had a busy month, what with the console launch
and its Godsfall update
. May is going to try its hardest to keep this pace of interesting developments, especially over in Europe, where server merges are in the works
At the start of the month, six of the region’s servers will be merged down to three, with a fourth international server remaining untouched. The studio concentrated on merging servers of the same language types to keep French, English, and German-speaking players together and happy.
“It is our aim to always bring you the best possible gaming experience. We know that it is very important for you to be able to find other players for group content quickly and easily at all times,” the team said. “We really hope the merge will help you enjoy the game even more!”
The end of the world is bearing down on some Age of Conan players, but that’s exactly when things get interesting. Funcom’s special Saga of Zath server has just a month left to go before the studio merges its population in with the Crom server and turns out the lights.
Before then, players can race to earn special gear and vanity items for the main server. To help with that, Funcom is giving all players a free extra specialization, cutting the price of mounts in half, chopping XP booster prices down by 75%, and making raid and PvP gear bundles available.
Saga of Zath started up back in January as a special time-limited PvE server. Players had just a few months to go through a saga quest to earn rewards and gain items. When the merge happens on May 15th, all Zath characters will be transferred to Crom with all progress and inventory intact.
The merges are coming! The merges are coming! Aion Europe players have under two weeks to prepare for merges
designed to “populate Atreia more densely” and consolidate language-specific communities.
On April 25th, Aion EU is going to merge its eight servers down to four, creating one German, one English, one French, and one Polish server. Gameforge did give itself some wiggle room and warned of the possibility of a date change.
Players on affected servers can choose to transfer their characters to a specific shard through May 15th. Aion is planning to hand out relocation gifts to all players, including a greater minion contract and 30 days of hanging with a white tiger.
In addition to the announcement, there’s a more in-depth FAQ that answers specific questions.
Here’s the good news for Nexon’s Q3 2017 investor call: The company had a good set of third-quarter results overall, and it has a strong lineup of titles in the pipeline, including the long-awaited and largely unrevealed Final Fantasy XI mobile incarnation. Here’s the bad news: LawBreakers was the weak link in its lineup. Not only was it responsible for the majority of the company’s losses during the quarter, but company CTO Shiro Uemura stated that the game would acquire no further losses, meaning that it had functionally been written off altogether.
What does that mean for the future of the game? Nothing positive; companies don’t tend to write off games they plan to continue supporting. Your speculation is welcome, but it should run toward darker possibilities. On the bright side, it looks like the future is bright for Nexon as a whole, so based on player numbers the fate of LawBreakers is not so much cloudy as it is unpleasant.
Also worth noting is that Nexon has merged its Nexon RED and NDOORs subsidiaries, both with a roster of successful games under their belts. The merge is aimed at providing more consolidated and skilled mobile game development.
Today will be a day long remembered. It has seen the death of many Star Wars: The Old Republic
servers and will soon see the death of long matchmaking queues.
Or so BioWare hopes.
SWTOR activated its United Forces update today, condensing the game’s entire roster of servers down to a mere five shards. The spin on this merge is that it will allow “players to discover new guilds, new friends, and jump into multiplayer content more easily.”
As players and guilds adjust to the merge and see if they’ve retained their names, BioWare is hoping that a few promotions will bring the crowds through the doors. The studio has added more character slots to every account, is giving away a free Mini Mogul droid pet to players who log in over the next couple of weeks, and is running a promotion to give out a new Darth Hexid companion for those who run a few group activities this month.
Free expansions, free mounts
, and free character slots
. Star Wars: The Old Republic
has been buttering its players up lately, and that trend is not going to stop any time soon. The sci-fi MMORPG is getting ready to hand out free minipets and companions
during the month of November as part of a promotion for its United Forces server merge.
First up with this giveaway is a Mini Mogul NM-1 battle walker pet, which is earned simply by logging in between November 8th and the 27th. A little more difficult to obtain is the wicked-looking Darth Hexid companion, which requires players to run at least three missions through the group finder (either PvP or PvE) during the same time period. (Speaking of companions, MOP’s Larry discussed some possible changes that could impact your virtual buddies.)
SWTOR’s United Force update is scheduled for November 8th and will merge the current 17 servers down to just five (one for each region and language). A double XP and CXP event is also planned for November 8th through the 14th.
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.
launched, I was one of those who was brutally harsh about its mind-numbingly stupid housing system
, a more or less open-world system that incentivized land rushes, greed, gold sinks, and cheating. As far as I could tell, even back in 2014, the game’s handlers had learned absolutely nothing from the previous 17 years of MMORPG housing buffoonery. One of my complaints? Not thinking ahead to server merges.
