New World Server Merges Are Finally Happening

Amazon will be merging certain New World servers when data shows that "the experience in the world has become suboptimal."

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A little over two months after New World's massive launch, Amazon Game Studios is beginning to merge servers amid dropping player counts.

The game's first server merge, the central EU server Mardi, will merge into the EU server Brittia. That was set to happen December 8, but following widespread Amazon Web Services outages that affected New World, will instead happen December 9. Two more merges, this time for all of the servers that make up the Central EU Vanaheim Terra world set and the South American Nibiru Mu world set, will happen on December 10.

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Those merges are likely to just be the beginning. New World saw more than 900,000 concurrent players shortly after launch, leading to long login queue times. In response, Amazon rapidly created new servers for players to create characters on, promising free server transfers later. Fast forward to now, and the end result of server transfers and a decreasing active playerbase is that many of the game's servers created to ease login woes are now ghost towns with only a few hundred active players. While the game is still popular, as of writing it's the fourth most played game on Steam with a peak concurrent player count of more than 114,000, there are simply more servers than there are players to fill them.

Amazon recently released a FAQ explaining how and why a server might be merged into another, stating that if the studio's data shows the experience on a world has become "suboptimal" that it will begin looking for servers it could be merged into. To determine if a server might be "unhealthy," Amazon states that it looks at population size, overall player engagement, and more.

Once it's determined that a server merge is needed, Amazon starts to look for a host server to merge other servers into. That investigation includes comparing things like the faction balance, language, and gameplay style between the various servers in question before coming to a decision.

Progress is not lost upon a server being merged into another, with gold, items, companies, homes, and more all transferring. The only thing that doesn't transfer is owned territories, which are left in the control of those playing on the host server that will be accepting new players from the merge. That throws a wrinkle in the game's PvP-focused faction war, of which the goal is to own as many territories as possible, but beats the alternative of playing on a nearly empty server with little to no competition.

Amazon recently walked back a controversial change it had proposed for New World's endgame, one that would have made gear acquired from crafting or quests less effective if players failed to participate in certain endgame activities. That will no longer be the case, though some elements of the upcoming system, called Expertise, will still be coming in a future patch. Other endgame changes, alongside new seasonal content, are currently being tested on the game's public test realm.

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