Report: Average Old Republic server has less than 350 players online

How many players are playing The Old Republic at any given time? The numbers are shockingly low.

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Although it launched to great fanfare, it's clear that The Old Republic is struggling. Electronic Arts revealed a startling drop of 25 percent of its subscriber base since launch, and has since announced layoffs at BioWare Austin, the team behind the expensive MMO. But, how dire is the situation, really?

One dedicated fan wanted to find out exactly how many people are on The Old Republic's servers. "What is going to happen when server transfers go live," SWTOR user Scorpienne asked. "How many people are on which servers?"

According to Scorpienne's calculations, the "Total Estimated Worldwide Population of all servers" for the past two weeks is 73,693. That figure simply represents the average number of people logged in at a given time, not the total number of players that have logged in over the two week period. "It's probable that not every player is logged in all the time," the report clarifies.

The most populated server on SWTOR appears to be The Fatman, with an average of 2006 players at any given time. This "theoretical average population" is simply an average however, and Scorpienne notes that it "underestimates the peak population and overestimates the off-peak population." However, with 214 servers currently active, the less popular servers are especially empty. In fact, the average server will have only 344 players at any given time (more for RP PvP, less for PvP).

With players so spaced out, it's clear that server consolidations must happen. No wonder one fan of the game jokingly described The Old Republic as "the best single player game on the market."

From The Chatty
  • reply
    May 24, 2012 12:00 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Report: Average Old Republic server has less than 350 players online.

    How many players are playing The Old Republic at any given time? The numbers are shockingly low.

    • reply
      May 24, 2012 12:01 PM

      Ouch. How much money was budgeted on this game?

      • reply
        May 24, 2012 12:05 PM

        estimated 200 million

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          May 24, 2012 12:26 PM

          1.5 mil subs x $15/month = $22.5 mil/month. Factor in game sales, and they're probably close to making that back about now.

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            May 24, 2012 12:49 PM

            Ya, I don't think they will take a loss on this but its a shame that this will lose momentum fairly quickly.

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            May 24, 2012 1:19 PM

            There are massive operating costs for MMOs. Think of all that server space, electricity costs, IT support, etc etc. Those all take big chunks out of the bottom line.

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            May 24, 2012 1:58 PM

            they probably need to pay 1/2 to lucasarts dont forget

      • reply
        May 24, 2012 1:21 PM

        They said they only needed 500k subs to remain profitable.

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      May 24, 2012 12:08 PM

      Best F2P game Winter 2012

    • reply
      May 24, 2012 12:10 PM

      It's probable that not every player is logged in all the time, No shit... really? I figured everyone was always logged in!

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      May 24, 2012 12:11 PM

      I got an email yesterday saying that Khem Val missed me and wants to go on adventures again.

      • reply
        May 24, 2012 1:43 PM

        I say the tell Khem Val to put out a little, amirite??

      • reply
        May 24, 2012 4:10 PM

        Those emails have been going out since like a month after release.

    • reply
      May 24, 2012 12:12 PM

      ... and it has about the same number of servers as WoW. :/

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        May 24, 2012 1:48 PM

        but you cant transfer, making certain servers ghost towns

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        May 24, 2012 2:06 PM

        have they said why they don't want to do server merges? i know players hate server merges but empty servers are even worse

        • reply
          May 24, 2012 2:26 PM

          They said they don't know how to merge the servers with the legacy system.

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            May 24, 2012 2:37 PM

            Really?, like an official post explaining this?

            I understand managing/developing a MMO must be a huge task but not taking into account how your data and systems will behave with features that in the long run you'll need to introduce its very bad planning.

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              May 24, 2012 2:40 PM

              No, not really. He's taking a loose interpretation of information posted about five months ago now.

              Toward the beginning of this year they had said there were significant complications with transfers & mergers, and it wouldn't be available for some time. The reason they cited was complications with the legacy system. Shortly after they mentioned how they'd roll out transfers -- Oceanic first, and then Americas/EU.

