Last night a full evening of Warhammer was played, and much progress was achieved. Between a few runs on Stonetroll Crossing, some PvE questing and a number of PW runs Einfeuer reached rank 16 and renown rank 12. This puts him about three-quarters of the way up on the Casualties progression list, and based on my assumption that Casualties is ahead of the normal population, this reinforces my idea of being on the higher end of the leveling population right now.
One Public Quest that I ran in Chapter 8 had me first in contribution… and I rolled an 001 for loot. Incredible. And there was a gold bag in that drop as well. Thankfully there were only a few people in the Vent channel at that time, if you know what I mean. But I did max out Influence in Chapter 7, and got a good chunk of the way through Chapter 8, so the Influence gear will make up for that shafting.
Casualties ran the Altdorf sewer dungeons last night – I’m curious to hear how that went. I did not participate, but I did take the time to really roam about Altdorf for the first time and do a few of the quests there. Of course, I just had to visit the Bright Wizard College, which is rather more austere on the inside than I’m imagined it would be. The outside is cooler – pretty much every building in a narrow band around the College is a burnt-down ruin.
I’m not sure the cities are quite as good as Mythic’s folks would have had us think before launch. But they are unquestionably impressive, and probably the most immersive areas I’ve seen so far in the game. And there are some really nice touches in there. At one point, I was set upon by a footpad! And he was level 20, so he’d have left me dead in an alley with little difficulty were it not for a helpful Dwarf that came by to help me out. There are quite a few quests in all corners of the city, which happen in the city rather than halfway across the world, and a couple of dungeons accessible even if the city is at level 1.
Altdorf reached level 2 on our server yesterday, by the way. I’m told this makes new stuff available there, although I couldn’t say what those things might be. There is a lot to explore, and I don’t want to sidetrack my progression to do it with this character. On an alt, I will dally.
Someone has done an analysis of server numbers, which I will link to if I can get a citation to the actual source. These numbers are verifiably incomplete – they don’t include unguilded characters, for one, and I’m not sure what else they may leave out. So let’s take them with a grain of salt and then talk about them anyway, since they’re the best numbers we have at the moment.
First of all, it appears that Destruction does indeed have more players, at a ratio of about 1.15 Destro to 1 Order. This is not a huge numerical advantage overall, although there are indeed a few servers on which it appears to have a big edge. It appears that the biggest problem is coming not from population imbalance but low population.
Phoenix Throne has both the highest overall population and the most even ration of Order to Destruction of any server. This is an RP server, so this isn’t surprising, especially given that it was the only RP server on the initial CE headstart list. I have friends there, so I may make a character just to play around and see how well RvR is going.
Volkmar, CoW’s initial choice of Destruction server, has the second highest population and a ratio of 1.1 Destruction for every Order. This is pretty close, and Volkmar is one of the servers that Order is said to have the edge on right now. It appears to me that virtually every guild on Volkmar decided to stay there rather than migrating to the clone. Except us, but we left before the cloning even happened.
Averheim, on which I and many other Casualties play Order, is around the top of the middle of the pack in population – number 20, in fact, so it’s nowhere near the highest population servers. At a D:O of 1.16:1, it’s pretty even, and at least from the Order side there are few problems getting into scenarios or world RvR even at off-peak times. I would say that Destruction seems slightly more motivated to do RvR than Order does, but maybe that’s not a surprise either – and at any rate there are a bunch of large, competent Order guilds (including ours) who engage in RvR with relish.
Thorgrim, CoW’s current choice of Destruction Server, is a problem. It’s sitting at less than half the guilded population of Averheim – 33rd on the list even though it has a very similar D:O ratio at 1.18:1. The problem does not therefore appear to be that the Order population is not high enough there, it’s that the overall population is too low for scenarios to fire or RvR to be as common as it should be.
This data, then, while imperfect, shows up something we didn’t know before – that a lack of people playing Order is not the problem on most servers. I and many others have been saying that population management is going to be a critically important task for Mythic through the lifespan of WAR, and it appears that adding more servers right now would be a mistake. They should start thinking about what can be done to funnel more players to underpopulated servers – the cloning, while a novel idea, did not appear to work.
On the other hand, nothing says that RvR only works right on peak population servers; on Averheim it works fine, and we’re nowhere near the population cap. So the acceptable range of population is broader than I would have thought. I am curious to see if it works better on high-pop servers – I made a White Lion on Volkmar (I have friends there as well,) so I may play him a bit just to see how it goes.