The Daily Grind: What MMORPG needs megaserver tech the most?

During his interview with Gamasutra last week, Elder Scrolls Online’s Matt Firor told the publication, “I really think MMO is a technology. It’s not a game type anymore.”

Specifically, he means the megaserver structure of MMORPGs that allow thousands of players to more or less game together. “We have an interesting server structure in ESO that is unique in this generation of online game. What we do is we have what we call megaservers, where we instance all of our zones,” he explains. “Once you’re on the North American server, you never pick another server. The game kinda figures out how many instances of each zone to spin up, and which one to put you in….those are the kind of cool things that are happening behind the scenes, in game development, where it takes all of the decision-making out of the player’s hands.”

Someone could probably contest the “unique” part, given how many MMORPGs have employed versions of layered instancing and megaservers over the years, including modern ones, but I wouldn’t argue at all with “cool” — it still seems bizarre to me that any MMORPGs in 2017 are still stranding gamers on smaller servers, to the detriment of the game itself. So: What MMORPG needs megaserver tech the most but still doesn’t have it?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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106 Comments on "The Daily Grind: What MMORPG needs megaserver tech the most?"

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Rolan Storm

SWTOR and SWL.

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MassivelyMacD

Ah, Megaservers… when you want to fight the game itself before you can fight the monsters.

In GW2, the introduction of Megaservers was the first dent in a shiny surface. Before, some bosses were tough for my server, but with effort and coordination we could just do it. After, it was just a matter of winning the fight to join a promising instance.

Look a Dragons Stand these days. Is this the way a game should be?

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Jack Pipsam

I suppose the Rift’s of the world it might help.

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thirtymil

Life needs megaserver tech. Particularly of the EVE style, where everything slows down when things get too busy.

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Sally Bowls

There might be the odd snowflake, but I just assume all of them. A point not mentioned is the evolving nature of MMOs. The boom and bust cycle of MMOs is even more pronounced. Fixed realms just mean long login queues at launch and unviablely empty at the nadir.

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Koshelkin

MMO, well in a sense yes. MMORPG? Not so much.

miol
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miol

From my personal experience in GW2, megaservers actually killed a certain type of lose community, that I think is a very important one!

Before, I saw GW2 having a very good idea to cater PvE communities, building up with every step of the way on each other:

-Non-forced grouped, non-instanced open world dynamic events: These give the potential of socializing with the lowest hurdles possible, as you can step-in or -out at any given time!

-Guilds: you can join up to 5 guilds, making it less of a “big deal” to be commited to only one, encouraging you to join way faster. (Sure, it has the tedency for less commitment, but the most difficult thing: the recruitment, is way easier, which gives guild leaders way more opportunities with new members to bond!)

-Servers: For a majority, who never ever want to commit to guilds, servers were the perfect thing inbetween! You would meet the same people and guilds frequently, be it on hubs, world boss encounters,.. And even a way higher chance on the open world!

When there was a new world boss you got the feeling of accomplishment as a server community, without dealing with any possible guild drama, but still knowing each other! I was lucky enough to have been on a server with the right amount of active players, and the Marionette encounter was certainly the peak experience of relating to my server community!

There was certainly the problem with guesting! Some fuller or renown servers were almost harassed by “guests”! You can think it like how mass-tourism ruins the original experience for everyone, especially for the current residents. (e.g.: Venice) It was really difficult for bigger groups/guilds to stay together, when they changed maps!

Using megaservers, certainly was a big relief for those servers and local guilds, and Anet had promised many many times to improve their algorithm, so players of the initially same servers (which are still relevant to WvW) would meet more often in PvE. But that remained a theory, because the high fluctuations of players (thanks to cheap and instant mass-teleportations, a.k.a Waypoints) on every map, makes it a way higher priority to keep maps filled! If you don’t add someone you’ve recently encountered into your friendslist right away, you forget you have ever met them, as it takes like a month to see someone a second time, even in the main hubs, as there are so many instances of the samehub on each continent!

I rather had wished, they had used the megaserver-tech only for the guesting function, to regulate and deflect “mass-tourism”, but I get it, that with megaservers, you have never ever bad press about server mergers!

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Lethality

Megaservers aren’t always the right answer. Actually, most of the time they’re the wrong answer. If the design calls for a scale of the world an economic structure (i.e. something truly dynamic and not a glorified vendor) then it doesn’t make sense to have unlimited headcount in the same systems.

