I want to start with this excellent quote that sums up how I feel about the new megaserver updates in Guild Wars 2. It prompted me to discuss my thoughts, especially where I see it affecting friends who love to RP in game.
If you love to run in a huge zerg, waypointing from event to event to autoattack something you can’t clearly see, at single-figure fps rates, for thirty seconds before clicking “Loot All” and moving on to rinse and repeat, all the while chortling at sexual innuendo and scatological puns then this is probably the best update GW2 has ever had.
If you’re anyone other than a leveller who hates to solo or a dedicated zerger with an adolescent sense of humor, however, there’s not much good to say about any of it.
I admit that I haven’t logged in a whole lot to Guild Wars 2 since April’s big update. I took care of my clothing and dye the first day. Counted the pieces of town clothing that got turned into tonics. Requested a refund from Anet for the tonics, which took over a week to process (though I got it eventually). Checked the inactives in my guild. (It’s not helpful for it to continue to state “Unknown” for everyone who hasn’t logged in before the patch, btw. The idea was I needed to know how long “Unknown” was to clear the roster if needed.)
Despite not spending a whole bunch of time in game, I’ve been keeping my eye on the whole Megaserver update situation. From what I hear, especially from the community-minded role play folks I know, this has not been a good move.
Sure, you see more people when you log in. Everywhere. Mostly people you have never seen before and don’t know a thing about. Given the megaserver thing, it’s likely you’ll hardly see the same folks repeatedly in the future.
I’m sure this is a good thing when you’re running around trying to do areas that were seldomly visited. But the first thing I noticed was that just about every map I entered took a whole lot longer to load. Used to be just Lion’s Arch (and it was my bad for leaving characters there when I knew the load time). Now, nowhere seems safe from load times, especially now that Lion’s Arch is no longer a central hub.
Role Play Troubles
Things are especially bad for role players who just want to have their fun in an RP safe environment. I haven’t RPed much in game (I’ve done my share of Tumblr RP, attending events and fiction writing), but the leader of the one RP guild I am a member of has expressed her woes about RP events being griefed, even when they’re in out of the way locations. Her story isn’t an isolated instance, and it’s really awful to read.
There’s a whole thread about the obliteration of server community, and the effect this is having on role play in particular. No longer can these players enjoy the game the way they always have. Some are starting to get frustrated and move to more RP friendly games.
An answer from Anet? Not much. To guild up. That they’re working on tweaking how the server sorts players.
But this sort of thing should have already been working as they claimed before the megaservers rolled out. Folks who are testing the situation and reporting back show that it is not. Sometimes, people in the same party aren’t even sorted into the same server with each other anymore! Something’s just not right here!
Come on Anet!
The RPers are generally players who are dedicated to your game and your lore (despite all you’ve done to degrade that lore in the Living Story). The good ones hang around and make the world more lively, creating their own stories and characters to color your backdrop with interactions for other players. They essentially create their own content for each other, which can help retain players without any time or extra effort from you. They’re also folks who are willing to plop down gems for cute fluff items in the store simply because it looks good or fits a character theme.
You may think they’re a small and unassuming part of the population (and they may be), but it would be a more hollow world should they all up and leave because of this megaserver issue. I hope things get resolved for them soon. As much as I’ve been a Guild Wars supporter, I have to admit, this is a real shame. 😦