Server Population?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I've decided to touch the age-old question - how populated are LOTRO's servers. This topic is frequently debated on third party forums for the use of 1) proving LOTRO is popular or 2) proving LOTRO is unpopular. My objective is rather to talk about the dynamics of a high and low population server.

When logging into the client this morning, there was a message: "We encourage our new players to play on: Windfola or Gladden!"

This means that Windfola and Gladden are most likely the lowest population servers in the US (I'm a US player so I cannot comment on the European servers). It is commonly accepted that Brandywine is the highest population server followed by, in no particular order with Elendilmir (my server by the way), Landroval and Silverlode. We'll of course probably never know for sure as Turbine does not release this number. That's okay. It doesn't really matter.

So why would you, as a new player, want to play on the recommended servers? Well, if you don't know why Turbine recommends servers in their client (to get the populations up in low pop servers) then you might just say "Okay." If your informed, you have a choice - do I listen to them or do I pick a different server based on what I can guess about server populations. What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Well, the high population servers give you a better chance for finding a pick up group for whatever content you're working on. The more players, the higher the possibility of another player doing the same content. Simple math. However, this also means that there are more players "competing" for content as well. If you need to gather 15 boar stomachs (to pick a once dreaded quest in the Lone Lands) and everybody else does too, the boars will be hunted to extinction and it will take forever to gather what you need.

On a low population server, take the reciprocol of the above. Essentially, you're looking at a trade off of good and bad. I've only picked two examples out of many, not to mention simple personal taste, which cannot be quantified.

My own opinion? I like being on Elendilmir where the population is relatively high and I can usually find a pick up group should I so choose (I don't PUG very often though). However, if you don't have a preference or care about any of the issues above, I highly recommend going with Turbine's recommendation. They make the effort to recommend something, it's got to be for a reason. The idea is to help out the existing populations on those servers. And it spreads the population out over levels, which is always a good thing because then content is well utilized.

And then there's the friends issue, which I touched on with the Who's Your Daddy post. Alway always always go with the server your friends are on over all other choices. Playing with friends always makes a game that much better.

2 Responses to "Server Population?"

Air Says:

Hi there, I enjoy your blog a great deal, keep up the good work!

Couple of ideas,
1. Can you have the full post contents appear in your RSS feed? At the moment it's just the first few lines.

2. I'm on Elendilmir too! Maybe you could link to your profile at http://my.lotro.com so people can say hi, in-game : )

- Aaron (Aeored @ Elendilmir)

Jaxom92 Says:

Hey, glad to know you're enjoying the blog.

I can certainly put the full post in the RSS feed. I hadn't realized it was the way it was, being new to this blogging thing. I'll change it as soon as I'm done posting this.

Yes, I should put a link to my my.lotro page. That's another good idea. Thanks for the feedback!