Not to mention the trainwreck for community it means. Never seeing the same players twice? Not a good look for an MMO!

Bobuliss
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Bobuliss

I was on board until he said instancing. Instanced zones remove the MM from MMORPG. One server, no instancing is what truly sets EVE apart from every other game I’ve ever heard of, and what makes it the best game I’ve played.

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Greaterdivinity

SWTOR, like whoa. The fact that they haven’t even merged their existing servers either virtually or physically still blows my mind.

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Melissa McDonald

well, they DID already have one big server consolidation. I got moved to Ebon Hawk.

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Jack Pipsam

Yeah and closed down the Australian servers with it *grumble*

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Greaterdivinity

You mean the server merges like 3 years ago? Because since then they’ve done nothing to address server population issues beyond selling cheap server transfers from time to time : /

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Sally Bowls

But everyone rolling new toons or transfering to harbinger or a couple of others isn’t as good as a full megaserver but it is close. Want a quiet backwater, there are a few; Want a megaserver, roll on harbinger.

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starbuck1771

Not to mention if the player has already hit the cap on the server they are transferring to. My global cap for characters is 371 in SWTOR and it is growing and that is just on one of my multiple accounts.. :P

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thirtymil

The fact that fleet instances capped out at a mere 250 people is what blew my mind.

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Utakata

Half of them! Since I see from the comments below we need a compromise. >.>

Zander
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Zander

All of them. Megaserver brings players together.

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Paragon Lost

““I really think MMO is a technology. It’s not a game type anymore.” -Matt Firor

What? I don’t even anymore… Seriously the mental gymnastics that go on in this industry to avoid the term mmo just boggles my mind at times.

As to which mmo currently could use megaserver tech, my vote is all of them that don’t currently use it.

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silverlock

I take it you don’t care for sanboxes, because this tech clearly wouldn’t work for most of them.

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Paragon Lost

You’ve been reading my posts for some years as I have been yours. I think I’ve been rather clear over the years that I am a fan of sandbox mmos. You need to break down why you think the tech doesn’t work for most of them.

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Alex Malone

Megaserver technology relies on instances, either creating new instances when a zone gets full or closing instances once they’re empty.

That means the game world within a megaserver setup is not persistent.

Sandboxes typically include features that rely on persistence, namely player cities and pvp. Thus, sandboxes do not work properly with megaserver tech as a general rule.

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Paragon Lost

Disagree, don’t have time to debate with you but I disagree that megaserver tech can’t support sandboxes. (see my post to Silverlock as to why I don’t have time to debate this)

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silverlock

Any game where you have player made structures that others can interact with wouldn’t work with this set up. If I have a farm and in one shard someones stealing my crop, and in another someone is burning my house down which shard constitutes the games on going reality?

While Eve has a single server their is only one copy of each location so it wouldn’t constituent an example of this tech in my mind.

Mind you BDO use’s tech like this so it can work in some instances.

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Paragon Lost

So basically you’re approaching it from the pvp sandbox state of mind for whether it would work or not?

Even with a pvp centric frame of mind, I just don’t agree with you that it couldn’t work. Also I’m not sure if I wouldn’t consider EvE as an example of megaserver tech. I feel that you’re approach is just to limited and narrow of scope as to what constitutes megaserver tech.

And with that I’m off, need to go spend the rest of my day dealing with @#$^@$##$ car dealerships so my daughter doesn’t get screwed over. (mutters)

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Schmidt.Capela

I understood his quote to be that the Megaserver tech only gained strength in the current generation of online games; I don’t see it as claiming that ESO somehow is the only game using Megaservers.

As for which I think could benefit the most: WoW. Old game where the current player base is far smaller than its historical peak, and thus with plenty of mostly abandoned servers; that is one of the best user cases for megaserver tech in existence. Also, most of the underlying tech is already in place, with the game already allowing groups where the characters hail from different servers. It would mean Blizzard giving up on ever again charging players for server transfers, though, which is why I doubt Blizzard would do it.

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Rheem Octuris

Actually, EQ2 has does the instancing thing since launch. When a particular overland zone because too popular, it’ll spin off another version. Usually only happen for the main hub of the current expansion.

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Armsbend

TSW had my favorite megaserver tech thus far. Everyone on their own little worlds but anytime you wanted to group you could. And no separate regions so I could play with anyone on the globe.

