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  1. #1

    Most active servers?

    Which server has the most active players who are more interested in group content rather than solo content?

  2. #2
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    Your question has two parts, really:

    (1) What are the most active servers? That's open to various definitions. If you mean, what servers have the highest population (which is probably the most objective interpretation of the question), the results of the Bounder's Bounty Event are probably the best available measuring stick. Two German servers, Vanyar and Maiar, were first across the finish line there, Vanyar by a significant lead. Third place went to a North American (NA) server, Brandywine, followed by two more German servers (Belegaer and Gwaihir). Two more NA servers, Landroval and Meneldor, were sixth and seventh. To find a French language server, you have to drop to the fifteenth position, Sirannon. And that is probably the best indicator we have of how populated and "active" the servers are in relationship to one another.

    (2) What servers have the most interest in group content? Outside of Turbine's closely held data, we really have little way of knowing that beyond anecdotal reports of people playing each server. Even worse, this answer has probably shifted quite a bit over the past 6-12 months, as raiding kins have tended to dissolve and more casual social/assist kins generally taken over in prominence. The only help I can give you on this front is my own personal anecdotal observations on the three servers I've played recently. Brandywine has tons of groups forming for skraids, Big Battle group events, older raids and instances, and even landscape activities like killing warbands in West Rohan. Near-constant flow of announcements on GLFF. Landroval is much less saturated, but you'll still see LFM announcements pretty frequently. Elendilmir is relatively dead by that metric, though it used to be one of the proudest raiding kin homes of all.

    Bottom line is, my personal recommendation (if you want English language server) is Brandywine. I would guess at Vanyar if you seek German language and Sirannon if you desire French, but those are just blind guesses (I've never played on either).

    Good luck!

  3. #3
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    Adding to what Angadan said, what time zone you're in (or more precisely, what times you play) make a huge difference.

    While Brandywine is by a significant margin the largest and busiest of the US servers, I find it far less busy than Angadan describes (90+% of glff being off-topic nonsense, very very few groups forming), so I'm guessing Angadan plays closer to east coast prime time. If you're in Europe, most likely any US server would be rather poor. Conversely the English-speaking EU servers (Snowbourne, Laurelin, etc.) are probably larger than almost all US servers but not very active at any US playing times.

    Landroval would be the only other US server worth considering - it's only twice* the size of the other US servers (Brandywine is a bit over 3x the other US servers) but has a reputation for a very friendly culture. Not sure why Meneldor did so well in the Bounder's Bounty event, but it's not from size - it's indistinguishable from Arkenstone, Vilya, Firefoot, Crickhollow, and presumably all the other US servers in that respect. It was the recommended server during the Bounder event so maybe that was it. Elendilmir - let's just say that the server culture left a strong negative impression on me and leave it at that. I'm there for a SoA endgame kin so the rest of the server really doesn't matter to me anyway. It did seem slightly less dead than the typical US server from what I saw before permanently /leavechannel glff for what little that's worth.

    To be honest, if you're looking for active grouping these days, good luck. Some still happens on Brandywine, but at this point Brandywine is less busy than Arkenstone was three years ago - there really isn't much going on anymore. I've done one server transfer to Brandywine and expect to do more in the not too distant future, which is why I've put a fair bit of effort into researching this question.

    * = since people seem to get very worked up about "how do you know?" regarding population stats - this is from careful direct personal observations in the months before HD. Same time of day (a few minutes delay per server to log in, of course), count all non-anonymous level 85 characters, and also record population in glff or equivalent. Repeat at different days and times for several weeks. The two methods yielded identical results, as you'd expect since those are the two quantities that matter for someone interested in level cap groups (total number at cap being more important, since if large active kins exist they may well not show up in glff counts).

  4. #4
    Your average LOTRO Server these days.


  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Howell View Post
    Adding to what Angadan said, what time zone you're in (or more precisely, what times you play) make a huge difference.

