Star Wars: The Old Republic Begins Cutting Servers

Karloff

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Star Wars: The Old Republic Begins Cutting Servers



There are fewer worlds in the SW:TOR galaxy now, but each supports "a significantly higher number of players."

A short while ago Star Wars: The Old Republic reported a drop in player population [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/116918-BioWare-Says-SWTOR-Subscriptions-Havent-Dropped] during peak hours. At the time BioWare said that, although subscriptions hadn't dropped, the number of people logging in had. Now SW:TOR servers have been merged; there are fewer servers, but each has been modified to support "a significantly higher number of players", according to the official BioWare announcement.

Those who have to change FAQ. [http://www.swtor.com/blog/server-consolidation]

This news, following on BioWare's switch to May's earnings statement [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/119382-BioWare-Old-Republics-Free-to-Play-Success-Is-Uncertain], is yet more sackcloth and ashes for the MMO that at one point hoped it might dethrone World of Warcraft.

Fortunately there is hope. The developer has been working on shadow optimization [http://www.swtor.com/blog/developer-update-shadow-optimizations-game-update-1.4], and made a progress announcement the same day the servers were consolidated. Players now have the benefit of really crisp and realistic self-shadowing on their nice new high-population server, even if that pesky red exclamation mark next to their character name means they'll have to call Darth Lasagne something else.

Source: Eurogamer [http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-09-19-swtor-servers-merged-many-fewer-but-much-bigger]


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cerebus23

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dethroning wow is so overused period it should just stop imo.

every mmo that has any kinda budget behind it gets the label, if they want it or not.
 

Fappy

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That is actually a pretty fun character name. I'd hate to lose it D:
 

Karloff

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Well does have one thing over WoW, It's going to get to it's Cataclysm a lot sooner.
 

Baldr

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I don't know which is a better system: This or WoW's cross realm phasing. With WoW you don't have to be force to changed servers or possibly names, but if you group with people in the zone and come to like them, you can't invite them to your guild if your not on the same server, and the glitches that come when crossing from a realm back to your own on Zone borders.
 

INVALIDUSERNAME

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I wanted you to be so good, TOR.
I waited and waited and then you were a steaming pile of mediocre.

At least the story's going free to play come November.
And now when I go back to wrap up the classes I never bothered playing because fuck paying a subscription for that game, there'll actually be people on instead of:

NAR SHADDAA: 7 Players.
DROMUND KAAS: 21 Players.
HOTH: 2 Players.
 

Nimcha

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tmande2nd said:
I wonder how many people left over the ME3 debacle?
Probably none. Because that would be stupid. And we all know gamers aren't.
 

KagatoAMV

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I am starting to get the impression that SWTOR is, in a way, a victim of its own innovations.

The voice acting, class quest-line and character companions created some of the greatest immersion in any MMO I've played. However, once I completed that content, there was a much greater sense of being "done" with the game, than I encountered in other MMOs.
 

crazyrabbits

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It's not the end of the world, but you can see it from here.

In all seriousness, this is just a minor distraction before WoW releases Mists of Pandoria. TOR was gone a long time ago - server cutting is a stopgap put in to stop the dam from leaking. It's not going to bring back all the other players who left because of the lack of content, barren worlds (that should have been bustling) or KOTOR-lite sensibilities, and it's not going to bring that many more people in the face of Pandoria or other F2P games like Guild Wars 2.

Just because it has a SW brand doesn't mean it's automatically going to be great with "enhancements" - Galaxies was proof enough of that.
 

JediMB

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Mega Messiah said:
I wanted you to be so good, TOR.
I waited and waited and then you were a steaming pile of mediocre.

At least the story's going free to play come November.
And now when I go back to wrap up the classes I never bothered playing because fuck paying a subscription for that game, there'll actually be people on instead of:

NAR SHADDAA: 7 Players.
DROMUND KAAS: 21 Players.
HOTH: 2 Players.
You must have been on one of the low-pop servers. When I started playing again at the end of July, there'd always be 50+ people on any given planet. Often around 100.

tmande2nd said:
I wonder how many people left over the ME3 debacle?
I actually canceled before ME3, because I didn't want a sub running while I was going to be playing Mass Effect.

The "debacle" only delayed my return to the game by nearly four months.
 

