Australian Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) players rejoice! It’s been 10 years since the Australian servers closed but a SWTOR APAC server is returning!
It’s been a time of big change for SWTOR. This year has seen the development team move from Bioware to Broadsword, along with a raft of quality of life updates, like the 64-bit client and testing of cloud servers.
SWTOR APAC Server Details
In an announcement on their website, Executive Producer Keith Kanneg outlined when Aussie gamers will be able to roll a new character on the SWTOR APAC server.
Subscribers will be able to log into the new SWTOR APAC Server Shae Vizla from 6am AEDT on Friday the 17th November. All other players will be able to log in from 6am AEDT on Saturday the 18th November.
Character transfers will not initially be allowed.
But will a SWTOR APAC server survive? Won’t there be the same population issues as last time? Why will an APAC server work now but didn’t 10 years ago?
No Need For PvP & PvE Servers
The state of the servers when the game first launched was very different to what it is now. SWTOR’s standard was to have three servers in each region. Australia had Master Dal’Nala for PvP, Dalborra for PvE and Gav Daragon for PvE role playing. That meant the Australian player population was spread over three servers.
In the current game PvP and PvE groups have been combined into one but there are different instances for the PvP and PvE playstyles. That means when it comes to grouping for Flashpoints, Operations, or other group content, both PvP and PvE players can enter the group finder together.
Server Technology Has Changed
Cloud technology is a game changer for online games. The basics behind it is that space in a company’s server is rented. In this case SWTOR is using Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS is responsible for the physical upkeep of the servers while SWTOR can store their game data there. SWTOR can remote to the server to do software updates and if anything physical needs to be done AWS can help.
How is this different to SWTOR running their own costs? Servers must be physically located in the region they’re servicing to keep latency to a minimum. If SWTOR ran their own, they would need staff in every region to service those servers. They would also need to pay for server maintenance and upgrades.
By using AWS, their staff maintain the physical servers and have local staff on hand to do that. AWS also have economies of scale. SWTOR isn’t their only client (AWS is one of the biggest cloud computer services in the world) which means they can offer SWTOR a better rate than if the game owned all its own infrastructure.
That’s a long way of saying that cloud servers have reduced server operating costs, making it more cost effective to run a SWTOR APAC server.
SWTOR APAC Server A Win For The Region
I’ve been playing SWTOR since its beta. I was there for the launch of Australian servers and have suffered through 300ms ping on North American servers because I love the game and the story. I jumped on the cloud server testing back in April and was thrilled with the 50ms ping I was getting (I live across the country to where the servers are).
Hard mode content was out of reach for me because of that ping. The launch of a SWTOR APAC server will allow be to experience everything the game has to offer and take my gameplay to the next level. I can’t wait to jump in with my friends.