SWTOR: Populations, Dead Servers, PVP and Inaction


BioWare has a little bit of an attitude. I mean this in respect to population balances and server populations. My guild is probably the last of the diehard PVP guilds for Republic left on Bondar Crystal. Being of the “I don’t know what raid means” type players, we get sit there waiting in queue for Warzones studying the intricacies of population. When you are sitting for 30 minutes plus at any one time, you get to ponder these things. What we have found is that many of us have alts on other servers. Many guilds have up and left and made new home in other servers. So we started to do some number tracking.

SWTOR servers are based on 5 levels of population: Light, Standard, Heavy, Very Heavy, and Full. If full it shows a queue time. The only server that I know that can do this is Fatman. Otherwise Jedi Covenant is the only other server at Very Heavy. When we started checking our alts on other servers we started noticing trends.

What I wanted to know is what the difference between Light and Standard is? We simply logged on alts and took quick tallies of the population in Fleets. Though those in Fleet are not your whole server population, it tends to give you a decent glimpse at the server size. X number of people idle (Crafting, LFG, or Queuing) should be in the same ratio versus the population. This is our basic assumption.

From what we can tell, Standard Server Populations need to have over 150 idle persons in a fleet. This is roughly at least 300 idle persons for both sides. We measured this due in part in comparison to two other Light servers that were labeled Light yet had roughly 125 people idle in fleet. The problem we found is that there is giant difference in the amount of idle persons between Light Servers. Doing quick /who on all 50s we found that a Light Server with 100+ people in fleet had roughly Four warzones going at all times. Asking those in general what their normal wait time was on this server. Most answered near instant with sometime having to wait up to five minutes.

Two of our guild mates had alts on PVE servers with roughly 60+ people on fleet. They had 3 warzones and the poll in General granted near the same answer. One disgruntled person that had to wait 15 minutes queuing solo. We informed him of our 30 minute queue now taking 45 mins during this test and he informed us that we should “kill ourselves”.

On our server Bondar Crystal we had 18 people in Fleet. On a good night we have seen that reach 30. What we concluded is that BioWare was missing two levels of server population. After Light there should be, Very Light (Opposite of Very Heavy) and Dead (Opposite of Full).

We had a larger problem trying to communicate that to BioWare. We went to the forums and started a post. Saying that, though 60+ servers are technically Light status there is giant difference between us. There are some bottom rung servers that are actually playing with Dead populations. We suggest an immediate resolution for what we saw on Xfire, roughly 6 servers that have about as bad as ours. We are the 4th worse. As soon as you publish the post, it is locked and deleted. You get a message that says, “We have a post already for server populations. We want these all in one place”.

Yes, while that may be true BioWare. You have 1 post for hundreds of people to express opinions on a broad subject. We want to specifically talk about the worst of the worst and an immediate resolution. Diluting this specific issue voiced by a very small minority, by clumping them into a very very very large thread is ridiculous. You are making a small amount of players, overwhelmed by the opinions of a majority that have no idea what you are talking about.

Seeing that we weren’t going to receive a resolution, many talked in over in ventrilo on what to do. We already knew that many weren’t coming back. Despite having a free month to play on, and almost nothing else to waste time on, they rather do anything but play on Bondar Crystal. Long queues frustrated them. We’ve lost half our guild to that alone. In small cases, some have gone to experiment on other servers, but many refuse to join in. Frustrated that the time spent on their one character is a waste. And with Legacy 1.2, starting on another server is a slap in the face. I particularly don’t want reroll. I think it’s needless when there is a much simpler solution to this dilemma.

Unfortunately, the official word is merging options in Summer. Leaving a tattered PVP guild on a dead server to sit there and wait?

It’s particularly a bad call by BioWare. Seeing a server population issue and noting this is the case. And then realizing this needs a remedy and placing that remedy months from now is absolutely moronic.

Want to know why you lost 400K in subscriptions? It because of shit like that. What’s another couple hundred right? Drop in the bucket?

It will be an interesting week. I see the GW2 stress test tonight, followed by the release of Diablo III on Tuesday, and I have a feeling that the 18 we had in fleet last night to be the largest number we will see for a while. This realization hit me hard as I probably played my last Warzone on my Sage. What a great character. Too bad that he’ll be in dust by the time I can play him again.

Part of me hopes that Diablo III’s release should hit the active populations hard enough to escalate BioWare’s plans. But … if they don’t care today, that won’t change tomorrow. Pretty sad horizon for players who won’t be going to play D3. Even sadder to realize the perfect 16 man guild we built specifically for the 1.2 Rated Warzones now comes down to only 4 people willing to keep playing.

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19 thoughts on “SWTOR: Populations, Dead Servers, PVP and Inaction

    • That’s interesting. Let’s do some math …

      WAR sold 800K, had 750K (7% loss) after their first month.
      By November they had been on a strong decline towards 500K (37% loss). By the end of November they offered server transfers and forced server merges in early December. By the end of Decemeber they had lost the another 200K, probably due to the lack of invovlement and communication (I remember this feeling fondly) and offered more merges in Feb 2009. Even though subscription slightly stabilized, by May (probably reporting false numbers) another merge took place.

