Population Skewing Heavily Towards Empire on PVP Servers


UPDATE (2011/12/14 8:45pm PST): OK, so I’m already getting flak for posting this. For those of you who don’t know me, let me clarify for you: I’m a big SWTOR fan and have and will be cranking out rich content (guides, narrated videos, and streams) for the game. I’m not claiming SWTOR is a failboat. I am concerned about this issue and I want the game to succeed. So take what is written below with that context.

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Let’s take a look at faction and class data mined from the Pre-Launch Guild Program (PLGP): http://swtorprogress.com/members.php. This not a comprehensive set of data, but it is statistically significant set of data: 450k players, or ~30% of the predicted 1.5MM launch.

Here are the totals by server type as of end of day December 13:

  • RP-PVE servers (entire World): Empire 25,986 | Republic 30,393 | Hey look, more good guys than bad guys. A lot of RP players want to be a Jedi or Smuggler. What a surprise! Not :)
  • PVE servers (entire World): Empire 107,974 | Republic 86,269 | Empire +25% population
  • PVP servers (entire World): Empire 137,732 | Republic 66,586 | Empire has 2.1 times the population

*Note: RP-PVP servers were not included in the PLGP.

If this were an election, the faction voting on the PVP servers would be a landslide.

The question is, why the big difference in population?

Some people have generalized the SWTOR situation by saying that the evil faction tends to be more popular in PVP. But there’s more to it than that. The Empire faction is the more popular one because it’s the more entertaining and cooler faction from a character development and storyline perspective. I’ve heard this from numerous people who tried both factions in Beta. PVP players want to feel and look bad-ass, and Empire’s the ticket.

So we have a situation where we’re going to have population imbalance from the get-go, on most if not all PVP servers.

AFAIK, there are no game mechanics to balance the population:

  • No population cap per faction on a server – the cap is for the entire server not by faction
  • No balancing mechanic in Ilum

Some players are hoping that new players joining post-Launch will roll Republic, because everyone wants to be a Jedi like Luke Skywalker or Smuggler like Han Solo, right? While that may be true, if they’re new(er) gamers it’s going to take a significant amount of time before they’re functional in PVP. I can’t speak for you, but I’d kick the ass of me from 3 years ago. Most veterans of MMORPGs are already in-the-know regarding SWTOR and have chosen the cooler, bad-ass side accordingly.

So here are my predictions on how the population imbalance on PVP servers will affect PVP:

  • Republic warzone queues will pop quickly. Empire queues will pop more slowly, or they’ll pop and you’ll see a disproportionate number of Huttball matches where you face a team from your faction. You won’t see as many Alderaan and Voidstar matches as Empire
  • In Ilum, the World PVP zone, there will be significantly more Empire than Republic players, with the obvious implications: Empire will zerg-farm Republic, and this will cause a vicious cycle of fewer Republic players going to Ilum, etc

Duh! These predictions are not rocket science – the 2 bullet points above were what we saw in Beta.

The three things that I have seen kill World PVP in other games have been:

  1. Crappy class balance, which causes individuals to quit (so far, not a significant issue in SWTOR, although the JK/SW’s should get their CCs earlier)
  2. Crappy world PVP implementation (can’t comment on this, haven’t experienced Ilum yet)
  3. Population imbalance, which causes different issues on both side: boredom for the zergy faction, frustration for the gets-zerged faction (there is significant risk here for SWTOR, given that it’s a 2-faction game)

Hopefully BioWare will be able to sort out the population imbalance somehow that makes sense, especially for Ilum.

We shall see!

P.S. I’m rolling Empire on a PVP server with my guild Irony. My preference was to roll Republic but we just merged into Irony so we’re rolling on the server and faction they’ve already chosen. Irony’s leadership has asked that we not publish our server until December 20th. I’m also rolling Republic alts, so that I can group with my followers from social media and other friends.

When it’s appropriate, I’ll let you know which server(s) my characters are on.

P.P.S. see more responses about this article on Reddit.

UPDATE (2012/01/01): I decided to re-roll as Republic on another server, Ajunta Pall. Out of the 115 matches I tracked on Empire side for Jung Ma, 23 of them (20%) were Empire-vs-Empire Huttball. The speed of warzone queue pops and diversity of warzones has been much better as Republic.

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Posted in PVP, SWTOR
91 comments on “Population Skewing Heavily Towards Empire on PVP Servers
  1. Twizzlar says:

    Hi, Taugrim. Our pre-launch guild was put on Veela. We must be one of the few pvp servers where Republic outnumber Empire just by going by the guild assignment. The number of Republic players are 2323 and Empire are at 1182 players. Nearly a 2:1 advantage for Republic. That is fine with me since I’m on Empire side. I don’t mind being on the smaller pop side as long as it doesn’t get ridiculously skewed.

  2. Boozsha says:

    I’m glad that Republic will be the underdogs. It makes my Sawbone Scoundrel even more appealing.

  3. While I totally expect Empire to have an advantage on PvP servers the guild deployment system might help mitigate that to a certian extent. Hopefully Bioware gives incentives to balance the servers more in the coming weeks. Rolling on a PvE server as Sith I fully expect to be outnumbered by Republic, but that doesnt neccessarily translate to a imbalanced of active PvPers.

