If you’ve been following some of the other blogs, like bootaes, blurring shock and MykielWar, you’ll probably be aware that things are being inferred rather heavily from the text “The Red Plague”, which was mentioned once within the 1.3.5 patch notes, with the word Skaven being uttered with barely a pause for breath by others. Now this is from people with more lore in their little finger, than I have in my whole body. But for me, its got me thinking on a slightly different line.
If we were to get the Skaven, I’d imagine this would go down pretty well with subscribers both past and present, especially if you were to make the Skaven a 3rd playable realm in ORvR. But could it actually drag back too many people (Heaven forbid)?
We’ve all been through some pretty ruthless server rationalisations in the past year or so and that’s really cut down the number of possible server choices. Consider for a second, what would happen if a quarter of those who jacked in after the first couple of months, decided to return, say 200K, where would we put them? Obviously onto the servers on which their characters were transferred to (I can see a few support calls there btw). If I look at the server list of English servers in Europe, we have two … Yes two servers, out of a total of five. Two English, two German and one French server. That’s not a lot when I consider how many servers had queues when we started. Maybe in the US it’s less of a problem, since they’re all english, but ultimately there’s a real world cap to the number of people on a server and how long the queues can realistically get (Cough Aion cough).
This isn’t the game that they left, probably in a huff, it’s improvements are significant, both from a content and technical standpoint, and which many people have rightly said, “is the game we should have had at the beginning”. So realistically I think they’d stay around for a lot longer. Giving it a fairer crack of the whip than before.
Could the game actually cope with a massive influx? I’m not sure we wouldn’t end up with it blowing up in Warhammers face again. Would current server numbers be able bare the strain?
My problem is, I can’t see a way of scaling up the server numbers again, especially given the general awareness that population density is crucial factor in terms of overall enjoyment. There’s a limit to how much of a bonus you can bribe people with, to move from one server to the next and due to the fact that the PvE flows directly into the ORvRs, I don’t see the opportunity to merge ORvR zones to circumnavigate it. In DAOC, you actually ported to the ORvR zone, which allowed the opportunity if required to merge servers, or provide an umbrella until a server was busy enough to stand on its own two feet.
Any insights would be appreciated by me and possibly by Mythic, though I’d imagine that this would be problem that they’d really love to be facing.