Echo of Soul - Is the Merge of NA and EU Servers Necessary?
ByDate: Oct 11 2016 Views:
Finding groups on the NA servers for Echo of Soul has been a problem for some time, leading to much discussion about server merges between EU and NA servers. Being that the issue is largely due to population issues, this may seem like the right move, but as of yet, it doesn’t look like this is happening. But is it even going to be needed, or are the developers on the right track now?
Both the August and September producer letters have helped shed some light on Aeria Games’ view of the server merge situation between the two, largely revolving around two separate arguments.
The first is that server merges take time and are highly technical to complete. Not only is it merging the data together, but it also includes a lot of things like character name clashes, guilds, and many other aspects. It’s a fairly large undertaking, and most games try to avoid it if at all possible due to the complications that can arise. While it is a somewhat common thing for MMOs to go through in specific areas (like just NA), it is not as common for separate groups to be merged.
The second is that NA and EU players are on at separate times usually. It’s stated that this would result in the same issue there already is – EU players would be on while NA players are asleep and vice versa, so the active population would not increase much, if at all. While we could argue that it would make a slight difference, the main point behind this is that it wouldn’t matter enough to warrant the extra risk and time that comes with doing server merges.
Handling Population the Right Way
So what, then, is the plan if not to just merge the servers together? Something that isn’t seen that often: working to increase the game’s population in both areas. Rather than sticking with the current community, the goal is to boost it and help it thrive, bringing in new players and bringing back old ones. It’s not uncommon for players to leave the game, but usually there are going to be reasons for it, whether it be lack of new content, a focus that differs from what they are looking for in a game, or something else. And Aeria Games is planning to work and help fill that void, bringing about changes that everyone wants.
Now, this brings about a tricky area. Not everyone wants the same things, and some are just not going to be feasible with the current game (think along the lines of the requested merger). Instead, they are going to have to take a multi-pronged approach: watch what players are saying and requesting, analyze what fits well with the game and is doable, and then implementation. It won’t cover everything that all players want, but they can hopefully at least get on the right track in terms of keeping people invested in the game time- and money-wise.
What to Expect Going Forward
The developers’ plan to work on building up a player base instead of merging them together is monumental when it comes to what can be expected. There is no doubt that this means a lot of new content, and in the last letter from the producer, this was made fairly clear. The last update to the game brought about a new raid, and while there is already an event active, there is another (for Halloween) right around the corner, which is stated as being more extensive than in the past. Instead of just lying dormant with existing features and trying to recycle things to make players feel as if there are changes, they’re working on building a solid product that keeps players enthralled and coming back for more. On top of this, listening to player concerns is going to go a long way towards keeping them loyal to the game, bringing about a much more enjoyable experience for all.
Of course, this is going to be a tough battle. Echo of Soul has been around for a while now, and many new games have come out since its release. It really isn’t a battle just to keep current players anymore (due to the somewhat lower population it is currently facing), but also pulling old players and new ones alike from other games and getting them involved. Luckily, based on the ongoing producer letters, it looks like they have the right plan in mind and have an idea of how to achieve their goals – all that is left is to watch it all be set in motion. Will Echo of Soul be given a whole new life? Only time will tell, but for now, one thing is certain – the developers aren’t rushing into changes that could have adverse effects on the game. It is a great thing to see, and hopefully the updates start coming at a solid rate, giving plenty for players to partake in.