New World’s server population cap has been a hot topic ever since the beginning of the game. When it launched with only a 2000 player cap for each server, a lot of people coming from other MMOs like Elder Scrolls Online, Guild Wars 2, and Runescape were shocked that a game which releases in 2021 did not have megaservers – and even worse, had such a really low population limit per server.
By the end of the first birthday of the game, AGS increased the servers caps twice by 250 each time. By the time of the 2nd increase, the opinion on high server caps had reached its most polarizing stage for the community. While a lot of players were still advocating for a much higher server population, a new faction had entered the discussion asking for the complete opposite.
For most veteran players, a higher server population is a sure-fire way to get rid of any chance you might have had to gather any materials in the open world. Given the nature of the game, megaservers or even just a higher population would severely limit a lot of gameplay starting from gathering to territory wars.
This makes it sound like New World is bound to have low population servers, and hence it’s doomed to fail. With the current game mechanics this… is actually true. BUT, it doesn’t HAVE to be.
New World is barely one year old, and it’s at the point now where it can revamp a lot of its current mechanics and not lose any players, in fact it can gain a lot more of them. So let's take a look at what systems in New World are quote-on-quote “blocking” the games path into becoming a megaserver-centered game, and what the developers MIGHT do to start steering the game into a more actual MMO instead of just an MO.
The first and most obvious problem with having New World have very high population servers, is the resource gathering system. Currently, the system works in a way that’s first come, first served. Whenever you get to a gathering node you can take it but no one else can until the respawn timer runs out – which depending on the size of the node can be 10 minutes or 25 minutes. The respawn timers right now are way too long even for a server of 2500 players, as proven the month before the Brimstone Sands update when a single unit of Lodestone used to cost 5 gold. If you look at new-world.guide you will see that you need 38 Lodestone for a single Obsidian Voidstone. The reason behind the ridiculous price is the amount of actual nodes in the open world. – 321 total, only 30 of which are large nodes –, the respawn timer which we stated was 10 to 25 minutes, and a full server of 2500 people online at the same time looking for the same exact resources.
This is a huge issue for New World since the whole system was designed to incentivise Open World PVP ever since the alpha days when the game was a Survival Full Loot PVP game – we’ll be repeating this sentence a lot throughout the video – and the current system is an artifact of those days. But if we look at other MMOs, this problem has long since been fixed.
In Runescape the respawn timer changes depending on the amount of people online at the same time and in the same world.
In Elder Scrolls Online gathering nodes follow a similar design pattern. The respawn timer doesn’t just change like in runescape but a new node appears every time a player in the proximity picks and gathers a similar resource.
Now let's put New World in the headspace of a single-server MMO like the games mentioned above. A similar system in New World would fix a lot of current problems, incentivise PVP and allow for higher population servers all in one.
Do you want to level up your gathering and refining professions? Are you looking to farm to craft your dailies? Do you want to sell some resources? Or are you just looking to chill out for a bit while watching something on your second monitor? While the actual yield you get from each node needs to be balanced, every player needs to have the option of just going and farming resources whenever they feel like it.
Open World PVP
PVP conflict right now is severely limited to capturing forts and doing faction missions to gain influence over a territory. These are some of the ways AGS implemented to try and incentivise open world PVP while at the same time being a prerequisite for declaring wars. While both of those systems are considered a chore by the vast majority of players and have been actively disliked and labeled as boring by PVPers, introducing megaservers would be their breaking point and would render them obsolete. Channel hopping the game would make it impossible to PVP in the open world since everyone who is feeling threatened would simply channel-hop until the threat would give up.
But there’s a few things that the game currently has or are being added that can absolutely change the limitations of the current territory pushing system.
AGS opted out of the always-on PVP flag it had during the alpha version of the game and instead moved into a player choice. Whenever a player wants to PVP, they can simply toggle it on and venture out in the open world to try and find someone like-minded to fight.
The flagging system would feel right at home in a megaserver divided into channels. Currently very few players toggle their PVP on and if you’re looking for an actual fight – while farming, questing, or simply exploring – you’ll find yourself out of luck very quickly.
BUT, if channels were to become a thing, switching PVP on and off would completely change the way you’re playing outside of instances. It would be easy to implement a system where players who opt in on PVP are automatically moved and locked in a separate channel with all other players currently trying to do the same thing. It would make it possible for New World players to actually inhabit the same space as other people with PVP on, and it would mean that every other player you see on your way is potentially an ally or an enemy… and nothing in between.
