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Server Merges Round Two

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  • DraronDraron A town in, KYPosts: 993Member
    Originally posted by ban-chan
    so did they merge Jung Ma with another server. I'm wanting to see if it's worth it or no.

    Yea, that's my home server. Fleet on the Empire side had ~250 people last night, only had to wait a few mins to get an OP to pop.

    Originally posted by grimal

    I've never liked the idea of different servers for any MMO.

    It's an MMO, we should all be playing together, not on different servers!  If they could manage to get everyone down to one server, that would be cool (given that it was not a ghosttown, of course);

    I think the same way. If only they could have everyone on one huge server (well seperates for PVE/PVP/RP of course) and make it into seperate instances if it's too full, like Guild Wars 1 does. There's be no shortage of people looking for groups and such then.
  • gervaise1gervaise1 .Posts: 2,082Member Uncommon

    The situation that EA faced was a known issue: high pop on day 1 then (typically) people leave the game.

     

    EA could have used different server technology:

    Using one or more EVE style clusters on day 1 - some sort of "BigWorld" technology. Maybe 2 for East Coast (RP, PVP, PVE), 3 for West Coast server, 3 French, 3 German and 3 EU English clusters. Different clusters would have different numbers of servers but from the players point of view there would simply be one servers. No transfers needed; no the sky is falling threads when servers were merged.

     

    EA could have limited sales on day 1.

    Never going to happen but if they had opted to sell 500k on day 1 and then no more for a month ... 500k of server capacity. 1 month down the line another 500k allocated .. maybe a small bump to capacity.

    To anyone who says: they launched with to many servers ask yourself: if EA launched with a quarter of the servers, you bough the game and couldn't log on for 2 months would you be happy? Once EA sold the number of copies they did they had to allocate servers.

     

    EA could simply have said:

    don't get to attached to your initial servers; we have allocated extra servers for launch but intend to review capacity in 3 months time at which point we will optimise the number of servers.

    To support this they would have created a single "server" that everyone logged onto initially - so no duplicate names etc. People would then go from this "gateway" server to, on day 1, some non-specific server. (Some tools to check where your friends are etc.)

     

    Instead EA decided to use a very traditional approach with lots of small servers ...

    - and presumably assumed that new sales would off-set customer churn (boggle!) Having done so they got things "pretty much right" on day 1 as they only added an extra 20-ish servers.

    One has to wonder why they opted for this approach however.

     

  • tiefighter25tiefighter25 Winchester, MAPosts: 937Member

    @Gervaise

    I think Bioware was working unde the assumption that population would increase like WoW. At lesat that's the only explanation that makes sense to me. I think they thought overall population would increase and any low population concerns would be for individual servers a long time down the road. (Again, much like WoW).

    Even when the overall server depopulation became glaringly obvious, Bioware wasn't allowed to address the issue in a timely manner because 1) they were completely unprepared for it, 2) Were afraid that the PR hit of merging servers so quicklt would exasperate the problem by causing a cascade of cancelled subscriptions,  and most imprtantly, 3) EA couldn't allow it because a vast server merger would be horrendous publicity for an already tanking EA stock that would leave EA in a weak position against a possible buyout. (And thus directly endangered the high salaries of EA's upper management.)

    Whatever the case was, it seems there was a lot of anarchy, probable bad descions, and infighting both between Bioware and EA and within Bioware itself.

    Perhaps someday we will be privy to these details, but in the meantime, all we know is that EA forced a Freemium system upon Bioware and purged the original game designers tagging Jeff Hickman and Matt Bromberg to run the game and its now 17-20 servers.

  • busdriverbusdriver nyPosts: 859Member
    Originally posted by grimal

    I've never liked the idea of different servers for any MMO.

    It's an MMO, we should all be playing together, not on different servers!  If they could manage to get everyone down to one server, that would be cool (given that it was not a ghosttown, of course);

    Wont be long now, give it a few months and all the SWTOR players will fit into one server :)

  • KarteliKarteli Providence, PAPosts: 2,646Member
    Originally posted by gervaise1

     

    EA could have limited sales on day 1.

