Server Population Caps?

Classic Discussion
I just read through an interview with some classic devs on WoWHead. Here is a quote from that interview regarding server population.

JH: We certainly have the ability of providing a higher realm population than we had back in the day. The good news is, we can dial it, trying to put in everyone that we can before the server CPU is melted.


Another dev mentioned it is more complicated than a simple current online player cap.
Does this mean Mega-Servers are confirmed? That is grim news if so.
Ugh I hope mega servers aren't a thing. Last thing we need is a server w 10k+ people.
11/04/2018 01:06 PMPosted by Ashief
Ugh I hope mega servers aren't a thing. Last thing we need is a server w 10k+ people.


Agreed. I was hoping for no more than 5k cap. The comment about it not being a strict players online cap made me scratch my head a bit.
I have absolutely no problem with 5k. 10k... god just no.
hoping nothing past 5k
I think it might be that he was saying that the good news is that they have the capability of increasing it a truckload. It might be that he wasn't actually saying they were going to have huge server populations. I'm also hoping for 2.5k to 5k.

Private server population levels (8-12k) are way too high and make the game less fun. Sharding isn't the solution. I have first-hand experience with what the huge populations do. We only have Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms, and like Ion was saying, vanilla is about competition over limited resources. Well, if you have a bajillion people on a server, suddenly it is TOO much about competition of limited resources to the point of not even being fun anymore. "Mafias" form to shut people out from farming valuable things. Prices skyrocket on everything because nobody can actually farm anything besides the people controlling the market, usually through cross-faction collusion.

We need 2.5k to 5k server caps for the health and authenticity of the gameplay experience. These are the guiding principles discussed in the Blizzcon presentation. I can assure you that 8-12k+ server populations destroy the authentic gameplay experience.
Anything past 4-5k is asking for trouble. Preferably 2-3.5k like they settled on originally.
11/04/2018 12:59 PMPosted by Igotsoul
I just read through an interview with some classic devs on WoWHead. Here is a quote from that interview regarding server population.

JH: We certainly have the ability of providing a higher realm population than we had back in the day. The good news is, we can dial it, trying to put in everyone that we can before the server CPU is melted.


Another dev mentioned it is more complicated than a simple current online player cap.
Does this mean Mega-Servers are confirmed? That is grim news if so.


The link below is for a video with another angle on that interview. They said that they haven't decided on the population cap but did explicitly mention that they are capable of increasing the cap. What that indicates to me is that they are taking the population cap as an deliberate decision. They are looking at a) whats possible and b) whats best for vanilla. I wouldn't be surprised if they haven't decided yet.

I can see a lot of issues that come with increasing the cap. The world is designed for a certain number of players. The number of mob and gathering spawns may be insufficient with too many concurrent online players. This would force the dev to have to solve an array of issues created by overpopulated servers. There are likely ways to solve the aforementioned issues (e.g. dynamic spawn rates), but there are probably many other problems that they will have to work through if they decide to raise the cap. These types of problems are also not easily identified from short phases of user testing. Gromsblood and dreamfoil utilization doesn't peak until a couple guilds are full tilt into endgame raiding. Silithus bosses also require a large number of lv60 players before they are contested. It would be difficult to fully test the implications of an increased population cap in the limited time they have for beta testing.

From my perspective it seems like it would be less risky to keep the cap the same, especially given the tight deadline they recently publicly announced. I guess we will have to wait and see if/when they announce caps.

Personally, I would prefer similar caps in terms of total characters on the server to maintain a feeling of community, but with a higher cap on max concurrent players so you don't have to wait in queue for an hour to log in!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5rv53EL_fU
It's pretty amazing, the balance that Vanilla was able to strike up. The pop numbers on most servers were just about perfect. There was enough people to make groups and form economies but not too many that it was easy to get lost in the shuffle. I hope Classic can find that balance again.
11/04/2018 01:06 PMPosted by Ashief
Ugh I hope mega servers aren't a thing. Last thing we need is a server w 10k+ people.


Why not? Why can't they have different caps on different servers. They could have a mega server with 10k cap and you can just avoid it.
They were able to do 4k in Vanilla, but chose to keep it 2-3k to create that feeling of a tight community. They also balanced the world design around that cap. So hopefully we’ll never see anything past 3k.

Making great changes like doubling the population cap could make it impossible to get an authentic feeling Vanilla experience outside some of the smaller private servers.
What is with people saying "I don't like this as a concept so I don't want anybody to have it even if I get what I want"
I agree that anything about 5k would be bad for the community. I'd be fine with a lower limit than that though too.
11/06/2018 11:18 AMPosted by Khorteth
What is with people saying "I don't like this as a concept so I don't want anybody to have it even if I get what I want"


Well in this case there would be no reason to have one mega server and other smaller servers. What's the point in that? I also don't see why someone would want a mega server, but please feel free to enlighten me if you have a good reason. It would affect the economy, community, and the world. It just seems like a bad idea to me personally.
11/06/2018 11:20 AMPosted by Iynara
I agree that anything about 5k would be bad for the community. I'd be fine with a lower limit than that though too.


Why would that be bad for the community if they simply had different server types with different caps. They had different/newer servers that could handle more players in actual vanilla.

One server having a higher/lower pop than another will ruin the community? How? That's the way it was during vanilla
As excited as I was for classic, I'm now on the fence about it. If they go with mega servers I won't even bother.
11/06/2018 11:22 AMPosted by Iynara
11/06/2018 11:18 AMPosted by Khorteth
What is with people saying "I don't like this as a concept so I don't want anybody to have it even if I get what I want"


Well in this case there would be no reason to have one mega server and other smaller servers. What's the point in that? I also don't see why someone would want a mega server, but please feel free to enlighten me if you have a good reason. It would affect the economy, community, and the world. It just seems like a bad idea to me personally.


If people want to play on a higher pop server why not let them? There would be more PvP. Yes the economy would be different but you don't have to play on it. Why would you care?
11/06/2018 11:23 AMPosted by Skjaldbjorn
As excited as I was for classic, I'm now on the fence about it. If they go with mega servers I won't even bother.


People are suggesting 2k pop caps. With the amount of people that will be dropping out, it's probably better to raise that a bit. Just the concept of a higher cap on select servers makes you not want to play on any of them?
We could also have Classic servers with pet battles and flying mounts. And others with class rebalancing. After all, people can always choose not to roll on those.
11/06/2018 11:28 AMPosted by Faceroll
We could also have Classic servers with pet battles and flying mounts. And others with class rebalancing. After all, people can always choose not to roll on those.


I'm not suggesting anything close to that. There was already a wide range of population on servers during vanilla.

Youre trying to compare adjusting server pop with flying mounts...

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