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Guild Wars 2: Mega Server

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

Initially, Anet said that the Mega Server system would be implemented only in the starter maps and would be fully rolled out in December. But it appears that most of the maps already are in Mega Server build. It truly is good news for new players since it increases the population in the player’s map by a significant amount. Maps no longer appear like dead zones which tend to happen in games that has moved on to end game content.

However, the Mega Server system poses a problem for guilds doing guild missions. Before i talk about the problems, i have to talk about the cap (the maximum amount of players allowed on a map) system in Guild Wars 2. The cap system is divided into soft cap and hard cap with the former being a lower number than the later. When soft cap is reached, only players who are party members with a player that’s already in the map can join it. When the hard cap is reached, a player can only join a map only if an existing player in the map leaves.

This soft cap allowance creates a unique work-around for large numbers of people who need to be in the same map, namely guilds doing guild missions. Guilds would have to form taxi parties to ferry guild members into the same map when the soft cap limit has managed to cut the guild in half. Which needless to say, is utterly immersion breaking.

In the guild mission that my guild was doing, the map was already hosting players from several other guilds. The first few members from the guild entering the map pushed the map population into soft cap limit causing the entire guild to be split into two instances of the map. The end result was alot of the ferrying of guild members via taxi parties.

Here i propose a possible solution to this splitting of the guild doing guild missions.

In the guild missions screen, the ui (user interface) should have a button to allow guild members to join once the guild mission is started. All members who joined would have the same priorities, as if they were all in a party, for the map-instance allocation system. This would prevent the soft cap causing guild members to end up in different instances of the same map.

In addition to that, if there were such a “join mission” system in place, the map-instance allocation system would have advance information on the amount of players, as a guild, coming in for guild missions. This would then allow the system to place the incoming guild into a a wholly new instance if the incoming guild was large enough to breach the soft cap and hit the hard cap of the existing instances.

Ok so much for now. Hope Anet takes this suggestion into consideration. Geek Generation out.

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Guild Wars 2: April (December?) Feature Pack (Mega Server)

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

The blog news for the April Feature Pack is complete. The last bit of teaser was about the Mega Server system. Before talking about the mega server, i’ll have to explain a little about what overflow maps are.

Guild Wars 2 players are divided into servers which not only is a grouping for world versus world (WvW) content, is also a segregation of players for pve content. Each server has it own persistent world maps that is populated by players from the same server. However, there is a limit on the number of players a map can host. Players trying to enter maps that has reached its player limit would be placed into another instance of the same map, called overflow by Guild Wars 2.

I’m not sure if overflow maps are created on the fly or there are just instances of maps that’s already running and waiting to be populated.

To make a long story short, the mega server would turn all maps into a form of overflow map. The map’s identity is no longer tied to any particular server. While this means players from different servers can now play together, though not of their own volition. That means, if for some reason a player wanted to play with players from a particular server (maybe he/she wanted to go to a server’s town hub to talk to players he/she been competing with in WvW), it’s not a choice the player can make with the mega server in place.

While the mega server would make maps more populated, it’s not without its cons. With the mega server in place, players can no longer play in some maps while monitoring whether a dungeon is contested or not in another map.

More importantly, websites like gw2nodes.com will no longer work. As maps would no longer be tied to any identity, it would be impossible to map out gathering nodes. When the mega server kicks in in December for the higher level maps, expect the price of gathered high level materials like Orichalcum Ore, Ancient Wood, Omomberries etc to rise as gathering them would become so much harder.

Also, when cross server guilds organize for events like Tequatl and Triple Trouble, non-guild members would find it much harder to join and play with these guilds.

All in all, i don’t really like this mega server thingy.

Anyway, there’s a really simple way to increase the perception of higher population in pve maps. That’s to simply show green dots of other players on the mini map like how it’s done in WvW maps. Seeing the green dots help people to gravitate toward each other. Even if the green dots do not gravitate toward each other, it is additional information that helps feed the perception that there’s some other people out there. As it is right now, players can be in adjacent zones but not know the other is there.

Geek Generation out.