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Updates on F2PFollow

#1 Oct 18 2012 at 10:35 AM Rating: Good
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So there's been some news for the F2P changes this week. For one, you can now see how many Cartel Coins you'll be granted at F2P's launch.

More importantly, they updated the features page to be more specific.

Subscription players obviously get full access to everything. So I'll just list the F2P info.

Story 1-50 content: Full Access.
Character Creation: Limited Access to options (doesn't further specify, unfortunately).
Operations: No access unless you purchase a weekly pass with Cartel Coins
Warzones: 3 per week, weekly passes available.
Flashpoints: Full rewards from 3 per week, with weekly passes available to unlock full rewards from all.
Space Missions: 3 per week, or purchase a weekly pass.
Cargo Hold: "Gain and expand" the cargo hold with cartel coins.
Inventory: Can only expand inventory with Cartel Coins, not credits.
Crew Skills: One crew skill slot, and additional slots can be purchased (up to three)
Quick Travel: Longer QT Cooldown (Sub will be reduced), or you can purchase a permanent reduction.
Emergency Fleet Pass: NO ACCESS, unless you purchase authorization.
Death: Revive at the nearest med center, or a total of five times in field. Can purchase more revives from store.
Game Login: No priority login.
Item Equipping: Cannot equip most purple items without purchasing a license.

This is way worse than I expected it to be. I never imagined you'd be limited to weekly passes...
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#2 Oct 18 2012 at 12:49 PM Rating: Good
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Single player storyline time, go!

I wonder why they put a cap on Warzones and not Flashpoints. Warzones are already dead (WZ queue is longer than FP queue for me) and this won't exactly make it better.

I'm also wondering what's going to happen to those of us who used to subscribe to it but no longer do. I spent a lot of credits on inventory space. Will they take it all back and tell me to buy it again with real money? What about crew skills for ex-subscribers? I have Scavenging, Slicing and Underworld Trading. Which one do I get to keep and what happens to the two other skills? What if I decide to subscribe in the future? Will I get my two skills back, or will they be reset completely?

So many questions, not enough information. Smiley: frown

Edited, Oct 18th 2012 8:51pm by Mazra
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#3 Oct 18 2012 at 2:52 PM Rating: Good
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The gist I got from there being limited character slots was that you would choose which characters got to be "active", if you had more than the number of F2P slots. So maybe crew skills will follow the same idea--you choose which of the three you want to keep "active" but don't lose progress in the others?

And yeah, 3 WZ per week is frickin' stupid. That effectively just killed PVP content, particularly when combined with the prohibition on purple gear. If you wanted to play TOR for PVP, you HAVE to pay real money.

They should have done the same system as they did for FP. You got full rewards from the first 3, and partial rewards from the rest. Maybe with an absolute cap of like 15 a week without paying?

And there should be monthly passes (with appropriate discount) at the very least, if not an option to permanently unlock WZs. If they don't want a permanent option, they HAVE to allow for the purchase of larger blocks of time.

Hopefully that was an oversight in the description, and you can buy "packs" or something at a discount.

Either way, a cap of three is pathetically low.
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#4 Oct 19 2012 at 3:42 AM Rating: Good
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Also note the info on earned cartel coins. You need an active subscription at the time of the F2P switch to get ANY cartel coins. Still no announcement on when that day will be either.
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#5 Oct 19 2012 at 7:46 AM Rating: Good
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selebrin wrote:
Also note the info on earned cartel coins. You need an active subscription at the time of the F2P switch to get ANY cartel coins. Still no announcement on when that day will be either.


Wow, I didn't even notice that... That's absolute bullsh*t. When they originally announced the plan to grant coins for sub months, they definitely didn't say you'd need to be subbed to gain advantage of them. Wasn't that the point of giving you an additional bonus for being subbed when the switch happened?
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#6 Oct 20 2012 at 2:15 PM Rating: Good
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They probably noticed that their subscribers are unsubscribing in droves right now.