              It's now end of May, and since then they've demonstrated some of the transfer capabilities, outlined how the legacy system would work, and (last I checked) have started the Oceanic transfers. The Americas/EU transfers should be available soon, if they aren't already.

        • reply
          May 24, 2012 2:34 PM

          They do, but it's taken quite a bit of work to get the system up and running.

          They had a manual/prototype process in a few months back (prior to 1.2) to get high level characters/guilds into the ptr. About a month or so ago they had the Oceanic transfers up and running, so people in Aus/NZ who were playing on the Americas could get their characters transferred locally.

          I haven't paid attention to any recent developments, but I believe their plan was to have more open transfers (or population based transfers) available to everyone shortly after the Oceanic transfer.

    • reply
      May 24, 2012 12:13 PM

      I re-rolled on Fatman about a month and a half ago. It's a much better experience since I can actually find groups with little to no trouble at all. I couldn't say the same on my original server.

      I like SWTOR well enough to justify paying 15 dollars sporadically until I get to 50 just so I can finish my class story because I very much like the leveling experience on a populated server such as fatman.

      Right now this game has amazing potential but has been dragged down by stupid design decisions and lack of foresight. This game has the very real possibility of being amazing if you give it another year; enough time to polish and add tons more content.....the problem is that is way too far away...bioware fucked themselves by not having immediate server consolidation and refinement of 50 PvP at release.

      • reply
        May 24, 2012 12:53 PM

        Next issue has server transfers.

      • reply
        May 24, 2012 3:35 PM

        I played at launch and just decided that I would come back in a year when they have their shit together. I liked the game but really wanted a group finder and other creature comforts I'd grown to rely on.

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      May 24, 2012 12:14 PM

      "fewer" than >:(

      • reply
        May 24, 2012 12:15 PM

        or, apply the term "average" to the numeric figure rather than to "Old Republic server". averages aren't countable like players are

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        May 24, 2012 12:16 PM

        Yeah, I cringed when I saw that go up. And I wrote this!

        • reply
          May 24, 2012 12:16 PM

          i'll forgive you... this time!!!

          and probably next time too

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      May 24, 2012 12:23 PM

      A little re-tooling and they can relaunch it as a true single player game.

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        May 24, 2012 12:26 PM

        Man if this ever happens I would be so freaking happy, actually that be great for certain MMOs they should do this.

        Awesome idea so good.

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          May 24, 2012 12:29 PM

          It's never going to happen - a little retooling effectively says ship a server with every client. F2P would be your best bet.

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            May 24, 2012 12:36 PM

            LOL yeah they happen to use a cloud MMO engine that could be a issue :) all well its nice dreaming.

            Still if dudes can make the private servers for Wow and others you would think it could be possible for the devs to do this.. man I have to stop this its not going to happen especially with the engine they used :(

            • reply
              May 24, 2012 2:57 PM

              Why are all servers now referred to as "clouds"? It's the same old TCP/UDP server that's been around for the past 30 years (or more).

    • reply
      May 24, 2012 12:49 PM

      And even with those 350 players, they still don't have a LFG tool. No excuse for an MMO in 2012.

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      May 24, 2012 12:57 PM

      holy shit hahahah

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      May 24, 2012 1:01 PM

      Can you compare that to other mmos? How many does WoW have on average at any given time?

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          May 24, 2012 1:56 PM

          Holy shit Mal'Ganis has a 16:1 Horde to Alliance ratio? I remember we outnumbered years ago when I still played, but that's nuts.

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            May 24, 2012 2:25 PM

            Yeah, coming across an alliance player is actually pretty jarring. I remember a few months ago someone attempted to gank me (a moonkin hit me with insect swarm) and I thought my sound card was frying up. Seeing red names where there's no mobs just kind of makes me jump a little bit.

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            May 24, 2012 2:31 PM

            yea, doesnt really suprise me, since they have faction transfers now. i remember it balancing out a little before i quit and before you could just pay to be horde

          • Zek
            reply
            May 24, 2012 2:37 PM

            The traditional MMO server model is completely broken IMO. Always has been. Population issues like TOR, imbalance issues like this, general problems with friends playing together, etc. I think it's inexcusable that new games still do things this way.

