Overflow Servers

April 28, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 38 Comments
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I think people have really bad attitudes. Just in general. Which is funny because most of the time I have a really bad attitude. So really, I’m an expert on bad attitudes. Which is why I think a lot of the forum posters, and blog posts about overflow servers are short-sighted and cranky. Do I think it’s a perfect system? No, but I think it’s better than waiting in a queue and not playing at all, and that should be the main thought on everyone’s mind, but it isn’t.

Just to explain, an overflow server is the Guild Wars 2 solution to crowded servers. When a zone becomes full, a second copy of that zone is produced and those wishing to log in and, instead of being sent to a login screen with a timer, you are sent to the copy and allowed to play.

Unfortunately this is not good enough for those playing on overflow servers. Instead of blog posts or forum threads complaining about being stuck in a queue, we have blog posts and forum threads about being able to play but not where they want. Some people are never happy.

Fine, yes, it can be difficult to sync servers with friends. It usually took me several minutes of waiting to get into the normal zone after being put on an overflow server. Sometimes I would get into the normal server with friends and minutes later they would do a personal story instance and be returned to the overflow server. Frustrating, I get it.

What did people expect with such a huge crush of players in a beta? Nearly 100% of the players thrust into 3 zones.

Not to mention people quickly found ways around the queue problem. People are constantly moving in and out of zones. If one wanted to gain access to the normal Queensdale zone, all you had to do was go to Divinity’s Reach and either queue up and wait to get to the normal zone as the UI clearly offers, or attempt to enter the zone over and over via waypoint or portal effectively jumping the queue. Not fair or fun, but certainly effective for anyone desperate enough.

But no of course not. Let’s not listen to reason or use common sense. Overflow servers are awful and much worse than staring at a login countdown timer. I’d much rather not play than play. Let’s forget how innovative this is and how they’ve fixed a problem in MMOs that has been around for years.

It is beta.



  1. Personally, I like the system. I hate staring at a timing that may or may not be accurate. If you’re trying to play with a bunch of friends, yes, I could see how it might be annoying. However, for beta, I was just trying to get a feel for the game so I was playing solo and as a result, I thought it was terrific that I could actually PLAY THE GAME when I WANTED TO. ArenaNet gets nothing but Kudos from me.

    • People forget how valuable it is to just be able to play when you want. Completely agree.

  2. Reblogged this on Musings From Us.

    • Well thank you, but I think there is a problem with that link.

      • Fixed, for some reason it never posted so I did it manually

  3. I’m still not understanding why people are complaining. Except for the few server crashes/resets, I’ve had very minor lag, even in large battles at max settings. And constant game time thanks to the overflow servers. The times I did party up with people it was a smooth transition and still no major issues. I queue’d ocne with a group and the queue was very short. I think party’s take priority, not certain however. On top of that.. I’m not screaming in general chat “LFM PST” I’m just going out and enjoying this as a single player game, and it’s incredibly smooth.

    • I think I understand the frustration of not being able to play with others, but with a little patience and understanding, maybe asking a few questions in local chat you should be able to find a way to get together.

  4. why doesn’t Anet just introduce a overflow district list so we can play with friends on an overflow server

    • I admit, this would be a good fix. I hope they do it. Certainly it would end a lot of criticism fairly quickly.

  5. ArenaNet is sure to improve on their current design of how Overflow servers work, that’s the point of these beta events in my opinion. But even without any more improvements, there isn’t a single way waiting queues are better than overflow servers. I had problems playing with my friends today but I much prefer solo-ing for a little while than staring at a login screen.

    • Agreed, they’ve got time to fix the problems that are there, and even if not, it’s a problem that won’t last. It’s the crush of people all trying to get in at once that exacerbates this problem.

    • Actually, there is. The login queue is only encountered on login while one can be shunted to overflow server any time they change zones. In my opinion, this feature is clearly negative (although I can understand people having a neutral opinion of it) and while the upsides of the overflow implementation outweigh it (in my opinion), I think the feature can be changed to only place people to overflow on logon without changing anything else. And I would like that to happen.

      • I can’t in any way say that waiting in queue is better than being in the game, despite your claim.

  6. That’s kind of the attitude I’m seeing on most of the features of GW2. It’s like, they’re doing x or y better than other games, but the second we get that new feature we’re mad that it doesn’t do something ELSE.

    [My god, I’m playing in this beta and I’m in THREE GUILDS, across two servers! I can chat with them IN-GAME at any time! And yet people are upset that they can’t also WvW on each of those servers at any time for free. wtf. okay, I’ll stop now.]

    • You are preaching to the choir. I’ve never seen such spoiled nonsense. How do people not understand that these new innovative features are plainly and clearly better?

  7. I think the overflow servers are a great idea and work quite well. The only nitpick I have with them is when a group goes through a gate and we lose someone to the overflow. That shouldn’t happen. It would also be a nice idea if there was something onscreen (in a corner or such) showing when you are on the overflow server. Or maybe there is something indicating it that I’m just missing? I got back online once and was apparently on the overflow but didn’t notice it; was having fun randomly joining ad hoc groups and exploring areas when up pops a notice about going to the actual server, which I thought I was already on, so I just ignored it and kept on with the groups I was with. I’m sure they’ll continue to tweak and improve it before release.

    • Hmmm well, every time I was put on an overflow server I was greeted with a fairly plain dialogue box that said that was where I was. So maybe something isn’t working properly if you didn’t get one. I do admit that sometimes when you were supposed to be eventually put on the normal server, you just weren’t. Don’t know what to say about that.

      • A few times I ended up going from the server to an overflow without any popup, as a bit later I’d get the dialog asking if I wanted to go to the actual server, and I didn’t know I’d left! But my client was getting a bit confused after 7 or 8 hours straight and I had to restart it finally as quests weren’t working and such. Got to send in some bug reports and everything did seem to work properly after the restart. And as you say, this won’t even be much of an issue later on.