Every game needs that in my opinion. I wouldn’t ever play a game with locked individual servers ever again probably.

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squidgod2000

None of them. Megaservers kill communities.

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Daniel Reasor

I’d argue that megaservers allow communities to come together. The day after the news broke that Leonard Nimoy had died, Star Trek Online’s megaserver was generating dozens of instances of the surface of planet Vulcan to cope with all of the players coming to pay their respects. We could only see a limited number of player avatars on each instance, but we were together in zone chat. Players all over the world were able to converge there. It was a beautiful moment that couldn’t have happened without this tech.

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thirtymil

To me, that’s a bit like saying living in a big city kills communities. Certainly big city communities are different to village communities, but they exist all the same – they just have to organise how to meet up and keep in touch a little differently.

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Modrain

Games in which most of the gameplay takes place in the open world are those most in need of such architectures. Unfortunately these games often have limited supplies of shared resources (such as land in ArcheAge), making them paradoxically unfit for it.

I can’t really think of any game that is in dire need of “megaservers”, except to say “hey, me too!”. The point is to be able to play with virtually any one and have a shared world, but in the end, few games really exploit this, it feels more like a nice quality of life bonus.

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Alex Malone

None of them.

Megaserver technology flies directly against the idea of creating a strong community, but community is what keeps an MMO going long term. The megaserver tech was one of the reasons why I didn’t play the game.

The technology also encourages developers to focus on the wrong things. Massively multiplayer….we should be designing mechanics and content that bring us together, its the only reason this genre exists. Megaservers / phasing / instancing pushes us apart, segregates us and reduces the quality of the community. In addition, it allows devs to focus on graphical quality by reducing the number of players per zone, further exacerbating the problem.

Whilst I do recognise the problem inherent with smaller servers (population always drops over time, resulting in dead servers), devs should just make server transfers free or insist on server merges earlier, take the PR hit but at least keep the paying customers happy.

Zander
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Zander

Megaservers / phasing / instancing pushes us apart, segregates us and reduces the quality of the community.

Im sure you read the article? Infact contradicts what you are stating. Megaserver funnels players into the same shard or instance where as ‘home’ servers may host the same players that create ‘community’, developers are finding that most of these static server instances become empty and lack any kind of continuity or community that you covet. Guildwars 2 uses this tech and it’s made the game appear very active and vibrant, allowing events like world bosses and zone events to be well populated. GW2 was at risk of abandonment in the early days because players who were on lower population servers didn’t have many to play with, often times no seeing a soul for hours in these empty zones. I would argue that megaserver saved it’s communities in the end.

miol
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miol

GW2 was at risk of abandonment in the early days because players who were on lower population servers didn’t have many to play with, often times no seeing a soul for hours in these empty zones. I would argue that megaserver saved it’s communities in the end.

You forget GW2 had a free “guest”-function, where you could join any other server at any time, and that even for free!

It had other problems, but certainly not that kind! Like only for WvW you weren’t allowed to guest!
Or servers, who rumored to have had the first kill, where swamped by oppurtunistic “guests”, not allowing larger guilds to play together! Even though it turned out the guild that did the first kill were guests on that server themselves!

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Schmidt.Capela

The GW2 “guest” feature was actually a big step back when compared with GW1. In GW1 you could jump to whichever “server” you wanted, freely and for free, and without limitations; in that it was far better than GW2, which restricts WvW to just playing with people from your server (and locks your whole account to a single server to boot, talk about an absurd design).

miol
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miol

Did GW1 have WvW?! o.O

Nope! GW1 had even only lobbies, where choosing a “server” was even a thing!

How is it then a step back, since, as I’ve already said, it was also for free?!

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Alex Malone

To create a good community, players need regular interactions with other players, i.e. for me to form a social connection with someone else, I need to see them, quest with them or fight them on a regular basis.

Megaserver technology prevents that from happening by massively reducing the chances of seeing familiar faces.

So, whilst megaservers do, on the surface, appear to maintain a healthier community by always having other people visible, on a deeper level it prevents close knit communities from forming.

I would much rather stick with the traditional server setup and belong to a close knit community. I will happily deal with server merges 1-3 years down the line if it means I get to play a game with community.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

i have more people around my character afk fishing right now than i’ve seen on my gw2 of borlis pass in 4 years of sporadic play sessions total.

i hear jade quarry feels populated tho.

