Stephen Reid, Community Manager of SWTOR, revealed some new information about Star Wars: The Old Republic’s Early Access. According to Stephen, the Early Game Access will officially start at 4AM PST / 6AM CST / 7AM EST / 12PM GMT / 1PM CET today. Emails will be sent around then and no, not everyone will get in and play. In addition, the Forums will be back up for all who have redeemed a pre-order code just before 7AM EST (AKA, Early Game Access start) and the servers that will be up today will NOT be the final ones as the company will be adding more servers during the Early Game Access.
As Stephen stated yesterday:
First: Early Game Access officially starts at 4AM PST / 6AM CST / 7AM EST / 12PM GMT / 1PM CET tomorrow. Emails will be sent around then
Second: emails will go out after that point in in waves. Yes, we’ll tell you when the emails will get sent via Forums/Twitter.
Third: No, not *everyone* will get in tomorrow. We are strictly allowing people admittance by when they redeemed pre-order code.
Fourth: All server types will be live tomorrow (PvP, PvE, RP-PvE, RP-PvP). All servers available to all (no EU-US or guild restrictions).
Fifth: If you’re in a pre-imported guild, no, that doesn’t get you priority access- but your guild server will be there when you get in.
Sixth: No, don’t ask when you get in. We will let in a *lot* of people tomorrow – but not everyone. If you’re not in Day One, don’t explode.
Seventh: The Forums will be back up for all who have redeemed a pre-order code just before 7AM EST (AKA, Early Game Access start).
Eighth: Servers you’ll see up tomorrow are NOT the final list. We’ll be adding more during Early Game Access.
As you may have heard, EA’s servers are down right now and Stephen Reid made a new statement about today’s opening salvo of invites, and the procedure in general for Early Game Access and launch:
First, Early Game Access and launch is not supposed to be a stress test. In our previous Beta Testing Weekends we got up to very large concurrent number of players and brought invites into the game at a very high rate. That was done to stress test every aspect of our systems and servers, and essentially to see if they broke. In some cases, they did, but that helped us improve for launch.
For us, launch isn’t just about stuffing our servers with as many people as possible. As anyone who’s been through a large MMO launch can tell you, that experience can be painful. Our aim with this launch was to ramp things up gradually, to spread our player population out amongst a variety of servers, to maintain all server types, and to keep queuing to a minimum (although we expect that to happen as we head towards December 20th). So far, all that has been successful for us on Day One.
The second thing to realize is scale. We invited more people to play Star Wars: The Old Republic today than many other MMO launches manage in their entire head-start process. As I mentioned earlier today, when we opened pre-orders we had a huge spike in numbers – far more than most MMOs capture at launch. That was the initial rush. After that, our pre-orders settled down.
What this means is that tomorrow, you’ll effectively start to see the pre-order timeline expand. You’ll see people who have pre-ordered later than July getting invites. The day after that, more people will be invited. We’re actually planning to invite more tomorrow than today, and invite the same number again on Thursday – at which point we’ll be into the original ‘five days of Early Game Access’.
Last thing. Why aren’t we continuing to send waves over time? Two main reasons – one, because we need to see that the servers are maintaining stability over time; adding a lot of players in a short period (in other words, stress testing) can cause stability issues.
Two, our plan is to continue to add servers – but carefully, and in response to demand. We need to monitor
that demand and roll out servers accordingly. A long-term recipe for MMO failure is to add a lot of servers early on, and then when population decreases, have to close those servers and merge them together.