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              May 24, 2012 4:13 PM

              With the rapid decline of TOR, the collapse of 38 Studios and the boondoggle that Elder Scrolls Online seems like it may turn into, you probably won't see many more games trying to ape the WOW model. It's clear at this point that was a one-time deal. I'm hopeful that Titan will be the kick in the pants the MMO genre badly needs.

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                May 25, 2012 5:34 AM

                I'm intrigued by Titan. New franchise, pressure of WoW's massive success, many of the WoW dream team now on it...

                Will it be F2P or subs? Will it be future or fantasy or something else? How far will they deviate from the now rather tired WoW design elements? Will it achieve remotely the success of WoW given that it's the first new setting Blizzard are doing in forever? Probably, they really have the golden touch and huge fanbase.

                So many questions, so much potential, I can't wait to hear more eventually.

        • reply
          May 24, 2012 2:32 PM

          Shame my old realm isn't listed, EU Burning Steppes was definitely fucking dead. Blizzard really need to be more proactive and effective with free migrations and server merges.

    • reply
      May 24, 2012 1:08 PM

      When I played it at launch the server populations already felt way too small. That was largely the reason I never subbed.

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      May 24, 2012 1:21 PM

      How long before F2P?

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        May 24, 2012 6:44 PM

        Maybe next year, they will keep a premium tier and do F2P on some level.

    • Ziz
      reply
      May 24, 2012 2:10 PM

      Yeah i was having fun with the game. Even seen how i could make money in the market. Buying stuff low then selling it high. I only got a char to like lvl 32 or so. But i just ended up playing Ultima Online more again and just gave up on it.

      • reply
        May 24, 2012 3:00 PM

        You played UO instead? Wow... strange times we live in. I miss UO so much :(

        • Ziz
          reply
          May 24, 2012 3:03 PM

          Yep i'm still playing UO, theres still just so much more ya can do in UO then the other MMOS.

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      May 24, 2012 2:23 PM

      That's what they get for releasing with almost no endgame and no features. Once you're done levelling, there's no reason to stay.

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        May 24, 2012 2:26 PM

        I didn't even get to 50 since the story ended at lvl 49. Had no interest in the PvP after trying some during levelling, and the end game looked extremely familiar and uninspiring. I just didn't hav the heart to do another gear grind fest, let alone a mediocre one.

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          May 24, 2012 3:03 PM

          I gave it an honest shot, even taking 2 guys to 50 (the second being a tank because tanks were in demand at one point) but there's just no tools to get you into the dungeons and raids at the endgame. You have to sit on the imperial fleet spamming LFG like it's 2007 or something. I found I could either sit in trade chat trying to fill up a group for 45 minutes to an hour, or I could go do 3 dungeons in WoW in that time.

          • reply
            May 24, 2012 3:25 PM

            I think LFG/R is coming next patch, but that shit should have been in the start, I had the same experience as you and it sucked.

    • reply
      May 24, 2012 2:51 PM

      Concurrent numbers of ~75k is still decent. Back when Counter-Strike had concurrents of ~100,000 that meant ~1-1.5 million unique players in a 24 hour period. So we can estimate that SWTOR still has 500,000-750,000 active players based on CS's stats and the fact that people tend to stay logged in longer when play MMOs as opposed to FPS's.

    • reply
      May 24, 2012 2:57 PM

      i was having fun with it, but the whole place is empty. i don't understand why they can't consolidate servers.

    • reply
      May 24, 2012 3:01 PM

      Sounds about right. I've ditched the game after being enthusiastic about it for a few months... Diablo 3 and Day Z killed it for me.

      • reply
        May 24, 2012 3:03 PM

        Also 2k average pop on The Fatman... which is the #1 pop server AFAIK. Kinda sad. Thats not even a full WoW server (AFAIK again).

