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Future of AoC, a mega server not multiple servers?

TLDR: Would a singular mega server be better for AoC rather then multiple servers that may need to get merged incase of population issues?

Looking ahead at the future of AoC, I wan't nothing but success from this game so I'm going to raise a concern of mine and hopefully bring some attention to it.

Considering this is an MMO, we have to consider the harsh reality that most MMOs face a period of time after they launch: Population issues. Now, this doesn't apply to every MMO, aside from World of Warcraft other MMOs like Final Fantasy: ARR and GW2 aren't suffering from terrible population issues. Unfortunately, for those 3 MMOs I could name a plethora of others that aren't so fortunate and have suffered from population issues requiring actions like shutting some of their servers down.

This is where my concern for AoC comes into play. From things the development team has said, it sounds like there will be multiple servers. If population of the game begins to dwindle, what will happen if you need to shut some servers down just to congregate more people into one server so the game feels alive again? With each server being a unique home to each player because the world around them was built by them, things like server merges will be much harder if not impossible to ruin the experience of a few players.

AoC seems like a fantastic game from what we've seen and been told and everyone I talk to about it gets really excited for how I sell them the features of the game. With that being said though, we can't just be oblivious to the fact that this is an MMO and, while it can be successful, the industry has shown us MMO after MMO that the odds are just stacked against us from the start. The game could live forever.

Would a singular server (Mega Server) be more beneficial for this type of game?

Comments

  • From what I saw in the QnA, they want to have dungeons that are different in each server, and depending on the decisions of players in one server, the outcome would be different. I think having a mega server would basically deny that part of the game, since those things wont be seen, because we have a massive server.

    Those are just my two cents!
    Cheers!
  • [quote quote=1722]From what I saw in the QnA, they want to have dungeons that are different in each server, and depending on the decisions of players in one server, the outcome would be different. I think having a mega server would basically deny that part of the game, since those things wont be seen, because we have a massive server.

    Those are just my two cents!
    Cheers!

    [/quote]

    I agree with their idea of doing it that way. Having dungeons and towns and the world different for each server is awesome, I only hope that, if the game gets to a point where server merges are done, they do it in away that makes players from each server happy. Although let's hope it doesn't get to that point!

    I was probably rambling on a little bit to much in the OP as well xD
  • With the current system they are proposing, it would make no sense to ever merge a server. Because you can merge 2 worlds that have developed differently, one world would have to be given up and the players transferred. Some people might want that since you get a proper playerbase, but a lot of casual player might just quit if that happens. Imagine having built a town/guild for a year or 2 (or more), then one day you come on and it says "server merged" heres a corrier with all you stashed stuff... That'd be the worst, especially in a game that depends on a playermade community/world.

    Instead it might make sense to have some sort of free character migration, that way people might abandon ship. If they could somehow make a way to gain the value of built houses when you transfer, then it might make sense :) (Give people an apartment in a city of their choosing, or something like that).
  • I just hope that they will flag one server as "PvP" so the PvP community doesn't get split into X amount of servers and competition lacks. This is what happened in ArcheAge. PvP community were having talks about rolling server 6, some of them disagreed and rolled server 2. Everyone got split. In the end everyone quit due to lack of competition and non-existing PvP action around world bosses and empty arenas.
  • Well you could flag a server as PvP, but from my point of view it wouldn't make much sense, since the node system basicly requires some sort of PvP on every server.
    The whole point of it is that if you wanna have a larger node than the people around you, then you have to be active. But if someone has a greater one adjecent, then you gotta take them out, thereby having PvP in the game. Its gonna be hard flagging a server for PvP.

    That being said it could be done so the server as a whole looks at the activities of the players, and from them it gets a tag. When new players wanna start out they can then see that the players mostly participate in "crafting", "exploration", "pvp" etc. And yes I know those are dependent on eachother and every server is gonna have some aspect of it, but some might have a larger population of crafters, that are peaceful. And some server might have some badass PvP'er with lower level gear, since not as many craft, but theres a bunch of PvP. That might be a way to do it, but predesignated falgs would be stupid (in my opinion).
  • Well yeah all servers will have more or less the same PvP opportunities when it comes to "the PvP provided by game mechanics" such as World Bosses and Nodes. But when you have a lot of like-minded PvPers in your server you could arrange fights without any goal on your dull moments, just for the fun of it. That's not really possible in a server full of PvE or RP focused players. Even if it was possible, those players wouldn't be as competent as PvPers in a PvP server.
    What would be the best is if PvP community sits and decides on a server and all of them roll there so we don't need an official flagging, but I doubt that will happen since so many people will have so many different ideas.
  • One of the key-items of the Node system is that no server will be the same.

    Having 1 mega-server would nullify that.
  • Personally coming from an EvE background, the idea of a single mega server would suit the game more.

    Knowing everyone on the server , serves a couple of major purposes, if as its purporting to be , politics is important, having people who you know who are trustworthy, people who can maybe act as a secure middleman for things like trade/politics/wars etc helps.
    Adds to story, you know that you could (if you had time and patience) know EVERY player on the server, names are important for players, its who you are, with different servers you just get the story, you dont live in the story, which adds no end to immersion.

    However, i understand the needs for multiple servers, and should the need ever come, then if the landscape is different on each server ie location of towns etc, then you could do something like a merge of server inc land.
    In effect create a storyline whereby a new passage has been found to a new continent, so each server then becomes a different continent.
    I know this might not sit comfortably with a lot of players, but its an idea on how you could merge worlds, and allow players on each server to keep their property/land etc intact.
  • With many servers comes the risk that some are to empty. They should make a set limit on the Server number. So maybe 50 or so server. for siege play we need a lot of player so making sure that there not to many server where the playerbase is thinned out should be important.
  • GW2 and WoW use this awesome mega server tech but in those games it is of no consequence because it's either, in the example of WoW, the world is really nothing besides a source of AP (Artifact Power) and a queueing simulator, and for GW2, the mega server tech is used everywhere except for the world pvp area. Basically if everything is a mega server you lose the community feel because if you go world pvp you can encounter anyone and you'll almost never see the same people. Mega servers also inherently don't work for AoC because of the way nodes work.

    My suggestions:

    1. Mega server tech gets added for anything that takes a queue. I'm not sure what "anything that takes a queue" will entail in AoC but this will make queues wicked fast. I think keeping things needing a queue on the low end is very important as to make the world not feel like a queueing simulator though. Off the top of my head it feels like the scenario based arena could be the only thing requiring a queue. Structured pvp is often the least played area of an mmo so if it's not on mega server tech it'll be dead very fast on most servers.

    2. Combine servers into "groups" when their populations get low. Probably just latch really low population servers onto the most popular ones. The tough part is what do you do with nodes of the people from the low pop servers that get moved to the high pop servers. Does a new city just randomly pop up at an unclaimed node in the high pop world? Do the low pop players just get reimbursed with some kind of resources and then placed into the high pop world without a node? Lots of questions to ask here.

    Perhaps a solution to this problem is servers go through "seasons" and I don't mean seasons as in summer, fall, etc. I mean seasons as in maybe every 6 months (or however often Intrepid would want to do it) every node gets wiped out. This would give intrepid a good timing in combining servers that needed to be combined. It could easily feel right within the game too by just having natural disasters or dragons or what have you destroy all the nodes.

    Also, as hesitant as I am to like very much about Crowfall I think the system they have for servers that are born and die is brilliant and solves so many problems that sandbox or world pvp games have and ashes aims to be one of these games. It's a smart idea I wouldn't blame any current mmos in development for using it. Destroying everyones nodes every once in a while has pretty close to the same effect.
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