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Schmidt.Capela

Megaservers actually bring more players together, as the idea is to create the minimum possible number of instances that can accommodate the players in each specific game zone. A game using a Megaserver architecture will, thus, have fewer instances running at any given time than if it used traditional server tech, and as a result will have more players per instance on average.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

really depends on population per instance doesn’t it.

bdo seems to have a high population per instance.

where as sto and gw2 don’t really.

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Schmidt.Capela

One of the design parameters for MMOs is how many players can comfortably fit in each zone. Megaservers will create instances as needed to keep the zone population to that number. Without megaservers, the devs either have to put in place player caps for servers (which means queues for logging into the server and, potentially, locking character creation in it), or figure some other way to keep instances working while overpopulated (like EVE’s time dilation feature).

So, I would guess the lower number of players per zone in the games you named is by design. And that would be the case whether or not those games used the megaserver architecture, just with a far less pleasant way of enforcing it in place.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

funny thing is that private server community devs for multiple games from l2 to wow far outpace the shard population concurrent population capabilities of their retail counter parts. with in some cases comparable numbers overall to some of these mega server heavily instanced games.

and to your original statement, there’s a fair few open world centric mmo’s with decent at one time or another per shard populations that have little or no instancing at all.

but yes the megaserver paradigm is a precursor to scaling on demand cloud computing like azure and aws and google cloud. it’s kind of interesting how that happened.

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Schmidt.Capela

The ideal player population per zone doesn’t depend just on hardware capabilities; more important than that is how many players each zone was designed to hold, how many players can fit there without players stepping on each other’s virtual toes or causing so much mob- and node-stealing to make the experience frustrating.

Private server operators often either have a different opinion about the ideal number of players per zone or lack the hardware required to increase the number of shards they are running.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

i mean historically wow retail servers crash with a fraction of the number of players on screen as nostralius has shown. but sure we cna pretend that mmo’s are actually designed that way.

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Schmidt.Capela

In WoW’s case I don’t think it’s the number of players on screen, but the amount of activity happening simultaneously. I remember someone that caused server crashes by asking his large group of followers to do synchronized emotes; the servers were just fine with the number of characters in the zone until everyone started emoting at the same time.

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Alex Malone

For years, MMO devs have been sacrificing the core of being an MMO (lots of players in the same virtual world) in order to chase the higher graphics crowd. Megaserver technology is simply a recent buzzword that is allowing them to continue this move away from being MMOs, into glorified coop games.

I would much rather devs focused on improving the tech so that MMOs can be massively multiplayer again. Camelot Unchained seems to be the only game making a genuine effort in that area, specifically building an engine that can handle 1000+ players on screen. Assuming they pull it off, it could spell good things for the future of the genre :-)

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Alex Willis

Megaserver technology flies directly against the idea of creating a strong community

EVE and Second Life beg to differ.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

eve isn’t really instanced or phased tho. idk about second life. megaserver explicitly means instances and lower per instance populations.

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Alex Willis

Well the term “megaserver” has been claimed by ESO but the principles that underlie it are not unique to that game. So the instancing feature, while certainly a common one amongst these server types, is not the exclusive or defining quality. (At least, nobody has offered to formally define it beyond ESO/Zenimax, and their definition should be taken with a grain of salt since they are busy branding the term.)

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

the term megaserver predates teso by a number of years.

CO and STO were amongst the earliest to use the term if not the first. if not applied by devs then by players at least.

and eve is pretty explicit in their more standardized terminology of “single shard” as opposed to the more traditional multi shard set up (ie many traditional “servers” which are their own isolated worlds).

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Schmidt.Capela

Not exactly lower. Megaservers means the per-instance population is kept at whatever the devs consider ideal. So overpopulated zones get their population brought down, while underpopulated zones get their population increased.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

eve doesn’t do instances at all in these terms. there’s only ever one copy of any given zone in the game regardless of local population.

what they do is load balance via cluster computing across multiple blades for high population zones. such as jita and news worth battles. which isn’t even remotely like instancing or megaserver outside of using clustered computing.

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Francis Baud

I’m not familiar with EVE Online, does it use a kind of “megaserver” like ESO (with instances) or isn’t it more like a single shard (unique world shared by all the players)?

