Tuesday, April 3, 2012

SWTOR: BioWare, we need server mergers

SWTOR needs server merges. 

Yesterday around 4:45 p.m. EST, 11 players were on the Republic Fleet and 100 on the Imperial Fleet. Yes, other players were on other planets, their ships and other locations, but 11 is still a horrible number for that time of day. The server I play on isn’t one of the smaller ones, either.

The players need server merges just as much as BioWare does. There’s no way to balance out the number of Republic and Empire players. More people play Empire, especially Sith Inquisitors it seems. As Star Wars fans know, the Dark Side is more seductive. Force Lightening looks cooler. Chocking someone in the Force creates a Darth Vader moment. Quite frankly, the imbalance doesn’t matter. Huttball makes the PVP queues more bearable for the abundant Empire players, as they can play themselves. 

It’s incredibly difficult to find a group for a Flashpoint or a full PVP during certain points of the day due to the sheer lack of players per server. Not only do group activities suffer, but also the Galactic Trade Market. Finding gear, mods and other items is an incredible challenge when nothing is up for sale. 

BioWare needs to merge the servers before they lose more players. The key aspect of MMORPG is the interactions with other people. While the game needed more servers back at launch, this is no longer the case. Trim the numbers down. 

Weekend evenings see more players logged on both sides. It’s the rest of the time that suffers the greatest. Players want to see scads of features, like dungeon finder and cross-server PVP, but none contains the urgency like server merges do. 

Some players reroll characters on other servers. Many of us don’t want to redo the entire class story and that should not be necessary. As customers, it’s not our job to find workarounds for such an issue. Playing guess what server contains a high amount of players on a regular basis is frustrating, pointless and annoying. Players needed to redo the same classes repeatedly just to interact more with other players will not keep current players or attract new ones. 

Server merges benefit everyone. The players aren’t scrambling for others. BioWare eradicates the risk of losing subscriptions due to frustrated customers leaving because there aren’t enough people online. It will take a bit of tech time, but in the end, it can only improve the gameplay experience.

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