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Introducing the Megaserver System


Arenanet have announced the final feature of the April 15th update pack... the megaserver.  To keep it simple, all servers are being merged for PvE in order to ensure a healthy and filled game.  You can read more about it in the first part of the reveal blog.

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.

Here are some of the big ideas:
  • Essentially, overflows and "master copies" of zones are being removed.  Instead of this, all players, regardless of server, are placed in an active copy of the map.  When one fills, a new copy is made, and all players are placed there.  In essence, server map placement is gone.
  • Megaserver technology will be released on all level 1-15 maps, main cities, and PvP lobbies in the April 15th update.  Before the end of 2014, it will be released on all maps, unless there is major conflict or technical issue that arises.
  • World versus World, World bosses, and Guilds (or guild influence), is being changed.  More on this in the blog posts from tomorrow and Friday.
  • People on friends lists or in guilds have modifier values that increase the chance of entering a shard with them.
  • Players can select language preferences, which act as a modifier to match you with other, language-sharing players.
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#1 shanaeri rynale

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 01:48 PM

In one fell swoop Anet have got rid of one of my largest issues with the game…

It will also negate the need for server merges due to low population and help the overflow issues in a single stroke. It’s pretty much how things should have been designed from the start but better late than never[img]https://forum-en.guildwars2.com/include/images/smilies/smile.png[/img]

So happy at this. I hated the server system intensely and felt it was a step backwards in tech terms from GW1. There’s still the EU/US divide to breach but this is a quantum leap from where we were.

#2 davadude

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 01:50 PM

[quote name='shanaeri rynale' timestamp='1396446512' post='2313300']
In one fell swoop Anet have got rid of one of my largest issues with the game…

It will also negate the need for server merges due to low population and help the overflow issues in a single stroke. It’s pretty much how things should have been designed from the start but better late than never[img]https://forum-en.guildwars2.com/include/images/smilies/smile.png[/img]

So happy at this. I hated the server system intensely and felt it was a step backwards in tech terms from GW1. There’s still the EU/US divide to breach but this is a quantum leap from where we were.
[/quote]

Agreed, I did a little manly scream of joy.  They're getting rid of the biggest issue... empty zones.  I wish we could still switch at will, like the district system from GW1 (which was far superior), but this seems to be the spiritual successor to it.  Very happy.

In terms of the US/EU difference, feel free to disagree, but it should stay that way.  Unless they can find a way to sync servers in nanoseconds that offer no additional latency for players on either side, it would only cause problems.
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#3 Veji

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 01:52 PM

Seems cool, but it it is the "red flag of death" that the MMO isn't supporting a high enough population to span several servers.  Either way, i wonder instead of choosing a server when creating a new account, if instead you choose a team?  Like Team Tarnished Coast.  GO TEAM TC!!!! WOOOOO WHOOOOOO!

I feel like i'm playing a Harry Potter MMO now :huh:

#4 davadude

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 01:54 PM

[quote name='Veji' timestamp='1396446770' post='2313304']
Seems cool, but it it is the "red flag of death" that the MMO isn't supporting a high enough population to span several servers.
[/quote]

Nope, the issue is even outlined in the blog post itself.  Many zones are simply more interesting to the majority of players (due to greater challenge, reward, or interesting boss events), leaving many of the less popular zones very desolate.  By combining the small populations in the least popular zones, you get active zones no matter when or where.
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#5 AsgarZigel

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 02:09 PM

Seems good enough, the segregated servers never made much sense outside of WvW. This really doesn't do much for the main problem of Overflows which is huge events that require coordination like Triple Worm. Would like to see players actually get a say in this though, like choosing channels like in other MMOs (or whatever it was called in GW1) or at least get to adjust the priorities.

Also we apparently only have servers with "medium population", there are no low population servers, of course. Gotta love the marketing language.
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Don't wan't to be one of the cynic brigade, but marketing double-speak like that just ticks me off.

