The Old Republic Begins "High Population Server" Testing

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The Old Republic Begins "High Population Server" Testing

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Star Wars: The Old Republic will soon see "significantly increased" populations on its game servers.

In an effort to provide a "better overall gameplay experience" to players of Star Wars: The Old Republic, BioWare is looking to boost concurrent player populations with the introduction of new "high population server tech." To begin the process, the studio has copied all characters from its East Coast servers to a newly-opened public test server, and is asking players to log into that server and give it the business.

Players using the test server are asked to inform BioWare about any bugs or issues they run into on the Public Test Server Forum. Standard customer support will not be provided for the test server, however, and efforts to file tickets will not be processed. Otherwise, all the usual policies are in place, and inappropriate or abusive behavior should be reported as usual.

A big part of the fun in MMOs comes from the experience being "massive," and from that perspective this sounds like a really good idea - the more the merrier, and all that. But given the game's well-publicized troubles, it also sounds rather suspiciously like a server merge, which is often necessary but rarely a good sign.

Full details on The Old Republic's high population server test, including instructions on how to take part, are up at swtor.com.

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Are there enough people playing the game to warrant this?

Server merges!

The next step of a failure MMO.

SaintlyTurkey:
Are there enough people playing the game to warrant this?

Not on any single server. This is basically them testing out the backend before they start merging servers. Most likely, they plan to have a single server per region after the merges are done.

It's basically EA admitting that they fucked up and that TOR is gonna be dead in another year or two.

Which is unfortunate IMO. TOR did MMO leveling damn near perfectly, the only real flaw is that it gets somewhat grindy the last 10 levels or so. It's still the best pre-endgame MMO out there. It's a sad day when something done so well ends up failing because the developers were too caught up in emulating WoW's endgame.

They've already had one round of server mergers, or server consolidations or whatever they called it, so it's possible this is just what it appears. They've every reason to expect a big influx of new players when the game goes F2P in... November, I think.

How many of them will stay and/or spend money is a whole different question. I still think they're crazy for giving away the levelling/story content for free, given that that'll be the main draw for their new 'casual' audience.

I would just like to say that I greatly enjoy this game as its a casual mmo players dream, I was skeptical at first but it grew on me. I intend to pay for 3 months before f2p changes it forever and then I flee to Guild Wars 2. I'm excepting every post after this to be full of bioware haters which will sting because I do infact still have fun playing.

I see the sarcasm in those quotations, Andy... You can't fool me.

I'm reminded of DCUO's switch to megaservers. I wonder if EA/Bioware are planning something similar.

This is a very good idea and can only be beneficial in the long run. Eve manages it, WoW manages it and SWTOR failed to do it and it cost them. MMOs thrive because of their playerbase. A popular game will attract and hold onto more players than one with fewer players. An MMO needs players to make it easy to find groups for content at all levels, to provide challenging and balanced PvP, to show off ones shiny loots to and so on.

The reason the population dipped so low last Feb was that there were too many servers each with not enough people. Mine became close to a ghost town and was almost impossible to find a group for any content between levels 15-49. They left the solution too long and it cost too many players who didn't want to sub to an MMO without the MM. I can't stand EA or their business practices, but I'd like to see SWTOR succeed. It's the last of my ex-fanboy goodwill toward BW and they did make a stirling MMO. Also WoW needs competition and players need alternatives to it.

Considering how much you have to fight over quest mobs/items already...this sounds really annoying. Unless they phase/instance the areas like other games do or make quest itmes person specific like GW2.

I hope no bothans died to bring us this information.

oh? all things considered, how many people they expecting to go to ToR when it goes F2P?

Honestly...it does not matter.

The game was interesting but I have no intention of going back.
I loved playing a Trooper or a Bounty Hunter.

But really besides the story its nothing new.
End game is so FREAKING boring.

Early on they had it right, combat was FUN and exciting.
Later on every enemy was just taking forever to down.

Before anyone says "dont know how to play" I KNOW how to build a DPS build. Late game was NOT fun.

Right on! I hope this goes on with them.

wow, they are really nailing world of warcraft to the wall.

