SWTOR’s Pre-launch Guild System has me cursing in Ewok

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Update: I love how I find this article linked on other guild’s websites and forums. The majority are saying I am lying about this system. It’s officially in their FAQ. If you participate in the pre-launch guild formation program, your guild will automatically be placed on a server of BIOWARE’s choosing. What I have done in this entry is state my opinion that this system is goofball crazy and that I would never have my guild randomly placed on a server — I want to choose my own. That’s all. Facts stated. Opinion given. Nothing to lie about. Don’t like my opinion? Start an anti-Keen blog, form your own opinion, or never visit us again. Either way, thanks for the links. Even being called a liar brings in new readers every day.

Me. Right now.

In the comments of yesterday’s entry someone brought up that SWTOR’s launch will be smooth because of the guild system.  The comment went on to explain how Bioware will be responsible for choosing which server your guild is put onto and when you log into SWTOR for the first time, your character will be prompted to join.  I immediately dismissed this as nonsense.  I was then shot a link to a FAQ, and sure enough this asinine idea is legit.  Swallowing my sanity with one big gulp, I’ve come to make sure the rest of you are aware of the details.

Who in their right mind would participate in this system? Server choice is one of the most important decisions a player can make — sometimes it’s the only choice players get to make in MMO’s these days.  Why would anyone put such an important decision in the hands of someone else?  Why is server choice important?  I like to avoid certain crowds.  I like to follow certain crowds.  Before a server even goes live, it’s often the case that some servers will be designated the “Australian server” or the “unofficial server of X” and some servers are blatantly looking like they’ll be empty or full.  I’ve botched my server choices in the past and I’ve picked real gems.  Bottom line, I like the choice.

“When we begin placing guilds on servers, we will take into account all the information that has been provided, including the server type and the allies and adversaries you have selected. We will make reasonable efforts to place each guild according to their specified preferences but cannot make any guarantees given the anticipated volume of guilds (among other factors).  All server placements therefore remain in our sole discretion.” – SWTOR Guild FAQ

I feel like frothing at the mouth, waving my hands in the air, kicking and flailing and falling over backwards after reading that.  Getting back up, I want to roll my face around on the keyboard spewing words in in the Ewok language while trying to gnaw off my enter key. E Chu Ta! E chu Ta!  Sense, this makes none.

If the guild could choose their own server, fine.  That would be a neat way to organize.  But that’s not what the FAQ says.  The FAQ says you choose your options and the server placement is at their sole discretion.  There is even the note that your guild may choose PvP and be put onto a PvE server.  Will it happen? Doubt it.  But they’ve said it can.

Solution: Do not participate in this pre-launch guild setup program.  I want to choose my own server.  I want complete control over the most important decision I make when I start playing their game.  For those who don’t care one iota about your server choice, this system sounds fine and dandy for you.  Regardless of whether or not you have to join the guild you signed up with pre-launch or not, anyone serious about their guild will be serious about their server.  The key question still stands: Why would you choose to make your guild pre-launch and lose all control over which server you play on?

Next you’re going to tell me players not in guilds are all put onto one server together or servers are randomly assigned.  (Please don’t tell me that’s true.)  There’s only one world in which this system makes sense, and it’s the one where you have no choice over what server you join.

  • You don’t have to form a guild on the server they choose for you if you don’t want to. It’s optional.

    From the official FAQ:
    “If I join a guild, will all my characters be automatically placed in that guild?
    No. The first time you log in to the server your guild has been placed on with a character, that character will be asked if they would like to join that guild. If that character accepts and joins the guild, no further characters you create on that server with your account will be prompted. Your guild leader or officers will be able to invite additional characters from your account to the guild later.”

    You can just select no, then pick a different server. What the system does potentially do however is allow them to manage server populations a bit better at launch.

    If you are specificed a a RP-PvP guild they’ll try to put you on an RP-PvP server, and the same one as other guilds that you are officially allied with (of enemies of) for example. Don’t see this as a bad thing. Certainly not worth frothing at the mouth over 😉

  • The issue at hand is still there. Why would anyone make their guild to have it randomly placed somewhere? Simply put: Why do it?

    Great, you don’t have to join… but then what would have been the point?

  • I’m sorry I don’t see the issue here. For me and my guild – we don’t give a rat’s ass what the name of the server is as long as we all get to play together. As long as they take into account that we want a carebear no pvp server then I don’t see the issue.

