We've known for a while now that Electronic Arts and BioWare are planning to take Star Wars: The Old Republic free-to-play, but for months, both companies were silent on an actual date for the switch. That all changed today, with Electronic Arts confirming that Star Wars: The Old Republic will be going free-to-play worldwide on November 15. That's exactly one week from today, so those of you who have been waiting for the switch don't have much longer to go before it actually happens.
Those who don't pay anything will have a full list of restrictions to deal with, and recently Damion Schubert added one more limitation to that already long list. If you're playing for free, you'll still be able to level your character all the way to 50, but expect it to take a little longer than if you were a monthly subscriber. That's because Schubert says free players will earn experience at a slower rate as they play the game, though experience boosters will be available to purchase with Cartel Coins.
On the other side of the coin, those who continue to pay a monthly subscription fee after the switch will actually earn experience faster. Schubert says paying players will earn experience as if they were using these aforementioned experience boosters. He also said that paying players will be given "two more quick slot bars, a new purchasable Cargo Hold tab, and a monthly grant of Complimentary Cartel Coins," so there are some clear benefits to remaining a paying subscriber once the free-to-play option goes live.
Finally, he pointed out that everyone who has ever paid a subscription fee will automatically become a "preferred status" player, which means that you won't face the same limitations of free players. Free players can get preferred status by spending a total of $4.99 in the store, though Schubert reassures that free players can get to level 50 and experience what the main story has to offer without ever paying a cent. Will you be checking out Star Wars: The Old Republic when it goes free-to-play next week?