Territory Conflict & Leaderboards
Another problem the game would run into would be pushing territory influence to declare war and territory ownership.
The way it currently works is that a company and/or a faction who wants to declare war on a territory needs to run faction PVP missions back and forth until the influence is up to 100%, at which point every company who pushed at least 10% gets to declare. In the context of megaservers this opens a whole can o’ worms, so let's dive straight into it.
As we said, currently if a company wants to declare war they need to be responsible for at least 10% of the total push in that territory at the moment it reaches 100%. It’s easy to get that 10% when you and your 40-99 friends in the same company are pushing it with little to no competition. It gets even easier when the opposing faction’s numbers are also limited to your own or less. But what happens when there’s hundreds if not thousands of people trying to push the same territories? At the moment of writing the script for this video there are 55 thousand players in EU servers. Pushing a territory with such a high number of players would be a catastrophe. Your company would never be able to declare and EVEN IF AGS lowered the criteria for being able to do so, the RNG between all the pushing companies would leave people bitter with each other and the game. It would turn wars from being a limited content for a very low percentage of players into content impossible to get into.
Thankfully AGS is adding a few things that might provide a great opportunity to make influence more entertaining – though at this point, anything would be more entertaining than the running simulator we have right now – and on top of all, a lot more balanced.
Right now on the PTR, AGS has rolled out Leaderboards, and in a while ago they introduced instanced wars where players fighting for a war no longer are teleported in the open world fort but in a completely separate server. These two combined would make an amazing difference in the game when regarding territory control.
So let's think about this:
- With Brimstone Sands there are now a total of 12 controllable towns.
- With instanced wars, companies would be able to sign up for – what we’re gonna call – a ranked war against a random company of the other factions which also signed up.
- The winning company gets allotted a certain amount of points for each win, flag captured, and time remaining in that war.
- At the end of a 3 day period, the company with the most points in that territory would take control of it if they are not in the current owning faction.
This would fix a long list of issues and content gating that the game suffers from right now, like:
- A single company owns multiple – if not all – the territories.
- If a company wants to attack or defend a territory they would need the most wins they can possibly get in a specific town. This leaves little time to steamroll on other towns.
- Mercenary wars would not be very viable simply because of the amount of ranked wars needed to be fought to gather points, which means paying for then would bleed the company’s gold reserves.
- Content gating wouldn’t be an issue any longer.
- Any company with a 50 member roster would be able to participate and engage in a war. Winning or losing wouldn’t matter much as long as they get the experience for future wars.
- Territory influence pushes require a long time or a lot of active members, which most casual companies do not have.
- In the case of megaservers – where hundreds of companies are active – everyone would get a chance to fight wars and make an impact, while making territory control not be a complete chaos fest.
While all the above might sound fine and dandy, there’s one last change that would NEED to happen for all of this to work. Town Profits.
Companies owning a town are getting a certain percentage of the total shared pool of tax profit, depending on the town’s importance. This may be fine in the current server architecture, but once the server population cap is quote-on-quote “removed”, those profits would need to be changed.
Lately AGS has been removing everything that made being in a faction meaningful because – let's be honest here – they were a huge burden on the quality of life aspect of the game.
What would need to happen – unless factions are entirely removed, which doesn’t seem to be the case – is that if a company owns a territory, it would get a chunk of that profit directly while the rest of it is shared with the other players of their faction on a daily basis. Players would need to check in on the town hall to collect these tax returns, else every player who has ever quit would be basically deleting a huge chunk of that coin from the server.
New World Megaservers are an impossible dream for a lot of players, and it will remain so unless AGS decides to get on with the times and modernize their game systems and server architecture. The main problem with the switch is artifacts which yet remain in the game despite its radical shift in genres from alpha and even from its launch day.
New World Megaservers are an impossible dream, but only right now and only if AGS refuses to evolve the game systems that right now are only there to drag the game down, despite the beauty and potential that it has.
If you liked this video please like, comment and subscribe. My previous video blew up out of nowhere and that made me extremely happy. It’s an amazing feeling to have people like your content, and it’s exactly the drive I needed to keep doing more videos. Please make sure to visit new-world.guide – or nw.guide for short. It’s an amazing website and it’s rapidly become my go-to website for almost everything New World related. You will always find my videos in text form there. Until the next video, and thank you all again.