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WvW: The Mega Server


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#1 rukh

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 08:56 PM

From what we know, servers will be matched against other servers every two weeks depending on their rank.  If a particular server is dominating their version of the mists they will be rematched against servers than are closer to their rank.  At that point hopefully the matched up servers are close enough in power that the 3-way battle will keep any one of them from steamrolling everything.  


But what about the server that rises to the top?  There might be alot of shuffling at release but eventually one server that can consistently hold rank 1 will become known as the most successful WvW server.  Players who want to WvW alongside the best, those who want to be on server numero uno, and those who just want to reap the rewards will be all interested transferring.  There are many incentives, and we can expect what I'll call the "mega server" (for lack of a better name) to have the greatest influx of WvW players, adding to it's momentum.

When a server's WvW community grows like this, naturally its rank will go up and it will be placed against more suitable servers.  Unfortunately this is not the case with the mega server.  As players migrate to the mega server, it becomes stronger and more consistent in it's tier (and more attractive for transfers), but it cannot rank up to fight better opponent servers because it is already rank 1 and it is already far far more powerful than any other server.  

This doesn't have much of an effect on the lower tier servers - they will rarely if ever have to fight the mega server, but the higher tier servers (specifically rank 2 and rank 3 from previous round) end up with an almost un-winnable fight.

The only limiting factor here is the 2,000/server pop cap (500/map).  Even if the mega server manages to maintain that cap with 'round the clock activity (which I find unlikely), unless any two other servers can even come close to that size and activity (which I find even more unlikely) then those worlds who are stuck against the mega server are boned for the next two weeks.


Do you believe this will be a problem, and if so how could it be fixed?



Well one solution off the top of my head is to prevent any new transfers from participating in WvW until the server is no longer rank 1.  However, this could potentially have negative effects for the non WvW-oriented population on that server, and giving an incentive not to win is hard to justify.  
Another idea is to dynamically adjust the WvW population cap depending on the populations of the other servers.  For example, another server can't have more than 1.5 times the concurrent players in WvW as the other two servers.  This has the major downside of restricting access to many residents who want to WvW - especially if there is a large difference in total server population, and it doesn't take into account the skill level and organization of the servers.  Admittedly these ideas aren't great, but I'll continue to ponder this issue.

Edited by rukh, 16 February 2012 - 11:47 PM.


#2 chiclet

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 09:12 PM

If Server-One is truly godly, they will have to be at least four to five times as godly as Server-Two and Server-Three or they'll still get squashed if Two and Three are smart, declare a temporary cease fire and go after Server-One like bloodthirsty badgers.

There is no reason that the alleged Mega-Server-One can be all dominant, all the time unless their opponents let them be.  Field alliances are going to be interesting indeed.

#3 Helspyre

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 09:49 PM

rukh said:

As many of the skilled players and organized guilds migrate to the mega server,...

Those unskilled and unorganized will migrate there for sure.  I would like to think that the truly skilled and organized would migrate to the servers pitted against them.

#4 Atlus

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 09:56 PM

Helspyre said:

Those unskilled and unorganized will migrate there for sure.  I would like to think that the truly skilled and organized would migrate to the servers pitted against them.

This.  Bads will make good server bad.

#5 genetixsparkz

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:00 PM

yea you have to push against 2 servers at once AND every battle won is more ground you have to hold (it lengthens your lines)

if you'd like to know what happens when one of the finest armies in the world opens up a two front war see Germany in the World Wars (or arguably even the United States being stretched by Afghan + Iraq). by fighting both you start out outnumbered 2 to 1, and as your forces get closer to victory it because even worse.

lets say your A and B & C teams are down to there last fort. you have 2 forts near each of there final cities you need to hold to keep them pinned in, a likely scenario, your now fighting 4 to 1 odds at the right point because if you split evenly to defend each and they don't you'll end up fighting off there whole team with one quarter yours.  After a certain point skill leaves the equation and the zerg will win out.

So my solution is simple,

as you get deeper into enemy territory allow more of your locations up for grabs forcing you to split your own armies more and more to cover all the possible avenues of attack.

That means eventually they'll pull a russian on you and throw everything at one point wrecking you.

basically your difficulty scales higher with each victory, and you can tweak the maps to increase the difficulty up or down post launch to find the right balance of possible but hard.

