New World tests out server merge tech, why not

    
33
Greeen

While most brand-new MMORPGs arrive with the attitude of unbounding optimism and assumption of growth, Amazon is preparing for the inevitable with New World by testing out its server merge system. Sure, it seems like a weird thing to include in the beta process, but considering that almost every MMO merges after that initial explosive start, it’s not a dumb idea.

The test, which smashed together the Sanghata and Suddene shards in an unholy fusion, was completed yesterday. By all accounts, it seems to have gone well. This merge test was followed by a second, bringing together the North American Ocadalon and Hyperborea realms.

These merge tests are part of a raft of pre-launch initiatives that Amazon is taking to make sure that the August 31st debut of the game will go smoothly.

Source: New World
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angrakhan

I’m just going to leave this thought here… What if the destruction of communities in online games had basically nothing to do with the technology choices of the games themselves? What if it wasn’t super servers or dungeon finders or guild finders? What if it boils down to the people that play the game?

What if what made the original Everquest so good at creating an online community was the fact that it was built to be an online D&D in a time where there was no online D&D? What if what happened with EQ1 was the demographic you got was a bunch of nerdy D&D players (and other pen-and-paper role playing gamers) like myself who for all their nerdy faults were very skilled at sitting around a table face to face with other human beings, making friends, and spending hours rolling dice while letting their imaginations build an epic story? Now suddenly you gave them access to a whole globe of other nerdy role players players who for all their faults had the same social skill sets and welcomed other like-minded players with open arms.

Was it the server shards? Was it the lack of a dungeon finder? Was it forced grouping, or maybe it just maybe it was the fact it had a smaller, more focused target demographic that already had the skillset to form communities on their own without software?

Maybe the introduction of technology such as Facebook and Twitter which has dumbed down community to the sad state it is today where we expect microwave surface-level relationships that require no time or emotional investment in other human beings is more to blame because we take those same expectations into our online gaming and get frustrated when people don’t take time to get to know us and truly become friends with us at the same time we refuse to take the time to get to know them. It’s too much effort. I don’t have the time. I don’t want to get involved. I don’t want to be vulnerable and known.

Maybe software isn’t the answer. Maybe the problem is us. Food for thought.

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Bruno Brito

So…for everyone complaining about superservers, i’ll just say this:

Guild Wars 2.

Saluka
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Saluka

Super servers ruin communities just as much as dead servers. Would you rather see the same 10 people you know or atleast know of or 100 random people you don’t know and will never see again?

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Schmidt.Capela

I will take superservers over separate servers every single time.

With superservers (and cross-faction play), if I learn that someone plays the same MMO as me, I can immediately join them without any of us having to roll a new character or transfer servers; if the game has separate servers that is almost never possible.

Besides, we can always friend each other in-game to play together again (and, if the superserver tech is up to snuff, the game itself will try to always put together people who have each other in their friend lists).

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Dystopiq

They make these things called guilds, friend lists, and real life.

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Jack Pipsam

I guess better to test it out now than later.

jimthomasUS
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jimthomasUS

Ugh. How is a Jeff Bezos game any better than a Blizzard game?

Fisty
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Fisty

Yeah, I see that too. I can’t give up Nestle’s Quik either.

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Brian Barrett

Uhh…what?

You’re gonna have to elaborate on your Illuminati lizard person delusion there a bit kid.

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Hikari Kenzaki

These comments…

Let’s put this out there, I was genuinely impressed by the current beta of New World. They’ve made a lot of improvements and there is a good game there. It’s not for me, but it’s a good game, and will often recommend it to people I know who might appreciate it.

However, server merges are widely regarded throughout all of MMO history as a bad thing. Someone usually loses in that scenario. Everyone hates them.

If your reaction is to search out New World articles defending something like server merges, maybe you need to think about how much you’re reaching to defend a product.

It’s okay if you like New World. It’s okay if I don’t.

Dedicated servers will lead to server merges. It’s an unavoidable consequence of the system that I’m tired of having to endure in games.

Fisty
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Fisty

Meh. It’s okay if you don’t like server merges, but I don’t really like super servers in a faction based game. It’s far too easy to bounce around to a winning side. It doesn’t help with balance at all. I’ve been merged, it’s usually been at least okay and sometimes good for the communities of both servers. It’s not like this is a 100% right or wrong issue, it’s preference, but with PVP like this it’s a bit more right than wrong.

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Bhagpuss Bhagpuss

Without individualised servers you can’t have server communities that feel and behave differently. You can’t have server cultures. Instead of funky, idiosyncratic local stores you get a bland mall full of franchise outlets.

I’ll take server merges over megaservers every time. The benefits far outweigh the downsides.

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Bruno Brito

I mean, i would agree with that, IF we didn’t had evidence against it in the name of Guild Wars 2.

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Tandor

As I understand it from their forum, one server’s population kept everything while the other server’s population lost everything. If that’s true, it’s not my definition of a server merger going well!

