by Samuel Loretan on August 25, 2014
We’ll be using the September 2014 Feature Pack to bring some exciting changes to the megaserver system!
Since first introducing it in the April 2014 Feature Pack, we’ve kept on improving the megaserver system on a regular basis. A lot of those changes were made during regularly scheduled updates and were targeted at improving what we call “integrity” metrics, which are how we measure how well the system works to get you into a map instance with people from your party, guild, home world, and language. Because the evolution was continuous and smooth, you might not have noticed much change, but the metrics got a lot better over time as we kept making the system smarter. We won’t stop there: with the second feature pack, we’re releasing some new systems and working to make the core system more effective!
Global Guilds (New to North America and Europe)
When we released the megaserver system, we told you that we’d be focusing on guilds for future improvements, and now we’re ready to introduce the global guild system to North America and Europe! This system has already been rolled out in China, and we’re very excited to bring it back over to our other regions. Instead of having a separate guild chapter on each world, everything in your guild—your bank, merits, influence, and upgrades—is now global and shared across all worlds. We built this in a way that makes sure that nothing is being lost for anyone:
- The influence and the merits that your guild earned in each world will now be combined into your global guild. To make sure that you’re not losing anything there, the combined merits quantity can go over the normal limit of 250. However, your guild will not be able to earn more merits until the count gets back under that threshold.
- Any upgrade you’ve unlocked on any world will be available in your global guild. If you’ve unlocked the same upgrade on multiple worlds, the influence and merit cost will be refunded. Again, the refunded merits will be allowed to exceed the normal limit, but you will be unable to earn more merits while over the limit.
- All guild consumables unlocked on any world will be available in your global guild. For this purpose, the number of consumables in stock can go over the usual limits, but you will not be able to build new consumables of the same type before going back under the usual threshold.
- Guild boosts that are enabled will be returned to your guild inventory and you will have to reenable them from your global guild to activate them.
- The guild vault from the world that had the highest number of slots will become your global guild vault. If your guild had the same number of slots on multiple worlds, it’ll pick the one with the most items. However, the items from other worlds’ banks will not be lost—instead, their contents will be put into extra slots, which will only be available to withdraw from and will disappear once empty.
Guild Missions Improvement
Since the launch of the megaserver system, we’ve improved guild missions by making sure that all missions could be completed by multiple guilds simultaneously. With this feature pack, we’re making getting your guild together for a mission easier than ever by introducing significant improvements to the way guild missions work in the open world. The megaserver system will be extended with a reservation system that is automatically enabled whenever a guild member joins a map to do a guild mission, which will prioritize adding guild members to that map. This system, however, is limited in the number of spaces that get reserved on the map instance, so it’ll work best for small- and medium-sized guilds.
We are working on further improvements that are focused on larger guilds.
Finding Allies in Different Map Copies
As the population on a map changes over time, the megaserver system sometimes needs to close certain copies of that map. It does that by ceasing to add new players to that map (unless they intentionally join to be with their party) and by waiting until that map copy is empty to finally close it. This has occasionally created an odd experience for players left in the map, who will see fewer and fewer companions.
With the September 2014 Feature Pack, we’re introducing a new mechanism to solve this problem. When certain copies of a map need to be closed, the players on those copies will be notified and will have the option to be moved to a different map copy right away. This will help you make sure that there are always allies by your side, and it’ll help us more efficiently manage maps—which in turn makes everyone’s experience better. If you choose to volunteer to move to a new map, you’ll even get a reward in the form of a new effect, the Volunteer’s Blessing, which increases movement speed by 15%, karma gain by 5%, and experience from kills by 10% for 10 minutes. This effect persists if you move to another map, but the movement speed bonus is applied only in PvE.
Language in Europe
One experience we’ve been working to improve between April and today is the European language diversity. We’ve deployed several system updates to better sort players by language, especially when the population on a specific map is high.
This is an important issue for us, and we’re still working hard on improving the game experience for our European players.
For now, we’ve decided not to entirely separate the different language communities onto unique map copies. While we understand that it might be difficult for some to communicate across the language barrier, we still think it’s important to have maps that feel populated no matter where in Tyria you go or at which hours you play. The megaserver system gives us an opportunity to expand the game world without having to fear that doing so would make some of the older parts of Tyria feel empty to the players who’d still like to enjoy them; splitting the European community by language would hinder that capacity to some extent. Our hope is to avoid doing so, relying instead on systematic improvements to megaservers and our amazingly friendly and awesome community of players.
We are always listening for your feedback, as it is very important for us to make the best possible game for you. Thanks to player feedback, we’ve decided to disable the chat filtering option by default. We had to deploy this system as a shield against harassment, but it was also impairing normal communication. As always, if you feel harassed, please use the in-game reporting tool. We want Guild Wars 2 to feel safe and inclusive, and our Customer Support team takes your reports very seriously.
We will keep on monitoring our metrics, collecting your feedback, and analyzing our data on a daily basis to keep improving the Guild Wars 2 experience for all players from all backgrounds.
Our work on the megaserver system will continue after this feature pack gets released. We are monitoring the metrics on a daily basis, and we frequently make adjustments to enhance the social environment of Guild Wars 2. We’re working on further improvements to guild missions, language settings for European worlds, better population balance for every map, and more. As we stated in April, this is just the beginning—and we’re always working on making it better.