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Schmidt.Capela

Single shard with time-dilation for when there are too many players in a single place. If big battles in EVE look like slow-motion affairs, it’s because they are, and there is no way out of that limitation without resorting to some kind of instancing.

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Alex Willis

Good question. It shares some megaserver features — time dilation being one of them — but the population is divided into thousands of highly subdivided “rooms”. None of these are instanced. So if it does fit the megaserver definition, it’s not a 100% fit. But close enough, if we’re talking about unique architectures as a feature of single-server games.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

eve is more “single shard” as opposed to “megaserver” mega server generally means heavy instancing or phasing with lower player populations in a given zone.

think sto(cryptic games in general) teso, maybe gw2, more or less wow for a few years now, gtao, bdo etc.

where as eve has alot of zones if all the players in the game come to the same zone they aren’t instanced or phased away from each other.

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Witches

It takes all of the decision making out of the player’s hands, how is that a good thing?

Survival games seem to be doing fine with lots of servers with different rulesets, legacy servers, progression servers, fresh start servers, all of these are pretty popular in other games.

Megaserver tech didn’t stop the game from being a failure at launch and up until they made some significant changes to some game mechanics.

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Schmidt.Capela

It takes all of the decision making out of the player’s hands, how is that a good thing?

Because the decision of which server to join is usually made without enough information, before the player has a chance to know how each server’s community is like, which means the result will usually not be the best for the player. Besides, many players — like myself — don’t care for having a server community, and for those being locked in a server with just a small fraction of the game’s players is detrimental in every way.

edangerous
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edangerous

Star Citizen

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

star citizen will have this eventually more or less.

right now you just join random instances and if you want to play with friends you make a group with friends list function which has improved a great deal over the past year or so.

now if they would be more clear if their target population is 100 ships per instance or 100 players, that’d be nice.

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Veldan

“…where it takes all of the decision-making out of the player’s hands”

Indeed, and that is not a good thing. I’ll never like megaserver tech, in any game. I’ll take basic oldschool servers over “interesting server structures” any day.

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Melissa McDonald

GTAO to me, would be the obvious choice. It seems like a pretty amazing game, and people seem to really like it, but only a few get to play per server. Just imagine the glorious mayhem if 50,000 played it together?
Btw, Just a plug for Second Life. It’s always been one world, one server, with tens of thousands playing happily together.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

i’m pretty sure gtao more or less qualifies as a mega server in these terms. even tho it’s peer 2 peer. but there’s no “sharding” as opposed to the topic at hand.

Polyanna
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Polyanna

First in line has to be SWTOR. The fact that Bioware even allows new players to still create new characters on dead realms in that game is inexcusable, along with their failure even to acknowledge the desperate need for some action to eliminate dead realms.

There is no reason that game should have more than one realm per coast in the U.S. and, at most, one per language in EU, particularly since they removed the PvP / PvE distinction and made it an instance flag now. One megaserver per region would be even better. In practice there’s basically only one active realm in US and EU anyway; but there still are people, and even new players, who get stuck on dead realms before realizing that.

However, merges would be super painful since Bioware has done naming in the most incompetent way possible at every turn, especially when implementing the Legacy system, when they blew a golden opportunity early on to convert to having an account handle or legacy name be the unique tag instead of character name. They even idiotically later made it so that legacy name is non-unique, while character names still have to be globally unique per realm. Definitely the most pants-on-head stupid handling of naming I’ve seen in any game.

So, with the problems that further merges would create, and the lack of any apparent plan to even make a plan to do them, megaserver tech is probably the best thing they can do to solve the population problems without causing mass /ragequits. Unfortunately, it’s doubtful that it will ever happen.

Second is WoW, since it probably has more terminally dead realms actually in operation today than any other game, by far. At least Blizzard has the tech for “connected realms” though, and they already have what amounts to a megaserver system at least for the group finder and most or all open world zones. They just really need to get off their asses and actually do another big wave of realm connections to address the population issues that are an absolute plague for guilds and people looking for guilds, and for anyone trying to do serious progression raiding, on the graveyard realms.

Given that they already have all the tech in place and effectively have solved all of the problems with the “connected realms” mechanic, it’s just baffling that they haven’t taken action to address the glaring population issues on about 80% of their live realms with another big round of realm connections.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

ran into this with BDO. family name and toon names each have to be unique region wide. i literally went through my entire names list i keep in reserve for when i have troubles finding an untaken name.

my second toon i made something up on the spot and it went through but not my usual style (tho fitting to the class i guess).