    While Brandywine is by a significant margin the largest and busiest of the US servers, I find it far less busy than Angadan describes (90+% of glff being off-topic nonsense, very very few groups forming), so I'm guessing Angadan plays closer to east coast prime time. If you're in Europe, most likely any US server would be rather poor. Conversely the English-speaking EU servers (Snowbourne, Laurelin, etc.) are probably larger than almost all US servers but not very active at any US playing times.
    Yes exactly right, Howell, I'm US. Brandywine is really active for groups in the mornings, server time/US East Coast time (because very large Chinese population), and really active in the evenings server time. In server mid-day, when you're probably seeing it (European prime time), it does dip significantly in activity. I failed to mention time zone and population effects, glad you caught it.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angadan View Post
    Yes exactly right, Howell, I'm US. Brandywine is really active for groups in the mornings, server time/US East Coast time (because very large Chinese population), and really active in the evenings server time. In server mid-day, when you're probably seeing it (European prime time), it does dip significantly in activity. I failed to mention time zone and population effects, glad you caught it.
    Umm, I'm in California (see Location field in the upper right there). I'm aware that the main concentrations of players are Europe and the US east coast, so that's why I mentioned both - it's unclear where the OP is from.

    For those of us logging in around 11pm-midnight servertime, even Brandywine is pretty quiet, as I said. Not sure if there ever was an era or a server where west coast players could group regularly, unfortunately... This is my fourth level cap, but I got to do BG for the first (and so far only) time just a few weeks ago, so Brandywine has already done that much for me! Not seeing any of the skraids or other grouping you mention though, and over 90% of my kin's runs happen during the afternoon and early evening when I'm still at work. Same as past endgames (such as they were) on lesser servers.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Howell View Post
    Umm, I'm in California (see Location field in the upper right there). I'm aware that the main concentrations of players are Europe and the US east coast, so that's why I mentioned both - it's unclear where the OP is from.

    For those of us logging in around 11pm-midnight servertime, even Brandywine is pretty quiet, as I said. Not sure if there ever was an era or a server where west coast players could group regularly, unfortunately... This is my fourth level cap, but I got to do BG for the first (and so far only) time just a few weeks ago, so Brandywine has already done that much for me! Not seeing any of the skraids or other grouping you mention though, and over 90% of my kin's runs happen during the afternoon and early evening when I'm still at work. Same as past endgames (such as they were) on lesser servers.
    Ah, I see. Well, if you speak a little Chinese, or are socially adventurous, try /joinchannel china. I'm never logged on when you are, but that would be mid-day for them and I suspect you'll find that crowd very active. I've found them generally friendly and open to people who speak very little Chinese as well (generally; there are a few raid leaders who don't speak much English and prefer groups they can quickly lead just in their native tongue).

  8. #8
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    One thing that Brandywine offers that most other English speaking servers can't is a strong Australian / Chinese contingent which really help fill groups during off-hours. I've seen /china channel have 120-150 members during their prime time hours. I'm sure a significant part of that is English speakers also looking for groups there. You've never cleared LotRO Raid until you clear at least a few of them with Chinese members.

    Anyway, that's what gives Brandywine an edge on English servers in my opinion. Most of my characters are kinless, and I know yesterday I pugged (Pick-up group) about 20 groups, everything from Fornost, Thorog, Battle in the Tower, Moria skraids, SG, LT, etc. We easily filled all 24 slots for the thorog run.

    Most Brandywine pug groups pug a lot and most don't mind helping out new players to an instance/raid as long as the player lets them know when joining the group they are new to it.

    In Social Panel inside the game, you can clear the search filters and specify level ranges (example lvl 51 - 60). The server will return a result of the non-anonymous players within that level range. Brandywine averages between 40-70 players online within those levels at all hours. and searching for 95s always lists 100+.