    If I never signed up for the guild thing but my friends are playing on server X -THEN- if I don’t get to choose, we have an issue, a big damn issue. I don’t even want to see the invite a friend to your server thing from FFXI. That was a pain in the ass. But initial guild placement isn’t a big deal far as I can see, long as you have solid communication to your guildies on what server to start on.

  • @Loki: It’s scary to think about it, but the two ideas go hand in hand. Guilds placed together, choice of server non-existent.

    As to why you would care about your server, it’s not the name that matters to me. I added some reasoning to the entry to make it more clear. I like to avoid certain crowds.

    I like to follow certain crowds or avoid others. Before a server even goes live, it’s often the case that some servers will be designated the “Australian server” or the “unofficial server of X” and some servers are blatantly looking like they’ll be empty or full. I’ve botched my server choices in the past and I’ve picked real gems. Bottom line, I like the choice being mine.

  • @Keen

    I do see your point about avoiding certain crowds and following other crowds. I’m curious about your process. Do you wait a while to get a feel for a particular server from forum activity?

    I guess I’m not convinced that a good desire, like wanting to avoid a certain crowd, is circumvented by a random server placement. One would assume that, having chosen a guild, you would already be among the type of people you want to follow.

    I do get that it’s a choice being removed. It’s different. Respectfully, I disagree that it’s a game changer. And, one can always choose another server if you’re unhappy with some element of a randomly assigned server. Though you’d be leaving your guild to do so. Or your guild could move as a unit. I’m rambling now, moving on.

  • @Jason: No, your rambling is right on the money. It’s not necessarily a game changer, especially since I can circumvent it (hopefully?) but if you’d just move if you got a bad random server then what’s the point of having done it randomly anyway? It just seems so… casual la de da to me.

    As Graev is saying to me in the background, “Stupid idea. Makes no sense. Who would participate in that? Oh well, getting the game anyway.” I agree.

  • Everything but your name though can be pre picked.. You can pick alliances so your guild and guilds your friends with can all end up on the same side/server..

    You can also pick your enemies to make sure your on diff sides/same server.

    Both sides have to agree on being allies/enemies though.

  • @Bartillo: It says right in the FAQ that you pick your guild name and reserve it. The first thing you do is name your guild.

  • “Due to high demand”, none of that is guaranteed. You’re not guaranteed any preferences you select (Server type, allies, enemies, etc). To me, that’s a deal breaker for this pre-launch guild setup. I’ll just do it manually in-game, post-launch, and have my guarantee.

  • They are trying to regulate server populations? Good luck to them. I’m wondering whether SWTOR will unseat Halo or Modern Warfare 2 as the most overrated and overhyped game of all-time.

    I love Star Wars, and loved the Jedi Outcast series. Can’t love this.

  • Keen I did not mean to have you go all Ewok.

    To add on to what Bartillo said, I believe it will help with the balance on a PvP server. Bioware can place a specific number of Republic guild players and a specific number of Empire guild players on one PvP server. This is the only way to accomplish some type of balance.

    The last couple PvP servers I played on were out of balance. Like 70-30. Granted I had plenty of people to fight against but I spent plenty of time in rez circles. Eventually the PvP servers kind of fell apart because players left them for a more balanced experience.

  • Was just listening to the EA investor conference call (anyone can listen) and they said they will not allow bioware to release the game later then December/January.

  • @Keen I would not worry about this at all. Firstly it will be tweaked or changed if there is enough outcry about it. If it is not changed there is always work arounds to circumvent the system. Like in FF11 where you had no choice of server and one was given randomly to you. The only option was a friend buying a world pass in game and giving you the number.

    However, choosing server was more important in FF11 for me(us) because certain servers were deemed more english due to populations going to them.(as you recall all servers were in Japan and were majority Japanese speakers/typing). To circumvent the system i was re-doing char creation over and over to get the server i wanted. I think it took me an hour to land on the server i wanted(i know ridiculous)

    My point, you may have to do this but once you get it, it’s a non factor going forward. I also feel they will relax the rules on this if there is an outcry.

  • @Thomas: Hopefully you actually get on a PvP server. They say you may not.

    I get the server balance reason. I appreciate the good intentions, too. I simply can’t fathom why anyone would leave their guild’s server choice to random chance.

    As far as the whole PvP balance issue is concerned anyway, SWTOR is a PvE game with some battlegrounds where population matters not.

