You eagerly awaited the release of the game. You pre-ordered it. You logged on as soon as the servers came up. You eagerly played though your character’s story. And, somewhere along the way, for whatever reason, you stopped playing Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Maybe it was a lack of endgame content, balance changes, or the collapse of world PVP. Whatever the reason, you stopped playing, and now you’re wondering what coming back to the game without subscribing would be like.
The intent of this series of articles is to talk about what will be different for returning players who haven’t played since the changeover to Free-to-play. As part of this series, I’ll level a character on a Preferred Status account.
When SWTOR came out, I leveled a Sith Juggernaut on the server formerly known as The Fatman. I leveled fairly quickly, playing a predominantly dark-sided character.
I’ll be leveling the same Advanced Class, but this time on the friendlier side of the Force. At least this way, I’ll get to see the story elements I missed the first time in the Sith Warrior storyline.
I’ll be leveling a character personally on a server where I have no assets: no other characters or funds to rely on.
I am part of a guild (the TORWars guild, in fact), but I won’t be accepting any sort of aid beyond basic stuff (similar-level characters working on Heroic missions together, for example).
I’m going to try to do a bit of everything (warzones, flashpoints, PVP), to give you a good idea of what to expect.
Along the way, I’ll focus on the restrictions that impact a preferred-level account. I’ll also try to contrast the experience to my first playthrough, which was when the game launched.
For a full list of the restrictions that apply to Preferred Status accounts, you can refer to the official SWTOR guide. As for this series of articles, I’ll bring them up as they become relevant to my play experience.
What better place to start than at the beginning? When you login to SWTOR again, there will be a number of things which will be immediately noticeable. I think it makes sense for us to address these first.
The first restriction you’ll probably notice is that, depending on the amount of time since you’ve played SWTOR, your characters may have been transferred to a new server. This was due to server amalgamations that happened in your absence. While this is not technically a “restriction”, it may be something you’ll have to contend with before you can start playing. These characters’ names appear in red, and you’ll need to rename them before they can be logged in.
In addition to this, there is another important restriction you’ll see on the login page. As a preferred status account, you have access to only six character slots. You can technically have more characters than six if you had them created before the conversion to Free-to-Play. but only six of your slots can be “active” at any one time. You get to choose which slots will become active, so choose wisely.
Right now, as it stands on the live servers, you have access to six character slots. As evidenced by this thread on the official SWTOR forums, it is still unclear as to whether this should be the case for Preferred Status accounts. Prior versions of the patch notes indicated that Preferred Status accounts should be able to access and play all characters which were on the account prior to the conversion to Free-to-Play, but it looks like the patch notes have since been changed to clarify this.
This number can be expanded through the use of character slot unlock items. You may be able to find them on your server’s galactic trade network (GTN) instead of spending cartel coins, if that is your preference. They can be found under Cartel Market Items > Unlocks.
Speaking of character slots, you should know that you will only have access to basic character race options now that you are a preferred status account. Legacy-wide race unlocks that you would have had previously, from getting a character of a specific race to max level, will no longer be available. Think about this before you choose which character slots to activate, especially if your character’s race is very important to you.
Preferred accounts are capped at a maximum of 350,000 credits. If you earn more than this, it is placed in an “escrow account” that holds it until you subscribe. If you had more than 350,000 credits when the game converted to Free-to-Play, then those excess credits will already be in the account.
We’ll look at the things that you’ll encounter throughout your leveling experiences. Hope you’ve enjoyed the first installment of Return of the Veteran! Let me know your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.