#6 Lordkrall

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 02:10 PM

Indeed, quite nice change. Probably won't effect me much personally since I mainly WvW, but nice nonetheless.

#7 Wonsavage

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 02:16 PM

It's going to be a nightmare for the RP servers.  The fact that a city map may potentially go into overflow cuts much of the RP community off from one another.  And each server is going to be full of players who aren't RPing which will likely increase the amount of trolls and break immersion in common RP spots throughout the cities.

#8 AsgarZigel

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 02:24 PM

That should be a relatively easy fix: Just put a checkbox somewhere that puts you into "RP mode" and brings you onto map instances for RPers.

... if ANet is willing to do this, that is. They didn't have official RP servers so far after all.

#9 shanaeri rynale

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 02:31 PM

[quote name='davadude' timestamp='1396446650' post='2313302']
Agreed, I did a little manly scream of joy.  They're getting rid of the biggest issue... empty zones.  I wish we could still switch at will, like the district system from GW1 (which was far superior), but this seems to be the spiritual successor to it.  Very happy.

In terms of the US/EU difference, feel free to disagree, but it should stay that way.  Unless they can find a way to sync servers in nanoseconds that offer no additional latency for players on either side, it would only cause problems.
[/quote]

If they are going to separate the PvE server you play on from the server you WvW on(and it seems they are) simply use the server transfer mechanic to swap regions at will.

Quite simply, you solve it by using the server transfer mechanic and making it 'your mileage may vary' to end the user

If the latency is deemed good enough to allow people in EU to roll on US and vice verse it should be good enough to allow people to transfer at will.

For WvW, keep the same transfer restrictions as now ofc

As for RP etc, as I understand it, preference will be given to grouping you with people from your home server. So if you are on TC/piken now you'll end up with TC/Piken people now

#10 Phineas Poe

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 02:34 PM

Similar to the trait reset system obviously leading to build templates returning to the franchise, I feel like this is a precursor to the district system returning to the franchise, but this time not just in towns but open world as well. Color me beyond stoked!

My primary concern is how they're going to handle Tequatl/Wurm and organized attempts. They made this clear in the release that they'll get to this in subsequent posts, but I'm still just curious how they're handling this. Are we going to be able to create private overflows through the guild interface? And RE: "the long-term plan for guilds," are we going to see a return to guild halls? As an officer of one of the largest most active guilds in the game, I'm really thinking selfishly here, but I want to preserve what we have made such an effort to create. If we can level up alts across the game with other players but still have our organized Teq kills and Wurm attempts, I'll be beyond satisfied.

The wardrobe system will push me to spend more time in PvP, and the WXP overhaul will push me to take other classes into WvW (and similarly spend more time there). But I am a PvE player at heart and I was dying to hear this news, especially being on a server that has fallen in recent months down the population chart. Despite EG's and GSCH's best efforts, we really just need something like this to save the community we've built over the past 18 months.

I want Part 2 and Part 3 now!

#11 swordmagic

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 02:37 PM

Seems like i am the only one, but as far as i can see now i would be concerned about this.
Reason ?
Well if u do a lot of world events with guildies like i do, everytime u swap zones ur party will - potentially - be divided because
of the map being full or not.
Until now, with the exception being Teq where u get inti overflow if ur too late - we could always travel partywide to a new event and
finish that one together.
I dont yet know how this is gonna work out for this.

Same goes by the way for guildevents like guildrush etc, potentially ur whole guild (ours is 450+) won't get into the same map.

#12 Lordkrall

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 02:46 PM

Your whole guild won't fit in a single map now either. So I don't really see how that is an argument against it.

The megaserver will take guilds, homeserver, regular party-members and so on into account. So it is very likely that you will end up in the same map (probably even more likely than with the current system).

#13 raspberry jam

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 02:47 PM

I like this change.

