On Tuesday, March 10, we will be performing a final transfer of characters from several of the servers that have been, in the past, a source server (ie. we have offered transfers off of). Please read on for all the details, including a list of affected servers.
Characters on the source servers listed below will all be consolidated onto the corresponding destination server. All source servers will eventually be closed.
I’m not sure you know how to “use” quotation marks, but I will say that 43 seems like a lot of servers, but then I don’t recognize any of them as being among the dozens of launch servers. How many servers remain at this point? Reports of the game’s demise are greatly exaggerated by the original post.
Yeah, it is hard to judge this without any context. For example, it’s not uncommon for demand early on with any MMO to drive up the need for servers beyond what is likely to be the long-term situation. While it is clear that Warhammer isn’t going to unseat WoW, shutting down 43 servers doesn’t really tell us much about the health of the game.
In a certain way, that is for the better, WAR absolutely needs people in servers to be attractive, having players wandering in servers with no people and no fight is bad for the reputation of the game. However, I guess is not awesome news for the team.
It’s pretty much the same thing that happened to Age Of Conan. It’s a smart move as players feel more incentive to keep playing on busy servers. There’s no point keeping servers running with only a 100 people playing on it (like my old Age Of Conan server before it was closed).
The Server closures were inevitable really. And not at all a sign of the game going under. At least not yet. A game that started with 1.5million pre-orders was going to need alot of servers at launch but now the game has dropped to around 300k subs it should be stabilising.
The trend has so far run thus (number of days may not be accurate):
Game Launches - 1 million WoW players all play the first month of the game driving server requirements up.
+30 days - Trial period runs out. Players leave game.
+60 days - WotLK launches. Players return to WoW.
+90 days - Servers are empty causing remaining players on those servers to leave game.
+150 days - Servers/staff no longer required to support the massive influx of Launch players are shut-down allowing the company to be profitable.
The only thing remaining is for Mythic to actually replace the players they will lose due to regular churn. If they don’t do this then yes they will fail (Age of Conan completely failed to attract new players). If they do then they should remain profitable.
I can’t even begin to work out how much it must cost to run all of WoW’s servers. The Electric bill alone must be HUGE.
I imagine that front-loading your marketing to get an impressive launch is long-term very bad as you end up with more servers than you need and exposing your game in it’s least stable state to the most people. Then six months later you have to announce that you are closing all the servers you brought online to handle the massive spike but no longer need. It’s just a recipe for bad press.
Meanwhile nobody knows or cares how many servers Guild Wars needs because you aren’t tied to a single server.
I agree that more context might be helpful in understanding the implications for closing so many servers. However, if it’s to concentrate more players, then it’s probably good for the game and the social experiences of the players.
I bought WAR when it was on sale, but I’ve not yet installed it since it seems to strike me as a game where I’d have needed to get in on the ground floor in order to play it effectively. That’s not to say that I’d not want to try it, but I’d read about the emptiness of the newbie areas. If more newbies will be concentrated on the different servers, this might be a really good time to see what WAR is like!
Now is a good time to start, then. Two new classes will be introduced this week (Slayer and Choppa), so T1 and T2 will be fairly busy as people roll alts. Also, levelling in WH is fairly quick relative to most games. It definitely has its grindy bits, but that becomes less true every patch.
As for the server closings, this also strikes me as good news. MBJ is probably braced to have a certain quote tossed in his face over and over, but the gameplay requires crowds on both sides. Per recent Mythic postings, they have 300k+ subscribers now. That seems a reasonable base for an MMO. They won’t be WoW, but won’t be Tabula Rasa either.
This can only be a good thing for the player base. When I played WAR the horde passed me up in terms of leveling and I was literally completely alone in areas. A game like WAR requires people to be around to play the best aspects of it, including the Public Quests and the Open RvR. Consolidating the players onto a few servers should ensure this happens and that no one is wandering around alone. Hopefully anyway.
This is more important in WAR than any other MMO because of the tiered design. Low population in any tier leads to boredom. There are servers with huge T4 population but in T1-T3 you are very lucky if a Scenario ever pops. So packing every server to maximum capacity really makes the game a lot more fun. For example, on Dark Crag I can login pretty much anytime and any tier and expect a Scenario to pop very quickly. It’s great for casual gaming in short bursts.
Compared to most other MMOs, particularly PvE MMOs, a lot of them do just fine with low pops. e.g. EQ2/LOTRO are still enjoyable on low population servers.
They’ve respec’d the PQs so there’s one easy (party size 2-3), medium (4-6), and hard (6-9) PQ per chapter per zone in tiers 1 through 3. One of the nice things about 1.2 is they added tooltips to the map to let you know the level range for each chapter camp and recommended party size for each associated PQ.
Some of the easy PQs are soloable, at least by a tank class (my Ironbreaker can do them). If you’re not a tank or a DoK/WP you probably will need another player. Oddly enough, some of the “normal” difficulty PQs are harder than the “Hard” PQs–we had a group plus, about eight people, and couldn’t generate enough DPS to kill three champions in ten minutes on a normal PQ, but rolled through the hero on a Hard PQ.
Now, the rewards for these PQs are not that hot–you can farm influence easy enough but if you solo an easy PQ, you’re getting a green (lesser) loot bag, not a gold bag, at the end. Indeed, the game is set so that the fewer people you have doing a PQ, the worse the loot, generally–it rewards large groups of appropriate level people over small groups of overleveled people farming the quests.
The exception is BO humping–soloing a BO a tier below you (on an Open RvR server where you wont’ chicken, at least) is a good way to get renown, sadly enough.
Hint for those levelling: There are some easy PQ’s with much better loot. In particular, I solo-farmed the easy Barak Varr destro PQ yesterday for a few hours (level 15 trolls and goblins). Gold bags dropped over half the time. This is a great way to grab the Havoc armor set.
Similarly, there are a few non-champion mobs in most tiers with champion-level salvage tables. Go find those yourself ;)