TERAs Latest Server Merge - What it Means
ByDate: Oct 08 2016 Views:
On the 6th of September, 2016, TERA had its second server merge, this one encompassing a total of three separate ones: Valley of Titans, Lake of Tears, and Highwatch. These were merged into a new server, called Fey Forest, encompassing all three. With the latest information about the publishers and developers working to get content out to players faster and help stabilize the game for the future, what does this merger likely represent, and for those who haven’t logged in since the merge, what can you expect?
The Merge and Its Sign of the Community Life
An important thing to realize about TERA is that unlike a lot of games, most of TERA’s content is instanced. From things like taking part in the Nexus to PvP, dungeons, and raids, along with solo content that you enter while doing various quests and following the story, being in an instanced world is just part of the game. There is plenty to do outside of instances as well, but the main focus for things like progression at the end-game, you won’t be spending a lot of time exploring the world.
What makes this interesting is that it means that for all intents and purposes, the server hardware can support a lot more players than if everyone was out in the open. And as time goes on and new and better hardware, software optimizations, etc. come out and upgrades are made, merging servers just makes everything more simple – and if it is still just as efficient for players as it was before, it’s great for everyone.
Now, this isn’t to say that TERA’s community is not far lower than it has been in the past, but with the future updates and (hopefully) faster content patches on the near horizon, this is a great step towards helping build up that community feel to keep more players interested. After all, it doesn’t bode well at all when you log in to a game and find that there are no other players around you. And while you can do instances and find players from all other the place, it just shows that the game as a whole has a lot of players – but MMORPGs are especially built around their population and communities. Keeping that feel, then, is important.
Hitting the Character Limit
Now to part of the bad…
For players that have had a lot of characters (which represents a lot of people!) spread out across different servers, there is an issue when it comes to the merge: you are only able to keep the same number of characters that you have unlocked on one server (the highest number you had available on one of those three prior to the merge). In other words, if you were already capped on all three and you really like all of your characters, there is a pretty big decision to be made. No characters were deleted during this merge, but you must trim down your listing on your own, getting rid of those that you like or want the least. It can be a tough decision, and it’s something that ideally shouldn’t be needed. A much more viable option would be letting players move those excess characters to another server. After all, many players play across multiple servers and have already been working on a lot of progression. Forcing a decision of what to completely get rid of is just not a great solution for some.
Luckily, there is some light at the end of that tunnel: there is no time frame set in which you have to make the decision of what characters to keep. That said, you do have to get your listing trimmed down to your personal character cap prior to entering the new server.
My Name’s Gone!
As you might imagine, merging servers means there are likely to be a lot of name collisions. Many names are popular, and since every server was able to have one character with the same name, if two or more people with the same ones are still active, it causes an issue. To help solve this conflict, the way this is handled is the player with the most played time will get the name during the merge. The other two will be given a temporary name that they must change prior to logging in.
The goal behind this setup is to allow more active players to keep the names, rather than squatters. The issue here is that someone could have played for a long period in the past, now be inactive, and still get to hold that name, despite not even playing in an extended period. That said, there really aren’t a lot of ways to handle this, and it is one of the best when it comes to helping create equality and give (in most cases) the more loyal and active players their names.
It’s worth noting that there was technically a check to see if players are inactive (from September 6, 2015 to the merge time), but all it took was a single login for someone to remove that flag and keep their name, despite not planning to play.
To players that are on any of the servers being merged, this is a great thing: it means a lot more players around to play with, a stronger community, and a more lively world. Some are definitely going to be inconvenienced, but this is another move to push TERA forward, and despite its problems, this should be something we can all appreciate. So if you haven't logged into TERA in a while, it may be a good time to join back up and see if the community and latest updates interest you.