Star Wars: The Old Republic is opening a brand new test server in the cloud. The Shae Vizla server is the first step to test performance and other tech details with the plan to eventually move the SWTOR live servers over to the cloud via Amazon Web Services.
Before any such large endeavor could be possible, they are looking to test out performance, and make sure that the player experience works smoothly in the cloud. This is where the first test server comes into play. This server will be opening in the APAC region on April 3rd and will be available for any player that wants to help test it until April 18th.
The decision to migrate the live servers over to a cloud-based platform comes at a time when SWTOR has been modernizing as the team looks ahead to both feature and content goals and performance and stability. This week, the 64-bit client was released with the latest update, 7.2.1, and this is only one way they’re looking towards the future.
They believe that migrating to cloud-based servers will help them continue this modernization, improve player experience in terms of performance, faster startup and connectivity, and lower ping. The team will also be able to update the backend faster and more efficiently, as well as noting that the resources they currently allocate towards maintaining the current system could be diverted over to the game experience.
Testing the new server structure is important to this eventual transition. The team is asking for comparisons of ping from the existing live servers to the new test server, if there is any evidence of slowdowns or hindered travel, UI issues, or issues with other elements like visuals or sound. Shae Vizla will be open to anyone interested but since it's opening in the APAC region, they are particularly looking for players in that region. Because it's cloud-based, there won't be any separate downloads, unlike the PTR.
As an enticement, they'll be giving out a special mount for players who help them gather data and complete several different objectives. Find the full details over at Star Wars: The Old Republic.