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MesaSage

Inb4 somebody says Lotro. Lotro needs many other things first.

amadahy
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amadahy

“We have an interesting server structure in ESO that is unique in this generation of online game”

Well, seeing as he has this unique feature for his game, only, ever, no one thought of it before, much less attempted it, I would have to say GW2 could perhaps benefit from being touched by him, in the hopes some of his genius rubs off on him.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

people have been gaming gw2’s cross server play system for years to play with friends and pugs on other servers.

i mean it’s far from elegant and doesn’t include wvw but eh, it’s sort of there.

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Nick Smith

I love the one world server idea. After all, we all live on one planet earth… broken up into different “factions”.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

except irl changing factions is hella expensive the turn around on the service going through takes literal years.

XD

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Schmidt.Capela

Depends on how much you spend on the cash shop :p

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Pandalulz

I’m currently working on making a class change and wondering how to survive going back to first level.

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TheDonDude

SWTOR. I was lucky to play on a pretty populated server, but the others were apparently pretty brutal.

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Francis Baud

Camelot Unchained needs One True Server.

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Alex Malone

Megaserver technology would kill CU before it even started. The technology is in direct opposition of the whole philosophy of CU.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

also CU has high enough concurrency capability which in context of it’s expected playerbase size they may only have need for one server per region anyway.

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Alex Willis

I think people need to distinguish between “big, consolidated server” and “megaserver” as described here. Dynamic instancing is one thing, but there are loads of other under-the-hood mechanics that go into these things beyond simply bringing everybody under one big tent. EVE’s time dilation and other instance-specific tools are often quite game-specific in their utility, and don’t necessarily apply to every given discussion of megaserver tech.

I for one definitely prefer at least a consolidated server, and not just from a group-finding perspective: it makes recommendations about game economy and class interactions much easier to gather data on. But there’s also something to be said about non-consolidated server interactions: I have in my years of MMO gaming loved playing on RP servers like LOTRO’s Landroval, which, in the earlier years at least, offered a unique experience relative to non-RP servers.

So in balance, I’m pro-megaserver, with some caveats.

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Schmidt.Capela

IMHO, the RP situation could be solved by merely adding a “RP” flag, similar to how PvP flags work; the server would then put together everyone flagged for RP in the same instance.

This would also open an interesting way of punishing people that grief roleplayers: just take away their ability to flag for RP. This would prevent them from ever crashing on RP events without banning them from the game.

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Alex Willis

Building on that idea: it would be neat if the megaservers were smart enough to instance all the RPers in RP instances based on the use of an RP tag. So for example, if you went into a town and were flagged for RP, it would put you in that town instance. It would be very hard to implement I think, but how cool would that be?

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Schmidt.Capela

Actually, it should be easy to implement. Many games with mega-server structures already use things like level and guild when deciding who you get instanced with (and virtually all of them use your current party), a RP flag would just be another criteria in an already existing system.

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Sray

Star Wars The Old Republic.

Players have been begging for years for server merges/megaservers due to difficulty finding players for anything on most of the servers, and yet the dev team has refused for some unknown reason. Given how the Command XP debacle has decimated the game’s population, it needs megaservers now more than ever.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

there are pros and cons to this in terms of the genre imo. and overall i feel while it improves some aspects of the genre, it’s also part and parcel of the long road away from the mmo as virtual worlds sales pitch.

and i can’t think of a game that felt less like a virtual world populated by fellow players when i played it than teso. maybe STO comes close? at least in STO i wasn’t randomly phased away from my friends for no apparent reason while questing.

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Schmidt.Capela

it’s also part and parcel of the long road away from the mmo as virtual worlds sales pitch.

It depends on whether you consider the ability to deny other players access to something (like making blockades, virtually taking over a town, etc) as important for the game feeling like a virtual world.

The one thing mega-servers remove is the ability to deny others access to something, particularly if the player population is large enough for a large number of instances being needed; even a large group acting around the clock has no guarantees of being present in all instances, and thus a number of players will slip by without even noticing someone was attempting some kind of blockade.

For my part, though, I see that as a strong positive. I see that kind of denial gameplay as being always and unquestionably bad for my enjoyment of a game, and doing away with it makes every game far better, for me at least.

