Don’t be surprised if you log in to DC Universe Online in the coming weeks and notice that your character’s name needs to be changed. Today, Sony Online Entertainment flipped the switch to merge DCUO’s European servers down to two: one for the PC version, and one for the PlayStation 3 version. Tomorrow, they’ll do the same for the US servers, bringing the total number from 26 regular servers to four “MegaServers,” with players being able to join together with any metahuman in their region that’s playing on the same platform as them.
It’s easy to point at this merger as a bad thing, or a sign that the game isn’t doing well, but that’s not necessarily the case. Server mergers are a regular part of the MMO life cycle, since most developers would rather have too many servers at launch than too few. When an MMO launches with too few servers, players can experience crippling lag, server queues, and problems completing open-world quests due to the overpopulation. When there are too many servers, the developers can just merge them a few months later, causing a minor inconvenience to those already committed to continuing to play instead of giving new players a poor game experience at launch.
Also, look at the bright side: after 10-14 hours of downtime the servers will be much more active, and you’ll certainly find many more players prowling the streets of Gotham and Metropolis, making finding groups for the end-game content considerably easier. And low-level players won’t need to worry about overcrowding, either—the cities will be separated into different “phases” that can be switched between at will, allowing for multiple instances of the same open-world areas on the same server. Think of it like being able to travel between different versions of Earth in the DC Universe, except none of them will have Owlman or Johnny Quick. Unless, of course, you made them yourself…
Aug 9, 2011