Leaderboard: Massive servers vs. custom communities

    
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One of the trends cropping up in the MMO industry in recent years is the Neverwinter Nights custom shard phenomenon. Games like Star Citizen, Shroud of the Avatar, Shards Online, and even Smed’s Hero’s Song promise some form of large core servers for an MMO experience, but they also offer some form of small-server experience. Don’t want to deal with Legolas999 and killstealers and noobs and general chat spammers? You can set up your own custom shard and invite just the people you want, playing by exactly the rules you want.

The downside, of course, is that a lot of the work (and drama) of running a server is offloaded from the company onto you, and smaller communities are more at risk of going under if even a small portion of the playerbase moves on.

Which do you prefer?

Do you prefer massive MMO servers or smaller custom MMO communities?

  • Massive MMO servers run by studios (32%, 74 Votes)
  • Smaller custom MMO communities and shards (16%, 38 Votes)
  • Why not both? (47%, 109 Votes)
  • Neither. I got lost somehow and found myself on an MMO website. (5%, 11 Votes)

Total Voters: 232

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ChestnutBowl
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ChestnutBowl

If the game has open world PvP, then I prefer smaller, custom communities. Otherwise, massive servers are great.

allionline
Guest
allionline

I’d rather see more of a focus on putting player-made content into massive servers run by the studios. If it’s custom communities and shards, and you want to play the game, then you have to decide what server/shard/whatever you’re going to play on. If the focus is on having a small group spinning up a shard to play together and you don’t have that small group, how are you supposed to play the game? I like massive servers because they’re full of strangers, and I’d rather see games devise ways of getting strangers to communicate and work together within the game.

crackfox
Guest
crackfox

I’ll go for massive public servers every time. Contrary to the perception that most people in MMOs are cretins, my experience is that most people are alright. And I guess I’m a city boy – I’d rather be anonymous amongst the teeming masses than living in some gated virtual community or online village.

schlag sweetleaf
Guest
schlag sweetleaf

ManastuUtakata breetoplay Legolas999

Ohnix
Guest
Ohnix

Both definitely can work together, in theory, and likely in practice.  As the main MMO with lots of instanced areas each with their own special areas. Technical issues of additional content and rules may put more requirements on the main MMO’s server and thus sets a limit (or question) of where to break off between a main server and a shard server.  But that’s just technical stuff – and there are always creative folks finding creative ways to work around physical limitations.

I voted for private server because the question asked what I ‘prefer’.  But both private and public serv’ices definitely can work together.  I’ve met a lot of good players and bad players and now I know a couple faces of who I can and cannot trust.  Extending this to allow trusted folks into special content run by like minded folks can be used as a reward and incentive through normal gameplay.  Similar to the divisions given to guilds in EQII for housing, titles, achievements but on a much more massive scale.  This could be extended to include game content as entire zones, fiefdoms, etc..

I suspect that the marriage of EQII + LM may produce something similar – but we’ll see.

JimGriffiths
Guest
JimGriffiths

Both works they did it for freelancer and that game is still being played today even though Microsoft bailed on it years ago. Plus player created mods add game to the life of the game.

Akami
Guest
Akami

For games like Ark, minecraft, etc small servers are the way to go.  But for games like Star Citizen and SotA I don’t see private servers working real well.  Unless you are that type of player that wants to just explore and mine by yourself for ever… and ever…

For the rest of us, we’re going to enjoy an extremely populated wild land (universe), filled with all sorts of characters, with everything on their minds from piracy, exploration, racing, to commerce.

ManastuUtakata
Guest
ManastuUtakata

breetoplay Legolas999 
Was that schlag? I could see him pulling something like this off…but I haven’t known him to morph before. o.O

Robert80
Guest
Robert80

Ket_Viliano Quincha Robert80 Damonvile  Very true.  The mechanics do tend to make it so that using people is beneficial, and being paranoid is only the standard.

Robert80
Guest
Robert80

Ket_Viliano Robert80 Karl_Hungus  Exactly!