Star Wars: The Old Republic responds to fan concerns about the unexpected server move

Earlier this week, Star Wars: The Old Republic moved all of its game servers to the same location on the east coast. This made a lot of people angry and a whole lot more people just outright confused, since it happened with no prior notice or explanation. The up side is that the community team has taken to the forums to explain this sudden move; the down side is that the explanations may or may not actually explain anything.

For example, the reason that no one was told ahead of time? The developers wanted you to log in immediately and see how your gameplay was impacted. If you’re unclear as to how that would have been tainted by knowing this was happening ahead of time, join the club. (Yes, blind trials, but customers aren’t test subjects and it arguably wouldn’t affect your overall course of action.)

Players who are experiencing particularly bad ping rates are encouraged to still send in reports about it, although how this will be addressed remains to be seen. You can read through the full answers on the official site.

Source: Official Site via Dulfy
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bereman99
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bereman99

EA apparently looked at SE’s server move for FFXIV where they didn’t tell us where they were moving the NA datacenters to, though we did have plenty of warning it was happening…

And said “hold my beer.”

Woetoo
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Woetoo

TL;DR;

We moved the servers.
We didn’t tell you because of [roll D100, lookup answer in book of inane excuses]
Server lag is worse, but not as bad as you think – honest (uncrossed fingers). Plus it’ll get better when the network goblins do goblin’y things

Personally, the people I feel most sorry for are all those who paid for server transfers within the last 12 months. Especially those people who were moving locations within the US and paid to move the majority of their characters to the “appropriate” servers.

And to anyone wondering the reasoning for the server moves. Consider the price of owning 2 homes. Then consider the price of owning just 1. Then imagine your family used to be 12 people, but now there’s just 1 of you. Okay, this is EA, so they probably shot grandma and grandad and sold the kids into slavery. But there’s still a solid financial reason for consolidation. And when did EA ever put player experience above financials reasons?

oldandgrumpy
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oldandgrumpy

SWTOR was the game that taught me that lag matters a lot. I live in Australia and I played originally on a US server and then moved to the new Oceanic server when it opened, which I believe were Sydney based.

The group I was part of had been doing the raids available at the time on the US servers and then the same raids on the Oceanic servers. Initially the raid instance were being spawned on US servers but eventually SWTOR got that sorted out and they became local for us as well. What an amazing different experience it was with 30-40ms lag, you get to see all the mechanics and the fights becomes much easier. Non of this the boss does something and you all die, you could actually see and experience all the mechanics. Suddenly my group got the game experience that the average US player gets and it was amazing. Since then I always look to see if a new game is going to have local/regional servers as I appreciate the difference in the experience I get.

For those that think that lag doesn’t matter and live in the US get out your wow account, roll a toon on the oceanic servers and give PvP a go :).

For those with a technical interest have a look at how asynchronous netcode operates. Lots of packets my client never gets to see :(

shazanti
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shazanti

What drove myself, my husband, and a chunk of our friends away from SWTOR was the Oceanic servers. Not that they existed, no… we were originally downright thrilled that they were going to be opening them. As night shifters who played regularly with people in Aus/NZ, we were ecstatic that finally, FINALLY we’d be able to play with people active during our prime play time! Oh, we knew there would be lag, we’ve heard about it often enough from our Kiwi friends, but we were willing to deal with it if it meant we’d actually be playing at an active time.

Then we found out it was region locked. The few Oceanic folks we played with were transfering over there, and we couldn’t. We didn’t play for very long after that. Just kinda sucked the interest out of every one of us.

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Jack Pipsam

I ordered SWTOR off Amazon and got it shipped from the USA all the way to Australia as they didn’t launch it here right away, I accepted the lag then.
But the news that the launch of the game here would actually come with legit local servers was incredible, I was totally prepared to start all over again just to have that sweet silky ping. Then EA screwed every single one of us over not too long later and now they’re screwing us again.