      By Percentage of Loss and Time for WAR
      Launch – Sept 2008 – 800K
      1st Transfer – Nov 2008 – 500K (37% Loss)
      2nd Transfer – Feb 2009 – 300K (64% Loss)
      3rd Transfer – May 2009 – 65% Loss)

      By these statistics alone that leaves SWTOR:
      Launch – Dec 2011 – 2.1M
      No Transfer – Feb 2012 – 1.7M (19% Loss)
      No Transfer – Apr 2012 – 1.3M (38% Loss)

      In comparison to the timeline of WAR … SWTOR should have already experienced TWO merge cycles.

      So, I thank you for the idea. I didn’t even think to compare the two. In fact, not only should I be surprise that there no transfers, I should be outraged.

  1. They’re still making the ridiculous assumptions that merging servers is bad for business? Who are these people and why are they allowed to manage MMO’s? Someone making decisions near the top needs to get retired or move along to some other industry to ruin.

  2. I couldnt agree more im a high end pvp player from carnage and we lost the hole guild less 4 of us.i feel for ya.

    • Ah.. Carnage. That’s guild tag I know all too well.

      Yep, we all are moving on. Last night we couldn’t get a pop, so the last of us went to a new server to play rerolls. Sad to see the server die.

      Checking torstatus.net, we found that not only were we on the bottom of the servers, we also found that Bondar is one of 4 servers actively lossing population heavily.

      • Yea most of us rerolled on The Fatman same names but pub side.what server did u guys go to?

      • We didn’t want to contribute to the queue times to log in there. Also, Sith to Pub was almost 2:1. And we really wanted to try Sith. Why contribute to the Overdog.

        We went to The Swiftsure Server. The other PVP one and 4th largest. Should maitain, right?

  3. 15 people on fleet and 30 min wait times for WZs.

    That seems like some kind of fantasy if you play on The Exiles Crystal. We’re third lowest pop in Europe. We have half that many on fleet at weekend primetime. WZs can be days apart.

    • That’s awful. We called it Unacceptable and rerolled last night. Well, 5 of us. The others in vent were on the GW2 beta, and then on the early luanch of D3.

      We checked fleet on our old server a couple of times, there were less than 20 all night. We made new toons and Korriban has 45 in local.

      One day I’ll have my Sage back. Maybe. The War Hero gear doesn’t really want to make me gain that gear.

  4. Pingback: SWTOR: Server Merges Timing Compared to WAR and Suicide | Mr. Meh's Supplication

  5. This just comes off as you boasting. So your twink vet pvp guild ran the wz pop off your server? Who do you have to blame but yourself? Run more curbstomping double premades yo, that’s sure going to keep the casuals pvping. I’m glad Bioware are keeping you quarantined on the server that you killed – anything to keep you pompous nancies from coming to destroy my server pop.

    How dare you lambast Bioware. You’re just a no name blogger who sits around the basement playing mmos all day. Bioware has given me great games and memories – Mass Effect, KOTOR, looking forward to C&C:Generals 2. You have nothing on one of the best game devs in the business.

  6. Well. Dalborah one of the most popular servers in SWTOR has just died. D3 has killed it. Normally we have about 20 – 30 guildies on but tonight. 3 days after D3 was released we had 4 guildies on as the rest were in D3, TERA and GW2 Stress Test and the Pub fleet down to about 100 on a friday night. I logged into the IMP fleet and it was worse. I feel that BW are hiding from the truth and hoping that weekend pass’s will bump up the numbers. Even free to play wont save this game any longer. The only way they can save this game is make it Husband and Wife/ DUO friendly. Otherwise its a glorified single player game that if the servers get disconnected, you will not be able to play this game.

  7. great blog.enjoyed the read.I was introduced to mmo with swg and fell in love with the game.To this day of all the games Ive played since,Ive never had as much fun as when I was hunting jedi as a bounty hunter.Then Lucas changed the game. I was crushed.I was stationed in korea at the time and the game was my only outlet.I played wow for a couple years till I burned myself out.Now i mainly play BF3.I watched some gameplay of swtor and thought it resembled wow too much for me and I didnt want the grind.Thats what i loved about swg.It never felt like grinding,There was always other things to do when you got bored like exploring cool star wars character stuff,killing trash mobs for killer loot drops,raiding,grouping for elite npc kills etc etc.Finally i broke down and bought swtor when bf3 had a patch that nerfed the game.I couldnt have been more disappointed.The more i prayed for swg the more i got wow.Not to bash wow-its a great game,but swg seemed different.I played swtor for 32 days.I got my merc up to level 44 and was bored to death.Extremely generic.Instead of focusing on adding substance to the game ,they just push making more characters.I presonally prefer taking a toon to its peak in gear for both pve and pvp before moving on to new toons.I dont see how the game lasts much longer.I was playing on swiftsure and I could see it dying.I apologize for the long rant.Just very bummed with lucas

  8. this game has been the biggest failure in mmo’s since APB and DCUO,i mean they topped the fail list,soon enough this game will be F2P,but wait all summer MMO’s are not all out yet swtor will be dead soon with just 3 servers with pop..

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