I’m starting a GW2 meme today #hashtag

21 / (1.1m / 2) = 26,190.

21 is the number of US servers for GW2 as of today.

1.1m is the rumored/reported/whatever number of pre-orders for GW2 right now (or something).

2 because EU will have its own servers.

26,190 people per server, assuming everyone splits evenly (0.0 chance of course).

26,190 people all trying to log into one server is going to go… poorly. Anet is not CCP and GW2 has ground which is like, totally different from space, yo. And yes, on day one everyone is going to attempt to hit the server. (If not way more considering that 1.1m number is far from final)

More servers is the easy answer, except that in addition to likely having to close said servers later, Anet has made it pretty clear that transferring is tricky due to how permanent a server choice is, and how it might impact WvW standing.

What would Jesus do?

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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35 Responses to I’m starting a GW2 meme today #hashtag

  1. Anonymous says:

    Well, not sure what they’re planning on launch day, but during the betas there were temporary overflow servers you got dumped on if the main server was full, it was basically a queue that let you play at the same time.

  2. Kobeathris says:

    I would expect them to use as many servers as they expect to need long term, and just add a bunch of overflow servers to start out. They have been doing stress tests like every other day it feels like. I haven’t gone on one because the times are weird and I have like a 6 gig update to take, but I suspect they using them to get good server load numbers.

  3. Ravious says:

    A bunch of stress tests.

  4. saucelah says:

    I won’t be logging in during week one. I’m in no rush to speed through GW2, don’t feel like I need to keep up with anyone, so am willing to let it sit for a bit. I’ve been part of a number of launches, and most of them were more frustrating than anything else.

    My only major concern is that there is a guild I’ve on more than one occasion been asked to start for a particular community, and there are others that might start it first that would make the guild something I’m not all that interested in being part of. But that’s something I’m willing to risk.

  5. bhagpuss says:

    I’d have thought the Overflow server thing will cover this. So long as they have capacity to allow a very large number of simultaneous log-ins to the servers that handle character creation, form then on they can have as many overflow servers as they need running invisibly (i.e. unnamed and unannounced).

    True, some people will complain because they can’t start from second one with their friend/partner/dog but the vast majority will be happy just to be in and playing. I know I will.

    The big advantage is that it avoids the embarrassing “open 50 new servers then close 45 of them a few weeks later” that always makes it look like a game’s in trouble when it probably isn’t. Viz Rift.

  6. Not sure about that transfer thing. They were enabled during the BWEs.

  7. SynCaine says:

    Overflow servers are great for short bursts of solo PvE. Short bursts of solo PvE is not what will keep everyone happy for however long it takes the servers to calm down, especially if said timeframe starts kicking you down the WvW rankings.

    • carson63000 says:

      Yeah I’d be more concerned about the ratio of “number of people who want to jump into WvWvW” to “number of people that can fit into seven WvWvW environments”. Given that you can, if you wish, head straight in at level 1, I expect the overcrowding to be truly legendary.

    • Kobeathris says:

      That’s true, but honestly, it’s a much better alternative to a login queue. And honestly, I bet there are a lot of people out there who will be just fine with running around doing PVE stuff. The trick will be how quickly they can get the ones who want into WvWvW there.

      • SynCaine says:

        But lets assume GW2 is more WoW than any themepark after WoW, and people don’t leave after one day/week/month, and you have server/queue issues 6+ months after release ala WoW; overflow at that point is WORSE than a login queue for WvW…

        • João Carlos says:

          They are dealing with that 1.1 million pre-purchases razoable well in stress tests. Maybe you need consider that Anet is like CCP.

          Anyway, there is NO QUEUES with the Overflow system. And the automatic downlevel makes possible that at 6 months the population will evenlly distributed by all zones and not everyone max level concentrated at level 80 zone, Orr,

          My advice: if you have a pre-purchase, try the next beta test for see how the game is playing. From my side, each beta test is runing smoother (one beta test had a lag problem, but that was fixed).
          however, the performance is being variable for diferent players (and PCs), some players say they are geting better FPS, other players say they are geting worse FPS (however, the lag problem aparently ended, no one is reporting it now). There is too an issue with Nvidia drivers, some players advice to use a beta driver, that gives a better FPS.

