The Daily Grind: What would you be willing to transfer servers for in an MMO?

Get in, losers.

As I write this, we’re knee-deep in the 24-hour maintenance for Final Fantasy XIV splitting up the North American datacenters. What will I do after the split? Absolutely nothing. I’m already on the server I want to be on, a process I accomplished by picking that server in the first place. Being on the roleplaying servers is far more important to me than any other potential considerations. Some people are transferring, though, and while I shan’t weep over the extra space to breathe (the server has been full more or less forever), I do think it leads to an interesting consideration of why people hop servers.

The usual and most obvious reason is to play alongside your friends, but sometimes it’s a question of which friends you’re playing with. Sometimes it’s also a question of something external, like hopping to another server because it has been designated the roleplaying server, or because it’s closer to your home and thus easier to play on. Heck, one friend on World of Warcraft transferred server because a friend of his had died and being on the server they shared was just painful for him. So what would you transfer servers for in an MMO?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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Dilly Dolly

I would transfer server (or simply create new character on another server) for playing with friends.

I don’t need to do that in GW2 BTW.

Sven Schwarz

I transfered in swtor to get to a server with an active ranked q. Had friends, guild and pve characters still on old server but found friendly guild on the new one. That was over 2 years ago and not a problem as since I had decent gear on both servers but with the new expansion coming up in September im facing the difficult decision where to play or who to play with then since my time is limited.

Jim Bergevin Jr

I think the only time I willingly transferred to a different server in an MMO was in Rift a few years ago so I could play with the devs and join their guild for their Extra Life marathon.

Kickstarter Donor

The ONLY time I have willingly transferred servers is when a game has more races/classes than they give you character slots to play. Because when this happens I tend to make more the ones I didn’t have slots for on another server and then later when the MMO inevitably up’s the character slot max with an expansion or whatever I then transfer the extras to my main server.


Almost anything, but with a caveat: I will never, ever, pay for a server transfer. If I ever reach a point where I’m not happy with the server I’m in, and it would cost me any amount of real money to move to another server, then I will leave the game instead.

I prefer games with mega-servers or that otherwise allow players to freely move between servers, though. Nowadays I regard having to choose a server and being stuck with it as a strong negative when deciding what to play next.

Castagere Shaikura

I miss the good old days of separate servers. PVP servers were always empty so we all got thrown in together.

Toy Clown

I’ve always researched servers before starting, so it’s never been a huge problem, especially as RPers tend to stick together.

Years ago in EQ, my husband and I swapped to Sairyn (sp?) from Bristlebane when it opened, due to how populated Bristlebane was. It was difficult to get any content done back then. It was a decision neither of us regretted and we went on to find a great guild and people to group with.

FFXIV presented a weird bunch of server problems in that the majority of people I knew were stuck on Balmung, but then I made friends on Mateus and at one point tried to keep a character going on both servers. FFXIV’s move to allow visiting across a data center solved all the problems around that. I still consolidated all my characters onto Mateus recently and the only reason I did that is due to having an FC on Mateus I didn’t want to leave where I didn’t belong to one on Balmung. It’s hard to find a good FC so the decision was easy and I’m glad that’s all settled! I’m in a happy place in FFXIV and get to play with all my friends and attend all the RP events across the data center!

Melissa McDonald

in the case of LOTRO, I wish they’d consolidate to one or two servers so the game would feel busy and “alive” again. Where there are less than a dozen people in Bree, you know you have a population problem.

Game design plays into this. One of the genius design features of original EverQuest was how they’d put pockets of high level content near or close to newbie zones. This ensured traffic in starter zones even after server populations grew up. I think that’s a vastly underused strategy.

Bryan Correll

A Klondike Bar.

Kickstarter Donor
Loyal Patron
Jack Pipsam

Better ping.
But it’s not like anyone is going to actually open Australian servers for live games lol.