    Never going to happen but if they had opted to sell 500k on day 1 and then no more for a month ... 500k of server capacity. 1 month down the line another 500k allocated .. maybe a small bump to capacity.

    To anyone who says: they launched with to many servers ask yourself: if EA launched with a quarter of the servers, you bough the game and couldn't log on for 2 months would you be happy? Once EA sold the number of copies they did they had to allocate servers.

     

    EA could simply have said:

    don't get to attached to your initial servers; we have allocated extra servers for launch but intend to review capacity in 3 months time at which point we will optimise the number of servers.

    To support this they would have created a single "server" that everyone logged onto initially - so no duplicate names etc. People would then go from this "gateway" server to, on day 1, some non-specific server. (Some tools to check where your friends are etc.)

     

     

    The Initial plan from EA's subdivision BioWare was to limit sales at launch.  Possibly at a time when BioWare had less micromanaging (even slightly) from EA.  It was posted on the older forum dev tracker, and the original is now lost since the forum was wiped last winter .. but a copy still exists in news articles and Darth Hater:

    ref : http://www.darthhater.com/devtracker/topic/9564-ea-bw-and-the-flawed-plan

    EA/BW, and the Flawed Plan.

    July 21, 2011

    Originally Posted by StephenReid
    To all of our fans outside of North America and Europe:

    Today we've announced the pre-order details for the initial launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic, and as you may now know, we?ve taken the difficult but necessary decision to limit our initial launch supply for the game. BioWare and LucasArts are completely focused on building an exceptional game and an exceptional game service to go with it. We decided to constrain our launch capacity to ensure we deliver a great experience to every player.

    Part of the reason this decision was made was because of the overwhelming demand for The Old Republic, and we're humbled by that level of excitement and anticipation. We fully intend to deliver to you an amazing game when we expand our service post-launch, but right now we cannot commit to any timeframe for when that may happen. As soon as we have more information about additional launches in more territories, we?ll let you know.

    We are committed to delivering Star Wars: The Old Republic to BioWare and Star Wars fans around the world, and to growing a truly global community.
     
    This was also about the time where region blocking was being discussed.  Pre-orders sold out, along with digital sales.  The sales limit was further emphasized by EA HQ soon after:
     
     
    EA will limit Star Wars: Old Republic digital/retail sales at launch
    August 18, 2011
     
    EA has revealed that it will limit both retail and digital sales of BioWare's upcoming MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic, at launch.
     
    Speaking during a Gamescom presentation, the publisher said itself and BioWare have decided to forcefully limit all sales of the game in order to ensure a smooth launch with regards to server stability.

    It's not uncommon for the launch-day rush to bring MMO servers to a crashing halt and with a game as widely anticipated as The Old Republic, EA's concern is understandable. The publisher says it would rather limit sales and ensure a quality service than sell as many copies as possible and have gamers endure the chaos that may ensue.

    This means that, despite being available as a digital download, you will still have to worry about getting a copy before it sells out. EA refused to share numbers, but says retail copies will be limited and it will cut off digital sales at a set number at launch.
     
     
    But then something happened .. EA got wishy washy in light of huge piles of incoming money !!!  suddenly pre-orders were unlimited ... EA felt investors were worried?  No worries .. hundreds of small capacity servers will fit the bill....
     
     
     
    SWTOR Limited Release won't Cause Supply Shortage, Says EA
    October 30, 2011
     
    The publisher said in August that itself and BioWare have decided to forcefully limit all sales of the game in order to ensure a smooth launch with regards to server stability.

    In recent investors call, EA Labels boss Frank Gibeau sought to alleviate concerns that this will result in shortages at launch that don't meet demand.

