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April 29th, 2014, 01:53
Buying the artifact authorization in the Cartel is fine, as long as you're willing to do without through most of your leveling, so you can buy it after you've got some credits banked up. But honestly, how important is it to wear purple gear while leveling? In 5 levels, you'll be finding green gear that's better. Just accept the fact that you won't wear purple gear until you're max level, which is fine because that's where it really matters anyway.

In my case, I bought an account-wide artifact unlock when I was in my mid-to-late-40s, when I finally found a decent deal at 450k credits (I had seen it for sale this low a few times during my regular checks as I leveled, so I had a decent idea of how low it could go).

The credit limit is also not that big of a deal, because your credits still accrue in an escrow balance, and you can buy escrow transfers on…wait for it…the Cartel Market! This basically translates into a slight-to-moderate penalty on credit gains for f2p players once you hit the 350k cap.

For example, I currently have 1.8 million credits in escrow, and I also have three 600k escrow transfers, which I picked up for 105k each when some guy dumped a bunch of them. This means that getting access to my 1.8 million credits will have cost me 315k, which essentially translates to a ~15% "tax" on my credit accumulation, which seems totally worth it to me to avoid paying $15/month in perpetuity. And has been mentioned numerous times, credits are easy to come by in this game. Even though that 1.8 mil doesn't show up in my inventory, I know I have access to it anytime I decide to spend it, which is fine with me.

Playing f2p like this is kind of an interesting meta game, where I actually get some enjoyment out of withholding as much money from EA as possible while I enjoy their game. And I don't feel a bit bad about it, because I've seen first-hand how some people spend money hand over fist with every update and new item pack. My guild leader is insane in this regard. I actually got a free ewok companion because he bought like 8 of 'em with real money and handed them out to all the guildmates that were online at the time. Crazy…
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