With local servers now live, Bioware has revealed the promised free transfers from US servers are still months away.
On one level we aren't surprised. Australian consumers jumped the gun on EA's attempts to delay the launch of SW: TOR until local servers were up and running. Given the sheer volume of people that did order from overseas, Bioware did the smart thing and promised alongside the server announcement that players would get one-off free transfers of their characters to the new Australia-based servers.
Unfortunately the vague promises of 'soon after server launch' have now turned into late April, according to the updated FAQ on Bioware's site (and confirmed in a forum post). It was further confused by yesterday's news that players would be getting emails this week about transfers, with no pre-launch mention of the April timeframe.
This has created a bit of a quandary for those playing on US hardware - continue for a few months with a few hundred millisecond ping, or start over with the sweet, sweet local latency (we were seeing 25ms from home in Sydney last night).
We suspect the sticking point is the game's legacy system. This is a secondary experience pool that all of a player's characters on a server contribute to, and continue to contribute to when at max level (It also unlocks a surname for characters once your first toon hits 30) At the moment this is just acrruing, with promises that the level based benefits will start turning up in the 1.2 patch for the game.
Not only does transfering characters mean dealing with the existing legacy points, but if players do roll new characters while they wait for transfers, there will be a second legacy pool that needs to be mingled with the incoming character's legacy.
That role of legacy is purely our speculation, but Bioware has mentioned that it does complicate things. Regardless, there are quite a few angry players on the SW: TOR forums at the moment, who expected to be bringing their level 50 characters over in coming weeks, not months.
On the plus side, for those who havent been playing the game it gives a chance to level through the content with an emerging economy, and none of the baggage that comes with credited-up alts pushing auction house prices out of the reach of new players. But that is small solace for the already large Aussie SW: TOR community.