Guild Wars 2's Feature Pack is still a fortnight away, but, judging by
ArenaNet's recent teasers
, it promises to be one of the more significant updates in the game's history. Across the eleven existing blog posts on the MMO's update page, the developers have revealed upcoming changes to Traits, Skins, Crits, Slots, as well as some of their non-monosyllabic systems.
The latest post details the "Megaserver System", which dramatically alters how players will be populated across different zones. The hope is that friends and guildmates will be more consistently placed on the same version of a busy map, and that the game's quieter maps will become dramatically more populated. All of which is great stuff, even if I'm slightly underwhelmed by their hyperbole. Megaserver? Why not Enormouserver, or Colossuserver?
In Guild Wars 2's current system, players attempting to enter a full zone are instead booted to a server's "Overflow". Through the megaserver, overflows will be abolished—with each version of a zone having equal standing, and being populated by players from any home server.
"You will simply arrive in a map and be assigned to the version of that map that makes the most sense for you as selected by the megaserver system we've developed. This new system takes your party, guild, language, home world, and other factors into account to match you to a version of the map you're entering. This will increase the odds that you'll see the same people more often and play with people of similar interests."
The big advantage will be for the game's quieter zones, and less populated servers. Where before, you could happily cross the Brisban Wildlands without seeing another player, now all players from that region can be playing on the same map.
The theory seems solid, even if plenty of questions remain about the application in practice. Some of those questions
are answered here
, but others—specifically how this will affect boss timers and World vs World—will be covered in separate posts later in the week.
The introduction of Humungouservers won't be a full Servapocalypse. In the first instance, only level 1–15 maps, main cities and the PvP lobby are migrating to the new system. That will happen on April 15th, when the Feature Pack is released.