I'll renew my subscription until F2P hits and then cancel it. Really don't know what I'll be using the coins on, but losing out on all of them because I unsubbed too early would suck.
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#7 Oct 20 2012 at 3:41 PM Rating: Good
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I re-subbed a week or two ago. With my luck, the switch will be like the day after it ends.
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#8 Oct 24 2012 at 9:43 AM Rating: Excellent
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List of what you can get on the Cartel Market on the bottom half of this page.

Mostly cosmetic items, legacy unlocks and experience boosts. Plus ways for the F2P player to unlock content us subscribers take for granted. A couple of random goodie boxes that drop rare items (should help the addicted gambler no?).

Overall I'm pretty happy with what I see there at the moment. Nothing game-breaking at first glance it seems (assuming those levels listed on the crystals are a bug or something, because honestly +41 of anything at level 10 would be game-breaking...), Though I suppose if you've been playing for a year all those legacy unlocks are probably worthless...

Thoughts?

(also just noticed they're letting you use your speeder earlier)

Edited, Oct 24th 2012 9:25am by someproteinguy
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#9 Oct 24 2012 at 11:08 AM Rating: Good
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I'm really not thrilled by how excessive the restrictions are, though. I mean, most of us bought the game for $60 at launch. For GW2, that means full access.

For TOR... that means you get super limited options. Pretty much EVERYTHING is pay-to-unlock.

I'll probably do F2P for the story stuff, but chances that I'll ever seriously play the game again are next to nothing.
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#10 Oct 24 2012 at 11:22 AM Rating: Excellent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
I mean, most of us bought the game for $60 at launch.


I do feel pretty bad for you guys.

Really joining late I basically got the game for free with a subscription. I didn't have to put up with the server mergers, extra bugs, long periods of time with little added content, etc. When I look at it I see a game that's worth $15/month starting from a couple of months ago. The high upfront costs aren't there. They're coming out with more regular updates now. There's a generation of players in the game who have no idea how mucked up things were a few months back.

Let's just say I'm glad I'm starting now, and not like 10 months ago. It seems like it's taken them a year to figure out what they want to do with the game and work out the worst of the bugs.

Out of curiosity, how many cartel coins do you have from buying/playing the game back then, and how much can you unlock with them?

Edited, Oct 24th 2012 10:30am by someproteinguy
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#11 Oct 24 2012 at 11:46 AM Rating: Good
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I haven't subbed nonstop, so like 900 or something? Basically, 1.5 unlocks. :/

And I don't know if my Miraluka character will be grandfathered in, or locked until I pay up.

And I only get those coins if I'm still subbed when the F2P switch is made. And unless that's in the next two weeks or so, I won't be.

So, yeah, I'm more than a little irritated.

[EDIT]

I resubbed after reading that subs were going to give cartel points when the game went F2P. I had felt like playing TOR for a while, so it seemed like it was worth the $15.

They didn't say until just recently that you had to STAY subbed to get those coins, which is absolute bullsh*t, imo.

And because I'm so irritated by how restrictive F2P is, I've lost my will to play now. So it's $15 well-wasted.

Edited, Oct 24th 2012 1:48pm by idiggory
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#12 Oct 24 2012 at 1:18 PM Rating: Excellent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
I haven't subbed nonstop, so like 900 or something? Basically, 1.5 unlocks. :/


Smiley: frown

Don't know how long you were subbed, but I should have 600 by the time F2P comes out. That really sucks if it's that low for you.

idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
And I don't know if my Miraluka character will be grandfathered in, or locked until I pay up.


I thought you got to choose which 2 characters you got to keep playing? Smiley: confused Don't quote me on that though...
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#13 Oct 24 2012 at 1:34 PM Rating: Good
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Yeah, but I don't think they've confirmed or denied if those have to be within the race restrictions for F2P accounts, or if those restrictions only apply at creation.