  4. It might balance out a little bit after launch day hits. Will be interesting to look at those numbers again a month or two after release to see where they stand.

  5. Mazzic says:

    Imbalance isn’t neccesarily a bad thing. Early on in vanilla WoW on the server Cenarius it favored alliance by population about 10:1. Granted it was a PvE server, but it made for some amazing world PvP. Granted Crossroads looked more like a warzone than a quest hub, but it was still fun. I actually saw more world PvP than I did on the previous server, Dunemaul, which was PvP. While it certainly sucks from the gank point of view, it means for the underdogs there will almost always be a fight to find when they want one.

    • taugrim says:

      Mazzic :

      Early on in vanilla WoW on the server Cenarius it favored alliance by population about 10:1. Granted it was a PvE server, but it made for some amazing world PvP

      Understood, but the server type is a reflection of behavior.

      Players on PVP servers are making a very conscious choice. Heck, even the game tells you when you select a PVP server that you *do* realize what you’re getting into, right? :)

    • tacklebox says:

      CSF 4 Life

  6. c0sm0nautt says:

    There are a few servers which have more even faction balance. I plan on rolling Republic on one of these servers (Helm of Graush). My guild was originally places on Terentatek which is grossly skewed. The RP-PVP server is a viable option as well, although my concern with that is overpopulation and log-in queues.

  7. Taugrim, while the numbers are certainly statistically significant, they are not necessarily representative of the entire population. The people that signed up for guild rollout and pre-ordered immediately are not a random sample of the entire population of SWTOR players.

    My guess is when things begin to stabilize in January and February we will see the population become more even, likely a 60/40 split of Empire/Republic on PvP servers.

    • taugrim says:

      Corey D AKA Yosprey :

      My guess is when things begin to stabilize in January and February we will see the population become more even, likely a 60/40 split of Empire/Republic on PvP servers.

      60/40 is still a 50% larger population on one side, which is a big difference still :)

  8. Freddo says:

    I had some fun times in Halaa though :)

    I’m going Republic on RP-PVP server. Thanks for the tip :)

  9. Alan says:

    Im going republic, I love going with the underdog. Plus instant warzone ques are pretty nice. World PvP ought to be interesting. I already found a decently balanced server that I will be rolling on. Everyone also needs to realize that the current numbers and faction ratios are very likely to change in a few months, when more people come and go.

  10. PoiSonPeZ says:

    I guess EA didn’t learn anything from Warhammer Online. Destruction was the cooler faction, so I rolled an Order character to try to help the balance. World PvP was hit and run because our opponent usually outnumbered us. Eventually, Destruction got tired of stomping us into a mudhole and stopped playing.

  11. Marko/Irulaan says:

    They really should have considered three (3) fractions and added the ability to form alliances. That would have expanded the intrigued and placed the outcomes in doubt. It would have been an amazing. Before each BG or WZ you elected your alliance. A fraction of eight could have been been offset by two fractions of four under a common alliance.The possibilities blow my mind.

  12. Afdeezy says:

    So taugrim’s guild did the opposite of what he said and took the easy route essentially :) according to Taugrim…

    • taugrim says:

      Afdeezy :

      So taugrim’s guild did the opposite of what he said and took the easy route essentially :) according to Taugrim…

      Trust me, this is *not* what I want :(

      • Afdeezy says:

        Roger :) curious how the change happened, you make such valid points must have been a guild vote with a bunch of empire crazed guildees :)

  13. Dodgycookies says:

    Imbalanced server populations is really hard to fix without being overly restrictive on the player base (so basically its cat herding at its finest). The mechanism for moving players has been to incentivize free transfers and bonuses for the lower pop faction while instituting a penalty (ie faction taxes) for the higher population. However that only provides short term benefits. In a genre where players could sink months and years into characters, the long term benefit of a balanced server (for both sides beyond pvp queues) is not clear to the community or not great enough to encourage a balanced population.

    Imposing restrictions on player base to forcibly balance pops has been the traditional route to balance pops in the long term, which often results in malcontent amongst the community. The ideal solution for balanced server pop would give great individual benefit (hopefully in a positive way, rather than just avoiding penalties which can be seen as bad) for the majority of players (on both factions) as a result of the balanced population. If someone creates such an innovative solution, they could cash in big, for the applications of a system go far beyond just gaming.

    • taugrim says:

      Dodgycookies :

      Imbalanced server populations is really hard to fix without being overly restrictive on the player base (so basically its cat herding at its finest).

      Actually, the solution is pretty simple: create 3-faction PVP.

      That way the playerbase deals with faction imbalances by allying and such.

      Worked great in DAoC from everything I’ve heard. Why other devs haven’t sorted that out after 10 years is still baffling to me.

      At least GW2 will have RvRvR.

      • Dodgycookies says:

        3 faction pvp is indeed more robust for pvp, but also divides the player base into greater sections, therefore increasing the chances for a game/server/faction to lose the critical mass necessary for a community to operate, thrive and grow.