    I've been on Brandywine 3 years now and while it takes a bit to get used to the culture and occasional rants/politics in public channels, I've always felt that switching servers would hurt my gameplay experience more than it would help it. I even see RP activities in Bree a few times a week.
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    When I logged into Brandywine this morning, I decided to just count, for one hour, how many groups were forming. Between 9:15 am server time and 10:15 am, there were 14 distinct groups formed. Skumfil, Helms Dike (twice), Glittering Caves (twice), Tower of Orthanc full T2C run, Three different level 95 skraids, bunch of others don't remember them all. That's more than one new opportunity every 4-5 minutes. Nine of the 14 were advertised in GLFF; the other five were in /china or in both /glff and /china. Three of the 14 were for below-level-95 runs (at level 20ish Great Barrow run, the Skumfil run already mentioned, and one other I forget which). So, pretty active. If I get the time, will do another hour-count at mid-day and a third in evening, server time. That's the only really valid way to compare servers' activity levels.

  10. #10
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    Mene server, not so much populated, but always seems to have groups running. For just about any content. I visit from time to time. I always catch people in new areas. Have no issues finding groups.

    Elen is my Main, GLFF itself has died. And groups themselfs happen every now and then, but mostly all end game. Most of crowd is all end game. New areas are empty on any visit I've passed thru.
    Finding group, or people mess with in low levels... nonexistent. But, out of all servers I have visited. Elen is insanely friendly, and many people regardless of level will jump in and help out.

    Brandy was in 1st, and Lando was 2nd for NA sides. With Elen trailing behind last time I looked at any of giving info.

    Since chunk of Pvp Crowd left Elen, I assume Elen fell some.
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  11. #11
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    It depends on your taste, really, but I'll give you an impression of the servers I've been on so far.

    Elendilmir - my main server. Mostly US Southerners, also the unofficial Oceanian server, so many Ozzies and Kiwis (woohoo), with one kin especially dedicated to Brazilians/Portuguese speakers. Runs are done, mostly in the weekends, but most of the runs are done only within raiding-kin boundaries and not through glff. One of the most active PvMP servers with several PvMP kins on both freepside and creepside. Glff seems to be "regulated" by several regulars, and is mostly about topics not related to the game. Nearly everyone is at endgame, so most runs will be endgame content.

    Crickhollow - small server, but with runs going on. Mostly Ozzies and Brits. Nice people, although with humour that may be lost to those who don't hail from those parts of the world.

    Laurelin - EU role-playing server. Expect a lot of lore-lovers and role-playing. Very nice community.

    Gwaihir - EU German-speaking server. Nice community, lots of runs. Though the population is relatively low, it is active.

    Sirannon - EU French-speaking server. Nice community, quite active on all levels.

    Riddermark - not a whole lot going on, although PvMP looks good to me.

    Arkenstone - small server, but a nice community.

    Quote Originally Posted by J_Howell View Post
    Elendilmir - let's just say that the server culture left a strong negative impression on me and leave it at that. I'm there for a SoA endgame kin so the rest of the server really doesn't matter to me anyway. It did seem slightly less dead than the typical US server from what I saw before permanently /leavechannel glff for what little that's worth.
    OI! U WOT, M8?

    Nah, got to agree. Glff can be fun, but expect a lot of critics, straightforwardness, name-calling and the likes. Especially the day that the servers crashed and HD had to be postponed the server population seemed to clash between the "Turbine Action Defence Squad" and the "Turbine Doomsayer Society", revealing quite some deep differences on the server. Also, quite a lot of trolls - but if you just /leavechannel glff and walk around and get into a kin, usually it will be pretty fun. Can't say I don't like the server, just try not to get involved too much with server-wide matters.
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  12. #12
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    One-Hour Mid-Afternoon Brandywine Server activity -- 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm, server time, Friday:

    --> (glff) Sword Hall XP farming, level 83+
    --> (glff) Great Barrow Maze, level 95
    --> (glff) Helms Dike or Deeping Wall duo
    --> (glff) Helms Dike fellowship
    --> (glff) Barad Gularan, level 50+
    --> (glff) HorseLords XP farm, level 84+ (don't ask, it's a Brandywine idiosyncracy, but it IS group activity, so I counted it)
    --> (glff) Halls of Night, level 40ish
    --> (glff) Library, level 55
    --> (glff) Fornost Water, level 33

    Note 1: GLFF ran at about 250 members, /china down to about 20 (when the 9:15 to 10:15 am observation was run, both GLFF and /china had around 200 members; the Chinese have now largely gone to bed)

    Note 2: Pulled these 9 group advertisements out of a SEA of other /glff conversation. The sheer volume of discussion may make it seem that there's no group-building in /glff because it's such a minority of the flow. But it's there even at this relatively quiet time of day.