I've probably subbed a total of... 4 months?
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#14 Oct 25 2012 at 8:48 AM Rating: Good
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Shaowstrike just posted this in the general games forum--it's a list of additional limits found for F2P on the PTR.

Some of my favorites?

No unify colors or head slot.

May only send 1 message through general chat per minute.

No trading, cannot send mail.

2hr CD on quick travel

No rest exp

YOU ONLY GET ONE QUICKBAR WITH 12 SLOTS. YOU ONLY GET ONE QUICKBAR WITH 12 SLOTS. YOU ONLY GET ONE QUICKBAR WITH 12 SLOTS.

You are capped at 200k credits, which is nothing. Can ONLY remove this limit by subbing.

Not only are you limited to 3 Warzones/FPs/Space missions, but there's also a cap on the number of commendations you can have.

If your crew skill returns lock boxes, it won't anymoe. Instead you get a message asking you to sub. HUZZAH

You get THREE LOOT ROLLS PER WEEK. Not successful rolls, three in general. Only way to avoid it is by passing on the item.



It's like they've gone out of their way to make the free version of the game as unenjoyable as they possible could. Like, what, people are going to magically want to subscribe because you're being a bunch of douchers? ONE QUICKBAR? Hey, maybe you should rebalance the classes so you don't need 3 of them then.
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#15 Oct 25 2012 at 9:07 AM Rating: Excellent
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Yeah, it runs the whole gambit for me.

Some of the restrictions seem like nice ways to keep free accounts from simply being trolls, spambots, GTM bots etc. Those I can fully understand. Other things don't seem so bad because you can pay to unlock them; since that's more or less the staple of a F2P game it's fine by me. You're simply paying to unlock features you want to have. Since some of the things are permanent unlocks it doesn't seem like the end of the world. And yeah other things like the 1 action bar just seem stupid and aggravating. It's not one-button-win WoW or anything. How much fun is it going to be to group with someone with no interrupts or CC abilities on their action bar?

Yay, 2/3 of my warzone is F2P players who don't have any space to put their utility spells. Smiley: rolleyes

Edited, Oct 25th 2012 8:08am by someproteinguy
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#16 Oct 25 2012 at 10:37 AM Rating: Good
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What bothers me is that this go against the greatest strength of a F2P game--bringing in new players.

F2P games become successful when the investment of a little time lets them have a quality gaming experience--something good enough to warrant playing, and something they're willing to make even better through microtransactions.

But this hedges on them getting far enough into the game, and having enough fun, for them to believe those costs to be worth it.

I have serious doubts that this will be the case when they're forced to play with a fraction of their abilities. When they can't even have casual conversation because general chat is dead, as no one wants to waste their 1 per minute message with idle banter. When crew skills have no meaning because you can only really gather parts (or you took a crafting skill and don't have any materials). How worthy do you think they'll think Warzones are when they have to wait in the queue for an hour, because so few people are playing. And then they get it only to be steamrolled by sub players, who have all their abilities and severely out-gear them?

And that's only one fraction of the larger issue.

Fact of the matter is that F2P games that try and squeeze the player base dry have never worked in the Western market.


What kills me the most? Assuming a 1 CC to $.01 conversion rate, it's about $10 a month to have unlimited access to one of the four capped content areas (Warzones, FPs, Ops, Space Missions).

That's absurd. You save $5 and have MASSIVE restrictions by not subbing, but you'll actually end up paying more probably. Because it's $12 to unlock artifact gear, $2.50 per quickbar you need, $4.20 per crew skill slot, $4.75 for your cargo hold (and an additional $4.75 per slot), $1.75 to expand your inventory.

So you're looking at months' worth of costs before you start saving.

Imo, 3/4 (MAYBE 2/4) weekly unlocks should add up to the price of a sub. That seems reasonable to me. Because you still need to deal with all the other limitations. But if all you want to do is Warzones and Flashpoints, it shouldn't be less expensive to sub.
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#17 Oct 25 2012 at 11:15 AM Rating: Excellent
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Yeah, I largely agree.