        3 factions does nothing to alleviate the other issues of pop imbalance such as economies of scale or pve progression. For example: Larger pops->lower crafting costs->easier gear->faster progression (not top end or world firsts, just a normal guild). Of course this would change if you could trade/group with other factions, but that would relegate the factions into triviality. This does work in sandbox type games but i don’t think Bioware’s corporate identity or the Star Wars IP would fit well with such a system.

        The main issue is that there is no clear or great incentive (other than world pvp) to the majority of individual players for having a balanced server, which often times leads to a self sustaining process of increasing pop imbalance.

  14. Liang Nuren says:

    Damn man, that’s a hefty population advantage there. Have the Irony people seen this – its bound to mess with the PVP fun to be had. One of the best moves I ever made in Rift was rerolling Guardian.

    I want to expound on this point you made:
    Crappy class balance, which causes individuals to quit (so far, not a significant issue in SWTOR, although the JK/SW’s should get their CCs earlier)

    I believe that its worth mentioning that this is not just the reason people quit PVPing – its also the thing that causes the most infighting in the game. People are often jealous of another class’ abilities and cry OP regardless of whether or not its actually true… and regardless of whether or not its a Rock/Paper/Scissors situation.

    The other really dangerous thing about class based MMOs is the constant cycle of buff/nerf to individual classes and play styles can make people feel like a character they’ve spent significant time on is obsolete for months at a time. This is problematic because people have spent months building their character – gearing them up, gaining player skill/experience, and even building a reputation. And all of that goes up in smoke when they feel the character is no longer viable.

    One might argue that the forcing people to constantly re-roll alts to keep up with the ever-changing FOTM introduces people to new content – but I think there are probably better ways to handle that. I could go on about this at length, and its actually the core of a blog post I’d planned to make about Rift. Maybe I should go ahead and finish that blog post up.

    -Liang

    • taugrim says:

      Liang Nuren :

      Damn man, that’s a hefty population advantage there. Have the Irony people seen this – its bound to mess with the PVP fun to be had.

      Yes.

      Liang Nuren :

      One of the best moves I ever made in Rift was rerolling Guardian.

      Same here

      Liang Nuren :

      I want to expound on this point you made:
      Crappy class balance, which causes individuals to quit (so far, not a significant issue in SWTOR, although the JK/SW’s should get their CCs earlier)

      I believe that its worth mentioning that this is not just the reason people quit PVPing – its also the thing that causes the most infighting in the game. People are often jealous of another class’ abilities and cry OP regardless of whether or not its actually true… and regardless of whether or not its a Rock/Paper/Scissors situation.

      The other really dangerous thing about class based MMOs is the constant cycle of buff/nerf to individual classes and play styles can make people feel like a character they’ve spent significant time on is obsolete for months at a time. This is problematic because people have spent months building their character – gearing them up, gaining player skill/experience, and even building a reputation. And all of that goes up in smoke when they feel the character is no longer viable.

      One might argue that the forcing people to constantly re-roll alts to keep up with the ever-changing FOTM introduces people to new content – but I think there are probably better ways to handle that. I could go on about this at length, and its actually the core of a blog post I’d planned to make about Rift. Maybe I should go ahead and finish that blog post up.

      -Liang

      I absolutely agree with you.

      What was intriguing to me from my WoW days was how much fighting there was between:
      – players of the same class but different spec
      – players of the same role but different classes

      Any real or perceived imbalance will make people unhappy.

      You touched on the FOTM rotation thing at the end, and I believe that devs aren’t making classes FOTM for that reason, or if they are they’re morons. When you buff 1 class out of 4, you make the players of the other 3 classes not happy.

      And to the extent that a dev keeps creating FOTM classes, as Trion did in RIFT 1.5 and 1.6, the longer-term effect is to make the players believe that the dev has no freaking clue how to manage class balance.

      RIFT 1.4 class balance > SWTOR 1.0 class balance > RIFT 1.5 class balance > RIFT 1.6 class balance

  15. Trey says:

    The early access program should have even this out somewhat since players can see the way the winds have been blowing and react.

    Patience young Padawan.

  16. taugrim says:

    Trey :

    The early access program should have even this out somewhat since players can see the way the winds have been blowing and react.

    Patience young Padawan.

    You’re making the assumption that people will react to the population imbalance and roll on the lower pop side.

    Keep in mind a lot of SWTOR players are coming from WoW.

    What players in WoW learned from their experience per the game mechanics is that rolling with the zerg = WIN, esp if they played in WotLK because in WoW that was how you won in Wintergrasp (by being on the higher-pop side) which then allowed you to farm the Wintergrasp winner’s raid instance for PVP gear.

    I know this about WoW from having played both factions on different servers in the same battlegroup. The higher-pop side won 90+% of the Wintergrasp matches I was in. The pathetic thing is that the winning side attributed their winning to skill, instead of simply acknowledging that the pop balancing mechanic (a stacking buff) was simply not adequate for balancing significant pop differentials.

    At any rate, I keep hearing from *everyone* how much cooler Empire is. It’s a distinctive factor in this whole pop imbalance conversation. Being evil has never been so cool as in SWTOR.

