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BT takes a unique perspective on gaming, MMOs, and character creation. Through analysis, comparison, and a unique, twisted mindset readers receive the basic rundown.

Author: BlueCadwal

FFXI Populated Server Comparison ~ Valkurm Dunes - UPDATED

Posted by BlueCadwal Friday July 10 2009 at 12:58AM
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Honestly... locking servers is a great concept, but horrible in execution.  Yes, in the short term you'll reduce the number of players in the server, but in the long term you lose the point of allowing people play different jobs that are added down the road.

I'm going back through different jobs now and trying to level them up, but without a steady influx of new players the low level areas are deadzones.  The past 4 days I have spent hours on end trying to find a party, but its a mute point because there aren't any forming.  I found one party, which happened to have a player whom I partied with a year ago while leveling my dragoon.

It was fun and deja vu, but it's not enough to make me want to stay unless Odin reopens.

Since I'm looking to relocate, I decided to make this post for anyone looking to either join FFXI or restart.  I did this check between the hours of 12am and 12:30am EST.  You can add between 20-30% of the overall population to the actual numbers I give.  Also, I only gave numbers for Valkurm Dunes because you can usually judge the party health by how healthy the lowest levels are.

 Fenrir

The first on my journey toward a new home, and 6th on the list over at FFXIAH for most populated.  This was a pleasing experience as there were 96 people between levels 10 and 20, with 16 of them in Valkurm... I suspect these were the 16 that I could see.  To make the experience even more pleasant, two very kind individuals stopped to talk to me.

I'm already somewhat bias toward this server now because two people took time to talk to me about their experiences.  Though one of them said they liked Bahamut more, so... my next stop is Bahamut.

Bahamut

Well, this one is a huge jump in the FFXIAH coming in Rank 3.  

Correction... I will not be checking Bahamut.  It's closed to new players.  Grr... not fun.

Asura

With two servers down, I have 4 to go.  Next up, Asura.  Currently at the top of the list on FFXIAH.  I may shy from this server simply because it is at the top of the list.  That's the same reason I joined Odin in the first place, and now the server is on lockdown.  The last thing I need is for another server to close down keeping me from leveling up another job.

The server had a full 189 people online between level 10 and 20 at midnight (EST).  Although I couldn't see all of them, 18 of them were in Valkurm Dunes.

That's reassuring, but once again... I don't want to have to worry about the server closing.

Titan

With Asura out, I moved on to Titan, which is ranked 4th on FFXIAH.  82 people between level 10 and 20 with at least 18 of them in Valkurm.  Basically equivalent to Fenrir.  Nothing too spectacular really stands out here.  The numbers are even with Fenrir.

Fairy

Last server on the list and rank 5 on FFXIAH.  This server shows 9 in Valkurm 75 total at 12:32 AM (EST), the list has been shortened though, so there may be another 6-10 between levels 16 and 20.

This was where the original conclusion of this post was.  I have updated and revised the servers to include the actual Top 6 rather than the Total Transactions.

UPDATE

I just wanted to revise this post.  After looking at the FFXIAH page a little bit, I realized that the number of active characters does not correspond to the number of transactions.  Since I'm going back and revising the list, I'm adding all the servers in the revised list as well.  This list was revised during EU prime time.  You can assume that there is approximately a 5-10% margin of error to the numbers provided.

Top 6 Servers Based on Active Characters

Server Name Total Transactions Total Characters Active Characters
Bahamut 5.129.035 63.484 15.184
Odin 5.323.657 67.435 15.085
Phoenix 4.703.474 53.148 14.533
Ragnarok 4.653.946 51.969 14.171
Shiva 4.874.606 52.268 14.133
Fenrir 5.751.043 58.504 13.708

As you can see, Asura does not even make the list, which makes my original test horribly flawed since it was based on the total transactions.  I believe that the numbers provided are more or less up-to-date as a year ago Odin was at approximately 53k and Asura was at approximately 48k which is how I decided upon my server when I returned to FFXI last year.

Kujata

Since a lot of MMORPG.com players seem to gravitate toward this server, I figured I'd check it out.  It would seem that this server has a lot of new players, it's comparable to Fenrir in that respect.  During the EU primetime, there are about 72 people between level 10 and 20 with at least 5 Valkurm parties running.  The list was shortened to the levels ranging from 10-15, so there may have been more parties around.  13 of these players had no subjob, and could then be classified as either an alt or a new player... either way there were new characters on this server.

Phoenix

This is one of the servers that was not originally on my testing list since it was not in the "Top 5 (Plus Fenrir)".  I'm expecting this one to have the most new players because on the server select list it is at the top a majority of the time that I've restarted my test characters.  If I were a new player to the game and had no opinion on server selection I would do one of two things... pick my favorite name OR pick the top server, and Phoenix more or less falls into both categories.

My theory was correct, with a whopping 108 people between level 10 and 20.  The list was shortened to 10-13 and 14 of those were new characters with no subjob.

Ragnarok

I'm expected a lot of new players here again just because of the name, but it turns out I was wrong.  There were only 83 players on this server between level 10 and 20.  The cutoff was level 15 and 12 of the players did not possess a subjob.  There were at least 6 Valkurm Dunes parties floating around when I did the search, which seems like a large number; however, I believe that not everyone had a full party because the list did not show 36 blue names.

Shiva

The last server that I'm checking.  With a total of 96 players and cutting off at level 15.  There are 15 new characters on this server and only 2 Valkurm parties going.  This seems a little promising, except many players look like they are off doing their own thing on this server.

Conclusion

Well... I've seen the most populated servers and the ones with the most AH transactions. Which one is the best? Well, for me I'm sticking by Asura or Fenrir... at least until Odin reopens assuming it ever does. It just depends what route I decide to go, and I'm seriously considering Fenrir because of the warm welcome that I received.

Understand that my server choices may not be the best for you; however, these are my findings and if you're looking to join a larger, more populated server, then this list will certainly help you.

Finally... just keep in mind, I did these checks 12am and 12:30am EST OR the EU Primetime. This is the end of US Primetime and JP Primetime starts 2 hours later - and yes, there are a lot of Japanese players during the hours that would usually be called "odd" to an American or European individual.

Based off these numbers you can assume there is approximately a 20%-30% increase during the US/EU Primetime the first servers in the list.  In the servers checked during EU Primetime, you can give about 5-10% bumper room.

This was a lot of work to compile since it takes a lot of time to create a new character due to the introduction scene they have in-game so I don't plan on doing this again.  So, just keep in mind that the information provided may be outdated and servers could open and close.