    • reply
      May 24, 2012 3:02 PM

      Either it's cost, pride, or technical limitations but not merging servers = death for you MMO.

      Also, no dungeon finder in this day & age is essentially suicide because spamming /1 to find a group is fucking retarded and shouldn't ever be an issue in an MMO. Even Dark Age of Camelot back in the day had rudimentary group finding stuff in it.

    • reply
      May 24, 2012 5:18 PM

      With EA's Riccitello clearly distancing EA from TOR to calm investor's minds in recent comments, then the layoffs at Bioware Austin, it's clear EA is disappointed in the results so they're going to cut and run. EA got what they came for and are more than happy to let the game languish.

      If they were smart, Bioware Austin would get hard to work on the free to play conversion NOW and have it ready to go by the game's first anniversary. Cryptic, PlayNC, and Turbine have proven F2P can keep a game alive AND profitable. If Bioware stays on the same path, TOR will just continue to bleed subscribers with a bleak future outlook.

      I'd love to have a reason to return to TOR. But after the first two months, the game lost my interest and the mismanagement drove me away. They got to pad their sub numbers with my 3 month time card and the extra 30 days they handed out, but I certainly didn't log in during any of that time.

    • reply
      May 24, 2012 5:47 PM

      The group think @ BioWare for this game was so, so strong.

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      May 24, 2012 6:00 PM

      not they can go ahead and make KOTOR 3,4,5,6

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      May 24, 2012 6:05 PM

      And yet, it is rated the TOP GAME on Shacknews.com. Top. Game.

      • reply
        May 25, 2012 5:47 AM

        I didn't think it was a bad game. Unfortunately they made the leveling way too quick at launch and didn't have enough content to cover for that.

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          May 25, 2012 5:47 AM

          If anything over-leveling caused me to skip some stuff I probably would have taken my time to do.

        • reply
          May 29, 2012 6:44 AM

          it wasn't a bad game, but it is a terrible MMO. If it had been single player, I'd probably still be playing it.

          Hundreds of millions of dollars invested (not to mention thousands of hours of work) for servers to be almost empty 5 months later.

      • reply
        May 25, 2012 6:06 AM

        The issue is that it can't retain people, not that it was ever a bad game. The money was allocated poorly and instead of focusing on the future, they focused too heavily on getting the product on store shelves.

        My personal opinion of the matter is that the biggest struggle has been the Lucas Arts / BioWare relationship. Take everything you know about George Lucas' attitude and apply it to said relationship. Now you can imagine what it's like trying to get a product down the pipeline and out the door (hence the $200 million project cost).

        Imagine if that $200 million had gone more toward planning out post-release content releases, and I don't mean planning them out on paper just for everyone to wait around with their thumbs up their asses for months at a time while they continually run the same three end-game raids. Yes, the newest raid is amazingly difficult but you can't just tell people that it's all they're getting for awhile, announce that you're laying folks off and then have information about low server population spread like wildfire.

    • reply
      May 25, 2012 5:44 AM

      unimpressive! Most unimpressive!

    • reply
      May 30, 2012 8:02 AM

      Hi guys. I heard you went over some of my population estimates. For the record, the data is here...



      https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Aregkvys5QFodFJ2OWN5U0hwaVFBYWdqUUh1WmdZUFE



      You're welcome to take a look at it firsthand. If you'd like the guided tour, email me and I can walk you through it.



      The shorter version is that this guy...

      http://inquisitive-myths.blogspot.com/2012/05/population-numbers-behind-server-status.html

      ....wrote a program that alerted him when a server changed status. He then went in and /who-ed that server by level band to get an idea of the number of people on the server. So if a server went from light to standard, he'd /who the server, and found out that the number of people on that server was X. Wash, rinse, repeat, and then he can say with some confidence that the # of people on a just-turned-standard server was between 500 and 1,500. The spread may come from a few different things...

      1) People logging on and off as he takes the time to census the server.

      2) Different servers may have different (BW-determined) values for standard, (500 is standard on X server, 1,500 is standard on Y server.)

