Posts Tagged ‘Transfer’

h1

SWTOR: Destination Ebon Hawk…And A Slight Rant

June 14, 2012

Free character transfers are now available in Star Wars: The Old Republic, though only on select servers so far as they gradually roll out this doozy of an undertaking. My home of Sanctum of the Exalted turned out to be an origin server as BioWare dropped the bomb yesterday that we are all getting free transfer passes to Ebon Hawk.

After a long period of debate (okay fine, it wasn’t that long and it wasn’t that much of a debate) our Republic Mercy Corps/Imperial Mercenary Corps guilds decided that What the hell, we’ll take it! Of course, no guild ever wants to be forced into a situation like this, but really, what can you do when your server will only continue to drain of players after such an announcement?

And what a perfect storm of charlie foxtrot proportions it turned out to be at first, as population redistributions usually go, so I can’t really say I was surprised. Things came together relatively well in the end for the RMC/IMC, perhaps better than they could have gone, but it did take its toll.

For a mercy, the character transfer process itself took only minutes to complete from start to finish. My characters all made it over just fine with their names intact, so I guess it pays sometimes to come up with weird-ish names for all your MMO characters. I was, however, prompted to rename my Legacy (everyone gets the opportunity) which turned out to be a bonus as I’d always wanted to change mine.

My sympathies, however, to those who lost their character names. I really mean that. I can’t even imagine going more than half a year (or more, for my fellow betans) by one handle and then having to change it, as I become attached to names as strongly as I get attached to the characters themselves.

At this point, I seriously question why all games can’t go the route of allowing you to choose any character name as long as you maintain a unique account handle (à la Star Trek Online, etc.) Or at the very least, I feel BioWare could have looked into releasing the names of inactive characters. After all, they are the ones who gave us all these tools to set up our personal legacies, they of all people should know names matter to players, they matter a lot. Add to that, we’re on an RP server, too. Ultimately, I understand how these disruptions became the last straw for many people, and it impacted our guild in more ways than anyone will ever know.

Will the move be worth it? Only time will tell, but both the Republic and Imperial fleets were alive and hoppin’ last night. I even encountered a queue. A BLOODY QUEUE. In the words of a fellow guildie, it was like stepping into some bizarro SWTOR world where all the names are a little different and there are actually — *gasp!*– people around.

Players are already reporting an easier time finding groups for hard modes and faster queues for PvP, so the initial headache may be outweighed by the benefits —  if things stay this way. I’m feeling a little conflicted at this point. Have you or your guild been affected by free character transfers (yet)? Did BioWare do things right?

h1

A Change Would Do Me Good

June 22, 2011

When the good folks at Rift posted the list of allowed destination shards for Defiant (North American) transfers, I was surprised to see Faeblight on the list (edit: or at least it was the night of June 22). Even tonight I was still hit with a queue when I tried to log in.

Granted, it’s a lovely server and my main will ever so faithfully remain there, but getting hit with long waits every time a new patch or update for the game goes live gets old fast. Especially when all I want to do is hop in and play a little on an alt.

Thus my pretty little Rogue was transferred to Estrael tonight. I am still stunned at over how simple and painless the whole process was. It was everything Trion said it would be — I clicked a button, typed in a confirmation, and seconds later, I was at my new home and that was that. They don’t even make transferring your cable or phone service this easy. Are you telling me that Blizzard has been making us pay $25 a pop for this? I am Jack’s wounded sense of indignation.

Anyway, moving off an overpopulated server was one thing — but knowing how capricious I am with my alts in general, I’m also hoping the change will inject a new interest and quality of enthusiasm into leveling again, especially with several others I know also moving their Defiants to Estrael. Few things I know are better motivators than a new home, new friends.

Even so, I have no guild lined up yet, which makes me wonder if part of me didn’t just do a character transfer for the sake of a character transfer. But who cares, the point is thanks to Rift, I did it ’cause I CAN.

h1

Contemplating Rift Server Transfers

May 24, 2011

Did you hear? Rift to offer free character transfers to select servers once per week. Not that I would ever dream of leaving my home of Faeblight, but hearing this news is cause to rejoice especially when it comes on the heels of Blizzard’s recent announcement of a possible premium cross-realm dungeon feature. Yeah, at first glance, Trion’s move looked to me like a direct and rather obvious retort to that 800-pound gorilla in the room.

To Trion, I say jolly good show. Friends playing the same game but not being able to do it together because they’re on different servers has always been the downside of multi-shard MMOs, so anything that helps facilitate that is a positive move in my book. I did cheer with the masses when I heard the news, but now that a little time has passed and the celebrations are over and the dust has settled, it’s time to look at things a little more closely.

Some bloggers have already started, and I have to confess when I started mulling over the specific wording of “select servers”, my own train of thought lead me to similar speculations. The FAQ confirmed suspicions that players will only be able to use this service to move to specific shards, presumably as a way for Trion to balance populations. I joked earlier today about staying away from Faeblight, but it probably won’t matter — being one of the heavily-populated servers, I would be surprised if it even ends up being eligible for this service at all.

Weighing in on this, I can see how there might possibly be something more to the story, whether it could be motivated by server imbalances or a move to put a positive PR spin on the problem of low populations. In light of those posts I linked, my excitement has admittedly come down a notch or two, but despite the strings attached, however, I still see reasons to be optimistic.

I play on Faeblight, and it’s practically always busy, day and night. Doesn’t mean I discount the woes of others who complain about their servers being dead; it just seems to me that players are unevenly spread out. Trion’s guiding hand may help alleviate some of these distribution problems. As well, it might allow players to “test drive” servers before they choose one to put down roots, because God knows how hard it is sometimes to find a server to call home, and I’ve regretted my share of server choices in the past.

Regardless of its limitations, it is also my hope that this move by Trion will set the precedent for future MMOs. The initial wave of impressed reactions at least showed that gamers are sick of being nickel-and-dimed for what we believe are essential services, and that $25 per character transfer or paying an effing premium to play with friends might be just a tad unreasonable.