Character transfers are now available in Star Wars: The Old Republic to and from select realms. This comes as players grow desperate to flee the low population overflow servers created at the game’s launch in order to enjoy many of patch 1.3’s features (including ranked warzones and the group finder). The general idea is that BioWare will allow, for free, players to move off of select low population realms to a designated server. In some cases, multiple origin servers will move into a single destination server (making a lower population realm a higher population realms) and in other cases a single server may move to a higher population realm.
Of course, there are a few downsides, like guild names and character names may already be reserved and guilds can’t move as an entire group. On the plus side, players are finally able to play the game as it was meant to be played and are no longer having to suffer under having no one at or near their level to play with.
Update: As of 6/14/2012 there are now over 120 origin servers. You can read more on the SWTOR forums.
Transferring a character is quick and easy, but there are a few gotchas. The first thing to do is communicate with your guild and friends that you’re taking the free server transfer. If your guild is moving as a group, then be sure to get the information about the guild’s new guild name (if applicable) and who is doing invites. Then login to the swtor.com site, sign into your account and go to the “my account” page where a link to transfer characters is on the left hand side. From there you can begin the simple process to move your character.
Guilds will have a slightly tougher time moving as a whole because there isn’t a “move everyone” option, the guild itself (along with its ranks) will not transfer, and the guild bank doesn’t come along with you. Guilds do have the option, of course, of taking their bank tabs with them. The guildleader will need to empty the guild bank out, disband the guild, and reform the guild on the new destination server. From there, they’ll need to submit a support ticket to get their free guild bank/tabs.
Guildleaders themselves can’t transfer either; they’ll either need to disband their guild or hand the reigns over to someone else before making the move.
It’s also important to note that origin and destination servers are the same server type, so don’t worry if you’re on an RP, PvP, or PvE server when it comes time to make the move, you’ll land at the same type of server.
My top tip for avoiding the naming crisis is to move as soon as you’re able to, if you’re even planning on moving. I do believe that you can also make a character on the server with the same name to “name sit” and then delete it before the transfer, but don’t quote me on that.
There has never been a better time for server transfers, other than I guess yesterday or the day before (or last month), but with patch 1.3 coming, it’s going to turn SWTOR from “that game” to “the game” to play. We’re seeing server statuses move on up, with destination servers being very heavy even late at night.
It’s been mentioned before that BioWare may want to go in the direction of mega servers. Servers where there are tons of players and multiple instances of the world. I personally like this idea, minus the whole – you know, lack of unique names. If I want to name my character Vegeta, then I feel that I should be able to get that name without resorting to Vegeta12 or Vegeta132 or (with the lack of numbers) Vegetaaa or even resorting to Vegetable or Vegetaablee. Another issue is queues, which I’m sure we all don’t want to see.
Then again, I’m sure a lot of these overflow servers will eventually be retired and character transfers be required to play those characters again. That’s getting into some rough territory, because a lot of people do not tolerate stuff like that. I’d personally not care, because a server transfer is a server transfer and a server is a server, but others don’t like change, especially where they call home.
Only time will truly tell what BioWare will be doing with server transfers and the future. This is the first major step in fixing the problem of low population servers, but there is still a lot of work to be done to even things out.
Let us know what you think about the process in our comments section below!