        • Kobeathris says:

          If that’s the case, it would be easier for them convert overflow servers into actual live servers, then it would be for them to merge servers. Either way, the hardware is already there, but starting with fewer home servers and expanding is less taxing on the player base, and looks better publicly than doing it the other way around.

        • João Carlos says:


          I think it is exactly what they are doing. They have the hardware for make a lot more servers, but are using the Overflow system for start with less servers, so they don’t will need merger servers later on.

          aparently, the problem with this system is that WvWvW is having queues (from what I read at forums), because it don’t have Overflow system.

          Anyway, they are doing frequent stress tests, one each 2-3 days. Aparently, they are twikind the performance for diferent configuration PCs, trying find the best average build. Some bugs are appearing each time they change something, however, but that bugs disappear next build. They are too balancing the professions each stress test, with some habiliteis changes (as damage cuased).

          Last stress test I had no problem loging at game the first hour, while the other stress tests I had to try 2-3 times before finally log into. Some people reported a bug at character creation, but aparently that was solved by a fast patch while beta happened. However, players in general were reporting long time waiting for move to diferent zones.

          There is a issue with gc drivers, aparently the beta ones are giving better FPS. 305 nvidia beta drivers are working better than the current 301 drivers. Not sure if Nvidia and AMD will launch new drivers before launch. A dev talked to some players in game last beta and said they continue to optimize the game and taht they are talking to Nvidia and AMD.

          As the stress tests are for the pre-purchase players, and how I think a majority of that pre-purchasers are trying the stress test (maybe 60%-80% pre-purchasers), my guess is that 25th we will see few problems. Problably some minor bugs and maybe a minor fast patch, but if the servers are not crashing at stress test (with the 1.1 million pre-purchases), they will not crash at launch.

          I don’t know how the servers will behave at 27th, when the pre-orders will enter the game. Only Anet know how many pre-orders they have. But population will be more spread at 27th, the 25th players will problably have moved to diferent zones.

          No one know how the game will behave at launch day, 28th. No one know how many copies will be sold at 28th and no one knows how many people will stay at WoW for the patch (6 giga) and event pre-panda.

          IMHO, it is possible will see a very smooth launch, at least at 25th and 27th.

  8. João Carlos says:

    Syncaine, some points:

    1. the 1.1 million is the number of PRE-PURCHASES; only Anet know how may pre-orders they have; no one knows how may copies will be sold at launch day; please, don’t confound pre-purchases with pre-orders;
    2. google that 1.1 million pre-purchase number and you will know how it was estimated;
    3- pre-purchase have a 3 days headstart (25th); pre-order have ONE day headstart (27th); launch day is 28th;
    4- pre-purchase participate from the stress tests are happening know after teh BW3;
    5- so, that 1.1 million are just now doing that stress tests before 25th;

    One stress test had a huge lag problem, but aparently it was caused by a problem at a database. The stress test today (15th) was just smooth (at least for me), but I have no idea how WvWvW is working. At the end of stress test today they asked for everyone go to Queensdale, they wanted overpopulate that zone.

    IMHO, they are solving the overpopulation problem using overflow servers. I have no idea what they are doing at WvWvW zones.

    So, your answer is just what Ravious said: “A bunch of stress tests”.

  9. Ano says:

    Additionally as servers hit a hard limit they are locked off for new account creation. The cross server technology is such that it doesn’t really matter too much what server you are on.

  10. rulez says:

    You just made all my former math teachers turn in their graves. Besides, there are 21 US and 24 EU servers.

    • Xyloxan says:

      I used to teach math. Which part of his math is turning your teachers in their graves?

      • Kobeathris says:

        His order of operations is completely wrong. His result is correct (save the wrong number of EU servers), but he apparently got there by magic.

  11. preben says:

    It’s easy to handle a lot of people playing at once, and any company could do it if they wanted to. The reason almost no companies (CCP included) wants to handle the stress of the first week-month better than reasonably well is because it costs a lot of money.

    The price of the technology required is exponential and once the stress dies (not because people quit but because they start playing other games… start looking for new girlfriends…. feed their children… whatever else people do once the intial gamecraze dies down) the money is wasted.

    So it’s an investment call and a few lost customers + a month of queues and lag is usually a trillion times cheaper than the alternative. Especially in a game like guild wars where people have already paid up front.

    • SynCaine says:

      I was going to say, the way Aventurine did the Darkfall release was actually the ‘right’ way to do it (limit sales until people spread out), but Anet really can’t do that since box sales are it; so a future ‘sub’ hit is a nonfactor here.

