Lemme give you a little background: Juyo was a reasonably populated server. Not totally a ghost town, but not overcrowded with laggy spots. On an average night, there were 50 people on each fleet. You’d be able to easily do your dailies without having to camp spawn points, but you would see people here and there while you went about your business. General chat was a lazy conversation and most people kept it on because it wasn’t overly spammy – this was useful for finding groups for dailies.
Now, the bad part is that flashpoint grouping was pretty much nonexistent and it was a little difficult to find things on the auction house. I mean GTN. Whatever. When they announced server transfers, I figured they’d buff Juyo’s population to about double or triple what it was with refugees of truly DEAD servers. To me, that seemed like a viable community.
When it seemed clear that they were funneling everyone onto a handful of servers, I realized that Bioware was going for a different community model than I envisioned. I’m kinda sad. With a huge population you lose the connections you gain in a medium-sized population – where everyone has at least HEARD of everyone else’s guild, many names are recognizable, etc. I feel that to correct the problem of dead zones, they zoomed past the sweet spot of “viable community” and went straight to city-like crowds. They went from small town life straight to a Manhattan or Los Angeles without pausing to consider if a Tucson or a Memphis might be a good balance.
Last night, upon arriving in Canderous Ordo, I had to turn off general chat because it was going by too fast and just spamming up things. I lost a connection to the community of which I’m a part because it was too big and unwieldy. I did find a hat recipe that I had been stalking for weeks now on the GTN, which was a bittersweet victory.
Onward and upward, right?