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.
When I saw Star Wars: The Old Republic’s whole promotion for Knights of the Old Republic, I was momentarily tempted to log back in and make sure I got a promotional item. Hey, promotional speeders are cool, and I can use it for… wait, they merged servers right into not having an RP server, right? Never mind, I’m not going back anyway, what do I care? Just like that, the server merge killed any and all desire I might have had to go back to the game.
Our own MJ has written recently about how the horrid handling for Aion’s server merges basically killed that game for her. I know there are people who are unwilling to go back to ArcheAge due to merges requiring new land rushes that just aren’t worth the effort. And hey, I can understand deciding that you don’t want to go back just because a merge made you lose your long-time character name. So what about you, dear readers? Have MMO server merges ever driven you away from a game for good?
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.
It’s been a weird and woolly week for Star Wars: The Old Republic
, with fans enjoying free expansions and mounts while gritting their teeth over an unannounced datacenter move. So add this nugget to the pile: SWTOR
is giving all players, free and subscribed, additional character slots
This is obviously in preparation for November’s server merge — sorry, “United Forces” update — but free bonuses are always welcome. Free players will go from two to four slots, preferred players will go from six to 12, and subscribers will enjoy 24 character slots total. Additionally, the studio said that if subscribers end up with more than 24 characters after the merge (Larry, we’re looking at you), then they’ll be able to play them all.
“These new slot numbers are separate from any character slots which you have purchased,” BioWare said. “This should give a bit of breathing room for players, especially if they played on more than one server which will be brought into a new server on 11/8.”
Ahead of the game’s large-scale server merge, the Star Wars: The Old Republic
servers have had their physical locations merged into one
. It turns out all of the game’s servers were moved to a location on the east coast after the game’s most recent maintenance, albeit without any prior notification to players. This has some players (particularly those on the west coast) a bit miffed, seeing as how this will immediately affect ping, latency, and how far you have to drive to manually wipe characters off of your server in a fit of rage.
The good news is that the developers are aware that this change will affect performance and are hoping to be able to smooth things out over the next two weeks. That’s when the server consolidation is taking place, so that’s all the more reason to hope that all of the kinks are worked out by then. Hopefully your ping rate hasn’t significantly worsened with the move!
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.
We warned you about it back in July
, and now it’s here. ArcheAge
is merging (er, “evolving”) a dozen of its underpopulated servers down to four
. This intensive process starts today and will require two days of downtime (even for unaffected shards) before the MMO comes back online September 9th.
When the game comes back up on Friday, these four servers will no doubt be the focus of an intense land rush as players and guilds seek to reestablish their claims. Trion Worlds said that it will gradually turn the shards back online one at a time and enable AFK kicking to keep things from getting too nuts.
You can check out the new server list for ArcheAge after the break!
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.”