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Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 

General Discussion  » How bad is the "dead mid-level zones" problem?

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139 posts found
  Siug

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/02/12
Posts: 984

1/17/13 12:28:08 AM#61
Originally posted by eyelolled
Originally posted by Piiritus
Originally posted by Kuppa
Sigh.... The story of this thread, just like many others around asking for opinions is very simple. People that like the game see tons of people and people that don't like the game see no one. I suggest you check it out for yourself.

I don't like GW2 but as it happened I played this game tonight after a while. Have no idea what the zone's name was because they all look the same but it was level 55-60+ (had a level 62 story quest there). My point is I saw exactly ONE other player there during an hour or two I played. Was an EU server, Shiverpeak or sth. Maybe there are people in Orr but the rest of the server is bloody dead.

I'm surprised that you play considering the all the times you've posted about how much you hate this game.  I keep wondering if I will stumble across a GW2 thread that you haven't brought up your dislike for it. Seems odd for you to say you were playing.

I have never said I hate this game, I've said that it's a very mediocre MMO and awful RPG. Still, it's on my HD and as it does not cost any money to keep it there. I log in once or twice a month for an hour or two. Not bad for 38 eur I paid.

At least I play the game when I ctiticize it, bought it at release to see if it was worth for GW2 fanatics to bash and troll every other MMO out there. No, it wasn't and isn't.

  Isawa

Novice Member

Joined: 6/20/08
Posts: 1066

1/17/13 2:07:28 AM#62
Originally posted by jpnz

Good to see at least most people that are 'pro-GW2' are admitting that 'yes, mid-level zones are pretty barren but you can do the content solo / small group and it is fun for me'.

Previously, it was 'what mid-level barren zone issue? Go away troll!'.

Guess we made progress in opinions based on the game as a whole rather than a niche small set of servers.

Proof is in what ANet said which is that 'yes the wasteland mid level zones is a problem'.

To their credit ANet recently said 'we have a solution coming in 2013!' so hopefully it won't be an issue for new players later in the year.

It's always going to be an issue. This is an issue in almost every (if not all) lvl based mmorpgs. I just don't care for it myself, because the game has plenty of other areas to work on imo (like wvw and combat bugs/runes not working etc)

Originally posted by Quizzical

I'm still somewhat concerned that this will be a case where people figure out that some small fraction of the content gives the best rewards and only do that content.  That small fraction of the content will have a lot of people, so people who only do the crowded content think there are plenty of players.  But that could easily happen even if most of the game is deserted.

It also sounds like this could be an "it varies by server" issue.  So I guess I should try to pick a crowded server?  I remember seeing a thread where someone took population data on a bunch of SWTOR servers and found that some had more players than others by an order of magnitude or more.

-----

The best solution is probably to make it easy to group with players who happen to be in your area on other servers.  Guild Wars did this very well, and a number of other games have done so, too.  But Guild Wars 2 abandoned that for some inexplicable reason.

Both of your first two paragraphs are occurring. People focus on Orr far more than other map zones. Also Fractals of the Mist is pretty high up there in rewards, of course ascended (best gear atm) is only obtained that way. Edit, on each map there are certain DE paths that give the best content like dragons and Group Event boss fights which pull in lots of characters for a short time in a smaller area of the map.

Just announced today that people will be able to "guest" on other servers, so you can play with friends across lower level zones.

  Dream_Chaser

Novice Member

Joined: 4/14/11
Posts: 1054

1/17/13 2:37:31 AM#63

There's a reason that half of their 2013 plan is to get people back into the world, if they come through on that. Considering how much focus they're giving to that, it would be almost silly to disagree with the notion that many mid-level zones are ghost towns when you can point at ArenaNet's latest press release and say 'uh, guys, even they realise it's a problem.'

To be honest, when guesting comes in, I think it's going to be worthwhile for people to publically coalesce to one or two servers in general, just to try and get some widespread population. Even back when you could transfer between servers daily, I found most mid-level zones were dead, then. That's what I was speaking of in prior posts, and that was about, what, a month after the game's release? Then, everyone was in very specific Orr content. Following that, I've only heard it's gotten worse.