    • Trey says:

      Taug, I’m not saying you’re wrong. I’m just saying its too soon to really know.

      Dealing with population imbalances is one of those nuts that I don’t think any game has cracked. Three faction games are generally better…but the zerg had a huge presence in DAoC as well.

      I do think that very few people will be motivated to join the high pop side for ORvR advantage at this point. I think many PvPers are feeling the same tension you are regarding pop imbalances and will make some moves, if only to speed up their queue times.

      • Dodgycookies says:

        Trey, if the current population is heavily leading towards empire, and we are only on day 2 of the EGA, imagine what happens when the friends of those people who are playing get access. I don’t imagine they will be rolling on the opposing faction as their friends.

        Albeit you have a point, it is a bit too early to tell, the current data could be skewed because the first people to preorder could be distinctly different (in terms of faction choice) than those that did it later

  17. Chapliin says:

    Has an MMO ever tried something like increased Faction NPC spawning, to address some of the imbalances (ie spawning faction based NPCs in the warzones to act as fodder and walking gun)?

    The idea is that it might help give underdogs enough of a fighting chance, to keep the underpopulated faction logged in, rather than having them just retreat off the battlefield due to the imbalance.

  18. Personally, I think any PvP guild that claims to want to PvP for the challenge of the fight and not just to win should step up and switch to the lower population side. Those that stay with the higher population lose credibility as far as I’m concerned, all talk and no walk. I just don’t see how people who do it for a challenge can stay on the zerg side.

    Luckily I am playing on a PvE server (Republic side) so this won’t be too much of an issue. For Open World PvP, if it becomes a problem, I think the lower populated faction needs to become organized and work together. Rather than look at it as a negative thing, they should view it as something to strengthen the community.

  19. As far as the cool factor for the Empire goes, it is pretty imbalanced. The trooper/bounty hunter is a great example. Same classes, yet bounty hunters get cooler looking moves (jet packs, rocket punches, flamethrowers), better looking armor (and at lower levels, trooper gear is basically a padded jacket while at lvl 2 a bounty hunter gets a sweet chestplate), and (IMO) better weapons (I’d rather dual wield than have a ridiculously huge cannon).

    • taugrim says:

      system_effect :

      As far as the cool factor for the Empire goes, it is pretty imbalanced. The trooper/bounty hunter is a great example. Same classes, yet bounty hunters get cooler looking moves (jet packs, rocket punches, flamethrowers), better looking armor (and at lower levels, trooper gear is basically a padded jacket while at lvl 2 a bounty hunter gets a sweet chestplate), and (IMO) better weapons (I’d rather dual wield than have a ridiculously huge cannon).

      Yea BH vs Trooper is a great example. The BH AOE Death from Above looks wayyyy cooler than Trooper’s Mortar Volley.

      Same goes for Imperial Agent compared to Smuggler from a storyline perspective. The IA storyline by all accounts is bad-ass.

      • WasiKaBooM says:

        Yes, it looks cooler, and makes the Bounty Hunter such a nice target to shoot at. Thats what i like about the Trooper, actually. Everything he does looks more or less the same, which makes him harder to figure out in PVP. But i realize that this is not exactly the common opinion :)

  20. Dark_Of_Knight says:

    Although it’s quite early in the rollout this has been affecting my Warzone experience already. Taugrim, after watching your Gunslinger streams and videos I was determined to play and improve my PvP with the cover classes. I was drawn to the Empire faction due to the story and “Cool” factor of the IA Sniper.

    Soooo, I rolled Empire on a PvP server, knowing it might mean a slow que, and just being one of the zerg horde. However it’s even worse than I had anticipated. Que times are taking forever, and once a Warzone finally pops, most of them are stopped in few minutes due to lack of players, and since the Empire group is usually full I know it’s a lack of Republic players. I know it’s still extremely early and should get better as more players enter and the population balances out a bit more, but it is still disappointing.

    A side effect of the early Warzone stoppages is that they still award full XP and commendations. I believe they may have increased the Warzone XP gain since the nerf in beta. At level 11 I was awarded 7899 XP for a stopped Warzone. People are leveling unaturally fast.

    • taugrim says:

      Dark_Of_Knight :

      Although it’s quite early in the rollout this has been affecting my Warzone experience already. Taugrim, after watching your Gunslinger streams and videos I was determined to play and improve my PvP with the cover classes. I was drawn to the Empire faction due to the story and “Cool” factor of the IA Sniper.

      Yea, a lot of people rolled Emp for the same reasons.

      Dark_Of_Knight :

      Soooo, I rolled Empire on a PvP server, knowing it might mean a slow que, and just being one of the zerg horde. However it’s even worse than I had anticipated. Que times are taking forever, and once a Warzone finally pops, most of them are stopped in few minutes due to lack of players, and since the Empire group is usually full I know it’s a lack of Republic players. I know it’s still extremely early and should get better as more players enter and the population balances out a bit more, but it is still disappointing.

      A side effect of the early Warzone stoppages is that they still award full XP and commendations. I believe they may have increased the Warzone XP gain since the nerf in beta. At level 11 I was awarded 7899 XP for a stopped Warzone. People are leveling unaturally fast.

