Three Months of APAC Life & Waiting for Transfers

The situation on SWTOR's newest server Shae Vizla remains fascinating to me, and I feel compelled to keep writing about it.

I've continued to play my characters on there even after the end of seasons. With no seasons objectives to chase, I've dialled down my time investment, but I basically made it my goal to at least still reach my personal Conquest target on all four of my characters every week. It may sound silly, but even though I'm not in the APAC region myself, I really want this server to succeed, and I kind of feel like I'm helping at least a little by adding four encryptions to the guild bank every week to help with further expansion of the guild ship.

A Togruta trooper looking out at the Coruscant skyline

At the moment it certainly does feel like the server needs every bit of help it can get. I'd love to be able to say that everything is going great, but to be honest things are a bit down in the doldrums right now. I fully expected activity levels to decrease after the end of seasons (after all, it happens on all servers), but I wasn't quite prepared for how drastic a change it was going to be.

During the last week of PvP Season 4, I was still spamming level 80 warzones on my warrior to get the 2000 medals achievement. The next week, after the season ended, I spent several mornings (which is evening prime time in Australia) questing while in the warzone queue, and on most of those days, I didn't manage to get into even a single match. There was one single day on which I managed to get pops for two games where both teams were only partially filled. I eventually gave up on queueing, since it was clear that I didn't stand much of a chance of getting any more PvP weeklies done in that environment.

The server is not "dead" exactly; there are still plenty of people questing and guilds organising group content, and looking at the guild Conquest boards as a measure of activity, Shae Vizla still seems to have more active players than the French server for example. However, content you have to queue for has definitely taken a hit, and I'm sure those who were still trying to get into e.g. warzones like I did, were only further discouraged by queues dying out so suddenly.

I already mentioned last month that the devs told us that transfers were incoming, and while I feel that's good and even needed at this point, it probably didn't help with keeping the server lively in the short term either. I'm sure more than a few people took the transfer announcement as their cue to go back to their main legacies on other servers for now, knowing they'd soon be able to transfer them over anyway.

We have more details about the server transfers as well now, though we're still lacking an exact launch date - we just know they'll open with patch 7.4.1, coming at some point in March. The details of how everything will work as per the forums are:

  • If you're a subscriber and have been subscribed since the 2nd of January, you'll have 30 days to claim up to 16 free character transfers to Shae Vizla. You don't actually need to live in the APAC region to get these; subscription status is all that matters.
  • If you're a subscriber but not since Jan 2nd, or if you used up all your free transfers and want to buy even more, they'll be available at a discounted price of 500 Cartel Coins (which is roughly 5 USD).
  • Free or preferred players have to pay 1000 CC per character, which is the normal price for character transfers. It will also be the normal price for everyone once 90 days have passed.
  • To be eligible for transfer, characters need to be at least level 20 and can only carry 15 million credits.

This was originally announced about ten days ago, originally with stricter requirements to be eligible for free transfers and a lower credit cap per character, but there was a lot of pushback against those two items in particular, so I wasn't surprised to see the devs listen to the feedback and make adjustments.

How "fair" all this is, I don't know, and opinions seem to vary wildly based on people's backgrounds. I've seen some comment that when you're opening a new regional server, obviously everyone from that region should get limitless free transfers. To me, as someone whose first exposure to MMOs was World of Warcraft charging an arm and a leg for character transfers and making big bank from players struggling to find the right server for them, this seems pretty generous. Either way, it's not really relevant to me personally in the sense that I'm not planning to move any characters as I'm quite happy to keep all my legacies separate.

I am curious however to see what the influx of credits will do to the GTN. 15 million credits may not sound like much, but if you make full use of the free transfers, you could bring up to 240 million over. And again, to some people that may not sound like much, but I can't emphasise enough how different the economy on Shae Vizla is right now compared to any of the other servers.

After three months of casual play, I have less than 10 million credits in the bank (though I've also spent a few million on unlocking legacy perks). The GTN doesn't let you see all the items on sale at once, but after a quick search through various categories, the most expensive item I could find for sale was one of the new shiny dyes for 50 million, so whoever gets in there first after the transfers open will get to have a field day snapping up some bargains I guess.

As Xam Xam mentioned in her recent post though, worrying about the economy is one thing; ultimately the server needs active players more than anything though. I'm curious to see whether the launch of the new PvP season in ten days will make a difference (I will certainly try queueing again myself), but the new Galactic Season and the opening of transfers in March will be the real litmus test. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will give Shae Vizla the desired injection of activity. Whatever happens though, I'll be writing about it!