Some of the maps people have shown me where every single waypoint in Orr is contested are kind of funny. That's part of the Guild Wars 2 problem, really. Everyone who's still there just wants to do Fractals; and I do pretty much mean just about everyone. This is what causes this divide, originally it was Orr, and now it's Fractals. So where do you find the most people? In the starting zones and in Fractals. Many players appear to drop off before finishing the starting zones, otherwise we'd see some of that starting zone population pour into the mid-level zones. Unless, of course, it's there but just too thinly spread.

So server merges are necessary, but since ArenaNet won't do it, I think it comes down to the players to try and coalesce around one or two servers. Once guesting is in, I think that's what needs to happen.

  Eir_S

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/07/11
Posts: 4700

GW2 socialist.

1/17/13 4:27:00 AM#64
Originally posted by jpnz

Good to see at least most people that are 'pro-GW2' are admitting that 'yes, mid-level zones are pretty barren but you can do the content solo / small group and it is fun for me'.

I admitted that I've never seen a very populated mid-game in a single MMO I've played in the past 10 years, which is the only reason I'm so utterly confused as to this new "deserted zones" trend with GW2.  They're no deader than anything else I've seen. 

What were the most populated zones in WoW?  Starter zones and heroics.  Aion?  Starter zones and the Abyss.  Rift?  Same thing.  Hell, most of the starter zones seemed dead in Rift when I played for that matter.

As for those other games, try getting anyone to help you take down a world boss mob in WoW pre-Cata.  Virtually impossible since there's no reward.  80's were only in the zones to get nodes before someone else did.  At least when an event is called out in map chat in GW2, people usually respond in some way.

  Gaia_Hunter

Elite Member

Joined: 5/04/12
Posts: 2588

1/17/13 5:12:05 AM#65
Originally posted by jpnz

Good to see at least most people that are 'pro-GW2' are admitting that 'yes, mid-level zones are pretty barren but you can do the content solo / small group and it is fun for me'.

Previously, it was 'what mid-level barren zone issue? Go away troll!'.

Guess we made progress in opinions based on the game as a whole rather than a niche small set of servers.

 

Proof is in what ANet said which is that 'yes the wasteland mid level zones is a problem'.

To their credit ANet recently said 'we have a solution coming in 2013!' so hopefully it won't be an issue for new players later in the year.

They didn't say that, no matter how many times you try to say they did.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What I would like to know is in what MMORPGs people actually level in the open world with other people?

Which games do they often have 5+ people working together to complete the same objective in the open world while leveling?

Which games do people play where they kill a mob with a few other players in the open world while leveling?

In GW2 I've never had a single ocasion of going around an area an see 0 other people, no ocasion of not having someone jumping in a few DEs.

In the time required to finish the daily achievement, I've generally seen dozens of people.


Is there less people in the Open World compared to launch?

Yes.

Is there less people in the open world since Anet improved dungeon rewards and added fractals?

Yes.

Are the areas empty?

No.

Currently playing: GW2
Cooperative (semi cooperative)board games you should check: Pandemic, Sentinels of the Multiverse, Eldritch Horror, Descent 2.0,Level 7 Omega Protocol, Last Night on Earth

  User Deleted
1/17/13 6:14:09 AM#66
Originally posted by Dream_Chaser

There's a reason that half of their 2013 plan is to get people back into the world, if they come through on that. Considering how much focus they're giving to that, it would be almost silly to disagree with the notion that many mid-level zones are ghost towns when you can point at ArenaNet's latest press release and say 'uh, guys, even they realise it's a problem.'

To be honest, when guesting comes in, I think it's going to be worthwhile for people to publically coalesce to one or two servers in general, just to try and get some widespread population. Even back when you could transfer between servers daily, I found most mid-level zones were dead, then. That's what I was speaking of in prior posts, and that was about, what, a month after the game's release? Then, everyone was in very specific Orr content. Following that, I've only heard it's gotten worse.

Some of the maps people have shown me where every single waypoint in Orr is contested are kind of funny. That's part of the Guild Wars 2 problem, really. Everyone who's still there just wants to do Fractals; and I do pretty much mean just about everyone. This is what causes this divide, originally it was Orr, and now it's Fractals. So where do you find the most people? In the starting zones and in Fractals. Many players appear to drop off before finishing the starting zones, otherwise we'd see some of that starting zone population pour into the mid-level zones. Unless, of course, it's there but just too thinly spread.

