Get ready to clear your schedules, gamers! Bioware just announced some new reasons why you might want to start playing, (or return to playing), Star Wars: The Old Republic. The thing that caught my attention the most is the announcement that starting in July of this year, SWTOR will be free to play (up to level 15).
This isn’t the first time that a gaming company decided to give players this type of “freebie”. Blizzard Entertainment, a company that Bioware has been compared to, and contrasted with, has a Starter Edition Account. It allows gamers to play World of Warcraft for free, with certain limitations.
You can level your character in WoW to 20 with the Starter Edition Account. You can’t level any higher, but you can continue to play for free under the limitations imposed by the Starter Edition Account. One can reasonably assume that SWTOR’s “free to play” account will have some restrictions, as well.
SWTOR will also be adding a brand new world to the game, called Makeb. It will come with new quests and tasks for players to do. The level cap will be increased. A new companion, HK-51, will be added. There will be a brand new playable species called the Cathar. The Twitterverse has been referring to them as “Cat People” all day, and it is a reasonable description.
Personally, I have been somewhat interested in SWTOR since it was first released. Some of my friends play it, and they seem to be (mostly) enjoying it. I’m fairly certain I would find amusement in joining the Dark Side of the Force. Unfortunately, I use a Mac, and SWTOR is not Mac compatible (unless you run it through Bootcamp). So, I guess what I’m saying is that the announcement I really wanted to hear out of E3 2012 today was that SWTOR was being released in a Mac version. Oh, well. Perhaps they will, someday, make that happen.