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Rndomuser

They know that the game they created won’t keep most people interested for more than a couple of months so it’s pretty smart to test server merges now.

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Cory James Hill

Most games don’t, because a lot of players just want to speed-run through games and then bitch there’s no content. In NW, a lot of the content IS players and that’s the kind of game I’m looking for. So if you are one of the aforementioned speed players… well, bye.

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Hikari Kenzaki

“considering that almost every MMO [that still uses ancient dedicated server systems] merges after that initial explosive start”

Fixed.

Said this a few times, but this is one of the biggest flaws I’ve seen in New World.

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Vanquesse V

I’d argue that since New World revolves around territory control, this is one of the only mmos where having traditional servers actually makes sense.

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Hikari Kenzaki

BDO has territory control as well. There’s no reason why you can’t make it channel-based and have people go to the channel they want to fight in.

Limiting who you can play with based on where you happened to initially create your character is always a bad choice.

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Vanquesse V

BDOs territory control is nothing like the one in New World. AFAIK in BDO you just declare war and have an instanced battle at a predetermined time. In New World, not only does your faction have to fight to enable the takeover, but who owns a territory actually matters in NW whereas in BDO they could remove the entire system and most people who don’t directly participate in the fights would likely never notice.

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Rndomuser

who owns a territory actually matters in NW

LOL.

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Vanquesse V

in the context of NW vs BDO, please explain how territory control matters more in BDO

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Rndomuser

I didn’t say how territory control matters more in BDO, it’s just amusing to see people say that it matters AT ALL in game like New World. Especially after many years of playing EVE.

Fisty
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Fisty

/sigh

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Vanquesse V

fair, but compare it to ANY game that doesn’t have always on FFA pvp.
Also: the context was very explicitly comparing bdo and nw

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Harbinger_Kyleran

“There are many benefits for you if your faction is able to gain control of a territory or fort. One being your cost for workshops and fast travel are cheaper. It is even more beneficial for your faction to be in control of multiple territories as the more territories owned by your factions, the more effective your attacks are on enemies, the more resources you gather,  the better in quality your crafting will be, and the better your RNG when looting. 

Additional benefits include linked storage between owned settlements and resource carts available in the settlements for the controlling faction which gives crafting materials. It’s important to note that taxes for the territory must be paid in order to reap these benefits.

Benefits of Forts

Faction members gain a 5% increase to xp and 20% influince gain if they are within the controlled territtory. Each fort also has a special bonus you may gain which is listed here:”

Your turn.

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Harbinger_Kyleran

Many people don’t really understand the difference territory control makes in overall design and gameplay, but explained it pretty well.

Same with being “locked” to a special world or faction, it’s all about making choices and living with the consequences.

If one can easily switch sides, worlds or just jump to another instance then it cheapens the entire experience basically giving players nothing to fight for.

I found the red server Mordred far more meaningful as my guild claimed a single keep as their own.

We defended it to the death and when we lost it no expense was spared to recover it, even if it took weeks no one did anything else except fight to get it back.

Much superior IMO to the near pointless keep trading most faction based games have had since.

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Kickstarter Donor
Vunak

No its not. This is your opinion. But a lot of people like myself enjoy having dedicated servers than having massive super servers. You get way more community feel in dedicated servers than you do in games like BDO with one massive server and channels.

Plus I wouldn’t even consider BDO a real MMO in the same sense as other MMOs, since it is pretty much a solo game where doing anything grouped except Node War is punished heavily.

Also New Worlds wars impact the game world waaaaaaaaaaay more than anything BDO has with Node War or Siege.

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Hikari Kenzaki

“That’s your opinion.”
*goes on to state a bunch of opinions*

Enjoy what the server merge does to your community. Seriously, go lookup all the beloved server merges from past games. I’ll wait.

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Thanos K.

At least with dedicated servers we will have a community.

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kelvar

I was really happy with our server merge way back when I played wow. Our server was completely dead and needed more people. Sorry you had to wait 9 hours for an example

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Bereman99

So say they go with a channel-based system.

What would you propose they have in place to prevent faction brigading? Or an issue where specific channels essentially become “for this faction only” from players of that faction piling on and taking territorial control (which, as noted, goes through a different process than the territory control in BDO – you have to have players work toward and push it into the conflict state first, rather than simply declaring war)? Losing territory on a channel? No worries, just find a channel where your faction is winning…

Which then undermines the territory control system as they are implementing it.

Non-dedicated servers is obviously a good solution to handle likely player population drops…though so is being conservative with adding dedicated servers (which is what FFXIV has done, and they are one of the few that has not had to merge servers even 8 year after releasing ARR).

But games where territory control that is largely driven through collective player actions shifting territories into different states doesn’t mesh as well with a channel-based server system.

Stefan
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Stefan

Not every MMO has to have a lobby based server system, it is not a flaw but a choice, a feature that compliments their game design.

If anything more developers should have this kind of long term thinking.