    @Romble: In the end, I’m not worried. I’m just dumbfounded by it. It will be loved by the people who had no idea websites and games could be connected and by the new wave of MMO players coming in for SWTOR to be their first, but beyond that it simply does not cater to anyone serious. Not being guaranteed your server type preference alone is the end of that idea for me.

  • @keen they said no cross server pvp or dungeon queues cause it breaks immersion.. So population does matter or no battleground queues I’d your doing that.

  • @14-bartillo.. I dont know if that is good or bad because you know what you will hear if the game launches with problems.

    “F***kin EA forced Bioware to release when the game was not ready”

    “Geez, i am paying to play a beta?! F U EA!”

    “This game needs 6 more months in the oven!”

    etc etc…

  • I think what they are trying to do is simple. Avoid the day one grouping up where a few servers gets completely overloaded with people. This has so far happened on every single mmo launch I have ever seen.

    For my guild we will use this system as it allows all of us to get on the same server and not as often happens complete chaos and people ending up in error all over the place and starting to level toons they then end up deleting. The only choice we don´t make is the name of the server and we could not care less about that.

    Hopefully it will kill some of the things I hate most also about mmo games where all russians end up on the same server and you end up with a general chat that half the server can´t read.

    That said I am sure many if not most people and guilds will pick whatever server they feel like and create a guild there. Hopefully though 25-50% will allow bioware to balance the servers up in a good way. If not it will be the same way Aion, WOW and all the other games have unbalanced side ratio and unbalanced server loads.

  • “As far as the whole PvP balance issue is concerned anyway, SWTOR is a PvE game with some battlegrounds where population matters not.” Keen

    I think you are way off on this one. Server balance is far more important in this game thay say world of warcraft because there will be plenty of open world pvp (that is almost dead in wow these days) and they got some of the warhammer people helping with the pvp bit. The game will also from what I understand not have shared server signups for pvp instances so it is vital that the servers are reasonably balanced for queues not to become atrocious.

  • Swtor is developing one whole planet just for open world pvp.. Now weather that’s actually used or if people will stick to battlegrounds who knows.

  • I don’t see what the big deal is. You sign up hoping that your guild is assigned to a world you like, if you don’t you just all choose a different server. There is a chance of a payoff and no real penalty unless I’m missing something.

  • If that’s true, I’m gonna disband/delete the guild I created with my friends immediately.

    Most stupid idea ever.

  • @Verdisian: Sure, no big deal. But do you see how what you’re saying equates to a stupid feature? It really is a stupid feature. It wasn’t thought through.

    Unless… their plan is to pull a FF11 and not let players choose their servers at all.

  • FF11 Called, they want sole ownership on retarded server player distribution methods back (Linkshells).

  • Well at least Prime is getting this right.

    After your first character joins a guild, and additional chars you make will have a prompt upon creation to join/not join, at your discretion.

    Sure beats the hell out of “Hey Officer Bob, can you invite my other Alt? Yea I know this is the sixth one, I know…. I know…. I have a problem. But seriously, can you invite me?”


    Honestly, I haven’t even felt a twinge of desire to even play SWTOR, let alone buy it. When you mix EA into anything, you get a huge pile of poo. It doesn’t matter that Bioware used to own. So did Mythic. o.0

  • If you think about it, registering your guild before hand will insure that enough of each type of server is made available. Its not like its hard to add servers when interest is known ahead of time. So your concerns of not being placed on a PvP server might actually be helped by you and your guild registering ahead of time.

  • I like their intention to help people preform guilds within the mechanics of the game itself. Maybe the implementation is a bit iffy but at least you have the option to not join the guild if you don’t like the server placement.
    You can then contact your guild outside the game world and manually choose a new server to form up on as per normal.

  • How is having more options prior to launch cause for this rage you have? Every serious, competitive guild out there has signed up for this. The big dogs are out there and will hit the ground running at launch and will have their alliances already set for them. Through this program BioWare will be able to do more to balance servers before launch than any game ever before and you’re trying to advocate stopping that and calling people and entire guilds stupid for doing so? Wow. That’s a high horse you sit on Keen. I hope you don’t fall off it.

  • I think bioware will do like some other games where they force a server to be 50/50 so like.. Too many sith on one server they lock new accounts from making a sith and allow republic only to balance pop… I think warhammer did that.

  • Think you said it best yourself on why they are doing this, “I’ve botched my server choices in the past and I’ve picked real gems.” Maybe this will help with that. Also having your guild in place, organized, etc. will help with this.