      BioWare knows about the stopped-match issue and they’re trying to fix it, as it’s being “creatively used” to level really fast.

  21. benjamin says:

    Interesting breakdown, having played wow on imbalanced servers and rift on a fairly balanced server I can say that balanced is my preference. I would prefer not to be the overdog or the underdog, just a normal dog for me.

    I’m mainly concerned about finding a server where the few Aussies that are playing will be going to!

  22. Boston says:

    Some specific server numbers based on pre-order guilds: http://www.reddit.com/r/redditempire/comments/naqmi/quick_stats_on_us_east_pvp_servers/. The RP-PVP server Jung Ma also looks like a good bet.

  23. Chapliin says:

    Have they listed he names of the RP-PVP servers?

  24. uri says:

    “This *is* not a comprehensive set of data, but it is statistically significant set of data: 450k players, or ~30% of the predicted 1.5MM launch.”

    No, It’s really not perhaps you should do your research like a proper blogger/wannabe journalist.

    I can not tell if your ignorant or just trying to troll lol.. Honestly the games not even released yet its in EGA or early game access atm.

    http://www.vgchartz.com/preorders/40895/USA/

    939,358 boxed pre-orders just from the Americas… that doesn’t count digital downloads or other country’s boxed copy’s.

    • uri says:

      “RP-PVE servers (entire World): Empire 25,986 | Republic 30,393 | Hey look, more good guys than bad guys. A lot of RP players want to be a Jedi or Smuggler. What a surprise! Not :) ”

      I dunno about that a lot of folks on the swtor forums are complaining about the Sith side out numbering the Jedi side. frankly i hope its true. I plan to roll Sith side for that exact reason happened in WoW back in the day were every one jumped on the alliance side and plain and simple i don’t want to be on the QQ side of things this time around.

    • Boston says:

      The key is if this is a representative sample or not. Do we have reason to believe that those who pre-ordered when it was first released are more likely to go Empire or Republic than the rest of the population? I don’t think there is, which makes the argument valid.

      Taugrim was making the argument now–even before the game is settled–because fixing population balance is a time sensitive issue. Wait too long and people will leave. It is in BioWare’s interest (and ours!) to steer population balance as soon as possible.

    • taugrim says:

      uri :

      No, It’s really not perhaps you should do your research like a proper blogger/wannabe journalist.

      I can not tell if your ignorant or just trying to troll lol.. Honestly the games not even released yet its in EGA or early game access atm.

      We’re in EGA, REALLY? You’re a genius!!!!

      Perhaps you should actually read an article and understand what’s written there before writing an ignorant post.

    • lordtridus says:

      You’re complaining about the quality of the data, then linking to vgchartz in the same comment?

      That’s some epic fail, right there.

  25. uri says:

    Oh yes…There inviting more people for EGA every day its barley up to around 500,000 at the moment. and theres stills 5 days left.

  26. Freddo says:

    uri :Oh yes…There inviting more people for EGA every day its barley up to around 500,000 at the moment. and theres stills 5 days left.

    Troll be gone!

  27. Cameirus says:

    taugrim :

    system_effect :
    As far as the cool factor for the Empire goes, it is pretty imbalanced. The trooper/bounty hunter is a great example. Same classes, yet bounty hunters get cooler looking moves (jet packs, rocket punches, flamethrowers), better looking armor (and at lower levels, trooper gear is basically a padded jacket while at lvl 2 a bounty hunter gets a sweet chestplate), and (IMO) better weapons (I’d rather dual wield than have a ridiculously huge cannon).

    Yea BH vs Trooper is a great example. The BH AOE Death from Above looks wayyyy cooler than Trooper’s Mortar Volley.
    Same goes for Imperial Agent compared to Smuggler from a storyline perspective. The IA storyline by all accounts is bad-ass.

    Storeyline is one thing, but as for animations and such its down to taste, Personally I fidn the BH death from above to be silly. I prefer the simpler Tropper animations.

    But we saw it with RIFT, all the pvp guilds said they were going one side, and they all did….so everyone followed them, and supprise supprise it was faction imbalance at launch….

  28. Mr D Cag says:

    Hi Admin, it’s urgent. Please get in touch with me as soon as you can.

  29. WasiKaBooM says:

    Well, i dont know. I think Bioware dropped the ball on this one. I think when it comes to games with two factions, the developer should always assure that the “good” side has its share of awesome and cool stuff. Being nice alone does not cut it.

    You can be either Boba Fett, shooting missiles, burning people to death with flamethrowers, or a Stormtrooper, shooting things. With your gun. Over and over.

    You can cast lightning storms and force choke fools to death or throw kitchen furniture at people.

    You can be Darth Maul, or Darth Vader, and kill planets, murder your enemies and rape Jawas. Sure, you can be Luke or Obi Wan, too. But there are many games where you can be the (Jedi)knight in shining armor.

    Okay, you can be Han Solo & Chewie instead of a nameless Imperial Agent, but nobody is interested in the smuggler class despite that.