    Note 3: Interesting that over half the activity in this time block is lower-level stuff. That is not commonly the case.

  13. #13
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    One-Hour Evening Brandywine Server activity -- 8:45 pm to 9:45 pm, server time, on a Friday:

    --> (glff) Sword Hall XP runs
    --> (glff) Roots of Fangorn, level 75+
    --> (glff) SG t2c, level 95
    --> (china) san re sui ji (I don't know the translation for this Chinese instance name, but the advertiser had 2 people and was looking for more...definitely a group activity)
    --> (glff) Lost Temple t2c, level 95
    --> (glff) 2-person Grand Stair run, level 95 (undermanned)
    --> (china) HD duo or six-man

    Note 1: The Chinese are just starting to wake up and log in. /china population 36, /glff is at 343.

    Note 2: Very curious that there were only 7 group activities advertised in "prime time" for US East coast; as noted above, there were significantly more in the server's morning time. A couple of possible contributing factors: (1) Valentine's Day evening, and a Friday evening to boot, probably a lot of regular evening players out on a date or just out socializing; (2) Brandywine is always heavily active in the Moors in the evenings (as in 2+ raid v 2+ raid kind of active)... the PvMP focus may be diffusing the PvE grouping quite a bit these days, with no new end-game raids to draw attention.

    Anyway, there's a snapshot of Brandywine at three different times of day, for possible comparison with other servers. I might do the same kinds of counts on Landy and E one day next week (Friday would be best, to mirror the "new locks" and social activity conditions).

    Best!

  14. #14
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    By the way, the notes a couple of folks have made about the attitude on Elendilmir, that's definitely an aspect of the server's "personality." Elendilmir has always been hugely competitive, particularly about the quality of their PvMP and the strength of their PvE raiding kins. And there's always been a bit of a chip on the shoulder for them, too, though I never understood why. I remember back when Watcher 2.0, Filikul, and Dar Narbugud were all new (they all came out at just about the same time, within a couple of months) -- and Turbine Team opened up Bullroarer for beta testing for the Dar Narbugud update ... I was primarily playing Brandywine then, and my dedicated raiding kin jumped into Bullroarer with both feet, bound to figure the new raid out fast ... we met up with some Meneldor raiders of like mind, and though we didn't run with them, we'd compare notes every night. We invited the Elendilmir Preying Mantis crew to join in as well, but they were stubbornly insular, refused to share thoughts at all. Later, when I switched focus to E for a while as primary server, I learned that the Preying Mantis attitude wasn't at all unique to that kin, but was fairly common across most of the better raiding kins, and to a degree out in the Moors as well. On the flip side, some of the very nicest people on the planet were also on Elendilmir back then, and may still be today, particularly the Australian crowd. The B Team Roflcopters, in particular, a creep tribe, were just hugely nice folks and very welcoming even to a stray American.

    Anyway,tl;dr in two parts: (1) servers do have unique personalities, if you don't like where you are try another, you may find a whole new experience; and (2) you find great folks everywhere, as long as you're looking hard for them.

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    Thanks Angadan, systematic reports like that are very useful! And I had no idea that the china channel existed, will definitely give that a look, though language may well be a barrier there.

    For what it's worth, Brandywine approx. 12am-1am servertime Thursday night (to me anyway, technically morning for east coast...) had two groups advertising that I noticed. Leixy's Fornost run, and some poor fellow struggling to get a Draigoch group going. Seemed to be stuck at 5/x the whole time. I was doing 3-mans with kin, so might have missed something (and would likely have tried to join the Fornost run if I hadn't been busy, too).

