That’s right, kiddies…Sony Online Entertainment is preparing to merge servers in their popular MMOFPS Planetside 2. I know that many people out there are saying that this is an indication that the game isn’t doing well and “the end is nigh!” but I call shenanigans on that, and here’s why:
When SOE fired up Planetside 2 for the first time, they created more servers than they knew they were going to need. They did this specifically to help balance the server loads that were going to come when everybody and their mother downloaded the free client. They knew they would get a huge initial rush and they were right.
What they also knew was that the initial rush wasn’t going to last. You see, FPS games are funny in that people tend to play them in bursts. They play for a while, then they get burned out and take a break, then they play for a while longer, then they burn out and take a break. This is the natural order of things and it is to be expected. This also tends to be cyclic so it goes in ripples…some return as others are leaving as others are returning as others are leaving, etc…So after the initial rush of players, things tend to balance out and the numbers become somewhat stable.
When that happens, some of the servers are left with low population because, let’s face it, their population was lower than that of other servers in the first place…So the servers which are carrying a low population get merged together to make a big population and everyone can have something to shoot at.
Something to be clear about here is this : The busy servers are not going to be effected by this…only the lower population servers are being merged, from the information I have gotten.
Also, it bears saying that SOE posted a nice FAQ in their forums about this. I’ve got that here so read and enjoy!
Why can’t I choose where my characters are going?
We’ve taken time to analyze the needs of every server for both player and empire populations and are combining server communities based on their needs. It will be completely seamless and the only change you’ll notice is more combat.
Will I lose my name?
Your character name is unique to your account and will remain the same.
What happens to my outfit?
Your outfit and all its members will transfer together to the new server.
What about my Friends Lists?
These lists will stay completely intact so you can stay in touch with all your fellow soldiers.
Will I lose the stats I’ve earned playing PlanetSide 2?
Everything you’ve done in game will transfer with you including kills, score, etc…
Will I retain my items and certifications?
All progress you’ve gained and items purchased will go with you to your new servers.
Why are you merging servers?
In order to provide a more consistent gameplay experience for everyone we are merging a few player communities together. This will provide a larger number of engagement opportunities and increase multiple continent populations.
When are character transfers going to be made available?
These will be made available in the very near future but not before the merges are complete
And there you have it. Let the mating begin!