Hello, I am a log time reader of the blog and a very rare commenter in the blog section. I have gone by Pendan on the internet since release day of EQ. I have been playing with Casualties of War since WAR but it does not appear they are going to have a significant showing in GW2 so I am looking around at guild options. For my first post on this board as a way of breaking the ice I thought I would talk about server selection.
One of the influences for me in GW2 is server selection even though it has never been a big concern for me in other games. This is a result of my experience in BWE 2 and BWE 3. In BWE 2 , I and other CoW were on Crystal Desert. The first two days groups CD server dominated completely holding 90% of the 4 maps most of the time. The last days pairing was much more competitive but CD came out on top. For BWE 3 we switched to Sanctum of Rall because CD was reporting full and to see what playing with Gaiscioch would be like as we had fun experience being opposite them on our Rift server. SoR was the opposite being crushed the first two days groupings and being more competitive but losing in the last days.
Completing dominating can be boring but I think most would agree it is preferable to being completely crushed. When WvW map was dominate I was able to do things like all the skill challenges and participating in a lot of PvE stuff on the WvW map like a half hour battle against a boss MOB with 30 other people. I think the question of if a server has action and fights in WvW is the wrong question because in both situation was always fighting going on somewhere. The question is what type of organization existed for the fighting. On the CD server they had different clans with enough organization to do coordinated efforts. One clan would defend a location while another defended another location or went on offense. The smaller clans or unclanned people could decide which to join. On the SoR server Gaiscioch, with its 3000+ members, was basically a no show to BWE 3 and I never saw more than 3 people in the same clan together on the WvW map. The unorganized would spend two hour assaulting a location they had no chance to take while losing all existing locations they previously had. Alternately, they would over defend a minor tower for two hours with twice as many needed people while the most important, easily defended, and large point keep got taken away with a handful of defenders calling out over and over for help.
The balancing of opponents that happens will result in competitive matching like happened for my case on both BWE’s for third day. However being competitive against a fellow unorganized bad server I just don’t see as fun. I would rather lose to a good intelligent fight than win in a stupid pointless fight. The unorganized bad servers had a lot of pointless fights. Hours at the same location in a stalemate with no one smart enough to try something else.
I have been using http://www.gw2guilds.org/
to see where different guilds are planning to go. Something I think should be looked at is how much of a European and South East Asian presence is going to be on your server choice. On the one hand it might be frustrating to do well during peak US hours only to lose everything during all other hours. On the other hand that might be exciting and challenging. I have always liked servers with high population from other world areas. You meet different cultures. The server says it is full and maybe restricts access but in reality it is not overcrowded because a lot of the population plays at a different time. If you do play at odd hours it is not a ghost town. The other thing I am looking at from the guild site is the alliances. They say organization to me and as I have stated that is important to me.