For all the talk of social systems you’ll hear from designers these days, Guild Wars 2 is already the most social MMO - simply because it’ll re-level your character on the fly to suit the challenge at hand.
It’s about to get a little friend-friendlier, thanks to a new megaserver system that’s willing to partially disregard homeworlds and plonk you in the same instance as the people you’d like to be playing with.
“The megaserver system makes it easier to group up and play with other players naturally - you’ll notice this especially with friends who were on other worlds than your own before this system,” write ArenaNet. “If the map you’re on is full, you can still party with a friend by right-clicking on their name and then select to join them in their version of the map.”
The way it works sounds a bit complicated, but here’s the important bit: the world you selected at character creation no longer matters.
When you log in after April 15, you’ll be assigned a version of your local map that best suits your needs, according to party, guild, language, homeworld and an assortment of other factors.
The idea is that you’ll bump into the same people more often, and wind up playing with others with “similar interests” - not fellow fly-fishers or record collectors, but those who spend their time in Guild Wars doing the sort of things you do.
ArenaNet’s megaserver tech ensures there are enough copies of a map at any one time to “comfortably” house all the players in it. It’s a replacement for the existing overflow map system that doesn’t artificially limit the amount of players you can see in game, and allows for population fluctuation around Guild Wars’ many world events - dynamically opening up new maps when they’re needed.
“There are some maps in the game that tend to have smaller populations in them on each world,” say ArenaNet of the system’s benefits. “With megaserver technology, these lower-population maps will be full of players from the same global region, so you can always have a great experience and play any of the content in those maps.”
Megaservers will work similar wonders for players online during non-peak hours, or in language-based worlds.
You’ll still be able to play with people from your selected homeworld - in fact, ArenaNet reckon the new system ensures you’ll come across more of them than you might otherwise, thanks to the boosted population across all maps.
ArenaNet will roll out the system across Guild Wars’ main cities, PvP lobby and level 1-15 maps via their April 15 Feature Pack. Once they’re sure everything works okay, they’ll flick the switch for the whole of Tyria. Do you think you’ll make use of the new tech?