As long as I've been playing MMOs, game companies have been obfuscating server loads. Oh, sure, you can make a pretty good guess as to how many players are playing on your server. You can look at one of the MMO charting sites, use a tool to parse how many people are in various zones at set times, or wave a calculator at the fine print in quarterly earnings reports, but those methods are admittedly imperfect. We're usually left with vague categories like low-, medium-, and high-population, terms that aren't comparable from game to game. High-pop for EVE Online
doesn't mean the same as high-pop for Warhammer Online
, after all.
I can understand why studios want to hide the numbers. Players are bitterly cruel when it comes to data like these, and a small reduction in population one night could lead to a snowball effect of self-fulfilling doom-and-gloom prophecies. Still, players like to know how many other people they can expect to encounter on their server since that helps them plan which server (and which MMO) might be right for them. What do you think -- should MMO companies reveal the precise numbers behind their server loads?
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