  • Correct, and there’s no better way to help smooth that out at launch than by giving BioWare as much information as they can about guilds and numbers of players. Sure, if you want to take a crap shot and pick a server yourself, go right ahead. I don’t see the need for Keen to rage on people for taking the other path though in an effort to make launch smoother and easier on players getting together.

  • Great points gaming fans. When I first read about this many, many months ago, I started a conversation on vent about it. The leader of our guild and our members had never heard about this. Like the people that read and contribute to Keen & Graev’s our guild was split.

    The officers got together, studied it and thought it would be the best for us and our alliances. Our alliances thought so as well. We did not care what Republic guilds we would be up against. We all hope that Bioware pulls it off properly.

    My only concern is will there be enough Republic players playing on our PvP server.

  • Yeah no need for Keen rage but also no need in bashing this idea imho. Guilds who have their act together will be just fine and even those that are not that organized can just wait until launch to form, although I would just let BW do it. The ONLY thing I could see that would be an issue would be the PvP/PvE server but I bet they just put that in because it could happen inadvertently.

  • I don’t get what all the rage is about. This is simply a tool that is made available to players that want to use it. In my mind, it’s just their attempt at optimizing server balances for those guilds that would be satisfied with basing their server choice on the options that they provide. If they extended this service to meet all the different server selection requirements that you wanted, wouldn’t it be a good thing given that they’d essentially be unifying all the communication into one place? There’s also nothing stopping you from deciding that you don’t like their choice and backing out of it at any time.

    At the end of the day I think most people would agree that balanced server population with players that have similar interests to you on both sides is the most important feature of a server, and that is likely to be what they are trying to help accomplish for players. The scary caveats like, you are not guaranteed server type, are unfortunate, but there’s really no way around that because they have no control over balance of the actual community without even more suffocatingly restrictive rules. The fact that this system is by no means mandatory and also not a commitment makes that ok for me though, as hopefully the large majority of the population will get sorted onto appropriate servers, and the rest can simply make their choice freely after the fact, exactly the way they would if the thing didn’t exist.

  • I think this will be a great feature if implemented well (fostering faction balance and supporting guild interests/rivalries), or a bad feature if implemented poorly (completely changing guild’s PvE vs. PvP preferences). Given that BioWare is an experienced quality driven company and the OBVIOUS viper pit of problems associated with the latter possibility I would have to guess it will all turn out for the greater good; and as it has been already pointed out, there are workarounds for individual guild worst case scenarios.

    Viva la faction balance!

  • @gankatron yeah the faction balance is where this could really shine, great idea if done correctly.

  • @Bartillo: If what you gleened is correct we have our most likely project launch window:

    ‘not later December’ + ‘launch date announced in September’ = October or November!

    Not much of a surprise really…

  • What I believe we are seeing in this server mechanic as well as the limited sales philosophy (re: my post #32 in the Scarcity thread) is an active hand by BioWare to ensure a smooth launch.

    Even if they are not fully successful in their attempt, I applaud them for actually learning from the launch month follies of previous games and making the effort to evolve past them.

    I do extend my sincere apologies to the Aussies and other nations that are being made to feel like 2nd rate customers in this effort; I’ll buy you a drink next time we bump into each other (especially if you are a breasty blonde who enjoys the fact that she comes from down under) . 🙁

  • It’s not rage. It’s utter confusion. It’s a stupid idea because it only caters to the “I don’t care” crowd. Watch and see. I know that any guild leadership that has been established long enough to care about their guild and server choice will not participate. It will work great for the guild spammers, those that truly do not care and newbies, but it’s meaningless for the rest.

    – You choose PvP server but you’re not guaranteed to be on one. It may put you in a PvE.
    – You choose your allied guilds but there’s no guarantee you’re all making it to the same server. Long time friends? Sorry, different server.
    – You want to pair against an enemy guild, but there’s no guarantee. You might be against complete noobs (or goons).
    – You hope you end up on a decently popular (or unpopular?) server but you get the opposite of what you hoped.

    Yeah, that sounds like an awesome idea. Still wondering why I am raising an issue? If so, you’re not the demographic I’m targeting and these aren’t the droids you’re looking for. Move along. If any of this has clicked with you, think bigger picture. If this little idea is so stupid, what else might be screwed up?

