Many of us would like to know more about this “Mega server”, what it does and how it works. Zenimax calls it a new scaling server technology that allows to house all players on one server but in different worlds, the main attribute of the technology being flexibility. The technology’s main advantage is that allows all players to play on the same server, but in different instances. Without further chit chat, let’s get into the details.
What does it do?
It allows to sustain the same amount of players in a particular “world”.
I’ll explain this in more detail: the Mega server basically, places the player into certain channels, making sure your game play and the online experience is good, preventing any overcrowding. If you log in in a certain location and you can’t see your online friends, you must be in a different channel. What you have to do is simply join your friend in their channel or vice-versa, kinda like a game instance. We’ve seen something like this before, a social based online structure where you can join a friend’s channel if he or she is online at that time. The server system will also allow players to connect with their friends on social media network sites such as Facebook,Twitter to play, share loot etc.
In some areas, phasing (or “layering” as we call it) is not based on a choice, but on whether or not you’ve done a certain thing yet. In this case, separation from another player would be temporary. In other areas, it can be based off of a choice you’ve made. Those choices tend to come at the end of the activity for an area, reducing separation.
There are other mechanisms we use to reinforce choice that have nothing to do with layering. You may experience something completely different than someone else based on your individual choices, but the ways we show this don’t separate you from others at all. The latter techniques are used far more frequently than layering. And finally, there are still other solutions we’ll discuss later that enable you to better stay together with others even if you’d normally be in different layers.
Also note that layering and channels are not the same thing. The megaserver places players intelligently into channels to make sure your gameplay experience is good and to prevent overcrowding. So if you’re in Glenumbra, but you can’t see your friend, you may be in a different channel. You’ll simply be able to join your friend in their channel or vice-versa. Channels, however, will be largely invisible, as we’ll try to put you in the best channel with the highest preponderance of your social connections.
Let’s imagine that any given area has a limit of 2000 players. During peak hours, many of those zones may have 2000 players each, so the mega server will attempt to create several instances of the same area, depending how many players are currently online there. We’ve seen this method in other MMOs such Star Wars: The Old Republic. In TESO however, when the world is a bit quieter and there are fewer players online, the server will merge these areas to meet its player limit (2000 in our case). So basically, whatever you do and no matter when you log in, the world will never look empty – thanks to this technology.
But how will it play out if , let’s say I don’t have any friends playing TESO, and maybe I want to make some new friends to quest and go PvP with. How will the server deal with my char and the “strangers” I meet during my adventures?
The server is smart enough to match up players with the same interests and goals when sorting out the populations of zone instances. Zenimax’s Megaserver will give players the option of choosing what, where and how they should share the world by their own preferences. The server will remember all the players you’ve interacted with and it will place you in zone instances with them if they’re online.
Sounds really good on paper but we should wait and see if it really plays out as advertised. Either way, for the MMO world, this technology is definitely a big step in the right direction.