  12. theJexster says:

    The real question is, what if, what if they pull it off?

    • SynCaine says:

      GW2 clones for a decade! (Or Titan becomes GW2.5 and we all go play that until they add Space Goats)

      • João Carlos says:


        aparently MMO market is working that way, there is a game everyone try clone.

        Anyway, we need a change of model. SWTOR, TSW and a lot of new MMO are suffering because they are WoW-clones. IMHO, that is a dead end.

        A new paradigm will be good to the market. Mostly because WoW is starting to die (I doubt MoP wil stop the subscription hemorraging) and if a new paradigm do’nt appear, teh MMO genre will die.

  13. kalex716 says:

    I’m still amazed they’re even going with an antiquated structure.

    It’s entirely possible now adays to store character data on a central database/server and migrate the data over dynamically to servers in a load balanced way.

    Its not 1999 anymore.

  14. João Carlos says:


    I think it is exactly what Anet is doing, storing the data on central dataservers.

    The toon names are global, the guilds are global and there is a “guest” system where you can visit friends at otehr server (but cannot go to PvP).

    They structured diferent servers just for make the server X server PvP.

  15. Bernard says:

    My suggestion:

    1) Tell everyone to be patient

    2) Panic and open lots of new servers

    3) Be surprised after numbers decline at the 3 month mark

    4) ???

  16. spinks says:

    I guess the thing that puzzles me is that it didn’t seem THAT busy during the last BWE. Sure, it was busy, but not to the level of 1.1m pre-purchases plus whoever got free keys from online promotions.

    I get that many people would skip the betas, but 1.1m is enough that even a sizeable proportion wanting to spend time in the game would have been a massive load.

    • João Carlos says:

      That number of 1.1 million players is not imaginary. There is a trick that some players used for discover it. Google it. Someone ar GW2Guru forum or Reddit or other GW2 forum you will find how they found it.

      I think that maybe 80% from pre-purchases were at BW3, a lot of people want save the surprises for the launch (and are saying it, one or two bloggers just wrote it). With more 200 k free keys, I guess we saw around 1 million at BW3. Remember too that not everyone entered at the first hour and some players had a lot of problems for log into the first hours of BW3.

      They were having Overflow servers at all starting areas the first hours, but we never know how many overflow areas are active. The fact that they launched asura and sylvari too make problable at least half of pre-purchases invaded that starting zones. SSo, while human, charr and norn areas were problably relativelly empty, my experience at BW3 was that both asura and sylvari zones were full, with each DE being hammered to death by 30-40 players…. the Force of Zerg was strong at that BW3.

      Now at beta tests only the pre-purchasers can enter. As the sytarting time for the beta test changes and people have RL and how it is only 4 hours (one was only 1 hour), my guess is that only 60% is trying the stress tests. That makes around 600 k players, but I think there are players doing the pre-purchase now only for enter the stress tests and have the 3 days headstart. So, can be a higher number.

      The first two stress test had a strange lag happening, something not present at any BW. It was a lot strange because only bNorth America was having that problem and some players said that GW1 too was having the same lag at same time the GW2 stress test was happening.Then Anet come to a forum and explained they detected a problem at a database that was causing that lag. Then we had a one hour stress test the next day and it had no lag.

      That problem with a database for both GW1 and GW2 show they are using the thecnology that kalex716 explained. But too make me guess they are adding all databases they can get for deal with the flood of players.

      Last stress test was smooth for me, but some people reported a bug at character creation. Everyone was having long time loading when changing zones. But they have time for more stress tests until 25th, aparently they are trying be sure they will have a smooth launch.

      spinks, from what I am seeing at stress tests, I doubt we will have problems with launch at 25th (each beta test is a training for 25th) and 27th (players from 25th will spread to other zones) and it is problable we will not see any issues at 28th, because that day Blizzard is helping GW2….

  17. Imakulata says:

    I think using the word shard or world is better as each of them runs on multiple physical servers. (Actually, small games can get with 1 server per shard but this is not the case here.) There’s nothing anyone can do about the need for servers, maybe the can rent processing power for some time until the number of players decreases?

    The overflow shard seem to be an interesting answer. If they had no problems with WvW participation, they could design the number of normal shards for number of players after 3 month (or another appropriate) time and just make a lot of overflow shards for the launch.

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