SWTOR Oceanic Server Free Transfers Announced

makeb5It’s been a while coming, but Eric Musco from BioWare has announced that the free transfer option for Oceanic players who want to get their characters off the three local servers, will be an option from June 4th.

Additionally, you’ll be able to transfer to any SWTOR server worldwide rather than solely North American servers:

Hey everyone,

I know you have been waiting a bit for an update and I wanted to pop in and do exactly that. Starting on Tuesday, June 4th, you will all be allowed a free one time transfer for each character you have on an APAC server. In the last update I gave I told all of you that we were expanding where your one-time transfer could go to include all NA-West servers. After seeing quite a few requests to expand it further, we are going to allow you a one-time transfer to any SWTOR server. To reiterate, starting on Tuesday, June 4th, you will be allowed a one-time transfer for each character you have on an APAC server to any other non-APAC server.



So there we have it: next week will see the beginning of the end of local servers as the populations further decline. There’s still some questions to be answered on how this will work for Guilds etc, so we’ll keep you posted as further information is given.

Over to you: will you be transferring immediately?

Oceanic Players Lose Local SWTOR Servers

No local servers for you

No local servers for you

It’s been on the cards for a while, but BioWare have finally made a call on what will happen with the local servers that have had population issues for quite a while now.

All three servers are being merged into North American ones, with no date set as yet for when this will occur.

The full explanation from Eric Musco at BioWare:

Hey everyone,

I have an update for you on our long term plans for the APAC servers. Before I do that though I want to let you know up front that we still have quite a bit of work to do to make this happen so I cannot provide any timeframes for you today.

We know that when we asked you, the community, for your opinions on what we should do, we received quite a variety of suggested solutions. Some people wanted to be able to transfer to higher populated North American servers, some suggested merging the three existing APAC servers into one large APAC server, and then there were a host of other ideas as well. However, the one common theme from the suggestions, which we heard clearly, is that everyone wants the opportunity to play on higher populated servers. With this in mind, we have evaluated all of the options and determined that the best solution, that will offer the best long term play experience, is to merge the APAC servers with higher populated North American servers.

Getting to the point of being able to merge the servers is going to be a multistep process. First off we need to update our Free Character Transfer System to include the game changes that we have made recently along with the upcoming changes in Game Update 2.0 and the Digital Expansion: Rise of the Hutt Cartel. We will then offer Free Character Transfers to anyone currently playing on an APAC server to a North American server of the same gameplay type, specifically:

Mastar Dar’Nala (PvP) will transfer to The Bastion (PvP)
Gav Daragon (RP-PvE) will transfer to Begeren Colony (RP-PvE)
Dalborra (PvE) will transfer to The Harbinger (PvE)

We will also need to update our server merge technology at which point we will ultimately merge each of the APAC servers into the corresponding North American servers as indicated above. We are moving as quickly as we can to make this happen, but we want to make sure this is a smooth transition, so it will take some time.Why did we decide not to merge the three APAC servers into one large APAC server? We decided this for two main reasons. 1. The issue in doing this is that two play-styles (PvE, PvE-RP, or PvP) would need to sacrifice their desired play-style in order to have one server with a higher population. We feel that it is important that each player is allowed to continue to play SWTOR in their preferred play-style. Therefore, accommodating all the existing play-styles was a primary goal. By allowing you to move to a NA West server, you will be able to keep your play-style. 2. The move to North American servers better delivers on our ultimate goal of providing the best play experience, with the most possible players, long term.

I will continue to provide updates as soon as I have them. I know the next big question will be “when” and as soon as I have that information to release, I will do so. Thank you for your continued patience on this. I know it took longer than you would have liked but I intend to continue to give you information as soon as I can!

It’s sad that local servers are being lost, and I can sort of understand the rationale for not moving to one local server, although cost must have come into that decision as well.

What’s your take? Also – we’re running a poll on the issue – it’s on the right-hand sidebar of the page you’re on now, up towards the top.

Australian SWTOR Servers: Merger or Closures?

Australian SWTOR serversOne of the most fascinating and  frustrating issues we’ve followed here over the past three plus years is the issue of local servers for Star Wars: The Old Republic. More widely it’s an issue of how local players perceive they’ve been treated.

In the months leading to launch there was the controversial issue of launch territories (North America and part of Europe only), then to regular lobbying for local servers (which went live in February this year), the wait to be able to transfer current characters to the oceanic servers and finally the issue of declining populations on the three servers.

It’s the last issue that’s obviously dominating at the moment, with a significant thread running on the official forums. Over the past month or so, BioWare have alluded to the fact they’re looking at the issue, but no announcement has been made.

The latest, brief, non-informative word comes from Joveth Gonzalez:

Hi folks,

Unfortunately, I have no new information at this time. In my last post, I did say that I would update this thread when I had new information but I currently do not.

With that being said, I will make sure to update this thread as soon as I have more information.

As a reminder, please remember to follow forum guidelines within this thread.

Thank you.

I’ve thought server merges have been on the cards for a couple of months and like a number of people I’ll be far from surprised if the local servers are closed altogether. Aside from any challenges the game faces more broadly, the absolute lack of local promotion of the game has made the server issue a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I’d love to hear your thoughts: would the removal of Australian SWTOR servers be an absolute deal-breaker for you?

SWTOR: Oceanic Servers To Be Consolidated?

As you probably already know, the last update to SWTOR saw all servers get 12 character slots – except the three oceanic servers. It’s obviously a problem, and one that BioWare have fully acknowledged:

Folks, I wanted to take some time to let you know that we are listening to your concerns and that they’re important to us. Oceanic servers WILL be getting 12 slots, just like the other servers and we’re going to implement this change the next opportunity that we have.