Karloff

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I guess folks only have so much time for time sinks (oops I mean MMORPGs). Honestly, although it's happening quietly, the same thing is going on with WoW. Haven't you noticed that just about every update more or less simplifies their system, making it computationally lighter.

It boils down to the fact that MMORPGs are inherently limited by their genre. They have to provide a consistent play experience to all players thusly they cannot allow the actions of the players to have any real impact on the game world, on the narrative. This is not bad pr say but with that limitation, there's only so much reason for people to play 'another' MMORPG. The move to F2P won't do it any good either... call it a hunch but last I checked most players hate being nickle-and-dimed at every bloody turn.
 

Kmadden2004

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Sad thing is I actually want to play this game, but so far Bioware's only played a bit of a cock-tease over releasing a Mac version.

Oh well, at least I have Guild Wars 2 to look forward to now.
 

Gregory Wollf

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It sounds like a proactive business decision. They seriously did not need all those servers, except for maybe the first week of launch. They were already giving players the option to migrate to servers with high populations so I see this as the only good thing they can do both for the players and for the business side of things.

Getting players though... that is the make or break issue. As far as I can tell the actual game mechanics are solid. The story telling aspect is really second to none. The only thing I hear complaints about are lack of content and that it's hard to find people to group with. Well, content can't be generated overnight but amalgamating the servers can. There will be an influx of new players and returning players with the F2P option, and they will stay around for a while since the entire story up to level 50 for each character is available. I'm fairly certain that EA is pushing Bioware to fix whatever needs to be fixed to make them more money (ie the lack of end game content) so we will just have to wait for updates I suppose.

In my opinion, the only thing wrong with TOR is that it happens to be an MMO and that it struggles from the same issues that every MMO struggles with except for World of Warcraft because they were the first to truly define the genre and everyone has had to play catch up since.
 

Karloff

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I TOLD YOU BIOWARE! I WARNED YOU ABOUT THAT ICEBERG BRO! I TOLD YOU!

*Ahem*

No, but In all seriousness, its good to see this pile of crap sinking.

And the "B-but we're fixing the awful shadows!" statement just makes me laugh harder than when they announced it going free-to-play (I called that too)

I mean, its one thing that the ugly shadows are the LEAST of SWTOR's problems, BUT THE SHADOWS STILL LOOK AWFUL! It's like they used some shitty AA option from an old Playstation 2 emulator.

It's just embarrassing

Hope you like it at the bottom of the ocean Bioware, I don't think you're gonna save the ship by bailing with a teaspoon. Especially not when the ship is already submerged.
 

crazyrabbits

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bringer of illumination said:
I mean, its one thing that the ugly shadows are the LEAST of SWTOR's problems, BUT THE SHADOWS STILL LOOK AWFUL! It's like they used some shitty AA option from an old Playstation 2 emulator.
There's actually a reason why the engine is so borked. In short, Gordon Walton (the head mananger at Bioware Austin) bought a beta version of the HeroEngine in 2005, apparently because EA was desperate to get an MMO out and needed a framework to build on. Essentially, the people who designed TOR were working from an incomplete prototype (which was finally released, fully optimized in 2010), which is the reason why the animations and coding seems so patchwork.

So, if the shadows look like they came from the mid-00's, it's probably because they are.
 

an874

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Hey EA, are you still sure making all the games you publish have multiplayer will make them hits... yes? Oh okay...(backs away slowly).
 

Karloff

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crazyrabbits said:
bringer of illumination said:
I mean, its one thing that the ugly shadows are the LEAST of SWTOR's problems, BUT THE SHADOWS STILL LOOK AWFUL! It's like they used some shitty AA option from an old Playstation 2 emulator.
There's actually a reason why the engine is so borked. In short, Gordon Walton (the head mananger at Bioware Austin) bought a beta version of the HeroEngine in 2005, apparently because EA was desperate to get an MMO out and needed a framework to build on. Essentially, the people who designed TOR were working from an incomplete prototype (which was finally released, fully optimized in 2010), which is the reason why the animations and coding seems so patchwork.

So, if the shadows look like they came from the mid-00's, it's probably because they are.
Oh I know about the Hero Engine fiasco, I've been following this train-wreck since it's inception.

Free to play before the year is out I said, and look where we are now.