SWTOR’s United Forces update includes a massive server merge

BioWare has just announced Star Wars: The Old Republic’s United Forces update, a massive merge of the game’s 17 servers down to five in an attempt to improve the game’s community – two in the USA and three in Europe divided by language – pretty crazy for a game that at one point had over 200. The November 8th launch will include a multitude of rewards and unlocks for those who log in during the festivities.

“Bringing players together as United Forces in larger numbers offers multiple benefits to players, first of which is the ease of jumping into multiplayer activities,” explains BioWare. “Once the United Forces update is live, any group activity you would want to participate in will have a much larger volume of players queueing at any time that you are looking to play, including Operations, Flashpoints, PvP Warzones, Uprisings, and Galactic Starfighter battles. Communities of players, such as role-players, will have more like-minded players to join and play alongside. Plus, server-wide activities, such as Conquests, will have more fierce competition than ever before.”

There’s a chance you’ll lose your names, note, as subbers have priority to keep their names on the new server, followed by characters with more playtime. “To limit the challenge of duplicated names we will proactively remove names from characters that have not been played within the past 90-days or more and which are below Level 10,” the studio warns. It’ll also allow up to 52 characters per server and ensure that your highest legacy levels are maintained. Guild names are unaffected this time.

The studio has also put out its fall roadmap, noting that GU 5.5 (now called United Forces Foundation) is still slated for October 10th, followed by United Forces Formation on October 24th, the actual merges on November 8th, 5.6: A Traitor Among the Chiss on November 28th, and 5.6.1 and the anniversary celebration on December 12th.

Lead Game Producer Keith Kanneg also mentions adjusting galactic command experience – for the better. “CXP for all areas of the game is in review,” he says. “As some players experienced with the Planetary Daily Areas, increased CXP makes us happier, so that’s our plan for all areas throughout the game and will coincide with A Traitor Among the Chiss update.”

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59 Comments on "SWTOR’s United Forces update includes a massive server merge"

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Estranged
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Estranged

I’ve had my character names since early access and gave them a fair amount of money over the years. If a subber takes the name of my main characters, EA/Bioware will not have another dime of my money. Ever.

Damn idiots, you aren’t giving me much reason to sub and little reason to play when I’m absent. Can play a better game for way less, like Destiny 2.

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mysecretid

I didn’t stop subscribing to Star Wars: The Old Republic because I dislike the basic flavor of the game, I did it to “vote with my money”, as the saying goes — to do the only thing in my power that I could do to show EA that I am significantly unhappy with the current state of the game.

And now, they’re effectively blackmailing players into subscribing if they wish to keep their character names? Yeah.

You know, I play a number of MMORPGs which tie character names to a player’s account (Star Trek Online, for one), so that it’s possible for the game to have multiple players with characters named “Bree Royce” with no problems.

As others have said, creating a situation where I either resume paying up, or risk losing my characters’ names just adds to the list of reasons why I stopped subscribing.

Even though I like the essential game behind it all, I continue to have increasing issues with how things are run, and how customers are treated.

My opinions, anyway.

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thirtymil

“Bree Royce” does actually sound like a Star Wars name… :)

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Jeremy Barnes

as someone who subbed to the game, the thing that really annoyed me was their stupid *ss f2p model. You know what will increase people doing multiplayer activities? Letting free or “premiere” players do multiplayer activities.

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Jack Pipsam

To be honest I basically stopped playing SW:TOR when they closed down the native Australian servers. From 45 ping to over 300, well I was like “screw you” and quit. Oh, Sydney hosted servers were so nice, buttery smooth, even Planetside 2 still has one. Not like EA doesn’t host a billion other game servers here. Still quite bitter about it.

However 2 American servers, yesh. Hope one is at least West Coast for any remaining ANZ players.

Estranged
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Estranged

Jack, I’m sorry. That really stinks.

Cadaver
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Cadaver

Yeah, the APACS-RP server was my home in that game. I was an active, engaged and subscribing player when they shut it down. I lasted less than 15 minutes on whatever US server my characters were transferred to (minus their names, of course). I loved the game but I never went back.

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Witches

I see this backfiring badly, well not too badly i guess the population of the bigger servers will rise ever so slightly, but i can see some of the high spenders on RP servers not being too thrilled and quitting over this.

Also you left out an extremely important piece of information, one server will be…Hot Prospect, sure it’s lore, but so is bantha poodoo.

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Brandon Matthews

First the ludicrously awful plot of the whole Eternal Empire gets even MORE insultingly stupid in KOTET and now this? Sigh. I really really can’t bring myself to ever say I’m truly done with this game because I like the characters I made, I really like the story content up until KOTFE starts, and it’s Star Wars. But if i lose my character names….AGAIN…..I don’t think I can get past that.

