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Reader Comments (27)

Posted: Sep 8th 2011 10:05AM Fabius Bile said

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so instead of dividing your playerbase in 4, you want to divide it in 10?

are you aware that this "rulesets" have only caused server merges and losing customers for years?

look at AoC, WAR or even half of WoW's servers, and tell me what good has segregation done for that communities.

more often than not you end up with plenty underpopulated servers of each ruleset, and lots of problems merging them together

Posted: Sep 8th 2011 10:34AM (Unverified) said

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@Fabius Bile

Where did he say he advocated all these choices?

It was just an article on different rulesets.

And it's not the diversity of WoW servers that can be a problem...It's the sheer number.
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Posted: Sep 8th 2011 11:05AM Budukahn said

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@Fabius Bile

That's hardly what the article is about is it? It's a look at alternative rulesets for servers, not a manifesto for all of them to be included in every title going forward.

Rulesets don't cause server merges. Aging games and poor/nonexistant development cause server merges by driving customers away from the product.

To put that into your given examples, both WAR and Age of Conan were games plagued with boring content past the initial areas and severe technical and balance problems that drove players away in their thousands.

As for Warcraft - they manage a content patch roughly every half year and their last expansion provided half the content of any prior expansion for nearly 150% of the price of the first one at retailers. When the best the mighty blizzard could manage six months after Cataclsym was a pair of rehashed Troll raids turned five man dungeons, well, that was me done with the game.

If anything, providing more rule sets helps ensure players end up playing the game a way that suits them. And what keeps them happy keeps them playing, whether that be roleplaying, FFA PVP, cash shop exchanges, or otherwise.
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Posted: Sep 8th 2011 10:12AM smartstep said

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Imho there is whole diffrent field not explored yet.

Diffrent BUSINESS MODELS ruleset for diffrent servers.

Some servers f2p or b2p some p2p...
ofc that would require no server transfer between them.

Posted: Sep 8th 2011 10:56AM DarkWalker said

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@smartstep
EQ2 does have something like this. There is EQ2, the P2P game, and EQ2X, the F2P game. EQ2 subscribers are even automatically EQ2X gold members.
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Posted: Sep 8th 2011 12:02PM BigAndShiny said

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@DarkWalker
I really want to see upcoming F2P games retain 'sub only' servers with no microtransactions. Although of course they won't because subscribers still use the item shop.
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Posted: Sep 8th 2011 12:30PM smartstep said

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@BigAndShiny

well sub only servers would be kind of 'premium service' costing more than today's standard 14,99 $. It would be premium subs more like 20-22$ / month.
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Posted: Sep 8th 2011 11:00AM Irem said

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A "Roleplay Encouraged" server is something I hope ArenaNet will consider for GW2, since it sounds like they're not going to have RP-ruleset servers. Cost was one of the factors they cited, but if the server didn't actually require any extra policing and just had a tag to show people, "Yo, here's where the RP is," it would suit me just fine.

Posted: Sep 8th 2011 11:08AM DarkWalker said

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@Irem
AFAIK, GW2 will have free and easy server transfers, as well as cross-server guilds. Plus, you can be part of any number of guilds you want, so no need to gimp progression just to be part of a RP guild. Just get into a RP guild and coordinate events in any server you want.
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Posted: Sep 8th 2011 11:05AM DarkWalker said

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For me, the best enabler for having plenty of different server rulesets is free and instant server transfers.

PvP and PvE, together with their RP counterparts (which, BTW, are often used by players just as "mature" servers), work simply because those are the ones mostly everyone can agree to play on. The rest are just niches.

On the other hand, if server transfers were easy, free, and fast, the developers/publishers could experiment with different, even niche, server rulesets to their hearts content (apart from a few rulesets where character transfers make no sense, like about anything with faster progression or permadeath). Free for all PvP? Faction cooperation? Zombie Apocalypse? Just create and advertise a test sever. If it works, you can leave such a server permanently available. If it doesn't work out, just move all characters to some other random server and turn it off.

