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Some Change of SWTOR on April (27th)

Guest Jannick

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BioWare’s Keith Kanneg announced the end for the Refer a Friend program in SWTOR. By the end of April (27th) this program will be terminated and some of its benefits and rewards will be moved or added to other parts of the game going forward!


Keith Kanneg, the SWTOR Game Director, posted a lengthy message on the official forums to announce the end of the popular Refer a Friend program in Star Wars the Old Republic.


What is the Refer a Friend Program

This programs allows players to share a unique URL with their friends, followers or random people. When someone clicked on this URL, they would be considered referred to SWTOR by the referrer (the person, whose link they clicked).


“The program is meant to incentivize sharing your link with friends, encouraging them to join you in our galaxy far, far away, and granting meaningful rewards to both of you. This helps you (and the community) by increasing the number of players to play with, and it also introduces people who’ve never played SWTOR to one of the biggest Star Wars experiences in an online game.” – said Keith.


The link granted the player a limited seven-day subscription-like experience in SWTOR. For seven days many of the limitations and locks would be lifted and F2P and Prefered players would be able to enjoy the content SWTOR has to offer on a level that is close to “Subscriber” or as EA likes to call it now “Premium player”. Close, but not quite.


The Refer a Friend program doesn’t actually give you access to story content that is gated behind a subscription. That was the biggest drawback many didn’t expect to face after the initial sign up.


The Refer a Friend program will end on April 27th, but buy swtor credist is always available at https://www.ssegold.com/swtor-gold, Keith stated in his announcement:


“On April 27th we will begin sunsetting our current Refer-a-Friend (RAF) program. Starting on that day, you will no longer be able to refer new players into the program via your RAF link–however any current referrals will remain in place.”


Why is BioWare ending the Refer a Friend program in SWTOR

The program’s main goal for BioWare and EA from business point of view was to attract new players to check out their product and eventually pay a Subscription for a month or more.


They used the player base to help them advertise this program by allowing them (us) to share our unique links. There are quite a lot of nice incentives for players to share their links and try to make their friends also try the game.


The program has been online for so many years, I had to check out the first referred players on my own link to remember when it launched – August 2013, or around that time.


The program never met the studio’s expectations, though: “RAF is not quite meeting that goal.” – Keith said. That was al he said.


I have my own thoughts to share, though. The majority of players who used it were not new, but rather old returning ones, who only wanted to play the game for a little while with fewer restrictions. And most of the new players, who joined through the program, probably did not last long or did not subscribe at all after that first week.


Refer a Friend SWTOR Program official page


Over the years the program became a way for the (in-game) rich players to offer large amounts of credits or other goodies to people, who use their links. This could be BioWare’s biggest reason to end the program.


This problem continued to grow thanks especially to the ongoing and never-ending destruction the Cartel Market caused to the in-game economy with a large influx of expensive new shinies coming from the Store directly available for credits on the GTN.


The amount of “free Cartel Coins” earned through this program using means outside of the actual SWTOR gameplay, was not to BioWare’s taste, I am sure of that. With the new Galactic Season system coming up, everyone will be able to earn “free Cartel Coins” through gameplay.


What happens to the benefits and rewards this program grants

The Refer a Friend program offers benefits to both sides – the preferring person and the referred player.


“[…] one of the benefits RAF gave brand-new players was free access to Character Titles and the “Unify Color” feature on armor sets.”


What’s happening to these with the ending of the program later this month?


Both of these will become available for free to all players with Game Update 6.3. These unlocks are already disabled from purchase in-game already. It would be unfair for BioWare to continue selling them in the Cartel Market since they made this announcement. Fair and good decision!


The Refer a Friend program offered other things. Valuable things. Examples are the very nice mount that helps new and low level players get a free boost in transportation.


The Kurtob Alliance Speeder was the first thing referring players earned for sharing their links. This thing was absolutely amazing back in the day – sturdy, fast and cool-looking mount that will not break and explode after two rifle shots coming from the ever-so-ambushing-you Tusken Raiders.

The Kurtob Alliance Speeder is the first thing that introduces players to link sharing. This thing is absolutely amazing today - robust, fast and a cool vehicle that doesn't break and explode after two rifle shots from such a Tusker raider.


The little robot pets you get by referring other players through the unique link are nice, but nothing special. They are practically the same model of robot, just with a different color scheme and a unique name.


Is there anything else that could replace this program

NO. There are no other plans to fill the void the program will leave in the SWTOR community.


"We really wanted to take the time to evaluate what was right about the old system, what was wrong, and what made the most sense in order to achieve the goals of the RAF program in today's games." - Keith explained.


You can still visit the official "Refer a Friend" page on swtor.com and see full details of the program (if available). If you want, you can read Keith's full message here too.


You still have time to use the link. Click your own link before April 27, 2021 to keep your friends or favorite content creators happy.


What's so special on April 27th

It is Tuesday. Tuesday is a popular day for patch releases in the MMO developer (and game developer) world. With our upcoming release of SWTOR 6.3, that date is very appropriate.


There is still no official announcement from BioWare regarding the 6.3 release date. However, they are likely to target April 27th for a number of other reasons. The studio typically doesn't release previously tested products until about two weeks after the PTS cycle - in which case the SWTOR 6.3 PTS closed earlier this week - and on Monday the statement read


Where one ends, another begins! SWTOR 6.3 brings the new Galactic Seasons System, which gives you free Cartel Coins and somewhat replaces the Cartel Coins you may have earned through the "Refer a Friend" program.


Another important feature in 6.3 is the new Flashpoint on Dantooine, which includes Darth Malgus!

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