    So, yeah, the Empire has more appeal. Personally i would be fine playing both sides, but i too will be playing Empire. On a PVP Server. Funny thing. :)

  30. The Jersey Wife says:

    I won a KitchenAid stand mixer from my husband all because I told him that the Empire would have the larger population in this game. Does it bother me? A bit because we roll out onto a PvP server so it can make leveling a tad more interesting that’s for sure. We don’t play factions based on which are perceived as good or evil but rather which faction will give us the fastest queue times for PvP. As a result we changed our plan which had been rock solid for 3 years and decided to roll Republic. A nephew in the guild decided he didn’t want to roll on the “care bear” side (not my words HIS)

    We found both faction story lines appealing and want to play them all. I’m wondering if the enjoyment of the Sith lines are based on the fact that they kill everyone in their path and they get lightning. Lightning is pretty hawt.

    As PvPers we’ve always dealt with population imbalance. When we played WoW if we wanted PvE raid progression we rolled Alliance. If we wanted strong PvP presence and skilled players who could work as a team we rolled Horde. Back in the days of DAoC we were the least loved Midgard & Hibernia going against the zerglings of Albion.

    Hopefully things will settle and Bioware won’t have to look into server merges. *shudders* I always loathed those.

  31. Chapliin says:

    Are we seeing reports of how the PVP servers are ‘feelings’ — ie republic players being zerged 24-7?

  32. Dodgycookies says:

    The Jersey Wife :

    I won a KitchenAid stand mixer from my husband

    Nice you bake AND game. Can we be friends?

    Also, can i haz cookie?

  33. mittens says:

    Whether its pvp/pve/rp, my choice of server or faction is not based on zerg/non-zerg/coolness, but is based on people niceness. That said, I server hopped, and finally found the server with Old Republic Dads, Old Republic Dads II, The Elderly Gamers, and all the “guilds made for grown up people with jobs” server.

    I initially followed The Older Gamers, cause they’re great guys, but after spending time on the server, i noticed something was……..”different” about this server. After researching the guilds on the server, i realized it was the place for largest LGBT guilds, lol. I dont want to logon to a server to hear about the best buttseks you ever had, or who sucks a better ****, in general chat (again).

    But hey, if that’s anyone’s thing here, you should go check out “The Jekk-Jekk-Tarr” Server and join stonewall and taint guilds.

  34. Sharlatan says:

    mittens :Whether its pvp/pve/rp, my choice of server or faction is not based on zerg/non-zerg/coolness, but is based on people niceness. That said, I server hopped, and finally found the server with Old Republic Dads, Old Republic Dads II, The Elderly Gamers, and all the “guilds made for grown up people with jobs” server.
    I initially followed The Older Gamers, cause they’re great guys, but after spending time on the server, i noticed something was……..”different” about this server. After researching the guilds on the server, i realized it was the place for largest LGBT guilds, lol. I dont want to logon to a server to hear about the best buttseks you ever had, or who sucks a better ****, in general chat (again).
    But hey, if that’s anyone’s thing here, you should go check out “The Jekk-Jekk-Tarr” Server and join stonewall and taint guilds.

    better than “anal ” spam.

    And besides those servers have better taste in music anyway :P

  35. Long time reader, first time poster (I remember watching your first WAR BW videos etc!).

    An observation if I may Taugrim, and it’s both an observation and a solution to the population imabalance problem in one word; DAoC.

    With your PVP knowledge i’d imagine you understand what i’m referring to already but in case you didn’t; 3 different factions!

  36. My guild is pvp focused and the younger guys that run it had their heart set on Empire. Myself and a few of the older guys were hoping we could get on the side that had the more “mature” players. It looks like that will be Republic so I am sad. I still am hoping the sides will be pretty much equal. 60-40% is probably not a bad split too be honest. But 80-20, 90-10 are real bad splits and make pvp miserable for both sides.

    • taugrim says:

      suited (@suited) :

      60-40% is probably not a bad split too be honest. But 80-20, 90-10 are real bad splits and make pvp miserable for both sides.

      Here’s the problem you run into with 60/40 splits.

      One side is 50% bigger than the other. So you see lots of
      6 v 4
      15 v 10
      30 v 20

      What ends up happening is the smaller side loses more fights, and a fair number of people on the losing side give up or get turned off from PVP.

      It’s not that they’re cowards or lack tenacity – no one likes losing. I have seen this in game after game.

      So what starts as a 60/40 split in pop will often be more lopsided than that in practice.

  37. Valentus says:

    You already gave hints of where you’d be rolling so it took like 15s to check, but the ping was around 110-120+ compared to 30-40s on the other coast so I’ll be sticking there, plus they share my timezone. Oh well maybe I’ll try an Empire character there later on, as it feels strange still to have both sides on the same server and seeing your previous allies on the other side in battle for a change.