      3) BW may have changed the capacity of the servers (500 is standard on X server last month, 1,500 is standard on X server this month.)

      <continued>

      • reply
        May 30, 2012 8:02 AM

        <continued>

        So if you look at his data, you might estimate that...


        Light is less than 500 logins.

        Medium is from about 500 to 1,500 logins.

        Standard is from about 1500 to 2,250-2,500 logins (let's call that 2,375).

        Heavy is from about 2,250-2,500 (let's call that 2,375) to 3,000 logins.

        Full is greater than 3,000 logins.



        We know and love www.torstatus.net, right? They report a value they call ø, which is the 2 week average population index, sampled every hour, where 1 is light, 2 is standard and so on.

        So we know what the population levels mean in terms of logins... and we know the average population levels for all servers... combine in a spreadsheet, and there you go! :-)

        For my analysis, I assume that...
        Light = 250 logins (average of 0 and 500)
        Medium = 1000 logins (average of 500 and 1,500)
        Standard = 1937.5 logins (average of 1,500 and 2,375)
        Heavy = 2687.5 logins (average of 2,375 and 3,000)

        If a server has ø less than 1, it's that ø value x 250. So for The Defenestrator with a phi of 0.99, I can say that the average number of simultaneous concurrent logins is probably a hair under 250 logins.

        If a server has ø between 1 and 2, it gets 250 logins PLUS (ø-1)x 1,000 logins. For my server, Sanctum of the Exalted with a ø of 1.09, that's 250 + (0.09x1000) logins or about 340 logins.

        If a server has ø between 2 and 3, it gets 250 logins PLUS 1000 logins PLUS (ø-2)x 1,937.5 logins. For the Fatman with a ø of 2.47, that's 250 + 1000 + (0.47x1,937.5) logins or about 2,160 logins.

        <continued>

        • reply
          May 30, 2012 8:03 AM

          <continued>

          The trick here is realizing that this is based on a 14 day average status, so that's dead slack times and peak times. It also doesn't get at subscriber numbers. For instance, a measurement at noon might only count the stay-at-home parents, a few folks taking a sick day, and some retired folks. A measurement at 3 in the morning might only count the people that work 2nd shift, and the real late night crowd. The average number of logins might be the same at the two measurement times, but it's two *completely different* groups of people, so it underestimates the number of subscribers by 50%. However, it still gives you an idea of how many people might be around to group with, PVP with, or buy auctions on the GTN.

          It's sort of like taking a picture of a stadium every day for a month and counting the number of people in the stadium. Some days it's just a cleaning crew. Some days it's a few people for practice. Some days it's packed full for the championship game. Maybe you have some people that are there for every game. Maybe some folks only come once or twice a season to watch their favorite out of town team. Maybe some folks only come to day games because they work third shift. You might know the average number of people in the stadium, but that's a small fraction of the total number of people who've been in the stadium. It's imperfect information, but it does allow you to compare stadiums so you can choose where to set up your beer stand.

          As a further analysis, I keep careful info on my own server.
          Survey here... http://www.thethirteenthlegion.torportal.com/ click SURVEY on the top right
          Data here... https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Aregkvys5QFodDlvU05lQ3o2S3ZrYU9SYjRwM29OSnc#gid=0
          Analysis here... http://i1204.photobucket.com/albums/bb420/scorpienne/General%20SWTOR%20Screenshots/rep_imp_ratio_1to50unpaired.jpg

          So I can say with a fair degree of certainty that Sanctum might have an average pop of 340 people as a 24hr average over the last two weeks, but that there are 600-1,000 people on during peak hours.

          The only real way to get at these demographics is for BW to release their data, but I don't know if they are willing or able to do so. The next best way is go in and /who the server a bunch, but I don't have time for that. This analysis is a shortcut to get at that data without nearly as much work. I hope I've been clear where I'm making assumptions and what those assumptions are. If you've got a better analysis, or a way to refine some of these assumptions, I'd love to know about it.

          Paige

          aka Scorpienne