Yesterday, BioWare launched a brand new test server to specifically test some new high population server technology. Remember back in May when the team talked about “mega-servers”? This is that tech. Here is a preview of the news article:
In order to provide a better overall gameplay experience we’re getting ready to introduce new high population server tech that will allow us to significantly increase current server populations. Once we introduce new high population server tech, any characters remaining on an origin server will be moved to a high population destination server.
With this change, we’ll finally see the final phase to our server transfers and mergers. When the server tech fully launches, characters already on destination servers will find their servers upgraded with the new tech, which means that our servers will hopefully be more stable for the upcoming free-to-play model switch. Our servers will also, of course, house more players.
For now, BioWare is allowing all players on East Coast servers to test the technology, and those players will find all of their characters copied to the new server. More details on how to access the server can be found in the official news article. Upon trying out the new test server, two pretty nice changes are immediately apparent. Here’s one:
Yes, more character slots! The new server currently allows access to 12 characters per server. Players with more than 12 characters will find the first 12 to be accessible, and the others blocked. This, presumably, is a preview of what we’ll see when the game goes free to play. It’s hard to say whether we’ll actually gain access to 12 characters per server under the subscription model, but it’s possible.
Free-to-play players will most likely gain access to a smaller number of slots, with the option to purchase additional slots for Cartel Coins. Players who start out as subscribing players then go free to play will most likely have to choose which characters they want access to. The remaining will become blocked, and can be unlocked at a future date with a subscription change or some Cartel Coins.
Another bonus also is previewed on the high population test server. Upon logging in the first time, players are able to change their Legacy name one time. This is most likely a preview of the free Legacy name change that we’ll be getting at a future date in compensation for Legacy names now being non-unique. Will we access this name change at the same time the high population server tech goes live? It kind of looks that way.