Posted: Sep 8th 2011 11:17AM DarkWalker said

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@DarkWalker
BTW, Permadeath is a kind of server I don't really think can work out, due to the ever present risk of a power/internet outage killing the character.

Worse, there is no fair way to solve the problem, as any mechanism intended to save the victims of such events could be abused by players about to die by just pulling out their internet cable or hitting the reset button.
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Posted: Sep 8th 2011 11:17AM (Unverified) said

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Age of Conan actually had free for all pvp server since launch (which up until the Bori cathastophe were also the most popular servers.) The Blood and Glory ruleset removed guards, removed pvp progression through mining rocks and introduced limited player looting in pvp.

Posted: Sep 8th 2011 11:27AM (Unverified) said

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Man the permadeath argument is annoying, because people refuse to understand the concept of judging it on a case by case basis.
Permadeath DOES work as long as THE GAME IS DESIGNED AND BALANCED AROUND IT.
It doesn't work when it's just thrown into an otherwise standard MMO.

Posted: Sep 8th 2011 12:10PM (Unverified) said

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I had a RP/permadeath guild in LOTRO. IMO it only works if the game is really designed for it OR if it's a voluntary thing. Being voluntary permadeath means that you can totally customize your "permadeath rules". Die due to a disconnect? No biggie, that doesn't count. Group content? Allow your rez-capable members to bring back players that get defeated as long as the whole group doesn't wipe.

In fact, we even allowed for players to choose not to delete their character, but the character would be removed from the guild and considered dead.

Posted: Sep 8th 2011 12:27PM pixledriven said

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I do miss the days when an MMO would ship with all their normal servers, and 1 extra FFA server, like Darktide.

Posted: Sep 8th 2011 12:39PM (Unverified) said

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Someone has to say it:

JACE AND THE WHEELED WARRIORS! That show was so awesome. Oh man...

Posted: Sep 8th 2011 12:39PM (Unverified) said

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*Sigh*. Am I the only person who wants a WoW Legacy server? Yeah, I know, they've smoothed a lot of rough edges over the years ... but I used to enjoy the process of progressing through Azeroth. With the release of Cataclysm it feels to me like they refactored the world to make leveling as linear a process as possible, and in so doing the world lost a lot of its flavor. The original world has become something to get through as quickly as possible on your way to the endgame.

Am I wearing rose-colored glasses? Was it always like this?

Posted: Sep 8th 2011 1:48PM Stormwalker said

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A subscriber-only server is a good safeguard for players who are worried about, not free players in general, but the bad eggs that always come with the decent ones. F2P doesn't encourage players to take the game seriously, as there's no monetary investment. This invites griefers, gold farmers, etc., which is what some subscribers want to avoid.

Posted: Sep 8th 2011 2:32PM DarkWalker said

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@Stormwalker
Not really sure this is a noticeable problem. Perhaps in starter zones, but this is exactly what chat/mail restrictions are meant to stop.

Outside the starter zones, anyone will have already invested time in the character - which, for plenty of players, might be more important than money.

Besides, with a F2P game where store purchases are account unlocks, the player's account is getting more valuable every time he spends some money. My LotRO account is most likely worth a couple hundred dollars, for example, even though it is a common account and not a lifetime one (given that I only purchased account-wide perks and unlocks, the "free" $5 per month I got by subscribing was essentially added to the account's "value", apart from what I earned playing normally; also, I bought the most expensive Isengard pre-order).
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Posted: Sep 8th 2011 2:03PM enamelizer said

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I think alternate rulesets are a huge missed opportunity for most MMO companies. Instead of having one game, they can have many different variations of the game and attract many different types of gamers.

The caveat is that games that have features like permadeath really need to be changed quite a bit to implement a feature like this, so it starts to become an issue where you are maintaining many different code branches in production, and now each update needs to be modified to suit each server type.

I really want to try a EQ progression server tho, sounds like a blast.

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