22/06/2012

My first night on The Red Eclipse

Transferring server as a guild was actually kind of fun - lots of people online and chatting excitedly. We didn't manage to get all of our active members transferred and into the new guild on the first night, but we made a good start.

The transfer process itself went as smoothly as everyone had predicted and was done within five minutes. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I only had to change two of my character names: my main is now Shíntar ("with a funny eye"), and my bounty hunter with her three-letter name gained an apostrophe. I couldn't believe that neither of the four-letter names of my Republic alts were taken. I feel like I really lucked out.

The first thing I did after transferring was make a separate chat window for general chat so that I could hide it away without completely disabling it. It's not that the quality of the chat was that awful (though I did see people say some pretty dumb things), but the constant LFG, WTS etc. requests were just too spammy while I was also trying to pay attention to other things.

Next thing I ran around the fleet a bit to see whether I recognised anyone... and I did! I was really pleased when a friendly Vanguard returned my greeting emote and we showered each other with sparkles. It's a bit weird I suppose, but I really missed seeing those familiar faces around. They are not my friends; they are barely even acquaintances: I only really know their names and maybe a bit about their play style, but that's it. Still, that familiarity with the people around you is one of those things that gives an MMO a sense of place, and having the majority of my "small town" evaporate from one day to the next had made me sad, so it felt good to reconnect with at least some of them. I also joined the custom chat channel for former Luka Sene players that I had been told about and there were lots of people in there.

And then... it was time for warzones! After being unable to do any PvP for several days I really had an itch to scratch. I have to admit that the queues were very quick, five minutes tops, and I got the daily done on four characters in one evening, something that would have been totally unthinkable back on Luna Sene even during its better days.

The downside was that I lost my first eight matches in a row, and there were some seriously bad players on my team. I'm usually not very demanding when it comes to player skill, considering that I'm not that amazing myself, everyone has to start somewhere etc. but some of those games actually had me shouting at my screen. I think I died a little inside during the Huttball match where we had three players next to the central pedestal when the ball spawned, but they all just ran around it, refusing to touch the ball, until an Imperial player simply walked over and ran off with it.

To add some context, I felt that the quality of the PvP in the warzones on my old server was very high towards the end. Back when I started PvPing, Republic lost the vast majority of games, but over time we seemed to catch up as the population shifted, and while there was still some variation in win/loss ratios depending on time of day, I would go so far as to say that the Republic had a slight edge by the end of it all. Getting thoroughly spanked by random Imperials eight matches in a row came as a bit of a shock to the system after that.

There was a turnaround that made me smile though, when I ended up in a Voidstar match where I recognised a character name, a guild name, and one guy's appearance (nothing sticks in your memory like a Mirialan trooper dancing the night away with his pants off...). As luck would have it, I got grouped with four people from a former Luka Sene guild! I whispered one of them and he recognised me as well, which made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Unsurprisingly we completely obliterated the Imps in that game, and it felt good to finally get some revenge.

Curious how other people experienced the post-transfer PvP, I had a brief look at the official forums and actually found this thread on the subject pretty interesting. It starts with a silly complaint like most of them, but some of the responses are quite thoughtful. This post from the second page by "Astarica" rang particularly true for me:

Prior to the server transfers a lot of server basically have about 20 guys left still PvPing. You pretty much know exactly every one of them and every one of them are awesome players because a lesser player would've already given up.

That kind of gameplay is at a very high level but it's also really boring because good teams simply don't screw up. There are a lot of games where it feels like I'm just going through the motions, i.e. I attack the enemy's best healer. [...]


Now after the transfers there's an active population so all the regular players return so of course you don't have games where both sides effectively make no mistake. It's frustrating when your side loses a game that you should win, but the reverse is just as likely to occur too. Personally, I prefer having some variance over 'first team that caps the first turret wins in Alderaan" which is pretty much how the last 100 games on Alderaan went on my old server.


I don't consider myself an awesome player, but I completely see his point about how the long queues were off-putting for more casual PvPers. His description of Civil War games pre-merger is hyperbolic too, but there's some truth in it as well. For me it was more apparent in Voidstar, where towards the end pretty much every match got decided by whoever breached the first door first (nobody really got much further), while I actually saw people reaching the datacore repeatedly tonight.

Basically there are three things to consider in regards to this new warzone experience:

1) Short queues mean that more people are willing to play, which means more people in bad gear and with little experience on both sides. However, more people also means shorter queues, which is a positive, self-reinforcing cycle.

2) Even the more experienced people are all jumbled together from different servers right now, so people don't know who the healers are etc. This should get better though as at least the more frequent PvPers start to memorise some names.

3) With so many more people playing, there's also a certain luck of the draw, as you won't just play with and against the same bunch of hardcore PvPers all the time, so you might just have to get used to not having winning or losing streaks that are as predictable as they used to be.

At the end of the day, another player who posted on page four of the above thread probably said it best:

I'll trade getting owned with my team of noobs to window shopping on the fleet with WZ comms I don't have any day.

3 comments:

  1. /thumbsup

    I totally agree with the PVP point. On Shien, the Reps usually steamrolled us poor Imperials and it was getting stale; with the new server, we stand a chance! And the Imperial side actually seems really into PVP which is very nice. Wooha!

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  2. My guild is Imperial, and I mentioned in your last post that we did 9 WZ's in about 2 hours. What I didn't mention was the fact that we had our asses handed to us in 6 of those matches. There are definatly alot of noobs running in pvp. And I love it, you have to learn somewhere and sometime. Sure it sucks losing but hell you will win some, eventually the rng kicks in and you get put with some good players. Luckly for me I have a core group of 3 others that I run with (and I am the worst one of us all lol)so I always have a good time win or lose.

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  3. Good to see things went okay for the transfer!

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