There's a fine line (okay a big fat line...) between having an account with restricted access, and having something that's virtually unplayable. Something about having features designed to annoy someone to the degree the subscribe (things like the single action bar, longer QT cooldown, limited field rez, etc) strike me as counter-productive. You want to encourage people to play the game because they like it, not because they hate it. Smiley: rolleyes

Whatever I'm not in marketing I suppose...

I'm really eyeing the amount of server space as well. The servers me and the wife play on tend to be nearly full (very heavy) much of the time we log in. I wonder how many spaces F2P accounts are really going to have in a world like that. If you basically can't log into the game weekday evenings I don't see how people get hooked. Certainly won't help with people who already left the game and we're thinking of returning "part time" so to speak.

Really seems like they aren't encouraging free accounts, hence me referring to them as an "expanded trial" in the other thread. It does feel alot like that.

From a subscriber point of view it does us no good either. We were sold on the idea there'd be more people in the world to play with, group with, interact with, etc.

If they aren't doing Herioc missions because they used up their limited rolls, you can barely talk to them because of the chat restrictions, and when you finally manage to group with them they're playing gimped because of the single action bar, well that is just going to make our lives more frustrating as well.

But yeah we'll see how it goes, or not if they can't even get on the server in the first place. Smiley: rolleyes
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#18 Oct 25 2012 at 11:34 AM Rating: Good
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At this point, I have no intention of ever doing anything but clearing story stuff. And even that's heading to the back burner, because doing it with only 12 abilities sounds like a lot of irritation.

On the other hand, maybe I can figure out how to make TOR macros with my mouse?
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#19 Oct 25 2012 at 12:02 PM Rating: Good
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They made a dev post today that you'll get 2 quickslot bars and the WZ cap is now 5. WAY better, but still stupidly restrictive.

[EDIT]

They are also introducing a preferred status system:

Quote:
Once our Free-to-Play option launches, Free-to-Play Players will gain Preferred Player Status by making a single purchase through our website. This purchase can simply be a quantity of Cartel Coins, or a Game Time Card, or even a month of a Subscription. Additionally, former Subscribers who are returning as Free-to-Play Players, will find they have Preferred Status!

As a Preferred Status Player, you will gain the following benefits compared to Free-to-Play Players:
• The Sprint ability at Level 1
• Access to your Cargo Hold (an 80 item Player Bank)
• Access to Secure Trade
• The ability to send Mail, including one (1) attachment
• Increased allowance for chat message frequencies in Public chat channels (such as /general)
• An increased Credits Cap
• Access to the Who List
• Three (3) additional Sale Slots on the Galactic Trade Network (for a total of 5)
• One (1) additional active Crew Skill Slot (for a total of 2)
• Reduced skill point respecialization costs
• Increased Server queue priority

In addition to the above benefits, Subscribers who return as Preferred Status Players will find that they retain any Cargo Hold and Inventory expansions they had unlocked, any Legacy Unlock or Perk they have gained (including Species) and can continue to use any Artifact equipment that was bound to them previously.


Edited, Oct 25th 2012 2:06pm by idiggory
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#20 Oct 25 2012 at 12:22 PM Rating: Excellent
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Well that at least makes me feel a bit better. For a game that you may actually use your CDs in, it's nice to have a place to put them. 24 slots seems plenty, as much of the remaining bars seems to be crazy long CDs, stims, mounts, QT, etc. for me anyway. Can't see it being a big problem anymore.

The FP/WZ thing doesn't really bother me, mainly because they've been consistent about that for a while. It's not a huge shocker or anything. They did kind of sell it as 'story mode' play. But really I'd like to see them either remove the '# of rolls' restriction or the gear quality restriction. Having both in place seems rather unnecessary. Getting items you can't equip is good motivation to pay. They're in your bag, tempting you... Not being able to get items you can't equip does nothing really.