  1. I don't intend to participate in the server transfers, because i like the fresh start experience and slowly building my new legacy.

    But i'm looking forward to the credits coming to the server. I invested some of the Galactic Season cartel coins and bought a hypercrate. And i'm kinda tired to see platinum items getting not(!) sold for 2m credits.

    Another point i wanted to mention... i'm really shocked how many APAC regional players refuse to support "their" server.
    They flat out refused to play on SV the past months, because they wanted server transfers from the start, better promotion campaign for the server opening day and whatnot.

    They intentionally missed the identity forming phase of the server.
    My brain can not grasp such thinking. Regardless the reason... not playing in such a crucial period of the server is never the correct solution for anything.

    But maybe those voices are just overrepresented on social media.

    1. I've seen some of those comments on the forums, and I've definitely been surprised by how much some people seem to rely on having access to their existing legacy to be able to have any fun at all. I recall seeing a comment in the discussion about the credit transfer cap that basically seemed to claim that they were unable to play "properly" without having enough money to unlock all character perks for every alt at level 1, which just made me go "?!?!?"

      I wouldn't want to make any assumptions about how big this group is though, as whoever's unhappy is always going to be the loudest. I've seen way more players simply enjoying themselves on Shae Vizla.

    2. "I recall seeing a comment in the discussion about the credit transfer cap that basically seemed to claim that they were unable to play "properly" without having enough money to unlock all character perks for every alt at level 1, which just made me go "?!?!?""

      I strongly believe, that arguments like this are just an attempt to give a not totally unlogical reason on why the credit cap for transfers HAS to be above 2m per toon.

      I doubt the people who gave that reason have real strong feelings about legacy character perks. They just want to transfer more credits. And this was a justification based on ingame numbers.

      They sold this argument, and got what they wanted. I refuse to believe, all those credits will actually go into character perks. Not even the first 2m.

  2. Well, here goes another attempt at trying to post on your blog with name/URL rather than anonymously. :) Thanks for taking an interest in the Shae Vizla server; it's nice to see your ongoing coverage. I still haven't started playing on it, but that's mainly a time/prioritisation issue at this point. - DB, the Vanguard from the other side of the world (Australia)

  3. I have been watching the Shae Vizla server with some interest from the sidelines. I have no interest in ever playing on another server given all that entails (finding a community, doing most stories all over again... ugh), I must admit it has been really interesting seeing the server grow. I hope it retains its good health for the foreseeable future. ^^

  4. Apologies for the off topic question, but out of curiosity, do you do the exploration missions on new servers or new alts? Or do you just stick to the purple missions to reach the end faster? I'm debating whether it's worth even doing these side missions, especially on a new legacy.

    1. Interesting question! I tend to do most if not all the side missions on the starter planets, but then:
      - On Darth Malgus, I haven't done any of them in ages. I mostly make new alts for PvP and experimental levelling, so these characters don't tend to quest much in general.
      - On Shae Vizla, I've just been doing the class missions, with the occasional planetary arc thrown in. I'm planning to go back later and do some of the missions I missed though, replicating what I do...
      - on other servers: I tend to just do whatever's incentivised by seasons. If it says to do ten missions as a Jedi knight, I might grab my knight and progress the class story a bit. If it says "do repeatable or exploration missions in Hutt Space", I'll go to Nar Shaddaa and start doing everything I haven't done yet. And so on and so forth.

  5. Shae Vizla was my first experience with a new server in SWTOR, so I had a blast with all the activity. Too bad it didn't last. It should pick up a little more with free transfers and season 6. Hopefully, it will be enough for APAC players to make it their permanent home.

    I was one of those that dropped off lately on Shae Vizla. I mostly play other servers for the cartel coins each season. After reaching my goals, I wanted to have a break before the next season starts.

    Shae Vizla does work a lot better than most servers for me because I'm a night owl and my playing hours are in the middle of their primetime in the APAC region. My local time is behind by a day, but as far as the hour of the day it works out that I'm 5 hours ahead. My 8pm - 4am playing time ends up being 3pm - 11pm in Sydney. I may end up doing some things with the guilds I've joined there, but I'll probably have my hands full keeping up with the season objectives each week.


Share your opinion! Everyone is welcome, as long as things stay polite. I also read comments on older posts, so don't be shy. :)