     

    Kind of long winded, but what once started out as a sales limitation to make the player experience better, got warped into an unlimited sales for higher day-1 sales, along with higher pre-orders.  I'm really not sure what EA knew last Christmas ... either they saw this game as a lemon and wanted to get as much money as quickly as possible (especially since the NDA just dropped), or they thought this game was a pristine gem that would keep growing and growing ..

     

    It could be a mix though .. the BioWare office knew they had a gem if they could actually finish it, and EA saw it as a lemon and just wanted their money back ..... :-)

     

     

     

    Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8NNHmV3QPw&feature=plcp
    Recognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.

  • tiefighter25tiefighter25 Winchester, MAPosts: 937Member
    An insightful and informative post Kartlei.
  • ByntBynt Atlanta, GAPosts: 35Member

    So I just logged into my server "The Prophecy of the Five" to see how the changes went today.  The experience was very smooth, but I was really surprised at my increased performance.  The game is running soo much better on my computer now with many people around its crazy, really loving this new high-population server technology they rolled out.  Having much higher server populations is a great thing and really makes the world feel alive as you can see people running around everywhere and doing stuff.  Middle of day today on East Coast, all 8 US servers had populations of Standard.  

    I used to have a slight delay whenever I tried to pan around with my mouse, that delay is completly gone.  Plus the game runs smoother when racing around on my speeder, Fantastic!  The really neat thing is, my girlfriend and I play in the same room together often, so when we both did a conversation together, her PC would always be delayed or mine would be such that the conversations would be out of sync and it made it difficult to listen.  However, today for hte first time after an hour of testing, every conversation started immediately and ran in sync, Fantastic!  Just wanted to share my stellar experience with this game! 

    SWTOR keeps getting better and better all the time in my opinion!

  • KarteliKarteli Providence, PAPosts: 2,646Member
    Originally posted by tiefighter25
    An insightful and informative post Kartlei.

     

    Thanks TieFighter25.

     

    I'll add also that even though so many servers existed (thanks to unlimited sales), they were not running at full capacity initially.  A "Full" rating was much lower than it is currently.  This was EA's effort to funnel new players into empty servers and make popular ones less appealing with queues, all in an effort to spread people out.

    ref: http://www.gamespot.com/news/star-wars-the-old-republic-server-queues-upset-players-6347847

    Jeff Hickman:

    "On one hand, you do not want people to wait too long; on the other hand, you want to make sure that people have a dynamic, engaging community to play with for long after launch. Either way, we have one clear objective--to make sure folks have fun."

     

    Server caps got raised slowly over the first month, but many servers that were once "Full" were now "Standard", for instance, without losing many people (ie they still had the same 1000 players) .. a big potion of those servers never recovered.  The influx of new players dried up, which someone in charge likely did not expect.

     

    It's just a tidbit of extra information, which just adds to what was already mentioned. Unlimited sales, while spreading players out thinly over hundreds of servers didn't work out so well.  I guess sales were expected to be much higher .. according to product analysts and fortune tellers.

     

     

     

    Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8NNHmV3QPw&feature=plcp
    Recognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.

  • DraronDraron A town in, KYPosts: 993Member
    From reading the official forums, I'm on the lowest pop NA server, Jung Ma. But I see people everywhere in game, and the fleet had 150 people in it when I was on earlier. Good time for the game, and can only imagine how many people will be on when F2P comes.
  • william0532william0532 portland, ORPosts: 251Member

    Part of me want's to go back when it goes free to play, but then I read what Bioware has said about F2P and their ideas, I think I'll pass.(from little articles and excerpts on Darthhater.com)

     

  • JeroKaneJeroKane OsloPosts: 5,353Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by AmbrosiaAmor
    Originally posted by dead2soon
    Looks like of those 20 only about 5 are active. Ouch.

     

    Yeah I think the Asia Pacific servers are always going be (and have almost always been) light. I'm a bit surprised that all of the European servers are light as well. I guess the server merge wasn't enough to even bring one of them to standard status. What really surprises me is that you only have one very heavy and one heavy NA server after merging so many servers.

