MMORPGs and Choosing Servers
The concept of choosing a server has really evolved over the years. Way back when MMORPGs first became a thing -- that is to say, people starting playing role-playing games in a large multiplayer setting (before they were called "MMORPGs") -- we didn't have multiple servers. There was one server because there wasn't enough people to justify more.
Then the genre grew and we had games come with with *gasp* 5-10 servers. After the population explosion of WoW, servers became almost ridiculous. There became so many servers it became literally hard to count them all.
Population explosion and opening so many servers has its obvious drawbacks. When populations dip, as they inevitably do, you have some servers become ghost towns and others become overpopulated. You also have a fractured community, and you may have friends on a different server. There are fixes, many of which games like WoW have done. There are alternatives, many of which other games have done.
With all that said, let's look at this question posed by Pantheon's MMO Twitter.
What do you look for when choosing a server to call home, potentially for many years to come, is there a process you follow or specific things you look for before deciding?
I know how I want to answer this question. I want to say that I don't have to worry about any of that because there's only one "server" and I can play with anyone I want. There aren't different ruleset servers such as PvP or RP. There aren't different geographic restrictions like EU or NA. We're all in one world together.
I don't want to worry about making a bad server choice. I don't want there to even be such a thing.
If we pretend that's impossible, and I absolutely had to make a choice, I'd go with a "normal" rule set where my friends will play. I used to pick the "RP" server, but there hasn't been a server-wide RP element for decades (plural). I'll always avoid the server where the zerg communities are going, because they tend to break games and communities.
I just want a normal experience where everyone can play together and there aren't massive queues or people getting stuck on a server they regret.