Sep 292015

Dear DDOGamer: Choosing a Server

As both of you who regularly frequent this space already know, DDOGamer is ready and willing to answer your game-related or relationship questions. Especially the relationship questions. Like this one, from astute DDOGamer reader Briid:

Hey Geoff, I know it’s not specifically related to your post today, but… do you think you might do a blurb on the different servers you’ve played on? My Gamer Man and I are on Khyber, which feels a trifle like a ghost town now (we had taken a nearly-two-year hiatus), and were wondering about poking around on other servers. Can you tell us/anyone else who wonders what your opinions are? Picking a server is a total crapshoot…

Briid, while it may seem strange and unusual to you now, I can assure that it is normal to go through a period where you both want to “poke around” on other “servers”. There is even a term for it; the “seven-year itch”. Not just a movie but an actual, quantified psychological phenomena. While these yearnings may seem unwanted and even foreign, they are perfectly normal.

The key is to stop worrying about why you and your Gamer Man are experiencing this seemingly rough patch, but instead accept each other as living, breathing, biological creatures who are probably both mammals. You may want to consider therapy (preferably couples therapy but any old therapy will do in a pinch, even physical therapy), a weekly date night (dates are a healthy, low calorie snack), and lots and lots of alcohol.

Bear in mind, alcohol is much cheaper than a psychiatrist, is easily portable – you can take it to work with you – and is now even organic! Put a bottle or two in your purse, briefcase, and glove box and you’ll be a much more spirited couple.

So with that issue resolved, let’s move on to the rest of Briid’s question: what is a good server for returning players?

And this is problematic. In years past I sort of spread myself around but now I play exclusively on Sarlona. I really do not have the chops to give you any decently up-to-date information about any of the other servers.

In terms of pure traffic, I can refer you to the DDOracle, who has figured out how to track logins by server. Here is a report from July of this year:

DDOracle yearly logins report from July, 2015

I can’t find anything more current on the site.

Beyond that, I have to throw your question out to the crowd. So everyone pay attention, this is important: Please reply with a brief statement about your server.

I’ll go first: I play on Sarlona. There are always LFMs up, all day. I usually see at least one other person when I traverse public instances like the Marketplace. It can be tough to fill a group, especially if you are running something out of the ordinary like Tower of Despair. People who join my PUG invites are generally nice; either I luck out and avoid the abusive PUG sort of people or they have sorted themselves out of the game/off the server.

So come on people, pitch in and help Briid and her Gamer Man. Use my example as a template, or don’t, whatever, but please DO RESPOND!

Tell us about your server!

Come on, do it!

🙂 😀 🙂

  13 Responses to “Dear DDOGamer – Choosing a Server”

Comments (13)
  1. I could easily copy and paste your text and replace Sarlona with Orien. However, I’d add that there are probably less people on Orien than Sarlona. I think that, with some exceptions, people in DDO are very nice. Most of us have a point in common, and that is the Dungeons and Dragons background

  2. Orien’s pretty hopping, from what I’ve seen bouncing around servers. Granted, I’m by no means an expert in the field.. as for LFM’s, it rarely drops below two dozen during peak times (and still a dozen or so even at four or five a.m.). Quality of players ranges pretty wildly, though.

    Oh, and if it’s your thing, there are very few members of the “DDO blog community” on Orien that I’m aware of…..

  3. Ghallanda is where most of us refugees from the European servers ended up. DDOracle doesn’t reflect any significant variances between the servers based on your timezone, but I know there are a few of us Europeans on G-land. I’ve never had any problems filling an LFM on Ghallanda, There are definitely times where there aren’t a huge number of unfilled LFM’s showing in the Social panel, but I’ve never used that as a measure of anything. We have a good mixture of uber gamers and casual gamers (e.g. Omnipresence has some good players and Tyrs Paladium has players focussing on a much more casual playstyle). So yeah. “Ghallanda: where the population doom is met with disdain.”.

  4. I play on Cannith and it seems to be a busy server, plenty of players online but LFM’s can be a little on the low depending on the time of day. The server seems to be mostly Americans but there are still a good number from various countries around the world such as Brazil, France, England, Italy etc etc. Really though the server comes “alive” the most once you get past about midnight UK time which is about 7-8PM EST.

    Generally speaking when I throw up LFM’s they fill up fairly quickly, not always but most of the time at least.

