SWTOR: Server Merges Take 2

Last night, BioWare continued its concentration of players into ever fewer servers in both the European and North American zones.

This process started in June where they tried to lure people across to the designated ‘destination’ servers with promises of vanity treats. Unsurprisingly, not everyone nibbled at these virtual goodies and stubbornly stayed where they were. Last night the forced evictions occurred and all the remaining holdouts got corralled into their new, higher population residence. That wasn’t surprising and we all knew it was coming. What did raise a couple of eyebrows was that the number of destination servers had actually shrunk. North America now only has eight, down from twelve in the original merger strategy. European servers also lost two of their former destination servers.

Obviously this means that those unlucky enough to have had naming issues when they moved to The Fatman, Corellian Run, Canderous Ordo or Drooga’s Pleasure Barge are now faced with a further round of name conflicts as they settle in to their new, new homes. Even more concerning, Bioware has only just started the ‘High Population Server’ testing, which suggests that further mergers may be in the near future. The other possibility is that this infrastructure is for the move to F2P, but even if that’s the only reason it’s there it still doesn’t rule out further consolidation or redistribution of the existing player based, subbed or not.

One of the pluses to come with the mergers is an increase in character slots from eight to twelve. Players in the EU and North America can now grow their in-game family of alts if they choose, although that’s not the reason for the increase in space. For the most part it’s a basic solution to accomodate players who have more than eight characters spread across multiple servers. Even if you have more than twelve you will still be able to access them but won’t be able to create new characters until you reduce your count to below twelve.

It goes without saying (but I will anyway) that APAC players immediately noticed that we haven’t seen the character slot increase, although Bioware have advised that they intend for us to get them.

This begs the question ‘what else will we get?’ Since the additional slots came as a solution for one problem created with the server merger, something we’ve not experienced, will the increase in slots come with our own three servers being folded into one?

Time will tell. Either way you might want to create some placeholder characters, just in case.