    Looking forward to seeing some organized pvp with your guild on stream,

    Cheers,

    Valentus(gsky)

  38. ziggy says:

    i remember following ur posts for the last few months and it looked as though u were dead set on going republic. i think u were set on jedi sentinel, then it was jedi shadow, then i think trooper. but it was always republic side. now suddenly with this population imbalance favoring empire side, u are going empire. so u are just adding further to the problem =). why is that

    • taugrim says:

      ziggy :

      i remember following ur posts for the last few months and it looked as though u were dead set on going republic. why is that

      Because I’m fickle…

      …but seriously, the guild that my guild merged into had already decided to roll Empire. I already shared with them my concerns about going Empire in terms of pop.

      ziggy :

      i think u were set on jedi sentinel, then it was jedi shadow, then i think trooper.

      I already said I am rolling Vanguard/PT and Sentinel/Marauder.

  39. dryiggles says:

    Been caught up in SWTOR EGA that I haven’t had a chance til now to read your article and respond.

    I’m actually feeling the same way as you Taugrim. I have noticed it already being Empire and majority of the time have played more Huttball matches then anything else. Which also leads to slow queue times as well.

    I am really hoping that by launch there will be a more balanced faction between servers. It really was a decision between the guild overall on going Empire. I don’t regret it because I enjoy the story for my class and am having fun. Whether I may have to wait a longer time or not.

    I think I will enjoy Ilum when the time comes. And its great to hear they are also working on already adding more WZs.

    But there will always be imbalance on factions to an extend. I just hope Bioware watches this closely and makes sure one side isn’t to the extend of a 10:1 ratio as opposed to a 2:1 ratio. Because we have seen in pretty much every MMO.

    Thanks for this Taugrim. It is definitely a good discussion and something that should be brought up.

    ~ dryiggles

    P.S. Sorry for not reading your article when it came out. But SWTOR called. =P

    • Marko/Irulaan says:

      Go Empire everyone! I am going republic – I could not stand 30 min queues. Now I have instant queues with a good group – mega points, lots of wins.

  40. Redkinn says:

    First…Everyone who got in with their wave….you’ve no idea how luck you are O.o
    They finally fixed my pre-order entered sept and I’m getting in with december kids.

    2nd: Awesome article Taugrim and I do agree especially about the fact that the lopsidedness tends to snowball fairly quickly.

    I chose an RP-PVP server hoping the factions will be more balanced due to the RP crowd and the population in general perhaps a bit less trolly.

    Would be interesting to see the statistics for those as well as they become available.

  41. system_effect :

    Personally, I think any PvP guild that claims to want to PvP for the challenge of the fight and not just to win should step up and switch to the lower population side. Those that stay with the higher population lose credibility as far as I’m concerned, all talk and no walk. I just don’t see how people who do it for a challenge can stay on the zerg side.

    This is mostly why me and my friends rolled Republic! I myself wanted to play republic so its a win win anyhow but was not hard to convince my mates to roll republic seeing the statistics, we like good fights and fast queues!

    and tbh, we can stand our ground far longer then any random zerg anyway ^^

    we have had a lot of fun as the underdogs http://borroto.typepad.com/files/pitbull.jpg in all games we played and i don´t think it will change in sw:tor

    random pic´s are awesome!

  42. Mike says:

    P.S. I’m rolling Empire on a PVP server with my guild Irony. Irony’s leadership has asked that we not publish our server until December 20th. I’m also rolling Republic alts, so that I can group with my followers from social media and other friends.

    When it’s appropriate, I’ll let you know which server(s) my characters are on.

    *LoL!!! You act like you’re something special and that anyone cares. Your guild’s server can be found easily. The final “When it’s appropriate” comment is especially funny. Full of self absorbance. Like anyone really gives a shit what server your characters are on. You have some sort of delusion of grandeur going on and you think you’re important and that your mere presence makes an impact on the others around you. No one fucking cares LoL!!!!!!!!!

    • Pikk says:

      Mike,

      aparently you cared enough to post a response. You couldn’t of just disagreed in a civil way you had to be a complete d-bag. Taug is just listening to what our guild leaders requested. Nothing more, people ask him the same questions day in and day out. I have watched his streams before and hearing him answer the same questions gets bothersome. So he posted it so people understand, he is not trying to be an elitist but listening to others in our guild who have asked not to divulge this information.

      Please do us all a favor, next time you are walking down the street and see cars in traffic speeding towards you, just jump in front.

    • mittens says:

      This is just a player envy, i dont have what Taugrim has rant. Can you just delete these kind of posts Taugrim?

    • taugrim says:

      Mike :

      *LoL!!! You act like you’re something special and that anyone cares.

      Why post if you believe that?

      I have been asked hundreds of times in the past week where my guild is going for Early Access.

    • Freddo says:

      Contradictions collaps

  43. chapliin says:

    Are there some other MMOs (not just RPGs) that have come up with some sort of methods to help mitigate imbalances, that are considered positive or work well?

    Also, are there any point mitigation for imbalances? A victory in a 5v5 should award more than a 10v5, for example.

    • taugrim says:

      chapliin :

      Are there some other MMOs (not just RPGs) that have come up with some sort of methods to help mitigate imbalances, that are considered positive or work well?

      Also, are there any point mitigation for imbalances? A victory in a 5v5 should award more than a 10v5, for example.

      The best solution so far seems to be having 3 faction PVP. That way if one faction becomes too strong, the weaker two factions can ally against them.