“Balance your server populations carefully and never add more servers than you’ll need after the three-month slump because if you think server merges spell doom for themeparks, know that they’re even worse for open-world housing sandboxes (Vanguard, SWG), only slightly worse an option than ignoring the problem and expecting your players to pay to move themselves and lose their land in the process (UO, LOTRO).” [This was before LOTRO’s free transfers.]
And now here we are again, seeing server merges so bad MOP’s MJ Guthrie, whose pixel home narrowly survived the last round of merges, intimated she was done this time once her house is nuked and she’s forced into yet another land rush. It’s too late for ArcheAge, I fear, but there has to be a way out of this — maybe it’s not too late for the next MMO with housing. How would you solve the housing server merge problem?
Server merges are a nerve-wracking, anxiety-filled experience even on the best of occasions, but when an MMO offers contested territory and open world housing, it can become a nightmare.
It’s this nightmare that ArcheAge is preparing to navigate with its upcoming server “evolutions.” Twelve realms across North America and Europe have been tagged for this process, which will consolidate everything down to brand-new four servers when it goes down starting on September 7th and concluding on the 9th. And yes, this does mean that all affected will engage in a land rush, because that’s always heaps of fun.
The three fresh start servers get diplomatic immunity from the merges, as does five legacy servers. Trion Worlds is planning to allow players the option to transfer their characters to those legacy servers instead of going through the merges if they so desire. The free transfer period will run between August 16th and 29th.
Major events are in motion over at Blade and Soul
, illuminated by the game’s newest producer’s letter
from Jonathan Lien
. While Lien spent a few paragraphs touting the team’s progress over the past year, he had a few bombshell announcements that followed.
The first is that server merges are incoming for August 9th. These will impact both North American and European servers, taking the server count down to two for NA and three for EU. Server transfers are scheduled to be taken offline on July 26th, so if you need to move your character for some reason, you’ll want to do it today.
Lien also outlined the game’s upcoming summer updates: “Immediately ahead of us is the new Fortune Falls update. You’ll be able to explore a new event dungeon, where you can snag an awesome swimsuit set and valuable upgrade materials for a limited time! And on the horizon, you’ll be able to explore a new major update named Dark Origins. It’s got two brand new high level raids, a continuation of our story quests, a new dungeon, systems updates, and LOADS of new gear and cosmetics.”
According to a press release from Oasis Games, the studio is in the middle of ongoing English-language server merges for Bandai-licensed Naruto Online. The game originally launched in the west last summer; it’s a turn-based browser MMO built on the original anime and is even voiced by the anime’s actors. The merges aren’t really a bad thing, as players are flocking to the thread to put forward their servers for much-needed merges.
“Starting today onwards, we will be collecting inputs from players for server merger purposes,” writes the company on its forums. “This thread will be renewed on weekly basis to ensure continuous communication between players and moderators in regards to server and merger status. Please be informed that a server need to be at minimum age of 2 month starting from the date it opened as one of the requirements to be merge. Server merger will take place once every 2 weeks. We have records of the activity rate, which are taken into consideration for merging.”
is preparing for server merges next week, but they might not be for the reason you think.
The team announced that eight US and EU servers are scheduled to be merged down into four (two for each region) on Wednesday, June 14th. While your first thought might be declining server populations (which isn’t unreasonable and may also be true), My.com says that the merges are taking place because new improvements to the tech is allowing for much higher capacity than before. It also sounds as though the team wants to get its ducks in a row before rolling out French and German localization on these servers.
Now here’s the bizarre twist: At the same time as the server merges, Revelation Online will also be flipping the switch on a new North American server named Divine Overlook. “This server will allow new and old players alike to start a fresh new journey into Nuanor by having a clean slate when it comes to economy, seal-breaks to tackle, along with everything else Revelation Online has to offer,” the team said.
It looks as if Bless Online’s Korean operators are merging servers again, though they’ve opened one too, so the total tally will seemingly hold even. Pmang says that it’s opened a new server, Lumen, and merged the Tania server into it, completely with compensation rewards for those affected.
This won’t mark the first time we’ve seen merges for the Korean-born MMORPG; we reported a round of “server integrations” in both February and June of 2016. The last round brought to the total down from at least 10 to just two, where we apparently still sit — just with a different two.
Over here in the west, we’re still awaiting news from Aeria Games, which is expected to publish the game here later this year, though the release has already been hampered by delays. The studio strongly rejected rumors in December that the game’s launch had been canceled, telling Massively OP that its devs are still “working closely with Neowiz on the gameplay improvement aimed for the North American and European version!”