So server merges are necessary, but since ArenaNet won't do it, I think it comes down to the players to try and coalesce around one or two servers. Once guesting is in, I think that's what needs to happen.

1. They want to get MORE people in those zones. Because most of people complained that they are forced into fractals and/or high level zones due to rewards.

2. merges would be disasterous, most of servers already have LA overflow and WvWvW queues. That you dont see hundreds of people in every posible place in every possible zone wherever you look is less of a problem

  ennymith

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/03/09
Posts: 116

1/17/13 7:06:53 AM#67

While 3 million sounds like alot, it is not much better than SWTOR which only did 2 and was in dire straights and forced to go F2P.  Its no where near the 10s of millions sold by top games like WOW, MOH, and others.

You know its a problem when Anet themselves starts to say things like 'new stuff to bring players back into mid level zones'.

Most games have it to some degree, the rub is will GW2 attract enough new players to balance out those that leave.

We will see, but at the current rate no.

GW2, after 5 years of hype, turns out to be just another Asian end game cash shop grinder. Now that sales have dropped off, F2P can't be far off.

  Gaia_Hunter

Elite Member

Joined: 5/04/12
Posts: 2588

1/17/13 7:19:54 AM#68
Bioware also started to layoff people 4 months after release.

SWTOR is also decided to not charge for the box.

SWTOR is also said to have a 300 million budget.

I can't see gw2 to have a budget larger than 50 millions.

Currently playing: GW2
Cooperative (semi cooperative)board games you should check: Pandemic, Sentinels of the Multiverse, Eldritch Horror, Descent 2.0,Level 7 Omega Protocol, Last Night on Earth

  remyburke

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/03/04
Posts: 3006

I liked MMOs better when gamers didn't play them, and just geeks did.

1/17/13 7:23:09 AM#69
Considering it takes literally 15 minutes per level, not much. ;)

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  Marcus-

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/28/06
Posts: 968

1/17/13 7:36:47 AM#70
Originally posted by ennymith

While 3 million sounds like alot, it is not much better than SWTOR which only did 2 and was in dire straights and forced to go F2P.  Its no where near the 10s of millions sold by top games like WOW, MOH, and others.

You know its a problem when Anet themselves starts to say things like 'new stuff to bring players back into mid level zones'.

Most games have it to some degree, the rub is will GW2 attract enough new players to balance out those that leave.

We will see, but at the current rate no.

And how many of those games that sold 10s of millions were MMOs only available on PC?

 

Yes, its a problem, in every themepark i've ever played that has at least a little emphasis on group content in the open world, as opposed to running mostly solo quests to get to cap. Is it such a problem you can't level through a zone? No. Not eve close. Though, you might actually have to call on some guildies for help to do some of the end DEs if theres no one about.   Egads!

 

Never thought i'd see the day when an MMO sold 3 million, and folks still complained. Lions arch still has overflow, the WvW is typically quite crowded, Spvp is always popping (both of which you can do at mid-level), Orr is crowded, Frostgorge is busy. FotM...

 

Heres a newsflash, in a linear MMO, the mid levels thin out and the end becomes top heavy.

GWs open world seems pretty large to me, so you are spreading folks out even more. A popular complaint in MMOs these days is theres no endgame, then, when most of the folk seem to be there, they complain mid levels are empty. 

Which is it?

Because honestly, in this day and age, especially with linear games, its going to be very rare to get both. Can ANet help the issue? maybe, but i don't think enough that people will stop complaining.

 

  Gaia_Hunter

Elite Member

Joined: 5/04/12
Posts: 2588

1/17/13 8:10:26 AM#71
Originally posted by Marcus-
Originally posted by ennymith

While 3 million sounds like alot, it is not much better than SWTOR which only did 2 and was in dire straights and forced to go F2P.  Its no where near the 10s of millions sold by top games like WOW, MOH, and others.

You know its a problem when Anet themselves starts to say things like 'new stuff to bring players back into mid level zones'.

Most games have it to some degree, the rub is will GW2 attract enough new players to balance out those that leave.

We will see, but at the current rate no.

And how many of those games that sold 10s of millions were MMOs only available on PC?

