Sunday, October 21, 2012

Your Guide to SWTOR: Choosing a Server

By Trey Atwood

With free-to-play coming soon to The Old Republic, a lot of people are interested in playing, but don’t know where to start. This article is part one of a series on introducing new players to the galaxy of The Old Republic.

The first thing you’ll choose when you log in is which server to play on. With new higher-population consolidated servers, the amount of play servers has gone from dozens to just eight in North America: one of each of the four different server types for the EST and PST time zones. This was one of the steps taken by Bioware to simplify things for free-to-play; it’ll be a lot easier to find your friends now that there are fewer servers in the list. Depending on your style of playing, how familiar you are with MMORPGs (Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games), as well as the type of player environment you want to be in, it’s something you should consider before double clicking.

PVE Servers

This server type means “Player versus Environment,” for most players this will generally be the default that beginners want to try out if they’re interested in more game-centered play, rather than having complete focus on either player combat or the storytelling aspect. PVE servers put emphasis on the community against the world and the cooperative play between players to take down AI enemies and obstacles and even then it’s still a completely viable option to go through the vast majority of the game by yourself if that’s your preference.

PVP Servers

For people new to MMOs: PVP means “Player versus player.” A lot of people new to online gaming get intimidated by the thought of facing other players, but by the time you actually see enemy players you should be prepared for it (in most cases you’ll be level 20 before you even see a player from the other faction). However people should be aware that PVP servers house the most competitive players you’ll find in the game, which can lead to an unfriendly atmosphere.

What are the playing differences on a PVP server? Being on a PVP server means that players on your enemy’s faction will be able to fight you on sight in contested areas regardless of: your level (whether higher or lower), your awareness of them, your character type (healers should use the buddy system), or how well your character is geared. There is also a type of RP server for PVPers for those interested in the hybrid of player storytelling and combat.

Just to alleviate some possible fears about jumping into a PVP server though: you lose nothing significant by dying because of other players, the only bad thing that will happen when you die is that you’ll have to repair your armor and items when you become conscious again (this can be done at any of the game’s vendors by clicking the repair button in their shop menu). Your standing in the game is unaffected by being beaten and you lose no items, experience, or stats. The only thing that should be hurting after a loss in open world PVP is your pride.

RP-PVE Servers

Personally, this is my favorite kind of server. RP stands for “roleplay,” but by no means is that a requirement; people talk normally (out of character) in the game’s main chat and are generally a more serious type of player. RP server players are usually more focused on the storylines of the game as well as the stories of their custom characters as opposed to game mechanics, so newer players as well as people who just want a low-pressure environment may find themselves most suited to an RP server.

If you’re interested in roleplaying characters it’d be a good idea to look for an RP guild, which will usually have a more organized way to start as well as a central plot, for more short term encounters most people just begin by introducing themselves in cantinas. The lack of emphasis on PVP also cuts down on the competitive atmosphere if you’re worried about it; if you think of the PVP servers as the major leagues, this is the server type where at the end of the match you can usually get a “GG” from the other team and kudos for at least trying.

Ultimately you'll play the same game no matter which server type you choose, but the experience can differ vastly between the types. Whichever your preference, there's sure to be a server type for you in The Old Republic.


Kaisar hasan said...

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