  8. No offense, but why is it that we should, in a beta, have to just accept things as they are?

    Why precisely do we need to say “thanks” instead of saying “you know how this could be better” . . .

    The entire point of a beta is to provide feedback.

    So my personal feedback for overflow is this:

    If you are in a group it should not split you unless you want it to.

    • I’m not saying don’t provide feedback, but have you seen the bad attitudes with which people have responded to overflow? Like they don’t want it at all? Like overflow is a bad thing in general? I think it’s a good thing in general that needs some slight tweaking, and that overall it probably doesn’t matter in the long run because aside from beta or the first few days of release, we won’t see overflow much.

      • Once your on the main server it shouldn’t be moving you out, zone by zone isn’t nice. I’d like to see that fixed. At worst I’d like to be able to move to a overflow server as a group. The main issue is getting together with your friends, and staying together.

        I don’t know any of the tricks, and I suspect they’ll have to fix all those tricks so it’s fair.

        I do love the overflow stuff, but I’d also like to see it better. My experience with overflow was very different from yours Hunter. I’d say I spend 90% of my time played on overflow unable to find my guild that was very frustrating. I still enjoyed my time and 100% better than waiting 50% of my gaming time in a queue like the old wow days. I suspect your right, once the first couple of days are gone this isn’t going to be a real issue.

        Also when you port, why is it doing a load screen? Sometimes I understand its totally different areas, but I die and res at the local port; I get a load screen. I’d like that a little better too.

        I’d also like a dodge button, don’t want to double tap. The lag wasn’t too bad after the restart yesterday, before then it was disabling – 2000ms. I am glad its still beta. It’s still looking totally awesome though don’t get me wrong.

        When I am by myself, its easy to find stuff todo that I like. For some reason when there’s nothing immediate to do when I am in a group I feel stressed out. I guess it’s cause I am playing with a few converts and I want them to see how awesome the game is. I don’t know what to do about that.

        • There is a dodge button. I can’t remember what it is offhand but check the controls menu and map it if it isn’t mapped. There is also the dodge onscreen button that you can click beside the endurance bar, above skill 6. As for overflow servers, people are making it out to be so much more confusing and painful than it actually is.

  9. Well, like Gen Honore said, too many people just get “stuck on stupid.”

    • I don’ think it stupidity, I think its being spoiled. Any other game you’d be stuck in a login queue. People don’t want to acknowledge that at all.

      • Well, in GW1 I was never waiting at queue: I joined district X and was able to change to more suitable district to meet up with friends if it was necessary.

        With that in mind, I expected GW2 to provide something on par with that if not better.

        • They’re not the same game, I don’t expect the same mechanics.

  10. […] from : Hunter’s Insight posted April 28, 2012 at 5:33 pm – He really has a […]

  11. I’m of the opinion that overflow servers are one of the most ingenious innovations found in GW2. I had no idea people didn’t like them, I think the concept is fantastic as opposed to a queue or other less desirable possibilities.

    • I agree. Obviously there are small problems but they seem temporary to me. All you have to do is try to get onto the same overflow server, pretty easy, or spam/queue to get onto the normal server, also easy.

  12. Personally, I was a little put off by the overflow system. not just that it’s disruptive to group-play (and I sure hope they fix that so at least grouped people end up on the same one), but overall I don’t understand why you need to gate zones this way. I thought GW2 was supposed to have a cohesive world map? I stand corrected.

    I don’t know why you need to tell people a zone is full. If it’s full, I can see for myself and go somewhere else. just like most games would handle it. the barrier in GW2 won’t even let you enter the zone to find an NPC or travel through it….all you can do is queue. to me it’s a hard break that disrupts my virtual setting and game flow. I am sad this is how it’s going to be. never been a fan of loading screens between zones.

    • Every game has zones, you just don’t see them. The transitions are hidden in other games. I’ll also point out this is a day one problem for extreme overcrowding. I think you might be overreacting.

  13. I’m not playing this weekend, but this makes complete sense to me. Not just the overflow servers as a system, but the need for them this weekend. With only so many starting zones available, the open zones are possibly as crowded as they will be for launch. Hopefully they refine the problems this system creates for group play if they use the same system at launch.

    It seems as if they are actually using stress test weekends to stress test, rather than as marketing opportunities.

    • It’s a good system that I think is workable as is, but with so many people complaining, yeah, maybe a little work wouldn’t be so bad.

  14. I had a tiny bit of experience with overflow servers this weekend, but it really was a moot point since I crashed so often as to make any other problem moot. Still, I can see how these servers can be annoying if you’re trying to connect with friends, but honestly, you still get to play the game. You’re not staring at a never-ending loading screen. You can run around and kill critters. You can check your in-game email, hit up the auction house, do some crafting. You can do lots of stuff while waiting. Sure, it’s inconvenient, but at least you have options for passing the time.

    • Sorry to hear about the crashing. You have options for passing the time, understatement. You could potentially play the whole game. Solo maybe, but I think it’s great.

  15. It’s never a good sign when complainers think you complain too much. I used to consider myself negative but now negative people annoy me so much I try very hard not to be that person even though I’m technically being negative now.

    Anyway, yes…so much better than not playing. I was almost always in overflow. I was also content to play with strangers for the most part.

    I could still talk to my guild. Not sure how that worked but I guess it makes sense or how else could we coordinate guest invites?

    • I don’t doubt that considering the number of people, if there had been a queue, it would have been long. I’d much rather play. I could still message people on other servers, even european ones.

  16. […] Insight vorbesc puțin despre Overflow Servers în Guild Wars […]

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