I stoped playing a month ago (played for about 3) but while this is good for pre-endgame it will just piss off end game players. It takes forever to do the dailys if their are more than 20 people doing them as half are kill X amount of people or Destroy X amount of boxes and they take forever to respwan and their are too few. For example one daily mission is Destroy 4 weapon cache's. There are only 6 cache's and they take about 5 mins to respwan.

While I hope SWTOR lives on, I myself have recently cancelled my subs with it. After levelling my 4th char to 50 and having completed all the raiding content, there's just nothing more to do. And the raiding content wasn't even that great to begin with.

They've tried to breathe some life back into it with a couple of server events, just like the ones WoW did (and then made seasonal ones which mattered even less), but while the first one was pretty cool, the second one was boring as hell.

Honestly, I really want to love this game but.. I just can't. It feels like everything it's doing, WoW has already done better. And I eventually got tired of that as well.

Maybe I'm so jaded by the modern MMO experience that I just can't enjoy that genre anymore :/

It doesnt matter how big the servers are if every map isolates you from the rest of the server. When I played there might have been 200 people in the fleet hub, but maybe a dozen on a particular planet. I was pretty pumped to get to Ilium, only to find out sometimes I was the only person on the whole planet. The way they broke up the zones made them feel smaller (population wise) than they really were.

Wow, Daniel Erikson's super server really is happening. Even after he no longer works there.

So I wonder how empty it will be.
Seriously, with WoW still going strong, and Guild Wars 2's recent release, TOR seems like a very niche game right now.

Comocat:
It doesnt matter how big the servers are if every map isolates you from the rest of the server. When I played there might have been 200 people in the fleet hub, but maybe a dozen on a particular planet. I was pretty pumped to get to Ilium, only to find out sometimes I was the only person on the whole planet. The way they broke up the zones made them feel smaller (population wise) than they really were.

Since the server transfers that's much improved. I play, and rarely do I have any difficulty finding other players to group with or interact with.

tmande2nd:
Honestly...it does not matter.

The game was interesting but I have no intention of going back.
I loved playing a Trooper or a Bounty Hunter.

But really besides the story its nothing new.
End game is so FREAKING boring.

Early on they had it right, combat was FUN and exciting.
Later on every enemy was just taking forever to down.

Before anyone says "dont know how to play" I KNOW how to build a DPS build. Late game was NOT fun.

That's an issue with coefficients really. I'd say the bigger flaw is making companions more or less mandatory rather than a choice.

I don't know about you, but my Sith dude should NOT need help to tear apart lesser enemies, which is actally kinda strange considering how borderline useless companions are by the end of the game. Shit takes forever to kill, companions and to a lesser extent, the player can't take three shots before being severely injured, and the flow just has a major breakdown. In the earlier more fun levels, you can jump from group to group ripping things apart before having some downtime maybe every seven minutes or so, but by the end of the game, even just Strong enemies leave you needing to rest up after each and every single fucking one. Imagine if in your favorite shooter, you had to stop fighting after every. single. solitary. encounter. to spend six seconds healing up before moving on.

I gotta say, this would have been better at the start of the game, it was extremely difficult to find people for heroics or instances, oh and there was never more than 120 people on any given planet. Really annoying.

Allthingsspectacular:
Server merges!

The next step of a failure MMO.

N-N-N-Ninja Post!

They tried to beat an established market leader at it's own game. Well done EA, for failing so hard you've probably won a trophy somewhere.

I guess they don't watch extra credits.

Anarchy Online is a better sci-fi MMO and it runs on DX 7.

SaintlyTurkey:
Are there enough people playing the game to warrant this?

Yes, and that number will increase once the FTP option is implemented. Which is why they are doing this.

Crazy Zaul:
Wow, Daniel Erikson's super server really is happening. Even after he no longer works there.

He still works there. Your journalistic skills need some work, Jimmy Olsen.

mattttherman3:
I gotta say, this would have been better at the start of the game, it was extremely difficult to find people for heroics or instances, oh and there was never more than 120 people on any given planet. Really annoying.

I agree..

Had they had this, worthwhile PVP, and any shred of endgame they would be doing much better than they are.