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traja

Chances are that the majority of players won’t even notice this. MMO players like to stack servers so most should already be in the few big servers that are left. It’s the stubborn few who still play small servers that are affected by this.
Even WoW should really be merging servers already. It is insane how many low population servers there are, and only a couple servers are big enough to sometimes get a few seconds of queue time over the weekend. But that would be a PR nightmare for Blizzard to admit so they just do cross-realm for everything.

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Paarthurnax Dragonhearth

Translation : …’ we don’t got no more people … so now we merge them servers up , so you and us can pretend we got’s more people ! ‘

…. We need a MMO purge …. and then some actual game designers to take over the IP’s and make a REAL mmo ….. The time for WoW style gameplay is over … it’s been 10 + years ….. evolve …. do something …. not Black Desert ( AFK GRIND – A – TON ) or Kickstarted pieces of retro dream poop ! …… Wake up ya dummy’s …. this ain’t gaming …. it’s wasting your time on sub-par games …..

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bigangry

Oh please, if people enjoy something, don’t tell them they’re wasting their time.

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Open_Mind66

Hopefully when this game finally crashes and burns some one will be allowed to make a new Star Wars Galaxies mmo.

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Hunam85

I think it’s high time that I get on and complete all the class stories, I’m really not sure how long this game is going to be around.

I can agree on the name situation though, unique names with non-unique Legacy names is the wrong way around. My main, and the only one who’s name I actually care about, has a huge playtime, so I’m not worried about losing it.

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connor_jones

Good luck with that. I mean, at least for me KOTFE totally ruined those great original class stories. Not only are they now largely irrelevant from a lore/story perspective, worse, they became laughably easy. I can remember a time before KOTFE dropped when on more than one occasion I was bit low on cash and had to skimp on gear, and it made for some very tough boss fights. Now, however, the bosses talk big about how they’re going to squash you and all after which you proceed to down them with a couple of hits. So sad. :(

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thirtymil

.

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Tia Nadiezja

When will the whole industry finally escape the tyranny of name uniqueness and go to name@handle identifiers? Inquiring minds want to know.

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Lord Zorvan

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAAAHAAAAA!!!!

Yeah, that about covers it.

amkosh
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amkosh

The problem: 95% of their community doesn’t like the “multiplayer” activities.

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Erik Heinze-Milne

How do you know? 95% of their community doesn’t get the opportunity to DO multiplayer activities.

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Sally Bowls

IMO, The problem: 95% of their community doesn’t like the “multiplayer” activities but most of the forum posters do.

If I want to raid, I’ll do it in WoW.

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Malcolm Swoboda

About time.

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Armsman

I guess “TOR-Tanic” was an apt analogy.

Estranged
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Estranged

TOR pulled more income in a year than SWG did the entire life of the game, easily.

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Targeter

Hell yeah bro! It only took 6 years and millions of players and multiple expansions, but hey, yeah man, we totally called it when we said it would crash and burn! Right!?

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MrNastyButler

*takes a reading* Yes…I do believe we have an accurate burn here. I’d say about a 2nd degree with a high degree of fact included. Nicely done.

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Targeter

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birini

I remember how much excitement there was for this. Bioware is finally getting involved in MMOs! Everything is voice acted! The best IP in geek history! It was really when I got to Tatooine that it was like, this is it? It seems like there should be more to explore and do when I get to explore the planet I’ve loved my entire life. In my mind, it never really recovered from that. I feel like it would have been better off making a sandbox out of, say, Tatooine, Coruscant, and maybe Alderaan. Sad to see it reduced to this. Feels like a death rattle, for the game and another blow to the genre.

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zeko_rena

Good, the auction house is so bad on my server.
Don’t really mind when it comes to names, if I lose em I lose em.

Will be funny though, its already so hard to get a bloody name not taken even on a low pop server :)

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NeoWolf

Auction house is bad on most servers the economy has been royally borked for a long time.

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Space Captain Zor

The day I lose my character names is the day I put the game behind me and (probably) never go back. :(

Cadaver
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Cadaver

The day I lost my characters’ names was the day I put the game behind me and never went back.

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Knox Harrington

And they’re trying to get you to subscribe again just to preserve your character names

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Daniel Reasor

Polyanna
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Polyanna

About damned time. However, I respect Bioware’s new lead for taking this square on and addressing it. It needed to be done for a long time, and now it will be. And it looks from reading the FAQ that they’re doing the best job with it they can to minimize pain for everyone.

This a big step in the right direction, but honestly there equally urgently need to implement cross-server queues geography-wide for all PvP and PvE instances. Even merging NA down to just two realms is not going to solve all the pop problems with how low even the “active” servers are these days. Maybe people coming back will help a bit, but they need to do everything they can to get everyone in each geography together, even more than this will.

