Could someone from Sony please call the Blizzard guys and explain to them how to properly populate a split server? I know you guys are sitting there just laughing your asses off while Blizztard Entertainment tries to teach themselves MMOG Management 101, but have a heart and give them a hand. Blizzard’s (new and improved) plan to fix the debacle of 8 full-pop servers zerging Mug’Thol: “In order to alleviate traffic during peak times on Mug’thol, we’ll be opening up character transfers to Archimonde starting on Wednesday, February 8 at 3:00 AM PST. Players on this realm will have until Friday, February 10 at 3:00 PM PST to complete the transfer of their characters from Mug’thol to Archimonde.”
You’ve probably read last Saturday’s New York Times interview with Warcraft’s lead designer Tigole, known offline as Mrs. Kaplan’s son Jeff. (NYT link for those returning from a lost weekend)
A little background, if you don’t follow the gaming gossip rags as closely as you should, Tigole was an EQ catasser and behemoth guildleader of some note who joined Blizzard a few years back, worked his way through the ranks to lead designer, and is now pumping out endgame content.
Back to the NYT interview that Tigole really wishes he hadn’t done, here’s the salient paragraph:
Q. Why not just let casual players get rewards comparable to those from raids?
A. It would be almost impossible for us to do, and this is a philosophical decision. We need to put a structure in place for players where they feel that if they do more difficult encounters, they’ll get rewarded for it. As soon as we give more equal rewards across the board, for a lot of players it will diminish the accomplishment of killing something like Nefarian. My favorite times in the development cycle are when there are encounters that are close to being defeated but have not yet been beaten. It really creates a sense of awe among the players that there is something big and truly dangerous in the world. But it would be very disappointing if the items found on Nefarian were the same thing you could get in your nightly Stratholme run. [Stratholme is a much easier five-person dungeon.]
From the Warcraft beta days, which means it’s ANCIENT, the queuedance, sadly relevant again now that queues are reaching epic lengths. The new PvP server Mug’Thol was Blizzard’s first attempt at using a split server to relieve overcrowding — a new idea only to them, btw. Didn’t work out so well … eight overcrowded servers splitting to one new server = GIANT QUEUE.