 

Yes, its a problem, in every themepark i've ever played that has at least a little emphasis on group content in the open world, as opposed to running mostly solo quests to get to cap. Is it such a problem you can't level through a zone? No. Not eve close. Though, you might actually have to call on some guildies for help to do some of the end DEs if theres no one about.   Egads!

 

Never thought i'd see the day when an MMO sold 3 million, and folks still complained. Lions arch still has overflow, the WvW is typically quite crowded, Spvp is always popping (both of which you can do at mid-level), Orr is crowded, Frostgorge is busy. FotM...

 

Heres a newsflash, in a linear MMO, the mid levels thin out and the end becomes top heavy.

GWs open world seems pretty large to me, so you are spreading folks out even more. A popular complaint in MMOs these days is theres no endgame, then, when most of the folk seem to be there, they complain mid levels are empty. 

Which is it?

Because honestly, in this day and age, especially with linear games, its going to be very rare to get both. Can ANet help the issue? maybe, but i don't think enough that people will stop complaining.

 

An intersting thing is that the same people that complain about lack of players are the same that will say in other threads that the game is a zergfest with no strategy.

Apparently there is no one to do DEs but the DE's are still a zerg fest.

 

IMO, DEs are generally more enjoyable with around 5 people, more than that and it becomes too easy.

Currently playing: GW2
Cooperative (semi cooperative)board games you should check: Pandemic, Sentinels of the Multiverse, Eldritch Horror, Descent 2.0,Level 7 Omega Protocol, Last Night on Earth

  Nilenya

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/01/08
Posts: 337

1/17/13 8:19:28 AM#72

I think if OP wants to know wether playing through the game would be an experience filled with other players and lots of socialising, then the answer is NO. Unless you join an active guild, the experience will be that of a latecommer to a game that isnt thriving as much as most of us, who bought the game would have liked. You can certainly solo a lot of the content, but that doesnt mean its much fun to do so. On that note, it is important to realise that to play through the dungeons storyline, you either need a lot of patience or a guild. It is not that often to see people lfg for storyline dungeons at this point, and very few people still need to do them if dungeon running is their thing. So in that sense the population would feel very low as a newcommer.

 

I think it is grossly unfair to tell people who ask this question that the game is fine population wise and doesnt suffer from a slump in the low and mid level department. Remember they still have to pay for the game to play it. So be honest and fair.

 

On that note, the game directors latest missive is that of encouragement. It seems they are aware of the fact that a lot of their active pve content is suffering as is the incentive - reward wise, for seeking out and killing champions, and it sounds as if they are trying to adress that as soon as possible. I would suggest waiting 2-3 months to see what comes of this.

 

Currently the only time I see a lot of people gathering to do things in the pve department is when there is an event (those are pretty great) or for the Dragon bosses which spawn every 3-4 hours I think.

  User Deleted
1/17/13 8:23:47 AM#73
Originally posted by Gaia_Hunter
 
 

An intersting thing is that the same people that complain about lack of players are the same that will say in other threads that the game is a zergfest with no strategy.

Apparently there is no one to do DEs but the DE's are still a zerg fest.

 

IMO, DEs are generally more enjoyable with around 5 people, more than that and it becomes too easy.

They are just looking for something to troll about, there is no winning either way.

GW2 just has way too much open space and very little reason to visit it at the moment, aside from 100% completion.

There are 3 leveling paths until you get to level 70, where it becomes 2. In games like SWTOR there is 1 path per faction and very small zones. So not sure why people are even comparing the two for population density.

That said, its very rare that someone doesnt jump in and help if there is a DE happening. And with bigger group events people advertise in chat and people head over. Someone asked for help killing a champ that was attacking a settlement, next thing you know there were 30 players there beating it up.

If the trolls on this forum even play the game, they are probably so antisocial that they had forgotten how to ask for help. Then they would come on here and complain that the game isnt social enough.

  Doogiehowser

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/12
Posts: 1939

1/17/13 8:31:47 AM#74
Originally posted by Quizzical
Are most of the dynamic events doable solo if you happen to be the only one there?  Do there tend to be a few people there doing whichever events are active, but just not nearly as many as launch?  Or are you faced with having to skip most of the content if you don't go form your own group manually?

