Where Do You Call Home?
It’s 2017 and we’ve seen a lot of changes in video games over the years – one of the biggest video game annoyances I have always had is the idea of servers. The traditional idea, where you’re locked to it, playing happily with all your friends until a year passes and suddenly no one is playing with you and the grass is greener on the other side. You know the servers I’m talking about.
What have games done to combat the idea that people tend to play everywhere and they want to play with their friends (along with a large population)? Well, there have been server transfers, allowing players to pay a fee (or sometimes no cost) to swap to a server of their choice. There have been server merges, where two (typically) underpopulated servers would get merged together to create one large server, there have been megaservers, where ALL smaller servers were combined into one gigantic server (a-la WildStar), there have been shards, where people can join up across servers to play in instances with their friends and even raid. There have been server teams, where you’re on a team with a bunch of other servers and you share some of the same zones but you’re not technically on the same server together.
Like I said, many different ways of attempting to solve the technical issue of having a ‘server’ and the players desires to be where all the action is – with their friends. Or with that new raid guild they’ve been eyeballing. Or whatever XYZ reason a player has to want to play some place new with their old character.
Then there are the games that don’t have servers. EVE Online is a great one that comes to mind. Because each area is its own zone there’s no real need to have people playing on different servers. Of course it could also be due to a population thing, while there are usually anywhere from 17-28,000 people online when I am, it’s not hundreds of thousands or even millions of people all gathered together.
The reason this comes up is because I have a lot of different World of Warcraft servers that I consider “home” – and that list has only grown and changed over the past 10 years as friends have come and gone and new friends have joined up. There’s Argent Dawn which is where I have both a horde and an alliance guild that I run. My husband and I have our established characters there. Then he stopped playing. It’s not much fun playing alone.
So I moved to Area 52 with a few characters. Set up a guild there. Had a few friends who played. The server population is enormous. Then those friends stopped playing, and I was playing alone again.
I moved a hunter over to Dalaran with a few members from Combat Wombat where we had an ultra casual guild that completely fell apart.
So I moved to Lightbringer with Stargrace, my priest where I joined Crimson Cross, and I have a tiny little warrior that I just started. An established guild that isn’t going anywhere, and while I may only “know” one or two members, at least it’s a place I can call ‘home’ and they haven’t kicked me out yet no matter how inactive I become.
All of these servers are still “home” for one reason or another. They all have characters that I’ve played, that I enjoy playing, and that I would love to play again – and I wish it were easier to move them around, or at least a little less expensive. I wish I could keep all of my characters together, but WoW is not a game that lets you do this very easily. At least not without shelling out a fair bit of cash. I wish I had all of my crafters on the same server. I miss them. Playing with friends or at least having them around in chat is a nice aspect to my gaming, and while we CAN group up and even raid cross server, I find it’s just not enough.
What are your thoughts? Let me know in comments and as always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!