There comes a time in every ambitious MMO’s life to condense servers. And for Star Wars: The Old Republic, it seems that time has come. According to one particular subscriber’s calculations and in-depth examination, the average population on one of the game’s servers – at any one time – clocks in at 344 players.
It seems BioWare‘s got some work to do if building a strong community is one of the main priorities going forward.
With The Old Republic news of late generally fueling the alarmists out there, a bit more detailed look at the numbers is recommended. To arrive at that average, the number of concurrent users at peak times has clearly dropped since the game’s launch. The developers themselves made note of this particular issue when announcing that subscriptions had dropped by 25%, and that condensing servers was being planned as a result. While BioWare had claimed that the fans that had stuck around since launch were the type they were looking to keep playing, it wasn’t known just how lonely some players out there really were.
Until now. Thanks to the work of TOR player Scorpienne (check out the full, complicated calculations and data here), we now have what appears to be an accurate idea of the population of the top 20 TOR servers at any given time. Accordingt o the calculations, the “Total Estimated Worldwide Population of all servers (24 hr average over the last 2 weeks as of 5/23/2012)” comes out to 73,693. That’s the number of players online concurrently, not total. With the most populated server, ‘The Fatman’ hosting an average of 2,006 players at one time and the lowest populated with closer to 200, supply is obviously exceeding demand.
The most recent details on the Allies Game Update 1.3 included the ability to move characters across servers, and if these numbers are accurate it’s not hard to see why. Sparse servers are not a breeding ground for spontaneous grouping or community-building, and while the game’s launch numbers broke records, it’s time to accept the obvious. With more servers than are needed, there are sure to be many players who are unaware of the group-focused aspects of MMO gameplay even this long after launch. The class-specific storylines are certainly capable of holding the player’s attention – and are set to be expanded upon in the future – but changes must be made to prolong the life of The Old Republic.
What is your take on these numbers? Do you think this is a sign that BioWare should be acting fast to encourage the growth of guilds and communities, or are this game’s days numbered?
Star Wars: The Old Republic is available now for the PC.
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Source: SWTOR forums (via Shacknews)