I play on EU servers and i have transferred twice in last two weeks to end up in similar situation with empty zones. I am waiting for the cool down to try third time on this so called most heavily populated server but problem is it is always full. 

So for now i am stuck on this server which says "heavy' but still has empty mid level zones and empty ORR even on prime time.

"The problem is that the hardcore folks always want the same thing: 'We want exactly what you gave us before, but it has to be completely different.'
-Jesse Schell

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-Luke McKinney

  Gaia_Hunter

Elite Member

Joined: 5/04/12
Posts: 2588

1/17/13 8:59:01 AM#75
Originally posted by Nilenya

I think if OP wants to know wether playing through the game would be an experience filled with other players and lots of socialising, then the answer is NO. Unless you join an active guild, the experience will be that of a latecommer to a game that isnt thriving as much as most of us, who bought the game would have liked. You can certainly solo a lot of the content, but that doesnt mean its much fun to do so. On that note, it is important to realise that to play through the dungeons storyline, you either need a lot of patience or a guild. It is not that often to see people lfg for storyline dungeons at this point, and very few people still need to do them if dungeon running is their thing. So in that sense the population would feel very low as a newcommer.

 

I think it is grossly unfair to tell people who ask this question that the game is fine population wise and doesnt suffer from a slump in the low and mid level department. Remember they still have to pay for the game to play it. So be honest and fair.

 

On that note, the game directors latest missive is that of encouragement. It seems they are aware of the fact that a lot of their active pve content is suffering as is the incentive - reward wise, for seeking out and killing champions, and it sounds as if they are trying to adress that as soon as possible. I would suggest waiting 2-3 months to see what comes of this.

 

Currently the only time I see a lot of people gathering to do things in the pve department is when there is an event (those are pretty great) or for the Dragon bosses which spawn every 3-4 hours I think.

The low levels are pretty well populated.

The divinity reach - lion's arch - orr axis and grove - lion's arch is pretty well populated.

The areas that don't lead to lion's arch will be less populated.

The reasons are obvious:

1- the story will lead you to lion's arch and orr.

2- the "end game"  is acquiring different gear and that is best accomplished by doing instances.

Currently playing: GW2
Cooperative (semi cooperative)board games you should check: Pandemic, Sentinels of the Multiverse, Eldritch Horror, Descent 2.0,Level 7 Omega Protocol, Last Night on Earth

  Eir_S

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/07/11
Posts: 4700

GW2 socialist.

1/17/13 9:33:42 AM#76
Originally posted by remyburke
Considering it takes literally 15 minutes per level, not much. ;)

So you can level to 80 in a day, not counting the crafting trick?  Yeah right.

  Homitu

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/01/09
Posts: 2039

1/17/13 11:03:50 AM#77

My responses: 

First, a solid 80+% of events can be soloed and, in my personal opinion, become more fun/challenging with fewer players.  One of my lingering gripes with GW2 is how, outside of the increased intensity that naturally comes with a more massive scale, more players tend to make combat less fun and satisfying.  More often than not, the more players that are present, the more chaotic combat becomes and the less important your individual button presses become.  But this is a whole other topic for discussion. 

Second, I still find players in what feels like the most obscure places in zones of every level.  Of course, the trick to that is that those places are not actually obscure at all.  Zones are very carefully constructed to guide players to all the nooks and crannies through map completion progression and the way events alert all nearby players to their presence.  In anther MMO with zones the size of GW2's but without the event system, players who are relatively close to each other (Ie. just on the other side of a mountain) are very likely to pass by without ever seeing each other.  In GW2, events draw these players who are not necessarily currently within sight range of each other to the same spot and get them participating in the same content naturally.  

Of course, another potential counter-argument arises here.  The resulting experience frequently feels more like players are playing along side each other rather than with each other.  

Lastly, I've noticed non-starter zones behave differently than the starter zones from beta through launch.  The spreading out of players and resulting reliance on map chat communication to gather for specific events near linked waypoints has been prevalent in all zones from Gendarran Fields onward since launch week.  This tends to be in drastic contrast to nearly all 1-25 zones.  

