Let’s talk server transfers. Every MMO with multiple unconnected realms should have them. They grant players more freedom to control the environment in which they play, whatever their reason for a transfer might be, and that’s more than enough to outweigh any possible downsides if you ask me.
I was happy when SWTOR introduced them. They originally came at a hefty price, but hefty prices are fine as long as server communities are relatively stable and thriving. Unfortunately this can change over time, sometimes in a way that negatively impacts the remaining playerbase: Queues take 30 minutes or longer to pop, there’s a shortage of items in the auction houses or prices start rising to ridiculous levels, it’s hard to find people to do group quests with, areas that heavily depend on fresh blood start to become incestuous (RP, PvP) etc. etc.
We started to see this very early in SWTOR’s life after it launched with a number of servers that can only be described as insane. Merges were the answer then. It helped for a short time, but the symptoms are popping up again, mainly on PvP servers (POT5, TOFN, JKS etc.) – which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone at this point. Lacking the resources to implement cross-server technology, cutting down the transfer price to 90CC was a cheap band-aid relief for many, be it PVPers or people who play on servers with dead GTNs. It definitely helped sooth the pains of low pop realms, even if just by making sure people flee to healthier ones.
BioWare made clear from the start that this wasn’t going to be a permanent discount. Nobody’s denying that. But jacking up the price to 1000CC while only giving us a week’s notice is either incredibly short-sighted or serves some other, unknown purpose by guiding the players’ actions in a certain direction. If it doesn’t, though, I can only see this change doing more damage than good. People circumventing the pricier rename tokens can’t be the only reason for this, either. C’mon.
I’m sorry for all who depended on the cheap transfers. Fortunately I’m mostly done with mine, except for one…
The Winds of Change (Which break those who won’t bend.)
Nostalgia has a firm grip on me. I always thought by myself: Whatever may come, Serene will stay on Vanjervalis Chain. I’ve been actively playing on that server since the second day of headstart. My most important and beloved characters grew up there. I keep many, many fond memories involving guildies and the local PvP community in some obscure coil of my brain (and my hard drives, in the form of screenies). I fell in love with my ex there, Maker bless his soft heart. So, you see, VC matters a lot to me. And the thought of moving Serene away from there was downright laughable for me for a long fucking time.
What if playing there isn’t fun anymore, though? That is important too, right? Because truth is, most of the Imperials I used to play with abandoned this game long ago and PvP degenerated into an abhorrent display of incompetence on every level imaginable. (It’s also the only server I know where Pubs are absolutely dominating warzones.) So my people are gone. PvP is trash. KOTFE chapters can be played anywhere. And I’m no longer willing to let my mains rot on a server that has nothing to offer anymore… which is a good thing. When dwelling on the past starts negatively impacting my fun, something’s gotta change. ASAP.
That means Serene is moving to TRE. She’s my PvP main! Watching her gather dust on VC for nostalgia’s sake would be an utterly stupid thing to do. Ayy’s already there and has a lot of fun grilling Pubs with her new buddies. It still feels weird, but I’m convinced it’s the right decision. I just wished I had more time to prepare, because I won’t pay that many CC to move a single character from a stagnating server. There are some things I’ll likely never get done now because the only person to support me with PvE shenanigans is still on VC. This is the compromise I’ll have to make. Speaking of which, I also have to give her another name since ‘Serene’ is taken on TRE and I don’t just want to force a second word in there. Incorporating the legacy name directly into the character name would make it look the same, but… I don’t know. It’s weird. I’d rather draw a connection to her younger Jedi self and have her run around as Lyn Freykaa, which is her birth name.
Transferring her does have some positive side-effects too. I won’t be abandoning VC for good after all. In a way it’s still my “main” server, because I’m in the process of building a coherent (read: tied together by RP strings) legacy featuring one character of each base class there. So Serene will get a fresh clone, if only for tidiness’ sake. And since my mains are gone, alts will get more love in the form of achievement hunting and the like. I’m also going to forget my faction pride and limit PvP to Pub toons there – less frustrating matches with nicer people. Look at filthy little Ethu jumping ship. But I honestly don’t care anymore.
Crossing the Pond
While we’re at it: I’m going to use my insta-60 token to roll a toon on a US server (probably Harbinger). I have no use for it EU-side and don’t feel like putting much effort into a US legacy anyway. I won’t spend that much time there and the lag is bad. I wanted to create a Merc, but alas, species unlocks other than the CM ones are not account wide which means I’d have to go with something else than a Twi’lek. #Nope. Assassin it is, then.