Additionally, we’ve seen your concerns about Oceanic server populations and we’re going to be evaluating this in the next few days.

We’re listening, and I know you’ve all been patient with us, and for that, I thank you. As soon as I get any update to this, I will let you know here.

Thanks again.


The more interesting part for me is the additional acknowledgement of the issue of server populations locally. They’re going to evaluate and I’d be surprised if the decision wasn’t to knock the three servers down to 2, or even a single server. That said, I’d imagine they’d wait until F2P hits fully before deciding.

It also flags an ongoing issue locally in that there to date has been bugger-all promotion of SWTOR and that’s not likely to improve. Go into your local games store and see if you can find a copy of SWTOR still on the shelves – I know I’ve tried with two stores in the past week and have come up blank. It’s hard to see anything but a decline in local servers, F2P or not, unless something changes in that regard.

Hell, the pessimistic side of me thinks the call may be made to close all oceanic servers and let people take their chances on the US or EU ones. I’d like to think that’s definitely very pessismistic though.

What’s your take – do you want to see the larger server populations and if so how do you think it should be done?

Guild Wars 2 Oceanic Servers: Petition

With the Guild Wars 2 beta firing up this weekend, it’s worth mentioning there’s already plenty of activity locally around agitating for local servers.

For those of you with a Facebook account, you might like to go to this page to lodge your ‘vote’ for Oceanic servers for GW2.

Over to you: are you taking part in the beta, or will you be buying the game at launch?

We’d also love to know about your GW2 guilds and would be happy to profile them on TOG. Just drop us a line and we’ll take it from there.

SWTOR Free Server Transfers: ‘Late April’

UPDATE: 18th April 2012 – The actual transfer date and conditions have been announced.

The FAQ for the Asia-Specific launch has now been updated, and it clarifies to some extent when the free server transfers will occur.  The quote in full is:

Qualified players in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, or Singapore, will be offered one-time free character transfers to Asia Pacific servers for a limited time period in late April. No specific date has been confirmed at this time. We will be sending an email to all qualified players by early March with more details. Stay tuned to www.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com for more information.

So for those hoping to transfer their primary toon in the next week or so, you have a bit of a wait yet. My guess is that the transfers may be part of a wider implementation of server transfers for the game as a whole. So I suppose you’ll just need to start levelling up an alt – I know I am.

SWTOR Asia-Pacific Server Details Announced

March the 1st isn’t just about SWTOR making a PR splash locally. For both veteran and new players, the availability of servers is the biggest news of the lot locally.

BioWare / EA have ‘announced’ the details of the local servers in that they’ve appeared on the Server Status page. This fact was picked up by the eagle-eyed Orin (thanks Orin!). BioWare’s Stephen Reid has also posted all the details (see below).

The names of the servers are:

PvP server: Master Dar’Nala

PvE server: Dalborra

RP-PvE server: Gav Daragon

Here’s a shot from the server status page:

And Stephen Reid’s announcement:

Good morning, or to those of you on the other side of the world, good morning… for tomorrow.

This week we officially launch Star Wars: The Old Republic in several new territories, including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Lots of more information on all aspects of the launch will be released tomorrow in an update to our official FAQ, but as we’ve heard requests for server names and timing, we thought we’d give you those details a little earlier.

Here’s our official launch timing. All servers will be online simultaneously at approx 5:01AM CST (Austin time), but with timezones straddling a date:

New Zealand: 12:01am NZDT (March 1st)
Australia: 10:01pm EDT (February 29th)
Singapore: 7:01pm SGT (February 29th)
Hong Kong: 7:01pm HKT (February 29th)

We’ll be launching with three initial servers dedicated to these territories. As previously mentioned, these servers are physically located in Australia:

Dalborra (PvE)
Master Dar’Nala (PvP)
Gav Daragon (RP PvE)

If demand requires we open additional servers, we have the hardware ready to go. Our Live Production team will be carefully monitoring server population and potential queues to ensure the best possible experience for players.

As mentioned many more details about the Oceanic launch will be forthcoming in tomorrow’s FAQ update, so look out for it!

In the same thread, Stephen Reid confirms in regard to the free server transfers:

Those emails are planned to be sent later this week, not long after official launch timing

Over to you: will you be transferring and if so to which server? If you’re a guild master and want to notify people which server you’re going to, feel free to post away in the comments!

SWTOR oceanic server location confirmed!

You’ll need to listen to our most recent podcast for Stephen Reid’s take on Oceanic servers, but here’s the take-home messages:

1. The servers WILL be physically located in Australia

2. The specific location is unconfirmed at this stage but is likely to be Sydney or Melbourne

3. A broader announcement on local launch will be made in coming days and there will be no great surprises on the launch date.

We’ll have a full transcript of the Q&A up later today, but if you want the info hot off the wires, then listen to the podcast.

UPDATE (29th February 2012): The full details on server names can be found here.

Suggestion Box: Oceanic server names

Another weekend, another issue to chew over. Actually, this week there’s two. The first one is a direct call for your input: in a week’s time we’ll be chatting with BioWare’s Stephen Reid and we want YOUR questions to ask him. So head over here and post your questions in the format described in the post!

For discussion right here, right now, is a little bit of speculation about Oceanic servers. In particular, what names would you like to see them have?

Feel free to suggest either a more ‘official’, lore-friendly option or go all out and suggest some humorous / catchy / funky ones. For what it’s worth I’m thinking DragonFinn for a name – as both Australia and New Zealand claim ownership over both Dragon and the Finns 😉

Fire away!