    With almost everyone jumping ship from the company (I think only Ohlen is left?) I wonder how the populations will look right before the game goes F2P.

    I think at this point that even Funcom's TSW has more people playing than people playing this game. :-/

    It's still pretty sad to see such a high profile game and IP go down in flames like this. No matter what.

    I think a lot of people jumped ship to Guild Wars 2 and the upcoming MoP expansion of WoW.

    I still liked the PVE aspect of SWTOR a lot tho.... just couldn't bare the emptiness of the server(s) I played on! It was impossible to get any group mission done anymore! :(

  • gervaise1gervaise1 .Posts: 2,082Member Uncommon

    As Karteli they did indeed talk about limiting sales although the phrase "we will assess things as they develop" was also used. I always had the feeling that it was all done to talk up the pre-orders. If they had limited the game to pre-orders only for the first month they certainly wouldn't have had to add extra servers and a second wave of players would have come in to replace those that left. I suspect a part of the problem may have been the huge number of subs they needed 500k to break even, 1M to (just) make a profit and a target of 1.2M.

    And as tiefighter said - and I mentioned above when talking about churn - I suspect they did indeed expect new sales to replace people leaving (churn)  - they probably didnlt exepect people to leave so quickly either. After all surely everyone was going to play all 8 storylines !!!!!! (No lesson learnt from DDO then.) They did indeed seem totally unprepared for falling server populations. 

  • JonokuJonoku Cool, PAPosts: 645Member
    I knew this was coming....lol the game was/still is a flop.

    Looking at: The Repopulation
    Preordering: None
    Playing: Random Games

  • william0532william0532 portland, ORPosts: 251Member
    Originally posted by Jonoku
    I knew this was coming....lol the game was/still is a flop.

    Not really a  Nostradamus level prediction. Themepark MMO comes out, six months later all content is burned, players leave for next game.

     

    Not every mmo can have the luxury of WoW, with millions of fans that have already put years upon years into playing it and refuse to leave. When I quit TOR, I had a couple million credits, augmented warhero hero gear, and almost a set of blackhole crap. I was not attached to the easy ground out gear, and there wasn't any more pve to do, the warzones became static, and only playable when my guild was on, no open world pvp, and nothing as a guild to invest time into or long term goals to achieve. WoW spent years without real competition building all those things up. Its my belief all straight themepark mmo's will hit the same fate no matter what.

     

    I do wish SWTOR would go free to play(as long as its nothing like the piece of crap ideas they've been talking about so far), add space, and develop more features(world pvp, guild objectives, like guild halls, open world pvp and actual exploration). Maybe in a couple years I'll go back. I'm sick of dragons and fantasy.

  • KarteliKarteli Providence, PAPosts: 2,646Member
    Originally posted by william0532
    Originally posted by Jonoku
    I knew this was coming....lol the game was/still is a flop.

    Not really a  Nostradamus level prediction. Themepark MMO comes out, six months later all content is burned, players leave for next game.

     

    Not every mmo can have the luxury of WoW, with millions of fans that have already put years upon years into playing it and refuse to leave. When I quit TOR, I had a couple million credits, augmented warhero hero gear, and almost a set of blackhole crap. I was not attached to the easy ground out gear, and there wasn't any more pve to do, the warzones became static, and only playable when my guild was on, no open world pvp, and nothing as a guild to invest time into or long term goals to achieve. WoW spent years without real competition building all those things up. Its my belief all straight themepark mmo's will hit the same fate no matter what.

     

    I do wish SWTOR would go free to play(as long as its nothing like the piece of crap ideas they've been talking about so far), add space, and develop more features(world pvp, guild objectives, like guild halls, open world pvp and actual exploration). Maybe in a couple years I'll go back. I'm sick of dragons and fantasy.

    I quit with over a million credits as well.  Credits are worthless though .. unless you want to buy one of those klunky mounts that clip and partially disappear when close to another object or wall.

    Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8NNHmV3QPw&feature=plcp
    Recognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.

  • william0532william0532 portland, ORPosts: 251Member
    Originally posted by Karteli
    Originally posted by william0532
    Originally posted by Jonoku
    I knew this was coming....lol the game was/still is a flop.

    Not really a  Nostradamus level prediction. Themepark MMO comes out, six months later all content is burned, players leave for next game.

     

    Not every mmo can have the luxury of WoW, with millions of fans that have already put years upon years into playing it and refuse to leave. When I quit TOR, I had a couple million credits, augmented warhero hero gear, and almost a set of blackhole crap. I was not attached to the easy ground out gear, and there wasn't any more pve to do, the warzones became static, and only playable when my guild was on, no open world pvp, and nothing as a guild to invest time into or long term goals to achieve. WoW spent years without real competition building all those things up. Its my belief all straight themepark mmo's will hit the same fate no matter what.

     

    I do wish SWTOR would go free to play(as long as its nothing like the piece of crap ideas they've been talking about so far), add space, and develop more features(world pvp, guild objectives, like guild halls, open world pvp and actual exploration). Maybe in a couple years I'll go back. I'm sick of dragons and fantasy.

    I quit with over a million credits as well.  Credits are worthless though .. unless you want to buy one of those klunky mounts that clip and partially disappear when close to another object or wall.

    Lol, I think my low point was after about 15 KP runs and I finally got the stupid little droid pet, and realized that it was worthless, and why was I doing this to myself! My point to the other guy was players don't have to wait anymore for games to fix themselves. WoW wasn't really special, just a decent game, after 6 or more so years grinding, your kind of stuck going back to it, time and time again, cause you've put so much into it. None of these games launched without all the bells and whistles(bells where coming in 1.2, bells would get fixed in 1.3, than whistles where slated for 1.4, but whistles will probably be pushed for fixed bells from 1.3 when bioware realizes they don't ding). Even GW2, I'm kind of starting to see that in six months, I'll be done and looking at the next game on the horizon. Now a days(I've never tried to write now a days, looks ate up?) we have options. If WoW launched today with their original content, but with today's graphics, I'd still be rolling on in six months.

     

    I don't know if any mmo, will ever have that power in the market again(unless all developers minus one quit developing them, so we only have one option for about five years)

     

    Ffs, look at the list of mmo's on this forum, I haven't even heard of about 200 of them.

     

    I'm rooting for Bioware though, I hope 2 years from now, with a staff of about 10, they somehow manage to fix everything, and add all those bells and whistles on their wall of crazy, so I can never see another dragon again. Or at least some other sci fi mmo comes out where I can explore a galaxy and find something new to do every day.(as opposed to standing by the pvp terminal waiting on ques to pop, or solving every stupid raid puzzle for my guild day in and day out!)

  • curacura WarsawPosts: 950Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Bynt

    So I just logged into my server "The Prophecy of the Five" to see how the changes went today.  The experience was very smooth, but I was really surprised at my increased performance.  The game is running soo much better on my computer now with many people around its crazy, really loving this new high-population server technology they rolled out.  Having much higher server populations is a great thing and really makes the world feel alive as you can see people running around everywhere and doing stuff.  Middle of day today on East Coast, all 8 US servers had populations of Standard.  

    I used to have a slight delay whenever I tried to pan around with my mouse, that delay is completly gone.  Plus the game runs smoother when racing around on my speeder, Fantastic!  The really neat thing is, my girlfriend and I play in the same room together often, so when we both did a conversation together, her PC would always be delayed or mine would be such that the conversations would be out of sync and it made it difficult to listen.  However, today for hte first time after an hour of testing, every conversation started immediately and ran in sync, Fantastic!  Just wanted to share my stellar experience with this game! 

    SWTOR keeps getting better and better all the time in my opinion!

    No offence but movie or it didnt happen. And please define what is very smooth for you.

