Hey everyone! There has been a lot of feedback around recent adjustments to load balancing for zones (aka /pickzone). We appreciate everyone sharing their experiences with it thus far. We have additional updates coming, and wanted to take a moment to explain what’s changing and why. Load Balancing To help with how crowded some zones can get, we have “Load Balancing” tech in many zones on our servers. Once a zone reaches a specific threshold of players, it will spawn another version of itself. The number of players needed to trigger a new load balanced zone is relative to the amount of combatable population in that zone. You will be able to choose which version of the zone you want to enter upon zoning in, or you will be able to use the /pickzone command to choose another version. The goal of this is to let people group up with friends while reducing crowding, so players can try to find NPCs and things to kill. An unintended byproduct of our previous system unfortunately allowed multiple zone versions -- some of which were under-populated. Keeping these additional instanced zones up until a server is restarted can cause performance and memory issues for all servers. These zones behave differently than normal instances (LDoN, Raid, etc.) because they aren’t designed for it. Normal instances have spikes of activity that can easily reclaim memory reserved for that zone. When these full instanced zones are not shutdown, servers require a lot of CPU to constantly update these nearly empty zones of data changes. In addition, these types of zones generally have more internal data than a standard instance and the requirements to keep them running are greater. As a result, it’s important we limit them to ensure performance and additional stability for the game as a whole. Updates When an instanced version of a zone falls below a predetermined minimum number of players, the zone will lock and players will get a 15-minute warning that the instance is closing. If players are in the zone when it closes, they will be sent to the base version of the zone along with player corpses. Testing This change is planned to go to the test server on (or around) Wednesday, March 8, 2017. The March update is scheduled for Wednesday, March 15, 2017. Once you’ve had a chance to test the new system, we’d appreciate any feedback you have in the Test Update Note section of the forums!