New World added its group finder after a delay last year, and also started regular evaluations for potential server merges in order to support healthy populations. In the latest Forged in Aeternum episode, Game Director Scot Lane leads a discussion about work the team is doing in order to bring cross-server play, and even what hammering out the details and technology that will lead the feature into reality might allow for in the future.
When it comes to MMOs, developers are no stranger to questions that boil down to "Why is this feature taking so long?" In this discussion, it’s about cross-server technology, and why the wait for this is going to be several more months in development. Senior Server Engineer Anthony Nguyen and Technical Director Dave Sullivan join the discussion, detailing some of the technical intricacies of bringing something like cross-server play to life.
One of the concerns is that if you have players who are based on different servers but playing together on another server, you have to work out how chat will work and how other aspects might work within a mostly sharded system. If you eliminate features like chat or or anything that requires communication, then you might get the feature into the game faster, but it won't be as rich or even playable for some people.
Another concern that is that if you don't tread carefully on implementing features that introduce entryways between servers, as well as planning for various possible events, there might be potential for dupes or for other issues.
Yet, once the feature is possible in Outpost Rush, it will open the door for Arenas and Expeditions, but more beyond this too.
“So a part of what we're doing with cross-world is that, by allowing so many new players to play together from a much larger population from every world, That means that we can take advantage of rich matchmaking and try to actually balance matches," Nguyen says. This opens the door to is potential for an Elo system or better matchmaking in general that can be filtered along more specific lines, such as someone with a specific class preference looking for complementary teammates.
For more, head to New World.