#14 MazingerZ

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 02:47 PM

[quote name='Wonsavage' timestamp='1396448202' post='2313314']It's going to be a nightmare for the RP servers.  The fact that a city map may potentially go into overflow cuts much of the RP community off from one another.  And each server is going to be full of players who aren't RPing which will likely increase the amount of trolls and break immersion in common RP spots throughout the cities.[/quote]

Yeah, I'm curious to see how TC is going to deal with this.

[quote name='davadude' timestamp='1396446874' post='2313306']Nope, the issue is even outlined in the blog post itself.  Many zones are simply more interesting to the majority of players (due to greater challenge, reward, or interesting boss events), leaving many of the less popular zones very desolate.  By combining the small populations in the least popular zones, you get active zones no matter when or where.[/quote]

Isn't that kind of the problem with the game as a whole?  That they can't get good population dispersion due to the concept of levels and rewards, not to mention isolated their LS events to some very specific zones?

The change itself is fairly interesting and is copying from what other games are already doing, but it's basically band-aid fixing an issue they were having with many servers just not being capable of fielding enough players to do anything major.

They need to make sure they can provide flexibility in this implementation.  That means allowing sharded maps to communicate with each other and the ability to move between shards instead of just trying to join a player on their overflow.
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#15 Phineas Poe

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 02:47 PM

[quote name='swordmagic' timestamp='1396449476' post='2313324']
Well if u do a lot of world events with guildies like i do, everytime u swap zones ur party will - potentially - be divided because
of the map being full or not.
Until now, with the exception being Teq where u get inti overflow if ur too late - we could always travel partywide to a new event and
finish that one together.
[/quote]

This argument would hold more water if this wasn't already an issue. I don't know how it is on most other servers, but on Sanctum of Rall we're always pushing overflows on popular events during NA prime hours. And with the overflow system as it's currently constructed, you're stuck in an instance that will never have a hope of killing Karka Queen or Shatterer in the time allotted.

#16 master21

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 03:12 PM

Good change but what really matters is how they handle
a) casual world bosses
B) tequatl wurm
c) guild missions.
Everything from how they handle timers and if it would be possible to make guild only run for tequatl is probably the most important here.

#17 Desild

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 03:20 PM

And another step back to the glory that was Guild Wars 1. A district system was long overdue, and maybe they won't have to stuff so many of us in overflows from now on.

#18 Naevius

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 03:23 PM

Landing in an underpopulated copy of a map can still happen in this new system - nothing prevents a new Sparkfly Fen copy from ending with only 10 people. However, in the new system, there should only ever be [u]one[/u] map that with that problem. And nothing says the whole hard cap/ soft cap system will change for these map copies.

Guild Missions will likely require some extra work to get everybody on the same map.

#19 nerfandderf

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 04:37 PM

Once again calling something that isnt a feature a feature. Not sure when server mergers where considered features and pillars of the game. Granted it was needed but to call it something other than what it is is really disingenuous.

seems like they are finally coming around to things they did in GW1.
mega server pop - instanced game
instant traiting out of combat
fighting in town clothes

It only took them 1.5 years to figure out what they did in GW1 that worked really well.
slowclap but what about real features that have been requested? What happened to those?
You know stuff that gets people to log in and play and check things out?

#20 konsta_hoptrop

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 04:44 PM

[quote name='nerfandderf' timestamp='1396456653' post='2313382']
Once again calling something that isnt a feature a feature. Not sure when server mergers where considered features and pillars of the game. Granted it was needed but to call it something other than what it is is really disingenuous.

seems like they are finally coming around to things they did in GW1.
mega server pop - instanced game
instant traiting out of combat
fighting in town clothes

It only took them 1.5 years to figure out what they did in GW1 that worked really well.
slowclap but what about real features that have been requested? What happened to those?
You know stuff that gets people to log in and play and check things out?
[/quote]

I admit that you are right sir. All things from that patch are nice and useful but they are just reworked GW1 mechanics and there is nothing new in that patch at all . Still nice reworks and i am happy that they listen to their community for some things.
But i am kinda sad that there are no new zones, new armor sets, new skills ... and the patch is overhyped like everything else about gw2.