4,5,6,7 and more with the amount of content. Reported the most expensive game ever made, with estimates placing the cost of development at anywhere betweem £150-200 million. It was always too much to hope that it would be F2P from the start.

“F2P” to those who don’t know stands for “Free to Play”. Focussing on micro-transactions in game to get by as opposed to a monthly subscription. Players will still have the option to pay monthly, if they play enough and get as much use out of the game as possible then why not? But if like me you don’t get all the time in the world to sit and play, then it’s a waste of money.

The Old Republic came out in December 2011 to a huge amount of fanfare and promise, with immediately around 1.7 million players the game looked set to be a winner. Then by May that figure had dropped to 1.3 million players, and in July that figure dropped to below 1 million.

EA had to take action, people were switching off in record numbers. I haven’t played the game yet, but from what I’ve read it’s not got enough about it to warrant people paying monthly for it. DLC is set to come periodically (the latest due to include HK-47 – meatbag killer extraordinaire!!) but will it be enough? Some people saying the game is too short to warrant paying monthly for it. Even if you can play through an entirely different storyline depending on whether you’re a Jedi or a bounty hunter or a Sith or a soldier or whatever. So EA has made the decision to go F2P from November 2012. And in November 2012 I will be getting my copy of The Old Republic – or I’ll wait for Christmas! I think Christmas. Read that WIFE!!

This has led to some bold predictions, with some theorising that TOR could attract as many as 50 million gamers. However, there is quite the caveat involved with this F2P…

Some might have gotten the impression from what I’ve written that the game will be free, much like Battlefield Heroes. Well no, you’ll still need to buy a copy like most other games, but to play it you won’t need a monthly subscription. Well you won’t if you only want to get to level 50 and have restrictions on some player features and new content.

With F2P comes Cartel Coins. Something that monthly subscribers will get 150 of a month, and that lowly F2P players will only get when they want them and pay per coin – I assume (I haven’t yet found a pricing structure, however I’m sure it’ll be lovely). Cartel Coins will be the virtual currency of TOR and will let players unlock in-game items and “convenience features” – whatever that will be.

Now I personally think that this is quite an unfair way of doing things, by all means enable the 150 Cartel Coins for the fee paying players, but to confine  the higher levels to those who pay monthly? Is that their way of sucking you in, only to say “oh yeah, if you want to reach a higher level to advance your charcter, we need your dosh.” I would hope that levels higher than 50 could be purchased maybe using the Cartel Coins, but even that makes me feel a bit desperate. The player would have paid out for the game, and shouldn’t be punished by having to pay a levy to play the game in full. Micro-transactions should be the only way they play it – you want this special lightsaber crystal? That’ll be 10 Cartel Coins. You want the ability to make grenades? That’ll be 15 Cartel Coins. You want this special armour? That’ll be 20 CC. Surely this would be the way to go, people will purchase these things. Some observers have predicted that using F2P for TOR, would result in such a higher number of gamers, that the losses they would make from the £8.99 a month subscription, would be more than offset by the millions of pounds going into the game from the Cartel Coin transactions.

Ever better though, I know – for a fact – that people buy characters. As in people will pay real money to buy an in-game character that is already a high level. An old friend of mine from college used to do this – not buy characters, but sell them! He’d level up characters to a nice high level, then put them up for sale, and he’d make quite a bit of dosh!

Why don’t EA/BioWare do this? You want to start the game with a Level 30 Jedi? That’ll be £xx please. The character itself could be whatever you wanted it to be, looks, personality the whole sha-bang. But would start at Lvl30 instead of Lvl1.

Anyway I’m rambling quite a lot.

The point is – SW:TOR from November 2012, 11 months after it’s world-wide release, will be F2P. However there will be restrictions on play and it could lead to some wanting to pay the sub fee after playing for free version for a while. By November/December time, TOR should be pretty cheap to buy anyway so should be well worth a punt.

More details should be forthcoming from EA and BioWare in the coming weeks and months. For more information, go to

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