Are Single-Server MMOs the Future?

Are single-server MMOs the future for the genre? Massively’s Senior Editor Jef Reahard hopes so. In a recent article, Reahard used The Secret World as an example to illustrate the benefits of having a single server.

Reahard describes single-server tech as:

“…the end of region-locked servers and the nonsensical restrictions that keep gamers from playing with their mates in other countries. I’m hard-pressed to think of another AAA title aside from EVE Online that features a truly global population, or at least, a global population that can all actually interact with one another on a single ‘server.’”

The Secret World does have a form of instancing on a server-wide scale, but players can easily travel between instances to play with friends. Called “dimensions,” these instances all use a unified market, meaning Funcom only has one economy to worry about.

But the greatest benefit of having one server? Reahard says:

“…what was missing [from TSW's launch] was a parade of lengthy launch-week queues (and QQs for that matter). I’ve been present for every AAA MMO kickoff since Star Wars Galaxies in 2003, and The Secret World marks the first time I’ve been able to log in when (and where) I wanted to log in on day one.”

What’s your take? Do you prefer multi-server setups, or would you like to see single-server tech in all MMOs going forward?

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6 Comments on Are Single-Server MMOs the Future?

Jack

On July 19, 2012 at 4:51 pm

No because every country that isn’t in America has to deal with larger pings. In Australia your average ping is 300 which is horrible especially in a pvp match

Damien027

On July 19, 2012 at 9:35 pm

It depends, Guild wars 2 is another AAA mmo coming soon and it has servers but it’s more a “feature” than something holding it back since there is WvWvW (3 way server battles), and also only has one economy to worry about since it has a cross server auction house, and will boast fast and easy character transfers come launch.

The way I see it servers are even somewhat better for playing with your friends because you don’t have to be forced to choose a certain faction (secret society for TSW, orders for GW2) and miss out on game play because you want to play one way and your friends another.

Mike

On July 19, 2012 at 10:04 pm

I love the way TSW is doing things, I’m playing with friends all over the world, even if some are Illuminati scum. In Hoc Signo Vinces!

Stuckleberry

On July 20, 2012 at 5:32 am

I really love the game
first I was a bit concerned that it could be bad with all the changes to a “normal” mmo, but now I belive it was the right way for funcom to go
it has sch a great quest system and the storyline is pretty entertaining ;)
I got it for a great deal at mmoga.com and can’t wait for the next patches with new stuff coming ^^

Aedelric

On July 20, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Single servers provide great opportunity to play with people from other countries and due to everyone being on the one server you never run the risk of the server being empty, unfortunately it also has negatives,

Due to it being global players will suffer due to the language barrier, instead of having everyone that speaks their language grouped together, players may find they are forced to `Speak English or GTFO´ by the more illiterate/intolerant community members. Not having separate servers affects various game communities beyond language, those that require a specific play style, PvE, PvP or role-playing. I could not imagine how hard it would be for role-players to do what they like on a server where many do not do it.

Single server is a double edged sword, if the game has a small community then it is perfectly acceptable, if not then multiple servers is the best route. Either way I can not see it becoming more common that it already is.

psycros

On July 26, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Singe server is a fantastic thing so long as game modes aren’t forced upon players. EVE Online has a pitifully small userbase primarily because it has world PvP. Good thing its run by a small group of nutbars who are just happy to be able to play a game they can never lose at, because they write the rules and cheat at will.