Given all the SWTOR server merging news out there, I thought I’d weigh in with my thoughts. In my opinion, server merges are a positive action taken to correct a negative situation that only gets worse when left untreated. No one likes to play on a server with a dead population; If you do, you’re weird. People are needed to make a game like SWTOR fun. Some of those SWTOR servers had almost no one playing during prime time. In my opinion, they should all be merged down into a handful of servers bursting at the seams with players and the move should be mandatory.
These aren’t the days of EverQuest, Dark Age of Camelot, or Star Wars Galaxies communities. Merging all of these communities together doesn’t change anything. None of the servers developed differently, and the communities haven’t shaped anything in a game that focuses on the individual. You have a highly instanced world with almost no interaction among players outside of their own cliques (guilds/raid groups). There is little to lose when merging themeparks like this and everything to gain. More people = More fun.
I think optional server merges, where people can leave and disperse willingly on their own to different locations, are far more detrimental than simply taking everyone from one server and putting them together with everyone from 10 other servers. Giving players a choice in this matter only causes confusion, evident in some of the news site articles out there.
Server merges breathe life into a game. General chat in SWTOR is likely bustling with a lot of optimism from players who are getting to feel like they’re meeting new people — or any people at all for some of them — in an atmosphere resembling that of the launch window.