How Guild Wars 2 will shatter its own server system

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If you can’t have one big server where all the players play, there are ways to have the next best thing. Funcom’s Secret World, for instance, was really good about letting players bop around among servers to play with each other. You could even chat freely with anyone anywhere, regardless of which server you were on. It was the best kind of MMO spread across multiple servers: one where the server boundaries are invisible.

Guild Wars 2 will do its part to tear down server walls with what they’re calling a “megaserver system”.

With the megaserver system, players won’t be separated into different copies of the same map based on the world they selected on character creation. Instead, you will simply arrive in a map and be assigned to the version of that map that makes the most sense for you as selected by the megaserver system we’ve developed. This new system takes your party, guild, language, home world, and other factors into account to match you to a version of the map you’re entering. This will increase the odds that you’ll see the same people more often and play with people of similar interests.

With megaserver technology, there are as many copies of a map as are needed to comfortably hold the population of players in that map at a given time. Rather than having a separate map copy for each home world and artificially limiting the amount of fellow adventurers you see, the megaserver system brings players together and dynamically opens up new map copies as necessary.

While I’m excited that this will allow me to easily play with friends, I think I’m more excited at what this means for player population. Guild Wars 2 is a rare game that gets better as you’re playing with more people (ironically, Secret World’s downbeat horror setting fares best with fewer people around). There is never any penalty to having other people running around doing what you’re doing. In fact, there are group quests and roaming bosses that feel like content you can’t enjoy if you’re not on a crowded server. The new megaserver system will let Guild Wars 2 be exactly as crowded as it needs to be.

Megaservers go live on April 15. Read more here.

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