The actual server transfer tool is quite simple, if not elegant. It's certainly fast. All you need to do is go to the homepage and log in in the top right corner. Once you're logged in, click on your name and go to the My Account page. From there, look to the left and you'll see a Character Transfer link. There's a list of servers and characters that will come up, click on those you wish to me and click on Pre-Select Server button to access the free transfer. Click through the approval pages and you're done! The transfers themselves take less than a minute and are bookended by emails; one to initialize, the other to notify you of completion. All in all, the process takes less than five minutes and is very, very smooth.
Be prepared for queues. I don't honestly expect to see queues for that long, but the novelty of a new server (plus doing all the little things you need to get a guild back up and running) is causing problems. The longest I had to wait to log into Ebon Hawk was 10 minutes (356 deep in queue) but to be fair, that's not too much of a problem. I'd rather have queues for a while than log onto Shien and see 18 people in Fleet. Once you log in, you may notice something odd about your character ... his name may be a random string of letters! My smuggler was The Outlaw AUSDEFWLLFUGEUT for a while; when logging into this character, you will receive a prompt to change it. If you DO NOT receive a prompt, don't worry. You can either log out completely and log back in (and sit through the queue) or log back in at a later time. I logged into my smuggler at 9pm and didn't receive the prompt. I was worried that I'd be stuck with that name forever, so I submitted a ticket and logged back out. Lo and behold, I logged back into him 20 minutes later and was able to change. Now whether that was due to the ticket or just simply logging on is anyone's guess. Either way, I was able to change a bad name to a good name (hello Targeteer, the Republic privateer brother of Targeter!)
One of the first things you'll likely notice is your Legacy ... it's gone. Oh, the perks aren't gone, but your name likely is. The only way you could avoid that would involve having a legacy already established on your destination server. The highest level legacy then merges the lower one into it and you can keep your higher level legacy name. If you do NOT have a legacy, you'll need to reset your name. I used to be Fel, named after famous Imperial pilots Baron Soontir Fel and his son, Jagged Fel. Fel is a nice name and all, but I kept getting called a warlock, so instead I went for Cracken in homage to Rebel spec ops leader General Airen Cracken and his famous starfighter pilot son, Pash. Once that's done, you'll need to reset your UI. Luckily for you, all your old settings will transfer over, so just load up your favorite UI setup and you're good! Lastly, and perhaps most painfully, you may need to change your guild name. Much to my sorrow, Scum and Villainy was taken on the server already by a well-established guild. This caused much grief for us, and we are now currently in the process of finding a new name ... but it won't be the same.
Now, this will vary server to server, but my initial concerns about transferring so many folks to one server proved rather moot. Now that has a lot to do with the type of server I'm on (RP) and the Ebon Hawk folks have been nothing but accomodating to the new guys and gals; I've been really impressed so far by their grace and generosity. They've even set up 'refugee guilds' for new transfers so they can reconnect with their former server-mates (ie Shien Refugees, Rubat Crystal Refugees, et al). They even have their own website set up with a chatbox! The PVP queues were back to back and I never had to wait more than 30 seconds for one. Now, the quality of the PVP ...well, that's a work in progress. Overall, I'm very happy so far with the community.
Things to Look Out For
- Make sure you have cleared your mail and GTN auctions before you transfer
- If you want to make sure you keep your character's name, make a level 1 character on your destination server then delete him right beforehand.
- Clear your guildbank! You can put in a ticket to get your tabs moved over once you get on your destination server.Your personal bank will transfer fine. Don't worry about it!
Overall, I'm very, very happy with the entire process, even if I did lose my guild name. Small price to pay for a vibrant community. The communication from BioWare on the transfer service was spotty at first, but by the end of it, I couldn't have been happier. The Community Team really came out in full force and were very active on the forums.
All in all, well done BioWare. You made a tough situation pretty easy and pain-free for the most part.