  • I seriously doubt that they are going to put PvP guilds on a PvE server as they know that not only will people get pissed off, but they will immediately undo the effort by disbanding and reforming; if they are that blind about it, then you will have been correct and it will have been a stupid idea, but seriously what do you feel the chances are of BioWare proceeding into such an obvious pitfall (your opinion of BioWare? http://www.tarot-cards-meanings-guide.com/image-files/major-arcana-00.jpg)?

    As for keeping guilds apart, I believe one of the main points is to foster their association while maintaining faction balance. Let’s not pretend that through conventional server selection methods we have been spared from meeting noob/goon guilds; IF done correctly their implementation could stack the odds in a guild’s favor for desired associations.

    And as far as perhaps ending up on a server that turns out to be the “opposite of what you hoped”, once again how are you any safer with conventional methods of server selection? It isn’t you and your 10 BFF’s that will constitute the server population. You will be a drop in the bucket; the American Dream and cake have something in common, they both are lies! Not everyone will be able to grow up and be an astronaut or ballerina, nor will the majority of a given server population adjust itself to meet your idealistic expectations; the funny thing is that their method of guild pairing based on guild preferences might actually be able to create a server population that more closely approaches your preferences as it is making adjustments on a global scale, perhaps too ambitious in its scale, but IF done properly a seemingly more orderly way at pairing guild preferences than the small scale you would be able to effect. This point can also be taken from another perspective; if the server that turns out to be the “opposite of what you hoped” then wait a month or two, dynamics evolve; “No, you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime you just may find, you get what you need”.

    I believe that you are picking examples that assume near catastrophic failure of their server selection mechanics; I think the same arguments are too absolute/binary and we should compare methods in a way that addresses which increases the probability of favorable associations. The points you provide could easily be turned around and be used in opposition of individual guild server selection methods. I believe your process is less globally directed; my biggest concern is that they may be too ambitious and fail, and then of course people will cry out “See I told you so!” and undermine what should be seen as a significant evolutionary step in improving server dynamics; even if they are not completely successful in what they are trying to achieve, I hope it will serve as a template for future game designs modified with necessary improvements learned from the experience…

  • I love how you assume this will fail miserably rather than commend a developer for actually trying to solve an issue that runs rampant in MMO’s: unbalanced factions. If this system fails it will be directly because of people like yourself who are so close minded as to just blatantly assume it will fail.

    Here are some established big name guilds that you seem to feel don’t care about their guild and server choice.

    Old Timers Guild
    Xen of Onslaught
    Goon Squad
    All Out Assault

    Maybe you’re the one not seeing the big picture

  • @Gankatron: They’ll do their best. No guarantees. It says they reserve the right to put you anywhere. The system will work great for some. It’s not at all a solution to server balance since it is so utterly optional (optional and not infallible = wtfpurpose)

    @Kaybek: How is it really a solution to server balance if it is entirely avoidable? A few will use the system, but the majority of all players who will be playing SWTOR will not.

    Your list of guilds are less than a single percent of all people who will play SWTOR.

    It’s not assuming failure, it’s a question of why is there even a chance that you might not get your server preferences or a chance you won’t be put where you want. Maybe it will work out. Maybe it will be awesome. I just don’t understand why anyone entertains the possibility that you may not get what you want (place you want, people you want to play with) as making sense.

    To borrow what my friend Bartlebe said to me on vent, some will roll the dice for the greater good. Good for them.

  • True enough Keen, and as a social libertarian I too hate that phrase “remain in our sole discretion” (hell I hate hitting the button “Submit”); nonetheless I think that must be there for the population in any game that think they can get their way if they complain enough. I think it is good that there is a workaround, and believe it holds a promise for enhanced guild interaction preferences through the global selection of their mechanic and specific individual reformulation through disbanding/reforming in worst case situations. In either case we’ll have to see, let’s hope they know what they are doing!

  • I like what Graev just said to me. He said, “What most people are going to do is wait for all the dust to settle and find out where people were randomly placed. Then they’ll pick their server.”

  • Probably true, but don’t be so quick to assume that “most” people will be more dissatisfied with this method than by the conventional method; also it might just turn out that in the time for that dust to settle, people will have progressed their toons and guilds far enough along that they will be loathe to start up from scratch behind the initial power-leveling 8-ball on another server, or pay for a server transfer (assuming they are even available) for an established toon…

  • I’ve heard enough abough SWtOR to know what it is and what it isn’t.

    It’s 8 single player RPGs with Vent.