      There are issues with 3-faction PVP as well, but what I’ve considered heard from DAoC players is that it worked great in that game.

      Also, in some games, when you win a fight outnumbered, you get more PVP reward (e.g. “Against All Odds” in WAR).

  44. Potent says:

    Hey Taugrim.

    Slightly off-topic, but what is your opinion on this new SOPA legislation that could be passed?

    Heres TotalHalibut ranting about its implications:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhwuXNv8fJM&list=UUy1Ms_5qBTawC-k7PVjHXKQ&feature=plcp&context=C3062208FDOEgsToPDskJTkEFndEHP8h9NP3QwvLCW

  45. Lasci says:

    Hey there Taugrim! I recently stumbled upon your blog completely by accident, and it was probably the best “mistake” I’ve made in a long time. I rolled a Trooper (which I later dived down the Commando path with) because of many of the potential issues that you’ve outlined here. I wanted to avoid Jedi/force sensitive classes from the onset for the same reason I decided to roll on the Republic side of things — a bit more recognition and the opportunity to help even things out statistically.

    Very glad that I found this site, though. You’ve certainly sparked my interest for PvP. Your guides and commentaries are immensely helpful, from the simple tips inbetween games to the way that you handle certain situations and point out your own mistakes whenever you make them. The best part is that I don’t have to trudge through a lot of the profanity, inaccuracies, and generally over-opinioned advice. For someone who isn’t as hardcore of a PvPer as other people and doesn’t have the knowledge to refute some of that bad advice and inaccuracies, this blog is great because I never feel as if I’m being lead astray and all the tips that you give are extremely helpful.

    I’m having a bit of an internal debate as to where I want to go server-wise, though. I’m still pretty steadfast in the fact that I want my main characters to be Republic. I’ve debated joining you on your followers/viewers server but the one caveat that I’m struggling with is the fact that it’s a RP server. While I’m not against the occasional roleplay, my mindset when I play an MMO isn’t in that general realm. But I’ve become increasingly intrigued by the fact that you constantly mention the more mature atmosphere on RP-PvP servers. What’s been your experience with being a non-RPer on a RP server?

    • taugrim says:

      Lasci :

      I’m having a bit of an internal debate as to where I want to go server-wise, though. I’m still pretty steadfast in the fact that I want my main characters to be Republic. I’ve debated joining you on your followers/viewers server but the one caveat that I’m struggling with is the fact that it’s a RP server. While I’m not against the occasional roleplay, my mindset when I play an MMO isn’t in that general realm. But I’ve become increasingly intrigued by the fact that you constantly mention the more mature atmosphere on RP-PvP servers. What’s been your experience with being a non-RPer on a RP server?

      My guess is that the majority (i.e. over two-thirds) of players on RP servers don’t RP, they roll there because they’ve seen the strength of the community and cross-faction rivalry in other games.

      I have also see RP’rs do some pretty interesting community stuff, like putting on live concerts in Hobbiton back in LOTRO. I don’t RP at all, but can be entertaining to watch.

  46. Troy Alleman says:

    @ Taugrim was my post deleted?

    • Troy Alleman says:

      @ Taugrim I wanted to ask you some questions about setting up a site like this via WordPress. I want to concentrate on Healing since I am a long time healer dating back to UO, EQ up to WOW , Rift and now SWTOR. Yes I’m an old man. I talked to Larry “Shaddoe” and he said he will look at my site one I get a few articles up, but I’m still learning alot. I have the site set up http://www.cannibaalshaman.com, but its a work in progress before it is ready.

      Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I just want to supply great info and experience to help the community and I don’t want to do anything half-assed either. That is why I have contacted Larry and yourself.

      Very Respectfully,

      Troy “Cannibaal” Alleman
      BH Merc Bodyguard PVP The Crucible Pits

      • taugrim says:

        Troy Alleman :

        @ Taugrim I wanted to ask you some questions about setting up a site like this via WordPress

        I didn’t see any questions. Can you post specific questions? My free time is very limited so please help me help you.

    • taugrim says:

      Troy Alleman :

      @ Taugrim was my post deleted?

      I didn’t see any comments that were filtered as spam. Nothing was deleted AFAIK.

  47. George Sheen says:

    Hey Taugrim areu gonna tell us now which shard u and ur pals are rolling mate?:D

  48. Jathan says:

    It looks like I’m a bit late to this party, but I thought I’d mention that Rift’s Sunrest server (where I had the pleasure of playing alongside you in a few warfronts using your MASH spec) should be a warning tale of what can result from large faction imbalances and easy server transfers. It doesn’t just kill world pvp, it kills entire servers. I don’t know if you’ve logged in there recently or not, Ed, but the place is a ghost town. One has to do laps around Sanctum to find another living player. I’m assuming the Defiant side isn’t much better, as I don’t see pvp’ers hanging around on a server with no competition (or victims, as the case may be), but the Guardian side of Sunrest has gone from a thriving community to a world of tumbleweed. Quite sad.

  49. […] while back Taugrim made a post on his blog here [taugrim.com] which pointed out the potential for population imbalance on PVP servers in SWTOR. […]

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