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NeoWolf

I love how the SWTOR Dev guys are trying to spin a merge as a good thing, not as an indication that their games population has taken another MASSIVE decline. Maybe they should address WHY there is a decline instead of trying to pretend everything is shiny.

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Greaterdivinity

It’s been an issue for years now and this merger IS a good thing. This has needed to happen since before KotFE came out, since the days of SoR, but BW have put it off and just sold cheap server transfers from time to time instead.

This is part of addressing WHY, centralizing populations so that they can keep folks on more populated (fun) servers and so new players don’t end up rolling on servers that are little more than ghost towns.

This is part of that solution, and it’s been needed for years.

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NeoWolf

Except it doesn’t really work out that way. Did “some” servers need merging because of low pops..sure. But did all of them? nope. And what happens now is we have a mass of different play styles and language barriers all being put together on the same servers no PVE or PVP distinguishment, no language distinguishment just one great hodge podge mess of frustrated individuals squeezed onto fewer servers..AGAIN. The General chats will end up super hostile again, parties will have zero communication..again..conflicting playstyles will butt heads..again..
People will be losing names…again and not because they deserve to but for the worst rationale of all i.e because X did not play as many days as Y.

I don’t call ANY of that good, not in any regard. So we’ll have to agree to disagree ;)

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connor_jones

To my mind the decline (and fall???) has a name; KOTFE.

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Paragon Lost

(mutter)

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Hirku

Eh? Speak up!

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Paragon Lost

I’m getting old and cranky. I’m getting tired of renaming characters upon server merges! :)

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johnwillo

Yeah, I’ve been unhappy with the game’s direction for a while, but having to rename 16 characters AGAIN is enough to ensure that I never return.

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Knox Harrington

Given their track record with this sort of thing, the scale and magnitude of this reeks of imminent disaster.

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Ariel Domen

There should only be 1 server for NA. I mean in reality now there are 2 not dead servers and they are low population too (Harbinger and The Ebon Hawk). So I doubt this will make pops faster.

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Greaterdivinity

Everything about this pleases me. Would have loved to see them merge servers in a way that would allow folks to keep their names (Blizzard-esque virtual clusters or transitioning to an account-name system vs. a character name one or something), but I’ll take the mergers over more “Well…we’ll just do another character transfer sale!” any day.

The patch looks like a “kitchen sink” patch with a little bit of everything, which can be viewed as a positive or a negative (THROW EVERYTHING AT THEM AND SEE WHAT THEY LIKE!) but I’m a fan.

While I doubt I’ll come back this year, especially since Galactic Conquest is sticking around and remains sub-only, I’m very curious to see what next years roadmap looks like. I continue to like the direction everything is going under Keith, from my PoV as a super casual fan/follower he’s killing it compared to his predecessors.

oldandgrumpy
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oldandgrumpy

A game full of promise when it launched.

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Melissa McDonald

I already got Force-fully (pun intended) moved to Ebon Hawk. Is it going away now?

Polyanna
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Polyanna

Yes, but so are all the rest of the servers. Unlike the last time they did this, nobody gets to stay home, and everyone gets equally mashed into somewhere new.

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Knox Harrington

RIP my server’s identity

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Sray

As recently as June they were telling players that server merges were not happening. I’m guessing the fantasy that the mass exodus was a temporary thing finally got slapped with some numbers from reality (aka: accounting).

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Coldin Torrence

Instead of implementing cross server PVP, they’re just making it so there’s only one server. :)

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Sray

“BETTER THAN CROSS-SERVER PVP IS FINALLY HERE!”

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Hirku

I genuinely like this roadmap. No worthwhile story content, no returning companions, my peaceful role-playing server being merged with what’s generally regarded as a toxic cesspool AND potentially losing my character names in the process. Pretty much guarantees I’m finished with SWTOR. Nice to finally have it a done deal.

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riley475

Honestly confused by this post. How is a new raid boss, a new flashpoint, a new GSF map, a new warzone, the conclusion of the betrayer storyline and the reintroduction of several old companions not content? Either people didn’t actually read the roadmap, or they are being deliberately obtuse.

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Hirku

Just different priorities than you. I said “worthwhile story content,” as in worthwhile to me, and since I don’t care for pvp, dungeons, & raiding most of what you listed is of no interest to me. I guess I missed the companions part, probably somebody from a class I hadn’t played and so it didn’t jump out. But that’s all side stuff really, my RP server being merged with Harbinger is the real game breaker.

“You understand me? Catching my drift? Or am I being obtuse?” ; )

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Sray

Alas… I still have about 100k CC sitting there, and not only has the game been crap for over a year, so has the cash shop. I hate the thought of completely walking away from that money, but I guess it’s been out of my wallet for a long time anyway.

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rafterman

I feel your pain. I’m in the same situation with Station Cash from before SOE got bought. I’ve pretty much written it off at this point.

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