  • I don’t think you can consider the lack of guarantees as badly as you’re considering Keen, because that’s all they are, lack of guarantees. I imagine for a guild to be put on a PvE server when they chose PvP it would require that their chosen faction and options have become so overwhelmingly more popular than their opposite faction that there was no space left for them anywhere. That should be a very very small unlucky minority of guilds, and if it’s not, then that means that player preference is so skewed that there will not be a system that will make it work anyhow.

    Same with putting the guilds that want to form alliances together. Could you actually imagine not getting onto the same server as 2-3 other guilds? If there are say 50 guilds on any given server, I cannot imagine that it would be a very common case to have those 2-3 guilds split up at all. Even in 30 guild alliances, it would not be hard to find a server to put them on. So we’re talking here having more 30 guild alliances than there are servers, in order to force a case where people are getting split up.

    Obviously not everyone will be happy with where they match up. But if these are your criteria (server type, allied guilds, opposing guilds, server popularity) do you really think that it would be that hard for a program to match that up?

    If I’m looking for a guild with these criteria, and indeed from what I remember of the Happy Fun Guyz server searches in the past, I look at the PvP servers with my friendly guilds, check out roughly what forum users are saying about where they’re going, and use that incomplete information to select that server. If I told you there was a service that knew exactly what guilds were going where, how many there were, and what types of guilds these were, wouldn’t we be all over that service to help us figure out where we wanted to go instead of making guesses based digging through server forums? Since these things are easily definable, why wouldn’t it be better for a computer to do that matchmaking? Wouldn’t you want a system where guilds can sign up to say, i want to be active in open world pvp, and put 100 of them all on the same server?

    Saying that this is imposible is simply anticipating a big fail on Bioware’s part. While that is not out of the realm of possibility, if it does happen, then just ignore the service. There is NO loss whatsoever, and HUGE gains possible.

    I still say +1 for a great idea, with the caveat that we’ll have to see how well it executes. But I feel like the concept is really so simple that it will see some level of success.

  • Just in case the original point of my post was lost. Not getting those basic preferences such as server type and allies constitutes what should be a very VERY tiny percentage of participants, if ANY. They are required to list those caveats because those extreme edge cases do exist. If any more than a small handful of guilds are not getting matched up to those preferences, it indicates either massive community imbalance, or massive developer failure, not that the idea in and of itself is flawed.

  • Random server placement is a flawed idea, but that’s my personal preference. Obviously I’m not alone. -1

    Server/Faction balance is a good idea. +1.

    Possibility to not be placed correctly is stupid. It should not even be possible. -1

    Keep in mind that I am not criticizing or even downplaying them for wanting to balance severs and factions. Yay for them. I’ll lay on my side and spin in circles while shouting Jawa sounds. Doesn’t change the fact that I think random server placement with stipulations is a bad idea.

    Bad ideas remain bad ideas, regardless of their intentions. If people want to roll the dice for the greater good, more power to them. Makes my job of picking a server even easier. +1.

    Oh look, we evened out at zero. Awesome.

  • Random server placement: I may have missed something here. My understanding is that it will place guilds on servers together that have like minded or symbiotic preferences. How is this any more random than any given guild leader making that same decision with less complete information?

    Possibility to not be placed correctly: That’s all it is. A possibility. If you were making a decision manually as the leader of a 500 man alliance, and every single server already featured twice as many of your faction as the other faction, would you not consider changing some of your preferences? Or would you imbalance the faction on one server even further by crashing all your people onto it? If the former, that’s the analogy to not being placed correctly. If the latter, you still have that option. It’s an extreme example obviously, but that’s the extreme case that it would take for these misplacements to happen.

  • random server placement lolol; lolol why get that idea think you need to look more and maybe read what it says cause its not random. you see you have two get on and list your guild 😉

  • Yeah, “random server placement” probably isn’t a good way to describe it Keen; it actually sounds like a highly organized system, far from random, even if you don’t end up on the exact server you wish to be on.

    Previously I almost used the word random to describe the conventional system as you have little control over whether you share similar preferences with the vast majority of the server population; I choose to avoid the term as it would likely lead to confusion.

    Semantics perhaps…

  • Oh come on you guys. You get to specify some guilds you like and some guilds you don’t, choose your preferred server type, and after that (here comes a direct quote): “All server placements therefore remain in our sole discretion. We also cannot take responsibility for technical errors or glitches that prevent your guild from importing into the game as planned.”