It’s kinda confusing they wouldn’t let you transfer over if you wanted too, didn’t think it mattered to them as long as you paid.

I almost wish they never actually bothered with the local servers, if this was the status quo all the while there’s no way we’d be raging as much, but because they deliberately screwed us, it made it all the much worse.

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traja

Since SWTOR is a slow paced MMO the distance alone shouldn’t make a noticeable difference. There must be some packet loss going on if a lot people are experiencing lag. That is in theory possible to fix but whether it is realistic or not is a different question.

I just hope they won’t touch the EU servers too. Distances here are small enough that it doesn’t matter much which country the servers are in, but if there is an ocean between us and the server… That would kill the game permanently for me. Which is a shame even if I am not currently playing.

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Schmidt.Capela

The East Cost is the best place to put the servers if you want to serve US and Europe from just one central location…

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traja

True but it is still awful for Europeans. There just isn’t a single central location that is going to work for both continents. I’ve played MMOs on such servers and it is always noticeable.

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Witches

At the same time this happened transfers were disabled, so you’re stuck wherever you are, and they were very unconvincing about future sales in transfers, transfers have been “on sale” for some time, they cost 90cc down from 1000cc or 1500cc for transfers between continents, 450cc cost 4€ bigger purchases of cc have better rates.

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Jack Pipsam

The Lag Awakens.

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Paragon Lost

“the down side is that the explanations may or may not actually explain anything.”

Or in other words, business as usual from Bioware.

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Greaterdivinity

That was easily one of the worst, most blatantly bullshit “responses” ever. Especially their response as to why they didn’t tell anyone.

Keith, bro, I’ve had your back thus far but you’re screwing the pooch with this. Stop it, you were supposed to be our only hope.

I poked around a few forums/SWTOR reddit, and it seems like pretty much nobody believes their BS responses. Even some of the usual ardent defenders I’ve seen were quick to call these answers out as a terrible attempt at damage control that only makes things worse for BioWare.

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Melissa McDonald

Au contraire – Obi-Wan Kenobi is our only hope!

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Crowe

If only Obi-Wan was the game producer…

Woetoo
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Woetoo

They fired Obi-Wan around patch 1.2. His wayward ideas were too focused on mythical mumbo jumbo that would only appeal to people who still had hope. People with hope don’t have cash, so don’t count.

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zuldar

The developers wanted you to log in immediately and see how your gameplay was impacted. If you’re unclear as to how that would have been tainted by knowing this was happening ahead of time,

I can vaguely understand their reasoning for this. Maybe they’re worried about the nocebo effect where players simply knowing they will have worse ping may make them focus on lag issues more.

They still absolutely should have told the player base ahead of time though. Ideally a change this big should happen early enough that players can drop their sub ahead of time if they dislike the changes.

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Witches

Actually, before they said anything there were already a couple of threads showing concern after testing pingtimes and feeling a bit confused because all west coast servers were now showing similar pings to east coast servers.

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Crowe

I see that argument and actually understand it. However, it’s best to try something like that out on a much smaller scale. Doing this a week or two before they’re server merging and for all affected servers, just smacks of a general lack of professionalism and shows a disregard for the community and a complete failure to understand their customers.

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Bullwraith

I’m in the pacific northwest and have lived with latency of 80-120ms across all mmo’s except swtor for the last 15 years. In swtor I was usually getting 37-45ms before the server move, now it is up to 85-99ms. I really can’t tell the difference in my game play as far as the latency is concerned. What I HAVE noticed is that there is far less lag on the server itself so my gameplay overall is actually much better than it was.

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Paragon Lost

If you’re getting anything less than 150ms latency you really aren’t going to notice much of a difference, ever. If you’re over 250ms you really do start to feel it and 500ms plus is really a lousy experience.

More important is lost packets, if you’re consistently getting a lot of those then no matter what your ping is you’re gonna have a bad experience gaming.