Yesterday, we saw our first day of SWTOR server transfers. While the server list started out small, it grew as the day went on, until BioWare discovered a bug in the system and had to halt transfers for the rest of the day. With any luck, after last night’s brief maintenance period, the system will be good to go and we’ll see a larger amount of servers opened up for transfer today.
As expected of such a much-needed and long-awaited system, there’s a lot of community feedback regarding the events of the first day of server transfers. The thread on the official forums for providing feedback can be found here. There are a couple key issues that players have brought up so far. We thought we’d post a brief rundown of some of them, along with some quotes from the community.
One of the issues players have is the fact that while BioWare made it well-known that transfers would happen in waves, they didn’t make any kind of designated destination server list available ahead of time. The lack of such a list made planning for guilds and groups of friends virtually impossible, and not only this– but the sudden posting of origin and destination servers took quite a bit of players by surprise. It also seems that most players didn’t anticipate the server batches to only contain 4-5 servers per time period.
“Where they have let us down is in the expectations set. They should have given us a better idea on how they would implement this so thousands of people didn’t log on this morning FULLY expecting to be able to xfer.”
BioWare did say they would need to make changes to the system as the process went on, and this is perfectly understandable, but it still would have been nice to see the basic list of ideal destination servers that staff members had in mind. Or, barring that, some method of organizing the process better, allowing players to prepare. SWTOR’s launch, for example, had a similar system, yet players were, for the most part, aware of their waiting queue status based on their pre-purchase date.
Some players also question the servers being tagged as destination servers:
“I’m really disappointed with the way the transfers are being handled. I don’t mind that only four servers in NA are listed as origins. I understand the need to stagger.
But seriously, I don’t get why BioWare is not setting up DESIGNATED DESTINATION servers. There’s so many light servers out there, and unless BioWare designates specific standard population servers as destinations, all they are doing is either shifting population between the 100+ light servers or all onto Fatman.”
Presumably, the reasoning behind transferring players to Fatman is to ensure the server keeps its high population. Extremely empty servers may do well when transferred there. As far as the light-to-light population transfers, BioWare has a strategy in mind, based off months of looking at data and metrics.
I would assume the goal is to shuffle multiple servers where appropriate, and boost the servers that have the highest chances of maintaining a healthy population. What may seem like random server choices to us may actually make sense, but it’s admittedly pretty hard to understand where BioWare’s coming from without many details regarding their overall plan.
Here’s a dev quote from yesterday, received when a player asked if the quantity of servers available for transfer may go up as the days continue:
Originally posted by AllisonBerryman (Source)
The quantity will very likely change as we monitor the transfer process, so I can’t really give a good estimate right now. We’ll be adding new origin and destination servers with the goal of ensuring that destination server populations are healthy. This may mean sending more origin servers to a destination or opening up new destinations. Because of the nature of the process, it’s hard to predict how many we will during a specific timeframe.
The fact that players are having to change their names, guild names, and Legacy names as they transfer is also a concern for many, but unfortunately– this happens in every other MMO, as well.
And finally, a reminder that not every SWTOR player out there is up-in-arms about the transfers taking place:
“BioWare is doing transfers right. By staggering the transfers in stages, it prevents laggy, unplayable servers that piss everyone off, both existing and transferring players alike.
Well done BioWare, you have launched the new transfer service in a manner that benefits players the most. It will be interesting to see which servers are topped off, which ones are emptied out, and which ones become new hubs of activity.”
Tracking these changes and their effects will definitely be key. It’ll be interesting to see how the rest of the server transfer process develops.