    I’m not going to get sucked into a strawman argument with the Bioware Defense Force over semantics.

    We’ll just have to wait and see how it plays out. No matter what, I, along with the majority (since it’s a fact that the majority of SWTOR players will not be in pre-launch guilds on the website), will be choosing our server rather than allowing Bioware to choose it for us. That’s assuming Bioware will allow players to choose their servers at all.

  • haha sorry Keen. You know I love your blog and everything you do for us far lazier people. But at the same time it’s that level of control you have over my opinion that gives me pause over how negative you are over their system. I believe it’s possibly a step in the right direction, more information and structure over the server selection process, but it’s one that will work exponentially better with more people buying into the concept. So I just hope you can be more open about the possibilities of this thing, especially since so many out there like myself will hold your opinion on the matter so strongly.

  • I´m sure they got the disclaimer för the same reason americans got pages after pages of what not to do after you bought a product. For legal reasons. I´m sure 99% will end up where they want to and the others can always just switch the server they got and go somewhere else.

    Something had to be done to get servers balanced and while this might not be the perfect way to do it they are atleast trying.

  • My question is why people think this will be a solution at all to server balance. This will impact a very, very small part of the population since a small portion will be in pre-launch guilds and it’s optional.

  • I can understand the desire to be able to avoid certain servers that have built up a less than savory reputation, but that point is pretty moot since this system is for pre-launch guild creation only. There are no crowds to come to a conclusion on. If you truly plan to buy the game at launch how do you plan on picking your server and avoiding the crowd you don’t like unless you are planning on sitting on the game for months to let the population settle a bit.

    Bioware is just making an attempt to balance server populations. If uber famous mega guild plans on being on Server A, then people will flock to that server A if only for the chance to play with/against someone internet famous.

    Will it work? Who knows. At least they are trying something though. In the end though, no-one is taking your choice away from you completely.

  • Like Keen said, I do think they have the best intentions.

    Personally, I feel a better system would be instead of randomly selecting the server, integrate some sort of guild profile system which offers guidance or advice as to which server would be a good pick.

    For instance, prior to launch, my guild could make a profile saying which server we were intending on playing on, based on the conventional way we’ve always been picking servers. They could then contact/search for other guilds (through the system) who they had an interest in playing with or against, and allign their server pick with them. There could then be a stats page with predictions of how populated each server might be due to early indications of server choice, and you could see which guilds were going where and you could join/avoid them. This would both provide a central location for people to communicate and organise who they wanted to play with (rather than over many forums/guild websites) and also provide valuable information to the company about how they might expect server populations to be.

    As Keen also said, the majority of the playerbase won’t be using this system, they’ll logon and if they do care about playing with a friend they’ll make an arbitrary decision and tell them, which has been done the same in every other MMO. What would be nice, is in the server lobby, have some feature where you could search alliances, guilds or even specific players (many do use the same names across all MMOs) and then it would tell you where they were playing (provided they made this info public)- but also give a warning about if that server is likely to be over/underpopulated.

    Hope that made sense, I’m quite tired!

  • Update to blog entry: I love how I find this article linked on other guild’s websites and forums. The majority are saying I am lying about this system. It’s officially in their FAQ. If you participate in the pre-launch guild formation program, your guild will automatically be placed on a server of BIOWARE’s choosing. What I have done in this entry is state my opinion that this system is goofball crazy and that I would never have my guild randomly placed on a server — I want to choose my own. That’s all. Facts stated. Opinion given. Nothing to lie about. Don’t like my opinion? Start an anti-Keen blog, form your own opinion, or never visit us again. Either way, thanks for the links. Even being called a liar brings in new readers every day.

  • Maybe people wouldn’t react so negatively if you didn’t censor people who pointed out that some of your more emotionally driven comments are insulting and do not further your argument (re: BioWare Defense Force)?

    Great example of using media to manufacture consent…

  • I often remove comments that are malicious, strawman, hostile, inflammatory, trolling, and not contributing to a discussion, debate, or providing any meaningful content at all. Repeat offenders lose the ability to comment at all.

  • I agree with the orginal poster that this system works for casual guilds that are more focused on pve and that aspect. Anyone focused on pvp will want to know who the main pvp servers are and roll there. I have lead many top guilds and it is always part of the gearing up for a game to figure out which server other guilds are going to.

    Also the people saying that they have mass confusion within their guild on launch days about server really should stop running a guild its not really hard to organize which server to roll on.