It's easy to overlook even the largest and most well-received gaming properties this time of year, with juggernaut titles seeming to never cease releasing. While BioWare may be storming the sales charts with Mass Effect 3, there is one game from the studio that may have slipped the minds of serious RPG fans. In case you missed the boat on Star Wars: The Old Republic, this weekend brings the opportunity to get a first dose of the MMO without any pesky subscription fees to worry about.
The Weekend Pass Free Trial kicks off at 12:01 AM CT on Thursday, March 15, and runs until 2:00 AM CT on the following Monday, March 19. Those interested are instructed to report to the game's official site at that time to download a copy of the game and begin playing. Obviously, downloading the game will take a serious amount of time at even the slowest periods, so it should go without saying that long play sessions that first night aren't guaranteed. Still, that leaves four days of solid play time to see if The Old Republic is everything it's cracked up to be, and deserving of the title of 'fastest-growing MMO in history.'
The free trial includes access to all eight character classes on both the Alliance and Sith sides, with the progression capped at level fifteen. In case that doesn't sound like much, that amount encompasses every origin story, starting planet, and a trip to the respective capitol world and fleet. The starter Flashpoints, 'The Esseles' and 'The Black Talon' are also available for play alongside your friends, as well as PvP Warzones. So whether it's your dream to become a lightsaber-wielding Jedi Knight, or a flamethrowing Bounty Hunter, there should be more than enough content to fill an extended weekend.
While the idea of being able to craft your very own Star Wars saga is almost universally appealing, there is a good chance that a large section of the 'mainstream' gaming crowd was turned off by those comparing the game to World of Warcraft. As for those already neck-deep in WoW, hearing that The Old Republic was just a re-skinned copy likely didn't instill much confidence either. But playing is believing, so hopefully those apprehensive parties will give it a shot this weekend, since the story-telling employed in the MMO is more comparable to Mass Effect than anything else.
Obviously the free weekend is not available for those already subscribed, but those already committed to their own Star Wars adventure still have the massive changes coming to Update 1.2 to look forward to. And as much as some would like to think that this promises a free-to-play model sometime soon, we have to think that bringing The Old Republic to Mac would be higher on BioWare's list of priorities than abandoning monthly income.
If you haven't already tried out SWTOR, are you going to give it a chance this weekend? Or will you be telling your friends to quit missing out and see what you've been enjoying since last December?
The Star Wars: The Old Republic Weekend Pass Free Trial begins at 12:01 AM CT this Thursday, March 15.
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