Today was a big day for SWTOR, as Bioware finally put an end to the "free server transfers" and called them by their real name: consolidations. I'm very glad about that because only the other day I saw a commenter on Massively (I know, my own fault for reading) claim that "the game is clearly dead" because he logged on and found that he was the only person left on the fleet. This made me want to facepalm so hard it hurt, as it's exactly the kind of negative press I predicted three months ago would be the result of leaving the empty origin servers up and running. So I'm glad that the locked servers are gone now. I'll always remember Luka Sene with fondness, but we've got to look to the future now.
Seeing how the extended maintenance took much longer than usual, people were itching to log in by the time it finally ended, and surprise, surprise: there were queues. Instantly the forums were flooded with QQ about it. I dread to think what things will be like after the F2P transition, even if subscribers will get login priority and free players won't have forum posting privileges. It's going to be crowded.
The one thing that came as a bit of a surprise to me was that Bioware also got rid of a couple of former destination servers and just sort of mushed them all together. I feel really bad for people who effectively got moved twice and might have had to change their names a second time too.
Speaking of names, I'm not really that bothered about legacy names not being unique anymore. I doubt anyone else would want mine anyway, and I reckon the guy who owns the Sz'tae-a'rikeéy legacy on my server (cracks me up every time) has similar feelings. I'm just a little sad that I won't be able to have encounters like this one anymore, or at least not with the same kind of certainty.
The biggest plus of today's patch to me was the fact that they increased our character limit per server by fifty percent. More character slots is one of those features that I wanted from WoW for years, but they didn't actually implement it until after I left, and even now it's only one extra slot as far as I'm aware. Then again, I know that for some people even four extra slots are not going to be enough, especially if they had characters force-transferred during the final consolidation. One of my guildies is apparently sitting on 23/12 characters right now, though I still don't know what that means in practice. Do the ones that take you over the cap become unplayable?
Another nice side effect of the consolidation was that Bioware finally gave us distinctive server forums. Maybe that will encourage Red Eclipsians to use them a little more. Previously it was rather discouraging to go to the "Server group: The" forums and immediately have to go back three pages to find even one thread that wasn't about The Harbinger. Though today certainly wasn't off to the best start, as like I said above, the moment the forums came up they were just filled with queue QQ.
In game things were a bit mad as well upon logging in. My UI, chat and map settings had all been reset, and the comments on my friends list were gone. The latter annoyed me the most, because the whole point of keeping notes is so that you don't have to remember who all these characters belong to. Now I've got a couple of names there where I can't for the life of me remember who was the rarely played alt of a friend and who was that nice tank from the EV pug...
Finally, when I did some warzones, they gave me massive déjà vu, reminding me of when I first transferred over to The Red Eclipse myself. As of late, the Imps had been a bit demoralised because several of their big PvP guilds collapsed recently, but tonight the warzones were suddenly filled with names I'd never seen before and the Republic got absolutely caned. A Marauder Warlord who kept killing me over and over again quickly became my new arch-nemesis. Though it wasn't all bad, because we did manage to win a Novare Coast match where our team's bunker was already down to ten percent durability when we turned things around after all.
Either way, it's all a bit mad once again and things will probably take a couple of days to settle down.