This launch has caused some concern in the community, not only from Australians who might find themselves transferring servers to take advantage of lower ping times, but also from people in the US who are playing on servers with a high population of Australian players. Bioware are offering a free opportunity for qualifying players (those in the region) to transfer their characters to one of the new servers.
What will happen to the servers that are highly populated at the moment once all the Aussie and New Zealanders who have been playing already for months jump ship? Will these servers become ghost towns? And what will happen to guilds on these servers? All of a sudden half of some guilds will have an opportunity to transfer.
As a guild leader and a player based in Australia, I can tell you that this is a hard decision. About 65% of my guild is not Australian but that majority is spread across North America and Europe. Many of us have been friends for ten years in MMO games and if Australian servers were made available from the start, the US and UK players in my guild would have joined us on an Australian server, since most players in the guild are based in Australia. An option that Bioware might have is to convert the servers that currently have a high population of Australian players to an Asia Pacific server and then allow the Americans and Europeans who don't want to remain there to transfer off. But then again that might upset those players who enjoy that server and don't want to have to move. No matter what Bioware do it will cause problems and all we can do as a player base is tell Bioware ... we told you so. You should have launched Asia Pacific labelled servers from the get go, regardless of whether the servers were physically in the region at the time.
How do you think this is going to affect the community on servers with high populations of Australians and will you take the opportunity to move?
Bioware have confirmed that the service will be based in either Melbourne or Sydney Australia. Here's the full Press Release:
BioWare and LucasArts are excited to announce that Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ will officially launch in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore on March 1st, 2012! Fans in these regions who purchase the game will be able to experience their very own Star Wars™ saga on regional servers. Players who have already begun their journey will also have a limited-time opportunity to migrate their characters from their current servers to Asia Pacific servers after the launch on March 1st, giving them the chance to take advantage of the decreased network latency by playing on a regional server. All players who qualify for a character transfer will be notified in early March with more details.
In the press release announcing the Asia Pacific launch date, General Manager of the BioWare Label’s MMO Business Unit and Co-Founder of BioWare Dr. Greg Zeschuk expressed appreciation for the patience of fans in the region:
Our biggest priority for The Old Republic has always been to deliver a high quality product and high quality service and we are pleased with our results in North America and Europe. We appreciate that our fans in these countries have been patient and we are excited to deliver this same great customer experience to players this March.
Star Wars: The Old Republic will be available in both Standard and Digital Deluxe editions. The Standard Edition will retail for $79.99 AUD / $89.99 NZD / $389.00 HKD / $64.00 SGD and the Digital Deluxe Edition of the game, an Origin.com exclusive, will retail for $89.99 AUD / $99.99 NZD / $465.00 HKD / $76.90 SGD. 30 days of game time will be included with every version of the game, and after that time players will be able to continue playing the game by paying a monthly subscription, or by purchasing a 60-Day Pre-Paid Game Time Card for $32.99 AUS / $42.99 NZD / $249.00 HKD / $39.90 SGD. Star Wars: The Old Republic has three recurring subscription plans and players in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore will be charged in USD:
1 Month Subscription (automatically billed every 30 days): $14.99 USD per month
3 Month Subscription (automatically billed every 90 days): $13.99 USD per month (one-time charge of $41.97 USD)
6 Month Subscription (automatically billed every 180 days): $12.99 USD per month (one-time charge of $77.94 USD)
Star Wars: The Old Republic is currently available for pre-order* at the following participating retailers in Australia and New Zealand. There are no participating retailers in Hong Kong and Singapore for pre-orders. Also, there will be no pre-orders available at Origin.com:
JB Hi Fi
Big W online
JB Hi Fi
Individuals who pre-order the game in Australia or New Zealand will be entitled to the Color Crystal pre-order item, which changes the weapon effect.
Players in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore will also be given the opportunity to receive the Founder’s Medal** – an exclusive in-game title awarded to early players of the game. In order to qualify, players must complete one of the following transactions by Monday, April 30th, 2012, 12:01AM EDT, 2:00AM NZDT; Hong Kong & Singapore: Sunday, April 29th, 2012, 9:01PM HKT, 9:01PM SGT:
- Billed at least once for an active Star Wars: The Old Republic recurring subscription
- Redeemed a Star Wars: The Old Republic 60-Day Pre-Paid Game Time Code
For more details on the Asia Pacific Launch, visit the Launch FAQ.
Remember to check back to www.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com, as well as our Twitter and Facebook pages for all the latest news and updates on the game!
**GOOD ONLY FOR PURCHASES OF STAR WARS™: THE OLD REPUBLIC™ WITH REDEMPTION OF A PURCHASED GAME TIME CODE OR BILLING OF AN ACTIVE GAME RECURRING SUBSCRIPTION WITH AN APPROVED PAYMENT METHOD. VALID WHEREVER GAME IS SOLD. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED, TAXED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. CUSTOMERS WILL ACCESS THE ITEM IN-GAME. VIRTUAL ITEM ONLY. ITEM WILL BE APPLIED TO ALL CHARACTERS UNDER USER'S ACCOUNT. PLEASE ALLOW 7 DAYS FOR NOTIFICATION OF DELIVERABLES.
AUSTRALIA and NEW ZEALAND – OFFER EXPIRES APRIL 30, 2012 AT 12:01AM EDT; 2:00AM NZDT
HONG KONG and SINGAPORE – OFFER EXPIRES APRIL 29, 2012 AT 9:01PM HKT, 9:01PM SGT