Posted Tue, Mar 26, 2013 by Martuk
BioWare has announced plans to merge Star Wars: The Old Republic’s (SWTOR) APAC servers with its North American counterparts to increase the long-term play experience. The current plan is to merge APAC servers with the following NA servers:
As you might expect, not everyone is happy about the decision given the possibility of performance issues due to latency. Unfortunately, BioWare Community Manager Eric Musco explained that this was the best option due to the incredibly low population of the three APAC servers.
To clarify a bit more about this decision. We did previously ask what folks on the forums would like to do as an APAC solution and some, but not all, offered up the solution of merging all APAC into one. The other option on the table was to merge APAC into the NA servers. When we discussed the options internally we looked to address everyone’s primary issues with APAC, low populations were creating a less than optimal game experience.
We went and looked at what current server populations looked like across all of APAC and to put it simply, even merging all of APAC together into one server would not solve the population problems. Even with that solution you would still see long queue times for things like Warzones and Group Finder. It was because of this that we decided that moving APAC into the NA servers was the best option.
One thing to note is that there is no catchall solution here. If we move APAC to NA some folks will see increased latency, but they will have healthy server populations and can remain on their chosen server types. If we merge everyone into one APAC server, latency will remain in place but the current population issues will exist and players will lose their preferred server type. Leaving things as they are leaves all of the current issues in place without a solution at all. This is one of the reasons getting the plan out to you folks took so long, we had to think long and hard about all of the implications of our decision.
There’s still quite a bit of work that needs to be done before the servers can be merged. Musco explained in his original post that the Free Character Transfer system will need to be updated to include recent game changes along with changes coming with 2.0: Scum & Villainy and the Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion. Tack onto that changes for the server merge tech and some other adjustments, and this may be a while in the works yet.