[SWTOR] Server transfers– A New Hope?

EUservers

It has been a busy couple of weeks for Star Wars: The Old Republic, what with the server transfers and announcements at E3 about new content heading our way before the years’ end. Plagued by aggressive love/hate reactions from the more vocal aspects of the playerbase since well before launch, it perhaps is not surprising that the recently announced server transfers have set the cat among the pigeons. One thing that Bioware have learned from Mythic’s experience with WAR is that once you have decided to go for mergers/ transfers, don’t do it half heartedly.

The first time my WAR characters got pegged for a server merge, I went with it. The second time was harder, and by the time we had a third server merge I was gone already. The SWTOR agenda has been to designate a fairly small number of destination servers and offload lots of origin servers to each one. I do understand that being asked to switch servers, possibly with associated namechange if your character’s name is taken, is a disruptive experience. But it’s so much better than waiting for  long slow server death (which has been a current factor for many WoW servers for awhile, although Blizzard hide it with cross server LFG and BGs) that I’m thrilled that Bioware are taking it seriously. It has been an unqualified lift for my gaming, and I’ll come back to that later.

The screenshot here shows the EU servers as of 5pm today, so not yet peak evening time. It’s clear which the destination servers are here: they are the ones at the top which do not have light loads.

So how is transfer treating people?

I feel for players like Shintar who are wrestling with the decision about whether or not to go, and Kae for whom the disruption of a namechange killed his connection with the game.

My experience has been different.

SWTOR is coming up now on the 6 month mark and sad as I am to see them leave, I’m not really surprised that many of my guildies are drifting away and have been clear that they don’t plan to renew. You could assign this to SWTOR endgame or simply to the fact that most players don’t stick with a new MMO for more than 6 months. It’s very difficult to get estimates on average subscription length for MMOs – my guess is that there’s a huge swathe of players who don’t stay past the first month, then another who drop out at 3 months, probably increasing until the game hits a plateau of sorts. I imagine that older games tend to have a higher average sub length because the proportion of dedicated/core players is higher. (EVE probably has a relatively high average since they have so many players with multiple accounts as well as a generally longterm approach.)

So while I’m still enjoying the game, it has been with a patina of sadness for the last month or so, because I knew my guild was fading and I didn’t really have any plans for what to do next. I played my alts, I read the news, I hung out on my own. And so forth.

Now transfers have changed things quite a lot. I had characters on two different servers (one RP server and one PvE) and one of them was designated an origin server and the other a destination. I decided to transfer my RP characters to The Progenitor (the destination EU ENG RP server) and hung out on the fleet with my consular, with whom I’d finished Act 1. Fleet chat was buzzing, full of excited players who had either just transferred or were enjoying the new crowds. Within an evening I had found a friendly guild and joined a random instance group to run Taral-V and Maelstrom Prison. My new guild seem like a nice bunch, I was interested because they said ‘mature players’ which is usually a code for ‘we know you have a RL and aren’t too hardcore’ and they regularly have 15-20 people on in the evenings and run normal and hard mode Ops. I’m looking forwards to getting to know them better, and will see if more of my old guildies or friends are interested in a RP reroll as I’m sure they’d be welcome also.

alixa1

The fun thing about Consulars (aside from mine being the whitest white person ever created in a character creator ) is that however weird some of their gear can look, they still have much much better hats than Sith Inquisitors. Sadly I don’t have any great pictures yet of SI hats to link – that can be a project for next week. Also, although the storyline is widely held to be one of the weaker ones and certainly starts slow, I’m actually really enjoying it as of Act 2/ beginning of Act 3. It emphasises a) the diplomacy side of the jedi role and b) omg the Republic was actually falling apart as of the beginning of Act 3. How exactly did the empire manage to lose Corellia? (I am now motivated to finish the storyline and find out.)

The consular also develops a rather dry sense of humour, and I rather like her companions.

As for my old server, I’m sad to leave my characters and legacies behind. But it’s now a busy destination server too, with lots of new options should I decide to find another guild there. I suspect RP servers always tend to be my spiritual home, but am not ruling out checking out the scene in Nightmare Lands when I have time. After all, you never know.

So I feel reinvigorated in the game, and am planning to sub for another 6 months. I always meant to try to follow Tipa’s suggestion of spending a whole year in one new game to show some stickability and see how the game and community develop. This is the game I’m going to keep playing, and I’ll try to write at least one post per week to give some honest views on how things are going. I suspect strongly that I will also at some point roll another Sith Warrior because I just enjoyed the setting and storyline so much.