The human/Zabrak/Cyborg thing seems a bit limiting to me, but given the 1-time fee to unlock, it's not something I'm gonna get into a fuss over.
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#21 Oct 25 2012 at 12:23 PM Rating: Excellent
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Okay, preferred status is a savior.

Nicely done.
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#22 Oct 25 2012 at 12:44 PM Rating: Good
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I'm still ****** about their position switch on Cartel Coins though. I have 8 days left on my sub. I'm not resubbing. Chances are F2P launch won't be next Tuesday.

And I went back to look at their original announcement page, which hasn't been updated. The fine print CLEARLY says it applies to former players on applicable rewards. Their "if subbed" requirement is definitely new, not just announced late. And it's such an act of greed...

I really like BioWare. But if EA doesn't back off soon, that's going to have to change.
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#23 Oct 26 2012 at 8:35 AM Rating: Excellent
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Can't blame you for that. It's $9 of free stuff so to speak.

Of course if you renew now you'll give them $15 more you'll be able to get like $11 of free crap from their store. Tell me that isn't a scam... Smiley: lol

Edited, Oct 26th 2012 7:37am by someproteinguy
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#24 Oct 26 2012 at 10:20 AM Rating: Excellent
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someproteinguy wrote:
(assuming those levels listed on the crystals are a bug or something, because honestly +41 of anything at level 10 would be game-breaking...)]


Well bummer...

Quote:
So the other bit of discussion to have is about the color crystals. I thought in this case that I would start the discussion with all of you, so that you could understand our logic and guide our thinking.

Currently, these crystals appear in cartel packs with a level 10 requirement, and on the store with a level 35 requirement, in order to access stats roughly equal to a standard level 50 color crystal. It's worth noting that color crystals are something that the itemization team stopped improving the itemization of shortly after launch, because people really hated losing their signature lightsaber color because it was no longer Best in Slot. We have, incidentally, seriously entertained removing all itemization from color crystals entirely (it makes many problems go away for us), but we didn't have the time to make such a large change on itemization before this patch went live.

The reason why we put these in with low level requirement is pretty simple: getting an item you can't use in the Cartel Packs really sucks. It's the same reason we pursued the tech that allowed us to make mounts adaptive - we expect a very large influx of new players when we launch free to play, and those guys opening cartel packs to get items they can't use for months (literally, for casual players!) is a negative experience, not a positive one.

So after discussing with the balance team, we decided to put these in with lower level requirements, with the following reasoning:

The balance math shows the bump to be pretty good at level 10 (not something the balance team was uncomfortable with, though), but pretty unremarkable by the time you hit, say, level 30 or so. Since pretty much open world PvP doesn't happen at those low levels, the impact on open world PvP is pretty much negligable.
The way the math works out, the benefit pretty much washed away by the bolster system in warzones, which means there is no significant advantage there.
The crystals are exactly as good as end-game color crystals, which means they have ZERO impact on endgame activities (level 50 ranked warzones, operations, heroic flashpoints, etc). We're still philosophically avoiding putting any stat advantage at this level that subscribers cannot earn through reasonable normal play.
The fact that these items are fully tradeable means that players who do think there's a balance advantage here can acquire them on the GTN for pure credits without spending a single cartel coin.


The net result of all of this is that slapping one of these color crystals in your saber at level 10 effectively makes levelling from levels 10 up somewhat easier, with the benefits tapering off quickly as the player levels up, and eventually zeroing out altogether. We felt, in general, that that was okay. The focus groups that we ran also seemed to think it was okay, as long as we avoided endgame power.

We are more than open to having a discussion about this and other options here (with the proviso that we have very limited time to make changes before this goes live!) if this continues to be perceived as an issue.


For a MMO that is so heavily pushing (and I'd argue heavily dependent on, as it's kinda their strong point) the class stories and leveling content I'm a bit surprised they would stick to this. Introducing some imbalance in that part of the game. Granted it's largely solo play, but it's going to stink up grouping for the lower level Herioc Missions.