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Kane Hart

I would say Most MMO’s with multiple servers that have no special rules sets or are some sort of open world sandbox where if user 1 is in a diff instance could ruin some PvP / Sandbox features.

Games I like to see this tech more be like EQ2, Rift, WoW, really any game these days.

sauldo
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sauldo

Because TESO was totally the first MMO to implement megaservers. /s
First dynamic scaling and now this, that Firor guys keeps ignoring the concurrence’s accomplishements in the field in each and every one of his communications.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

it’s the star citizen effect “we are the first and only to do these more or less mundane things that have never been done before ever!” while ignoring all the other examples of games that do them and move the goal posts to such a narrow definition of what they mean by that to only include that singular game.

so yes, teso is one of the mostly heavily instanced and phased games in the genre. and is somewhat unique in how it will literally phase party members away from each other randomly for certain quests without any feedback beyond you can no longer see each other all of a sudden and don’t know what happened if not aware prior to it happen this is a “feature”

even the most heavily instanced of any other mega server game i’ve played doesn’t do that. so i guess that’s the uniqueness he is referring to? XD

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

Didn’t Wow have this back in Wrath of the Lich king?

I remember having difficulties doing certain quests because we were all on different steps in the storyline quests and literally could be standing on top of one another on the map but not see each other? That was a long time ago…

I also remember Orange Push-up Pops….Mmmmmmmm

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Reht

WoW had phasing in Wrath, yes. It seemed really cool until, like you said, you couldn’t play with friends who were in different places within the questline.

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Kane Hart

It does? Great how do I join my friends guild on another server and trade items without asking to pay for a transfer fee on a dead server in 2017?

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

you can play cross server via bnet friends list for years now. both dungeons and open world.

also in wod launch every single server had a queue and for legion all servers were population.

faction wise YMMV tho.

but wow has had servers merged with dynamic phasing into their battlegroups for some like 3-4 years now as well.

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Kane Hart

So that is a no I assume?

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Reht

No, it’s a qualified yes. WoW created battlegroups (group of servers) and you can do anything with those servers within your battlegroup that you can on your own server; join guilds, mail, trade, PVP, etc.

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Kickstarter Donor
Pandalulz

That’s actually incorrect per Kane’s point. You can only guild and trade with people on your own server. For example, I play on Anvilmar/Undermine and can only guild with people on those servers even though I’m in the Ruin battlegroup and can see and hear players from 30+ other servers.

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Reht

Actually no, you can guild and trade with anyone on a connected realm, which is what i meant rather than battlegroup, my bad for that mistake.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

i think he may have edited after my reply. not sure but i didn’t read “friends’ guilds” when i replied. just “friends”. not sure, possibly i misread.

and i remember direct trading stuff with a friend on a totally different server years ago playing through bnet friends list, but that memory is hazy. tho at least at that time cap cities and AHs were limited to specific server. but afaik now they’ve widened the whole system in general dramatically (this is before the world zones were even phased together iirc)

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Kickstarter Donor
Pandalulz

I think the BNET friend list negates most of the limitations on things, but I know people still have to advertise guilds on a per server basis, because you still can’t join across battle group. And I’m pretty sure from interactions I’ve seen that trade and AH are still segregated as well.

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Reht

No, they both work with connected realms, not battlegroup (i goofed on that above – right idea, wrong name)

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Schmidt.Capela

Connected realms is just Blizzard’s way of doing server mergers in WoW without acknowledging that they are doing server mergers. For all intents and purposes connected realms should be treated as a single realm.

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Kickstarter Donor
Pandalulz

Exactly. Server merges without forced name changes.

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Reht

Yeah, basically nothing more than a small mega server

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Kickstarter Donor
Pandalulz

Yeah, that definitely makes a big difference in the way things work. It would be nice if they could make everything work seamlessly across the battlegroup. As it is, like most things with WoW, it feels awkwardly cobbled together between old and new systems.

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Kane Hart

So Not as good as ESO. Okay thanks anyways.

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Reht

No not as good as ESO

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

there’s not really much of a point to transferring servers anymore other than maybe joining a specific guild full time.

but this is a good 2010 meme.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

to a degree in wotlk, but i remember there being some indication of what was going on even ahead of time. and someone not on the quest at all was not phsed away.

when my friend and i were phased from each other ona world quest we never sat there for an hour trying to figure out what had happened at least. which is exactly what happened to us in beta of teso.

i think they made the world phases softer in cata as well.

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