Edited by genetixsparkz, 16 February 2012 - 10:03 PM.


#6 Dutchsmurf

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:01 PM

rukh said:

As many of the skilled players and organized guilds migrate to the mega server, it becomes stronger and more consistent in it's tier (and more attractive for transfers), but it cannot rank up to fight better opponent servers because it is already rank 1 and it is already far far more powerful than any other server.  

Except I have never seen this happen. It is usually the bad players that migrate to the mega server and the skilled players that move to smaller servers. Because skilled players like a challenge more than winning all the time.

#7 FoxBat

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:01 PM

Atlus said:

This.  Bads will make good server bad.

For WvW, not really. If you have 50 good players on your team, 150 extra bad ones don't suddenly make you lose more. The average performance of your team is irrelevant, you still have more guys vs other servers and that same core of awesome ones, you will still win.

#8 Treble

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:24 PM

genetixsparkz said:

That means eventually they'll pull a russian on you and throw everything at one point wrecking you.

These are fair points to be sure, but they don't address the possibility that the "Megaserver" could outnumber the other two servers combined (ANet did say server numbers will be imbalanced). Thus, the Russia analogy won't hold since the attackers, spread evenly, could still either match or outnumber both defenders due to the mass exodus of people transferring to be on the "Megaserver". Hence the problem with server transfers in the first place.

#9 rukh

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:32 PM

Skill is only a part of it.  Having a massive numbers advantage on the other two servers combined will influence the battle more than any amount of individual skill.  And while I would also like to think that the most skilled players leave for other servers, I doubt will be the case.  The greatest players will have to leave behind the renown and strong reputation they held on the "#1 server".  Players like challenge, but they also like their fame.  I will concede that the skilled and organized won't necessarily be the primary source immigrants to the mega server (i'll edit op).


@genetix
The situation I described in my post was that in your example, a quarter of my team is equal or greater than their whole team, therefore suffering no disadvantage.  You can safely spread you forces out when you have the man-power to do so.

Also keep in mind in WvW, I don't have to actually hold ALL those forts to win.  All I need to do is be more successful than each of my opponents.  Having far greater numbers means I can meet those minimums much more easily then they can.

The 3-way system does not prevent one server from being dominant, it only prevents it from being TOO dominant.  
Well, unless you can convince the hundreds of randoms across two whole servers not to kill each other.  GL with that.

Edited by rukh, 16 February 2012 - 11:43 PM.


#10 Alaroxr

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 11:00 PM

The three way system does make it hard for one server to dominate.

You don't need an alliance to double team the winning server.

If the winning server has more keeps, castles, supply areas, etc. then that means that their troops are more spread out and that the other server's troops are more together. The larger server has more things to defend and the smaller servers will be attacking the larger server more frequently.

At the start of a WvW battle, the ratio of control will be 1:1:1. If a server ends up controlling 2/3 of the battle then it may create a ratio of 4:1:1 of control. As the ratio of control goes up for a server, the ratio of them being attacked goes up as well.

You don't need an alliance because the winning server will eventually control so much that the only thing the losing servers can do IS to attack the winning server.

#11 Ashanor

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 11:31 PM

One thing you got to remember is that server that wins all the time is only going to face the other top servers over and over again eventually. At least that is the way I understand it.

In any case, this is why they chose to go with a 3 servers rather than 2. It helps alleviate any imbalances, and there will already be less imbalances since everyone is the same faction anyway. None of the "this faction is more popular than this faction" stuff we normally deal with in games. This is a model very similar to DAoC RvR (but improved), and I think they actually stated they were basing their WvW off of DAoC RvR at one point.

Edited by Ashanor, 16 February 2012 - 11:34 PM.


#12 nurt

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 11:31 PM

close transfers to that server.

#13 Atlus

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 12:35 AM

FoxBat said:

For WvW, not really. If you have 50 good players on your team, 150 extra bad ones don't suddenly make you lose more. The average performance of your team is irrelevant, you still have more guys vs other servers and that same core of awesome ones, you will still win.