If anyone else is wondering about the transfers, I’d suggest just going for it. The upsides are so much better than the downsides.

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22 thoughts on “[SWTOR] Server transfers– A New Hope?

  1. Glad you are still having a great time and found a new guild. With a heavy heart I unsubbed on Sunday. I am disappointed, because I never even got to experience endgame. I always wanted SWTOR to be the game I played with my SO, and while we had a good pace the first two months, her interest in computer stuff always flags as soon as the weather is good enough to ride her horse every day. We hope to come back eventually, but I suppose Crusade will be gone then. Just like in Rift, the SWTOR guild was good company. Hopefully, I will return sometime to finish my class stories at least.

    • It was good having you around, and I still hope to be able to play with you someday in some game. One of the nice things about SWTOR is that the class quests will age well, they’ll always be there if you want to come back. And I think they’ll add some good stuff to it as well.

  2. “This is the game I’m going to keep playing, and I’ll try to write at least one post per week to give some honest views on how things are going.”

    This is a really good idea. I’ve been flipping around various MMOs for a year or so but in the last few weeks I declared that I was dedicated to RIFT and going to stick with it. I think I’ll steal your idea of writing a post per week to help keep me focussed.

  3. I’m glad that you’re having fun in TOR again … so am I! The server merge (transfer, whatever you want to call it) was painful at first because no one likes change. But it has done WONDERS for the game! It’s absolutely fantastic.

  4. The guild I’m in, Heresy, has just transferred to Nightmare Lands. The actual process was painless, hopefully the beddin gin on the server will be too.

    Sadly I had to leave my Merc’s name behind – so long Kincaid, Hello Ulvheart! Back to my old WoW Paladin name…

  5. I’m glad that you’re finding a new community there and that it’s giving you a new life to the TOR experience. I have also migrated over to Progenitor recently with my guild and understand what you mean – the community there seems so much nicer and more vibrant for it.

    I understand on losing the name though – I have gone from Tia to Karyn and it’s just not felt quite the same. It’s strange how you grow attached to it!

    Glad you’re enjoying the consular as well. On reflection, I think it’s one of my favourite of the stories – especially the section you describe!

    Come look me up sometime if you want to run a flashpoint!

  6. I’m looking forward to reading more about your experiences in TOR!

    And I’m glad that the server transfer worked out well for you. I think the point where their guilds fall apart is where many players decide to call it a day, so it’s always good to see when someone can pick themselves up and start over.

    • I think it’s plain nice that everyone is enjoying TOR’s community once again. Must have been tough to take the move on your own though. Guess though if it’s that or wind down your time on those characters, it’s more compelling.

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  8. I actually really liked the Consular storyline, which must make me abnormal! So far, transferring to a busy server has really made the game fun. I think the Flashpoints are very well done if you can find people to run them. On my new server (The Harbinger), there are constant groups forming for all levels from Ops to lowbie FP. It is very encouraging to anticipate the group finder in light of the heavy pops!

  9. Welcome to Emo Fish! Even if you are playing on the dirty side of the faction divide. Progenitor has been my home since the game went live and I’ve always found it to be really nice. With the new influx of people things are looking up and up.

  10. I honestly wish Blizzard would just bite the bullet and start looking at closing down servers. We all know it would be an overt admittance that the game is in decline (however slow), but it would be much better for everyone involved. I, too, moved to Nightmare Lands and was happy to see that Zellviren wasn’t taken, but am impressed by the mood. Rather than doomsaying, people are accepting that they have something in common and want the game to do well.

    It bodes well for the future.

    My own personal experience of SW:TOR, however, is that I was gutted about unsubscribing because I really wanted it to do well and become my “main” game. When my subscription runs out at the end of July, I’ll make a call depending on how much more we know about any changes to the payment model before deciding whether to resubscribe. Unfortunately, however, it just didn’t push the right buttons for me and chose to inherit much of my personal dislikes with the genre rather than do anything truly innovative. Add that to the fact EA forced release of what was essentially a beta [CONJECTURE], and it made the game rough going.

    I still think it’s a good enough game, and I think getting more players into the same place may just see a resurgence once the LFG tool goes in.

  11. I’m sure once the transfers/merges are done the community will settle down and start to recover. Change is hard and can have unexpected consequences sometimes.

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