We first heard about Server Mergers in an initial announcement in October. The first possible date for the merges was put forth as November 16th. As revealed by SOE’s answers to some questions about Server Merges by EQ2 ZAM on November 8th, 2010, SOE aren’t simply using the same old Server Merge scripts which have been used in the past. It seems more attention is being paid to make sure there is less work for players, and less issues for Customer Service as well.
It would be hysterically bad if we had to wait until February to do merges. We are hoping that the majority will be done before Christmas. But first we have to have one good test.
By the way…the reason the merges are taking so much QA time to do is because we rewrote the process. The old merge process took waaaay too long to process and didn’t handle everything elegantly, resulting in players having to do all kinds of monkeying around with house bundling and guild saves, etc. We didn’t want any of that to have to occur this time, so thus, the new process. FYI.
As to why the mergers were announced before a stable process was available:
November 16th was just the earliest possible date that the mergers could start. We announce any merger at least 30 days in advance, so we picked a date and announced it. That way everyone could get enough warning to realize the merge was coming.
But we’re only going to start the mergers once we stop seeing issues and that process has taken longer than we hoped.
But if we hadn’t announced the date until all the testing was done, then there would have been a 30-day delay after it was already ready before we could start the mergers.
Make sense? We want to get the merges started ASAP so that population could be maximized and gameplay could be more fun. This was the best way to make that happen soonest.
Rothgar‘s latest update on the EQ2 Forums on Thursday indicates that we may be closer on the first Server Merge:
Yesterday we fixed the few remaining issues that we were aware of with our merge process and are running another test merge now. Unfortunately the test merges take just as long as an actual merge, about 12 hours. After the test merge is done, our QA department has to go through a huge checklist to verify that there are no remaining problems. We hope to hear back from them later today and I will try to post another update.
On the question of why the Server Merges aren’t being done onto new Oracle servers like we saw with Antonia Bayle and Nagafen which eliminated lag, SmokeJumper offered this explanation:
No argument. New hardware *would* be better. SOE has a lot of games in the pipeline, and when those deadlines shift around, planned expenditures have to shift around also. In this case, the budget for our shiny new servers got delayed, so we’re going with this “better than not doing it” solution, hopefully as an interim step.
This doesn’t prevent future upgrades from occurring. But those upgrades would be post-merger.
and the latest update from SmokeJumper is:
We got a clean test today. QA is going to look at it some more so we can be sure.
We’re hoping to start merges early next week.
That’s not a 100% certainty yet, but you’re getting the info hot off the presses.
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