Assuming there's space for both the 50 good players and the 150 bad players.  Either one of two things will happen:  (i) there is space for the baddie transfers and the good players, in which case this "mega-server" is not population capped within the WvW maps or (ii) they are population capped in the WvW maps, so the bads end up taking spaces away from the goods.  If (i) is true, then other zergy servers (with more players), should be able to team up on the "mega-server" and overwhelm them with sheer numbers and moderate organization.  If (ii) is true, then the situation I described is accurate -- the bads will make the good turn bad.

#14 Goldenrice

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 12:57 AM

More people to kill.

This won't be like other open-world pvp MMOs where zerg guilds dominate and because they are dominating, they get all the best loot, etc.

#15 kineticzx

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 01:31 AM

I think there will be a lot of competition between the servers which will make this even more fun.

#16 Jeros

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 03:26 AM

genetixsparkz said:


if you'd like to know what happens when one of the finest armies in the world opens up a two front war seeAMERICA in World War 2

I was reading this thread and saw this post....and couldn't help myself.  See Germany for how you lose a 2 front war.  See America for how to win one.

#17 Jobrjo

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 02:34 PM

I'm doubting ANY server can take 2 alone and win, without some serious skill and planning. But as there's a limit to how many players can get in, I don't see this happening.

#18 genetixsparkz

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 03:21 PM

yea you wont win is world map cap = 500/3 for each side that is 166 per side

divided by 4 that is 41 vs 166. I don't care what skill your using your not winning that. Why? because the only reason you'd win is

A. you scare them off, this isn't real life people will not be afraid of there toon getting downed.

B. you kill enough of them somehow to even the odds up. But wait death is not permanent.

Win a 41 vs 166, win it twice, win it three times. The first time you lose that's your keep. the first time 20 of those core 40 players decide they need sleep the weak little nubs, you lose. Vets are only human, the zombie army does not sleep only pulls its bits back together, they cannot be extinquished only delayed.

To the argument, well you'll still lose overall, well tough, your the second best server not the first, if your not the best server of the three you don't deserve to win and allowing you to would defeat the point of the contest, besides remember, its likely the 4th best server having won will be bumped up into third and you having lost as the third best will go down to tier 2, but if your really third best you will win the next round. Not everyone can fit on the best server, the second best will not likely be trounced, only beaten.

#19 Treble

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 03:36 PM

Goldenrice said:

This won't be like other open-world pvp MMOs where zerg guilds dominate

Zergs ALWAYS dominate. ALWAYS!!

...unless it's a zerg of flowers and choir boys.

#20 Atlus

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 06:15 PM

genetixsparkz said:

yea you wont win is world map cap = 500/3 for each side that is 166 per side

divided by 4 that is 41 vs 166.

Your math is off. There will be "over 100 people from each server on every map." There are 4 maps per instance of the Mists and, of course, three servers fighting.  That means a total of over 1200 players spread out among the various maps (and other interviews have pegged the actual number at about 2000).  

Still, assuming all the servers are population capped in the maps, you're right that it will be difficult for one server to take on two without Tzu-like strategery.

#21 shaolinwind

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 06:41 PM

This is the beauty of 3 sided PvP. There is almost no way to stay "#1" as the other servers will always know who to team up against, even if no alliance is in place.

The fun of it, is the smarter server that can turn the other worlds against themselves is the one that will dominate, rather than the stronger server that gets teamed up on constantly.

Makes this style of the PvP game SO much more fun to play ;)

#22 Grin14

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 06:53 PM

The lag will be interesting, but we will have to see how it all works out in the end.  But there will be lag when hundreds of people are on screen.  Just no way to prevent it.  SO much pinging and slow internet connections to the whole world every second will take a toll on some computers.  But I'm confident Areananet is coming up with some sort of way to help reduce what we all know is coming.

#23 Killyox

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 06:57 PM

Jeros said:

I was reading this thread and saw this post....and couldn't help myself.  See Germany for how you lose a 2 front war.  See America for how to win one.

since when germany had 2 fronts war? LOL.

It had a lot more than 2 fronts during WW2 guerilla warfare to it and it becomes even more.

#24 genetixsparkz

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 07:52 PM

I believe the most reliable answer to this question (and I can't answer it actually) is to ask someone with lots of high lvl PvP experience in Dark Age of Camelot how that game turned out. It is basically what our Worlds combat is based on, so if it did not have a problem with people switching sides to be on the best side, constantly having all the elite guilds on one team etc, then I believe its a safe bet this follow the same path.