Devoneaux:

tmande2nd:
Honestly...it does not matter.

The game was interesting but I have no intention of going back.
I loved playing a Trooper or a Bounty Hunter.

But really besides the story its nothing new.
End game is so FREAKING boring.

Early on they had it right, combat was FUN and exciting.
Later on every enemy was just taking forever to down.

Before anyone says "dont know how to play" I KNOW how to build a DPS build. Late game was NOT fun.

That's an issue with coefficients really. I'd say the bigger flaw is making companions more or less mandatory rather than a choice.

I don't know about you, but my Sith dude should NOT need help to tear apart lesser enemies, which is actally kinda strange considering how borderline useless companions are by the end of the game. Shit takes forever to kill, companions and to a lesser extent, the player can't take three shots before being severely injured, and the flow just has a major breakdown. In the earlier more fun levels, you can jump from group to group ripping things apart before having some downtime maybe every seven minutes or so, but by the end of the game, even just Strong enemies leave you needing to rest up after each and every single fucking one. Imagine if in your favorite shooter, you had to stop fighting after every. single. solitary. encounter. to spend six seconds healing up before moving on.

Very true really.

Early game was EPIC because you were mowing down baddies.
They just...really dropped the ball.

Funny way to phrase server merges.

I liked how this article was fucking blanketed in Guild Wars 2 ads for me.

Just waiting for the game to go free-to-play before I blaze through all the story content. Shame they didn't just make KotOR 3. I'd have actually paid for that, and I wouldn't have all the stupid MMO side-quest crap to deal with at the same time.

Wow... I read the title, and was all like:

"They gunna make stuff like mini EVE Online Servers? That's pretty cool!"

Then I read the posts, and heard the death rattle.

Oh Bioware, you can't unsink a sinking ship with a tiny little bucket

I like this game i was even going to resub at one point when the words f2p came out officially, which just stopped me dead, was no point anymore waiting for a few patches for the content i wanted, was no use hoping that people would come back in droves with the new patches, since 90%ish of people would just wait for it to go f2p anyway, just see how bad they can f up the f2p end of the game and give it a look then.

Comocat:
It doesnt matter how big the servers are if every map isolates you from the rest of the server. When I played there might have been 200 people in the fleet hub, but maybe a dozen on a particular planet. I was pretty pumped to get to Ilium, only to find out sometimes I was the only person on the whole planet. The way they broke up the zones made them feel smaller (population wise) than they really were.

this a thousqand times this. Its one of the only majkor complaints i have about guild wars 2 as well. I don't understand why its so hard for developers to grasp that an mmo needs to feel connected and persistant, constant loading screens ruin that. Wow was able to build a world with only 1 loading screen in the entirety of the overworld 10 years ago. I don't understand why game companies can't do that now. Well thats not true. I do understand it just makes me very sad. A world built of several dozen instanced zones is far cheaper to run on a server than a single/few multi-zone continents.

walrusaurus:

Comocat:
It doesnt matter how big the servers are if every map isolates you from the rest of the server. When I played there might have been 200 people in the fleet hub, but maybe a dozen on a particular planet. I was pretty pumped to get to Ilium, only to find out sometimes I was the only person on the whole planet. The way they broke up the zones made them feel smaller (population wise) than they really were.

this a thousqand times this. Its one of the only majkor complaints i have about guild wars 2 as well. I don't understand why its so hard for developers to grasp that an mmo needs to feel connected and persistant, constant loading screens ruin that. Wow was able to build a world with only 1 loading screen in the entirety of the overworld 10 years ago. I don't understand why game companies can't do that now. Well thats not true. I do understand it just makes me very sad. A world built of several dozen instanced zones is far cheaper to run on a server than a single/few multi-zone continents.

Anet does it to keep costs down for the server overhead pure and simple, instancing people across multiple servers is simply the easiest way.

Most old school MMOs were open world, even the dungeons were not instanced in my first mmo, you had to portal in but if there was an event going on there could be hundreds in a single dungeon camping the same spot. Great for immersion but horrible if you were trying to play on a work night or had some kinda life to live :P.

Merging servers, or preparing for influx of players once game goes f2p ?

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