Gamers eager to try out Star Wars: The Old Republic, but not willing to pay to get started, are in luck. BioWare announced a Free Trial promotion for the massively multiplayer online role-playing game today, allowing users to try out the game's eight character classes and level their avatars to a maximum of 15.
In addition to trying out the game's classes and traveling through their origin worlds, Free Trial participants can fight against others in the player-versus-player Warzones, or work alongside players through Flashpoints. There is no time limit for the game's Free Trial.
The Star Wars: The Old Republic Free Trial offer comes with a string of limitations. In addition to the above-mentioned level cap, the promotion is good only for those who have never held a previously active Old Republic account. Additionally, Free Trial characters may only play on their origin world, capital world, the Fleet, all Warzones, and their first Flashpoint. Players will be denied entry to any regions outside these areas.
On top of those restrictions, Free Trial players will not be able to send or reply to mail by other trial characters; use general chat, trade chat, or PVP chat; use the Galactic Trade Network; or trade with other players. Lastly, Old Republic Free Trial users will only be able to reach a Crew Skills ranking of "around" 40 and will not earn Legacy XP.
For more on The Old Republic's Free Trial, check out the FAQ page at the game's website.
This is not the first time BioWare has allowed users to play The Old Republic for free, as the game has held a number of free weekends since launch. Additionally, this could be part of BioWare's effort to "look into" a full switch for the game from a subscription model to free-to-play.
With its Free Trial promotion, The Old Republic joins subscription-based MMO juggernaut World of Warcraft in offering a level-limited trial.
Star Wars: The Old Republic launched in December to a warm critical reception, and the game tallied 2 million in sales and attracted 1.7 million paying subscribers by February. In May, publisher Electronic Arts revealed the game had shed 400,000 users, falling to 1.3 million. Later that month, a round of layoffs also hit BioWare.