Star Wars: The Old Republic offers more details about ‘United Forces’ server merges

If you’re not subscribed to Star Wars: The Old Republic, you can forget about keeping your name. Subscribers will always win over non-subscribers. It’s pay-to-keep-your-name!

The latest fall roadmap video is out, and as you could no doubt expect, it discusses the game’s upcoming server merges – which we covered in detail on Monday – extensively. Following the United Forces merge, which cuts the game back to just five servers across the US and Europe, there will no longer be a designated RP server, although the developers would like to still make RP-supporting spaces within the game; the hope is that the merge will cut down on win trading in PvP as well as improving in-game population.

The developers aren’t ready to talk about next expansion plans, but they are planning out returning companions including Andronikus, Ensign Temple, Scourge, and Keira. The development team is also considering adding back in some of the old-style PvP rewards. Check out the full dev stream video down below, and stay tuned for more SWTOR fun from the MOP staff today, as we’ll be streaming the game this afternoon and dispatching our Hyperspace Beacon column on the roadmap as well.

Source: YouTube via Dulfy
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56 Comments on "Star Wars: The Old Republic offers more details about ‘United Forces’ server merges"

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Lord Zorvan

Just names? Hell, they can have my characters too. You couldn’t pay me to reinstall this garbage.

Estranged
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Estranged

This Fanboi has something for you, EA.

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George

The boat is sinking, at least…

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zeko_rena

Bit of a pain, my sub just ran out and I am a bit burned out on SWTOR right now, didn’t log in much past two weeks.

I was going to jump back into WoW for a bit, but now I may have to reactivate SWTOR to keep my names, I can’t afford both as I am trying to save up for some upgrades for my PC haha.

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Sray

At this point, SWTOR reminds me a lot of DC and Marvel Comics from the mid 1990s to mids 2000s: continuously focusing more and more on a small core of highly dedicated fans while largely ignoring anything else, and resorting to a lot of tactics to get as much money out of that small core as possible. That works for a while, but eventually it also slowly drives away that highly dedicated core, leaving you with not enough to survive on because you keep asking ever more and more out of your most dedicated in order to maintain a minimal level of subsistence.

Actually gaming these days in general, and MMOs more specifically, remind of that trend, but SWTOR is most closesly following the trend right now.

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thirtymil

Very much what Games Workshop did with their audience from 1990 onwards. And now they’re shoveling the digital licence to their IP out to anyone who will buy one.

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nobleeinherjar

Eh, I’m okay with losing my names again. I fought for them once, way back when, but since I’m never returning to SWTOR, fine, let somebody else have them.

That being said, the fact that only a very small handful of devs have caught on to the idea of each player having a unique @handle and letting characters be named whatever they want is pretty sad. Though I guess that would mean they’d have to take name change services out of their cash shops.

On a more positive note, I hope the server merge gives those playing SWTOR a better experience and a more cohesive community, with a special shout-out to my role-playing brethren.

Polyanna
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Polyanna

I only have played one MMO I can think of that got all this right from the start, which is Star Trek Online. The only thing globally unique is an account handle. Character names only need to be unique among your own characters. STO does ban various lore associated names and variants; but beyond that, you never need to worry about fighting other players for your favorite name.

There is not any really good excuse for doing otherwise. Naming conflicts, like most forms of artificial scarcity in MMO-land, are always simply products of poor design and clumsy or lazy thinking; avoiding them entirely is not harder or more costly than not avoiding them. It’s just a mistake developers make over and over and over, probably largely due to lack of knowledge of the prior art in their field.

SWTOR missed a golden opportunity here to make the Legacy name (which can be totally hidden or ignored in-game if you prefer) the unique handle, and only require your characters to be unique within your own legacy. Keith vaguely suggested that they “don’t have the technology” to do something like that, but, reading between the lines, it seems clear what he’s alluding to are some deeply embedded very poor decisions early on in the design of the game’s data model that are now nearly intractably hard to change.

However, one bright spot here that is not often brought up in comments about this round of merges is that SWTOR converted some time ago to allowing more letters and spaces in character names, so if you are forced to change, you at least have room to come up with a two (or more) word name that you like, without resorting to the usual ASCII code BS.

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Carebear

I think what GW2 did was the best… from the very start, all the names were unique for all servers. And with a name and surname, everyone can find a character name that likes and will last “forever”.

Character names are very important to some players… I am not a subscriber so I will lose my names for sure, but at this time I dont care… if they ever do a SWTOR ARR, I will be the first in. I love the idea and the theme but game feel so un-polished.

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Melissa McDonald

I think it’s more fun to not have to worry about whether or not you can have the name you want. Let’s face it, we all want a certain name, and I think we are 100% disappointed (if not frustrated to the point of wondering if we really want to play this game) when we find our favourite avatar name is already taken. There should be as many Jane Joneses as people want to make.

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Carebear

I totally support this! Yes it makes sense… there is not only 1 john in the world..

But in mmo there will be problems… how you send a mail to the john you want? How you invite in guild the john you want?

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Knox Harrington

As far as RP goes, they should create a separate instance for it, much like they do for PvP now. On your mini-map you have the option to switch to a PvP instance so you can encounter other players looking to engage in open PvP. The same needs to happen for RP. It is the simplest, most elegant solution and they already have the tech in place that can do it, which obviously means they’ll just sit on their hands indefinitely and do nothing as the game continues to decline. And if they think they’re going to get another $15 from me just to keep some character names instead of actually developing a reason to log in, they can think again. The only name I’m married to is my wife’s.

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Jack Pipsam

I never thought about that, but that’s a great idea to reserve some RP server feeling by having a dedicated instance. Would be certainly better than nothing.

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Doubleplusgood

Ok I think that’s it I’m done.
I lost a bunch of character names in the first round of server merges I’m not going through that again.

And what happens if two subscribers have the same name?

Richard de Leon III
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Richard de Leon III

Whichever character has more play time gets the priority unfortunately

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Stormwaltz

Pardon my bothering you on this, I don’t have time to watch the full presentation…

Is it clear if they mean “total account play time” or “play time on a specific character?”

SWTOR was designed to be alt-ed through multiple times. My oldest characters haven’t been played in a long while. :/

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Doubleplusgood

So even if you were to jump in and sub for a month to try to “pay2keepyourname” you’d still lose out.
I think it should be based on character creation date.