#25 Pete

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 07:52 PM

IMO, I don't think this will be possible. Any people who transfer to the highest ranking server, will most likely be bad. Also, the other 2 servers will probably team up against the higher ranked one.

#26 EasymodeX

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 08:01 PM

genetixsparkz said:

I believe the most reliable answer to this question (and I can't answer it actually) is to ask someone with lots of high lvl PvP experience in Dark Age of Camelot how that game turned out. It is basically what our Worlds combat is based on, so if it did not have a problem with people switching sides to be on the best side, constantly having all the elite guilds on one team etc, then I believe its a safe bet this follow the same path.

DAOC's model was prohibitive to realm hopping.  It was still possible -- lots of guilds did it eventually -- but it was not an overnight or two-week thing.  It was a serious decision and time invested -- leveling to 50 (not a big deal later on), getting geared up, getting some basic realm ranks for abilities.

The question with GW2 is the ease of server hopping to the winning team creating real combat balance issues.  Elite guilds do, in fact, switch sides to the losing team for better competition, so this is not as silly as at first glance.  The issue is all the "second tier" guilds.  These tend to gravitate together and zerg as the winning side.  Then all the baddies follow in their wake.

The only directly parallel issue from DAOC is spying.  In DAOC, cross-realm spies were serious business.  You could use a second account to make a level 1 character and /who various zones to see where your enemy was.  250 players in the PvE dragon zone?  Perfect time to launch a raid at their relic.  Enemy's forming up 150 players in their border zone?  They may be launching a relic raid.  Get your spy into the enemy chatgroup?  Now you can spy on enemy communication -- where the zerg is going, what their objectives are.

#27 genetixsparkz

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 08:33 PM

honestly discuss the solutions to this crap ^

also no for worlds combat you can't get a lvl 80 account in seconds, because worlds isn't balanced and you don't actually get sidekicked up to 80. I know alot of people have said that but it seems its just a common misconception. The dev's stated in an interview that a lvl 1 sidekicked up to 80 would not be as powerful (and it appears statswise boost) as a lvl 20 sidekicked up. Essentially what they mean I think is that apon entering a lvl 80 zone whether it be a lvl 80 dungeon or competing in Worlds pvp, your going to be sidekicked up, and the greater the disparity between you and what you should be, the more you get a kick but basically the less close that kick becomes to parity.

example

lvl 1 = 1% the stats of a lvl 80
lvl 1 in a lvl 80 area gets 80% of the difference between his stats and a true lvl 80
lvl 1 = 80% of the 99% difference so basically still 80% of a lvl 80 stats and the remaing 20% he is just that much weaker than.

lvl 40 = 50% of the stats of a lvl 80
lvl 40 in a lvl 80 area gets 80% of the difference between his stats and a true lvl 80
lvl 40 = 80% of the 50% difference so it amounts to getting a boost equal to 40% of a lvl 80s true stats, but he already has 50% so that plus the 40%
lvl 40 = 90% of a lvl 80's stats in a lvl 80 area.


That's means in short, you switch servers you need new chars, new guild, new equip etc or at least until then your not going to be the top elite players that you are because your going to be under lvled, under geared etc. You might be able to fight a lvl 80 but there is going to be no stomping and rofl owning a team that outnumbers you if your a sidekicked 80 and not a true 80

#28 Freelancer

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 07:40 AM

Treble said:

Zergs ALWAYS dominate. ALWAYS!!

...unless it's a zerg of flowers and choir boys.

Allow me to welcome you to the "mega server" that does NOT follow that rule.

:)

This argument is nearly void when you consider the other two servers could immediately team up on the third. How is this an issue?

What I would like to know for myself is whether servers have a direct way of contacting one-another in-game.

Edited by Freelancer, 18 February 2012 - 07:48 AM.

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#29 Dutchsmurf

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 11:17 AM

Freelancer said:

What I would like to know for myself is whether servers have a direct way of contacting one-another in-game.

They shouldn't be able to. It will be used for griefing more than for useful communication. Tactics between servers will be discussed outside the actual game. But most 2vs1 alliance are born naturally without a need for discussion.

#30 Shoros

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 11:36 AM

I agree, but there is no way to prevent this if you can switch servers for PvE for example. How do you want to do that?