Edited, Oct 26th 2012 9:22am by someproteinguy
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#25 Oct 26 2012 at 10:52 AM Rating: Good
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It might be part of the balancing act to address the fact that you can't use purple gear, though. Unless low level purple gear is exempt, that is.

Still a big stat increase, sure. But you can duo through Esseles with normal quest gear, so it's not like it's a massive imbalance there.

Really, when it comes down to it, the effect of 41 stat points at level 10 (while huge) is still realistically less significant than what legacy gear did in WoW. Especially when, as they say, it has no impact on PVP.

[EDIT]

Really, compare it to the +100 Presence from the Human legacy unlock. That's a MUCH larger impact than 41 stat points in general, because Presence has a stronger impact per point in general, and we are talking double the amount. Unless you are bringing along a class with a lot of CC, a companion with that bonus is realistically a better investment in lower level groups.

So it's not too untoward.

Edited, Oct 26th 2012 12:54pm by idiggory
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#26 Oct 26 2012 at 11:12 AM Rating: Excellent
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*sigh* so true.

It's just one of those things for me I suppose. A preference for keeping gear a bit more matched between the "i just grabbed quest stuff" crowd and the "I'm maxing out my character as I level" crowd. Probably simply because it tend to lend itself to pointless dramas in low-level groups. Not that there's really any way to avoid that I suppose, still though.

I like their idea about just having the color be cosmetic though. Smiley: smile
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#27 Oct 26 2012 at 11:16 AM Rating: Good
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Anyone ******** about low-level drops enough for it to be a problem is someone I want on my ignore list anyway.
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#28 Oct 26 2012 at 11:17 AM Rating: Excellent
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Smiley: lol
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#29 Oct 26 2012 at 3:38 PM Rating: Good
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I don't understand why they put stats on the crystals in the first place. I'm still running around with low level crystals in my guns because I really like the orange color and orange crystals are a pain in the *** to come by.
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#30 Oct 26 2012 at 4:17 PM Rating: Good
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I can only imagine it was to create a market for color crystals tbh.
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#31 Oct 27 2012 at 7:36 AM Rating: Good
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Oh yeah, that is probably why. I'm trying to remember how SWG made a market for color crystals, but that game worked a bit differently with regards to weapons. Not sure crystals were used for anything but lightsabers in that game, and that market was, prior to the NGE, fairly low in itself.

Oh well, it's not like running with low level crystals will kill anyone, it's only 10-20 points. I'm blasting through stuff just fine on my characters regardless. Smiley: smile
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#32 Oct 27 2012 at 9:13 AM Rating: Good
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Yeah, I never switched my color crystal to one I didn't want just because of stats. Usually ran blue for both my Jedi, but occasionally used Orange and Green.

Give me a purple and I'll never use anything else.
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#33 Oct 29 2012 at 9:37 AM Rating: Excellent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:

Give me a purple and I'll never use anything else.


Smiley: nod

Still yet to get one myself. But my highest lightsaber user is a level 21 sorcerer at the moment, so that's mostly my fault. Smiley: blush
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#34 Oct 31 2012 at 2:43 AM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
I'm still ****** about their position switch on Cartel Coins though. I have 8 days left on my sub. I'm not resubbing. Chances are F2P launch won't be next Tuesday.

And I went back to look at their original announcement page, which hasn't been updated. The fine print CLEARLY says it applies to former players on applicable rewards. Their "if subbed" requirement is definitely new, not just announced late. And it's such an act of greed...

I really like BioWare. But if EA doesn't back off soon, that's going to have to change.


EA is the nail in the coffin for Bioware I think. I hate to be doom and gloom about it, but the bits and pieces I've snatched up over the (very very hectic) last few months have all been very negative.

EA's hunger will never truly be sated.
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