Welcome back to Return of the Veteran.
In case you missed last week’s post, the intent of this series of articles is to explain the limitations of the Preferred Status account. Specifically, we’ll look at how Preferred Status differs from the subscription model that returning players were used to.
We looked last week at limitations to your characters, as well as credit limitations. This week, we’ll look at the first few limitations you’ll notice as you start playing again.
If you’re starting from the beginning on a fresh character, you don’t actually start noticing this change until you hit level ten. Still, this was a hot-button topic in last week’s comment section, so I decided to touch on this first.
Many of the limitations on Preferred Status accounts (and Free-to-Play accounts for that matter) are active limitations. For example, one of the limitations (which I’ll discuss in more detail in a later week) limits your access to Space Missions. For some reason, this feels less disruptive to me, because I still get some of the good stuff. I just can’t necessarily do it as often as I might like.
On the other hand, we have the much-maligned Experience Point reduction that Preferred (and Free) Status players are hit with. This doesn’t tell you that you can’t do something as often; it’s just a flat, negative modifier on your XP. You earn less. That’s it.
As I mentioned before, we got a lot of comments that mentioned the XP reduction. User Kor’Viz weighed in on his experience with the experience gain reduction on the Imperial side:
While playing I found the reduced XP really hit me hard. I was behind the suggested curve for each level … By about the half way point in the Taris missions, I found myself too far behind to continue.
He wasn’t the only one in the comments who was mentioning this kind of trend. So, what can you do about it?
The main way to get around this restriction is through the use of XP boost items. You are given a couple of these on your origin world as you complete your class quest, and while it may be tempting to sell them on the GTN for some quick starter cash, I’d advise against it. These are very useful for the leveling process. In fact, you’ll probably want to get more later on.
The solution? Check your GTN.
In my experience, many of those who are buying the packs are people focused on a max-level character. Also, many of them are subscribers. They have a reduced need for these items and often will attempt to sell them. If you have some excess cash to spend, this is a great way to do it. Depending on your server, this may or may not make sense for you based on your financial situation.
Without doing even the most crude and basic of napkin math, I would bet that the power increase you’d get from having an additional level or two would easily outweigh the additional power of slightly-better gear based on the price of these items on most servers. Having said that, your mileage may vary.
No Rested XP
Another “passive” restriction: you don’t gain any rested XP. This just makes the above issue worse. You can’t do anything to change this, so it probably doesn’t bear further examination.
One positive side effect is that I find the ability to log out anywhere without feeling “Cantina Guilt” strangely liberating.
This one came as a shock to me. I guess I missed the initial memo.
Preferred Status accounts pay higher vendor prices than Subscribers. If we were talking only about vendors that sell things like Crew Skill Items, random uncommon-quality items, etc. then I wouldn’t really care.
However, this includes some Commendation items.
You can imagine my confusion when I went to buy my rare-quality chestpiece on Korriban and found it priced at 10 commendations instead of the usual eight.
Now, you might think that this is a huge deal. Thankfully, due to another restriction that I’ll talk about later, you often end up choosing commendations as mission rewards anyways, so I haven’t had any serious problems with this.
Basically: you can’t, without spending Cartel Coins, display a title. The restriction can be removed with Cartel Coins. This is pretty minor for most people, but if you’ve got to have it but don’t want to subscribe, you do have an option.
We’ll go more in-depth on crew skills, economic limitations, and more cosmetic options. Thanks for reading and, as always, I’d love to have your comments below on your experiences with these restrictions.