If you are new or returning to the game, please use this thread to ask whatever questions you may have.
Here are some great starting resources for questions you may have about the Cartel Market and F2P/Preferred restrictions:
Conversation and Reactions about changes:
A couple of notes for Returning Players:
1) You will automatically have Preferred status if you have spent money on the game in the past. (Box purchase, subscription, authenticator)
2) You have until January 7th to resubscribe for one month to claim your bonus Cartel Coins. Log in the website and visit http://www.swtor.com/user/cartelcoins to see how many you could earn.
3) 350K currency cap, not removable at this time. Many other restrictions can be unlocked by purchasing them off the GTN instead of through real money and the Cartel Market. If you resub for one month you have time to use the combination of your excess credits and bonus Cartel Coins to unlock the game and potentially play for free.
4) Your XP is reduced starting at level 10, but can be boosted with items from the market (which are also sold on the GTN)
5) After 5 times, you will no longer be able to revive in the field without purchasing field revive items on the market.
A couple of notes for New Players:
1) Any purchase of $4.99 or more will automatically grant you Preferred status. If you are serious about trying the game and think you will play even a week, please do yourself a favor and buy the $4.99 coin package or an authenticator.
2) Currency cap of 200K, which will be bumped to 350K if you heed step number one.
3) The game is very limited, but many restrictions are eased with your initial $4.99 purchase. If the core design of the game intrigues you enough, but the restrictions are too stifling, you may want to get to Preferred status for a more realistic view of the game. Many of the unlocks can be purchased via in game credits from the GTN, costing you nothing but your time.
If you like the game enough, there is still the classic subscription/game time card option to have full access to the game and unlimited access to what content is currently available.
1) Preferred players have 4 quickslot bars on live.
2) Preferred players will get 6 playable character slots instead of 2 in a future patch.
This post may be updated for error corrections or future changes, but please ask your questions here. Thank you.