Packing up and Settling In [SWTOR]
As you might have heard, BioWare have started implementing server transfers for both the EU and NA servers. They are hand selecting a bunch of server to transfer to a particular server thus trying to carefully create high population servers. My guild and all my characters have moved from the Sanctum of the Exalted server to Ebon Hawke server. Ebon Hawke seems to be the default NA East RP-PvE server since all of the other NA East RP servers have Ebon Hawke as a destination server.
Though I am not sure how other servers are faring, the majority on SoTE made the switch as soon as it was available. Most concluded that since the server was designated as an origin server that can transfer to a destination server, that server would eventually bleed out and making a switch now would be for the best. Although the messaging from BioWare may have contradicted itself, the actual process of transfers seems to indicate they are trying to downsize with a plethora of servers being selected to transfer over to two particular servers of the same type.
Since my guild and I have made the switch, the game feels like it did a couple of months ago. People are shouting for groups, from hard mode flashpoints to daily quests. During the first few days of transfers Ebon Hawke’s Imperial Fleet actually had two instances, there was so many people hanging out on the fleet, one instance couldn’t contain them all. The server transfers have rekindled interest in the game, BioWare just needs to polish up 1.3 to give people the flexibility to form groups and finally have a system in place to give PvPers to take competition to the next level.
One of the helping hands the game needs right about now is to be able to form groups at a rapid pace, which is coming in patch 1.3. Ideally, you should not have to stand around in a hub shouting for people to form a group to do content. You can get away with it at launch because you can guarantee to some degree that there are plenty of others who want to do the same content as you nearby, but after the initial month or two creating a group becomes a significant challenge.
I’ll agree a group finder should have come earlier in the game’s cycle but better now than never. I leveled my second character to 50 without touching a flashpoint or any other group content. It was just a pain to find the people to do them with and I did not have the resources to form a group and make it happen; It was by far and large, easier to just grind through all the quests.
I also noticed that in most MMOs, PvP starts to take a precedent in the elder game because it becomes the only fall back high level characters have, once they digested content and have to wait for more. In SW:TOR’s case if you raid you can only do three raids per week since the lockout timer resets on a Tuesday morning no matter when you do them. If you are a more casual player, you can do daily quests every now and again. The problem with that however is that there is no beefy background to them, the dialogue sucks, the story is sparse, and after a week or two of the same old thing, you get tired of them pretty damn fast.
PvP brings a lot to the table because it is the only relatively enjoyable repeatable content available for players during the low period in between big content patches. Although I’m not a PvP player I know the importance of it and I believe Ranked Warzones is a step in the right direction to provide those who like to PvP to get a lot more out of it.
I hope down the line BioWare introduces more varied content players can participate besides a new raid or a new warzone, down the line it just becomes the same ol’ thing. I want them to take advantage of story and create small story quests over a few patches to give something players to do until the next content dump. The rakghoul plague in my honest opinion was very successful. People gladly participated to gain some of the unique rewards being offered. Players had fun spreading the plague and selling any of the niche goodies they earned. I believe they need more of that to help combat the ebb and flow of people’s interest.
6 months in and I’m still enjoying the game but, the content is sparse and I don’t want to level another 50. I love the story but the gameplay leaves me tired. My saving grace is that I like to participate in raids and I have solid group for them, so that is what keeps me going. Even so, I would like to see more content be introduce to the game at a quicker pace in bite size chunks, so that there is always something to do.