  • ktanner3ktanner3 lakeland, FLPosts: 4,074Member Common
    Originally posted by william0532
     

    Lol, I think my low point was after about 15 KP runs and I finally got the stupid little droid pet, and realized that it was worthless, and why was I doing this to myself! My point to the other guy was players don't have to wait anymore for games to fix themselves. WoW wasn't really special, just a decent game, after 6 or more so years grinding, your kind of stuck going back to it, time and time again, cause you've put so much into it. None of these games launched without all the bells and whistles(bells where coming in 1.2, bells would get fixed in 1.3, than whistles where slated for 1.4, but whistles will probably be pushed for fixed bells from 1.3 when bioware realizes they don't ding). Even GW2, I'm kind of starting to see that in six months, I'll be done and looking at the next game on the horizon. Now a days(I've never tried to write now a days, looks ate up?) we have options. If WoW launched today with their original content, but with today's graphics, I'd still be rolling on in six months.

     

    I don't know if any mmo, will ever have that power in the market again(unless all developers minus one quit developing them, so we only have one option for about five years)

    I doubt it will ever happen again either. Players have so many more options now compared to then. I do think the reign of the themepark is coming to an end and that devlopers who want to stay successful in this business will either make a game that is more free and open or just make their next thempark idea a single player game. 

     

    Ffs, look at the list of mmo's on this forum, I haven't even heard of about 200 of them.

    Me neither and its why I think this  genre will always be a niche one upside single player games. Most gamers are on consoles because you can buy the game and play right away without the issues that plaque PCs. Don't have to worry about upgrading the video card, sound card, memory or anything else just to play a game. 

     

    I'm rooting for Bioware though, I hope 2 years from now, with a staff of about 10, they somehow manage to fix everything, and add all those bells and whistles on their wall of crazy, so I can never see another dragon again. Or at least some other sci fi mmo comes out where I can explore a galaxy and find something new to do every day.(as opposed to standing by the pvp terminal waiting on ques to pop, or solving every stupid raid puzzle for my guild day in and day out!)

    I'm rooting for them too. I enjoyed myself for the time I was in but it does have the same issues that themparks have with endgame. 

     

    Currently Playing: Star Wars The Old Republic

  • william0532william0532 portland, ORPosts: 251Member
    Originally posted by Bynt

    So I just logged into my server "The Prophecy of the Five" to see how the changes went today.  The experience was very smooth, but I was really surprised at my increased performance.  The game is running soo much better on my computer now with many people around its crazy, really loving this new high-population server technology they rolled out.  Having much higher server populations is a great thing and really makes the world feel alive as you can see people running around everywhere and doing stuff.  Middle of day today on East Coast, all 8 US servers had populations of Standard.  

    I used to have a slight delay whenever I tried to pan around with my mouse, that delay is completly gone.  Plus the game runs smoother when racing around on my speeder, Fantastic!  The really neat thing is, my girlfriend and I play in the same room together often, so when we both did a conversation together, her PC would always be delayed or mine would be such that the conversations would be out of sync and it made it difficult to listen.  However, today for hte first time after an hour of testing, every conversation started immediately and ran in sync, Fantastic!  Just wanted to share my stellar experience with this game! 

    SWTOR keeps getting better and better all the time in my opinion!

    I know your saying it's running better, and thats awesome. It really should. If Bioware had bought a complete hero engine, instead of an unready prototype, they would have been running alot smoother from the get go.

     

    I'm happy your experience is well, if it every gets a little glitchy or laggy, on SWTOR.com, theres a thread called swtor unleashed, its a file optimization program that the players created to make the game run  better. Bioware's signed off on it. That was the only way I could get my gameplay to run smooth(I don't have a crap machine or anything, but if I have delay, or any lag, I rage, even if its for a second on fleet and doesn't really matter, I just really go insane lol). Glad you enjoy the game, keep pushing the developers to improve their product so people like me can come back to a finished game down the line!

     

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