On BioWare's Star Wars: The Old Republic development blog, lead designer Damion Schubert has detailed some of the plans for the upcoming change to a free-to-play model in The Old Republic, assuring fans that they are now in the "deep polish" phase, working to make sure the experience is up to the "high quality level that our customers expect from a BioWare game."
The first change they want to stress is that players can reach level 50 without paying anything at all, although there are a few caveats: F2P players will earn experience more slowly, and apparently "several aspects of the gameplay experience are limited." Still, it looks like most of the game will be fully accessible for free, just without a few of the convenience perks that subscribers have access to.
The second thing they stress in the post is that current subscribers won't see any negative change to their gameplay experience, and will in fact acquire a few new perks, including two extra quickslot bars, a new purchaseable Cargo Hold tab and a monthly allowance of Complimentary Cartel Coins.
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Jimmy the Geek