This, like everything else, has its pros and cons as well.  It gets players communicating more than they otherwise would, but it also makes the event experience feel less natural.  Players no longer necessarily just stumble upon events as their occuring, but rather teleport from waypoint to waypoint according to where map chat leads them.  

  Bladestrom

Elite Member

Joined: 4/04/11
Posts: 3260

1/17/13 11:42:55 AM#78
Agree mostly ^^ Ive taken a couple month break and now I find far less zerging and much more challenging play in mid zones. You do see people on a regular basis. People tend to be friendly rather than obnoxious (looking at you wow) and based on the fact you are soloing that's an improvement on pretty much every other mmorg. With guildies it's much better, and again it's more likely you will wander the world with guildies than in other mmorgs. Still work to do on rewards though I think.

rpg/mmorg history: Dun Darach>Bloodwych>Bards Tale 1-3>Eye of the beholder > Might and Magic 2,3,5 > FFVII> Baldur's Gate 1, 2 > Planescape Torment >Morrowind > WOW (1000 hrs on main mage)> oblivion > LOTR (480 Hunter) > Rift (230 hours mage) > Guild Wars (1900hrs elementalist) Vanguard. > GW2(900 elementalist), Wildstar

Now playing GW2, AOW 3

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13305

 
OP  1/17/13 1:27:24 PM#79

I wouldn't put much stock in claims of "ArenaNet is going to fix it!"  It was obvious from the day they conceived of dynamic events that player density would be a major problem to tackle, since it is in basically every other MMORPG.  If they've had 5+ years to figure out a fix for it and haven't yet, I wouldn't put much hope that another year will give them time to find a magical fix.

This, incidentally, is why in most MMORPGs, each additional level takes longer as you level up.  The higher the level, the smaller the fraction of characters that will reach it, so the longer each character has to spend at that level to keep an appropriate player density.  There are alternatives such as having fewer zones for higher levels (e.g., 10 zones for 1-10, 5 zones for 10-20, 3 zones for 20-30, 2 zones for 30-40, 2 zones for 40-50, 1 zone for 50-60, etc.) or fewer instances of less sparsely populated zones (e.g., what Champions Online does), but Guild Wars 2 didn't take either of those options.

If they genuinely can give high level characters reasons to go back to mid-level areas and spread out and do all of the different content in mid-level areas without breaking things for mid-level characters, then that would be a good fix.  But how many games manage to do that?  Guild Wars 1 kind of did that, though it helped that nearly everything was level 20--and in hard mode, literally everything was level 20.  Uncharted Waters Online certainly gives plenty of reasons to go back to lower level areas, but there are still a lot of very deserted areas:  go stand at the entrance to Inland Rapa Nui or Machu Picchu for 24 hours and it's unlikely that you'll see anyone else come by in that time.

But how hard it is to find other players in your zone is not the right question to ask in isolation.  Rather, it also depends on how badly you need to find other players.  In A Tale in the Desert, you could log on, play for a few hours, never see any other players, and still play just fine, communicating plenty via guild chat in any of the 20 different guilds that you're in.  If a game makes all content take a substantial group (e.g., early FFXI), then being unable to find other players completely breaks everything.

It sounds like most but not all of the content in GW2 is meant to be soloable, in addition to automatically scaling up.  "Meant to be soloable" is not the same thing as "Is realistically soloable", however--and in many games, neither will imply the other.  That should at least be enough for it to not be completely game-breaking even if the mid-level zones are as deserted as the worst detractors say.

  eyelolled

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/13/10
Posts: 3086

I am more than some of my parts

1/17/13 1:44:40 PM#80
Originally posted by Doogiehowser
Originally posted by Quizzical
Are most of the dynamic events doable solo if you happen to be the only one there?  Do there tend to be a few people there doing whichever events are active, but just not nearly as many as launch?  Or are you faced with having to skip most of the content if you don't go form your own group manually?

I play on EU servers and i have transferred twice in last two weeks to end up in similar situation with empty zones. I am waiting for the cool down to try third time on this so called most heavily populated server but problem is it is always full. 

So for now i am stuck on this server which says "heavy' but still has empty mid level zones and empty ORR even on prime time.

What servers did you try? And what server are you planning on going to?

All of my posts are either intelligent, thought provoking, funny, satirical, sarcastic or intentionally disrespectful. Take your pick.

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