  5. I think we need a psych card of needs and wants (Geoff)with lots of little bubbles to fill in for new or returning players. Then you visit a server, join a permadeath guild and on a one or two night a week holiday from your home server absorb the atmosphere of your new and perhaps temporary home. Play your characters up to somewhere around the Vons(first real raid). If you don’t fill in the bubble which rates the value of raids as important then taking characters to level 8 is fine. Now you fill out the score card. Rinse repeat. Permadeath is important in that an early death at level 5, 4 or even 3 may provide you with a needed kick to the next server.
    One of the servers is bound to feel more right than the others.

    Speaking for Thelanis, I can testify that we have dwarves to throw tomatoes at. Orien only has Tholgrin.

    I have tried permadeath and although I can’t handle actually losing a character, I can say that the Sublime Permadeath crew is a great intro to good community. Hey, with some careful book keeping maybe we have a new guest for DDOcast, damsels or Cocktail.

    Good luck 🙂

  6. Its all subjective and it depends. Best is to try all severs and settle on the one that you like. However, if you like to PUG, then Sarlona and G-Land have the most LFMs. The rest are about the same with the exception of Wayfinder. If you want solo challenge, then start a game on Wayfinder. I play on all the servers.

  7. I am on Sarlona. Love it. But then again, my husband, Gamer Child, and my friends are there. I think as long as you find an active server, it is what you make of it. PUG to find like-minded people. And good luck!

  8. I think that the DDO Oracle report you have linked above is from September 2014 (evident by the fact that Sarlona had just become the newbie default server), not July this year. However, I believe the same balance of population exists across all servers except Wayfinder – with Argo currently being the default.

    I play on Argo, and it is pretty quiet in Euro peak hours – but picks up in US prime time. So depends on your time zone I guess. I certainly have no trouble selling half-decent items on the shard exchange, which would indicate a reasonably healthy population.

  9. I play on Khyber too, the number of PUG lfms are definitely down from where they used to be a few years ago. However if you look a the who is on list most of the time it gets quite large. I would take this to mean a lot of guild and static groups are in play most of the time.

  10. I play on Argonnessen and Orien, most recently. A few people have said a few things on Orien, but Argonnessen is really busy. At least 3 LFMs for each level range. I think it may even be recommended for new players…?

  11. Argo, Cannith, and Thelanis. My “first” (and, generally speaking, “solo”) toons are on Argo. Argo was the recommended server when I first joined DDO. Cannith is where I was recruited by Shindurza, in his experiment of forming a “MyDDO Bloggers” guild (which, for the most part, I would consider successful, though things have waned and there are much fewer of us remaining). I know that there are a few DDO bloggers (like Bonnie Bew) who are on Cannith. Thelanis is Evennote’s and LrdSlvrhnd’s main server and since they joined us on Cannith, it was only fair we joined them on Thelanis.

    I do have at least one toon on every server, but I generally only play the (3) mentioned. When I first joined DDO, I was ‘warned’ against Khyber, but maybe things have settled down there, since then.

    Of course, I half-expected (and was tempted, myself) for someone to mention a server and say “Nothing to see here – move along.”

    • Now that is interesting. how long ago, and (if you remember) why, were you warned off Khyber? I’m just curious. We started playing (initially) some… four years ago? After two years, three guilds, and the gradual disappearance of anyone we had thought of as friends, we also vanished. it’s only recently that we re-started. Point being, at the beginning, we couldn’t find anything to tell us a THING about what server to whatever, so we just picked one at random.

      Geoff, how lovely of you to offer such a well-thought-out and open answer forum! I’ve read all the comments with a great deal of interest; my Gamer Man and i will definitely be keeping some of this in mind when next we decide to favor farm a new server… 😀
      Who knows but that we might find a new home?

      • The ‘warning’ was that Khyber was…a different temperament than the other servers; it was regarded as being less friendly/tolerant of new players. It also had the reputation of having the highest AH and trade prices, because it was (is?) the oldest server, so ‘everyone’ there had extremely large amounts of plat.

        I was not ‘warned’ off Khyber on my initial joining in August of 2010 – I think I first saw some postings in the fora (sorry, “forums”) and one of my (eventual) guildies talked about it (but that was after we started our guild on Cannith).

What do you think?

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