    Didn't have time to log in this evening due to the unfortunate increase in SO time required to celebrate this so-called "holiday"...

    The Elendilmir trait I alluded to previously was the severe trolling Easca mentioned. When people ask for advice on glff and get wrong answers every time ... that kinda bugs me, even as just an observer. I did reach out to one person who had been receiving bad advice to let him know that's what he was getting; fortunately it was obvious enough he already knew. From other threads I've heard Dwarrowdelf is considered the trolliest server, so I shudder to think what their glff must be like to beat out E...

    If you do end up doing similar reports on Landroval, that would be very handy. I'm pondering a transfer or two there in addition to my Brandywine moves but haven't had time to do much research yet.

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    It really comes down to taking the initiative to forming your own groups. In my experience, there's always a lot of bored people standing around waiting for someone to make a group they're interested in. I did that for a long time while I was learning the game, now I just mostly make my own groups.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Howell View Post
    The Elendilmir trait I alluded to previously was the severe trolling Easca mentioned. When people ask for advice on glff and get wrong answers every time ... that kinda bugs me, even as just an observer. I did reach out to one person who had been receiving bad advice to let him know that's what he was getting; fortunately it was obvious enough he already knew. From other threads I've heard Dwarrowdelf is considered the trolliest server, so I shudder to think what their glff must be like to beat out E...
    Yeah... E is just one big Trollshaws. And I'll definitely have to check out Dwarrow now. xD
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angadan View Post
    By the way, the notes a couple of folks have made about the attitude on Elendilmir, that's definitely an aspect of the server's "personality." Elendilmir has always been hugely competitive, particularly about the quality of their PvMP and the strength of their PvE raiding kins. And there's always been a bit of a chip on the shoulder for them, too, though I never understood why. I remember back when Watcher 2.0, Filikul, and Dar Narbugud were all new (they all came out at just about the same time, within a couple of months) -- and Turbine Team opened up Bullroarer for beta testing for the Dar Narbugud update ... I was primarily playing Brandywine then, and my dedicated raiding kin jumped into Bullroarer with both feet, bound to figure the new raid out fast ... we met up with some Meneldor raiders of like mind, and though we didn't run with them, we'd compare notes every night. We invited the Elendilmir Preying Mantis crew to join in as well, but they were stubbornly insular, refused to share thoughts at all. Later, when I switched focus to E for a while as primary server, I learned that the Preying Mantis attitude wasn't at all unique to that kin, but was fairly common across most of the better raiding kins, and to a degree out in the Moors as well. On the flip side, some of the very nicest people on the planet were also on Elendilmir back then, and may still be today, particularly the Australian crowd. The B Team Roflcopters, in particular, a creep tribe, were just hugely nice folks and very welcoming even to a stray American.

    Anyway,tl;dr in two parts: (1) servers do have unique personalities, if you don't like where you are try another, you may find a whole new experience; and (2) you find great folks everywhere, as long as you're looking hard for them.
    I'm not really sure either, but from what I've seen happening in my own kin as an officer as well in other kins is that you often get someone who comes into the kin, raids the kinhouse, then leaves the kin. We've also had that a kinleader from a dying kin proposed that our kins would work together or maybe even merge, but ended up "stealing" our kinnies. There is a culture of taking away things from others, which is mainly why the kins are so cautious. Those are not even isolated incidents, it seriously happens quite frequently.

    The attitude is: if we can't even trust people from our very own server, why would we trust people from others'?

    However, like you have said, you will also come across some very nice and helpful people. My own kinleader for example has helped me through a lot of the game on my first run, which I was very grateful for, because if he hadn't I am certain I would have quit at Angmar or Moria. There's always good people too.

    And I have to attest that: the servers indeed all have their own personalities. They are different per server (Gladden is the mature server for instance, with quite a huge kin for only 25+ of age people). Just try it out, and if you don't like it, then you can move on and see if you like another one.

    And the B Team Roflcopters.. man, I love those. :3

    Gotta love the Hello Kitty Action Squad on Riddermark too. Might wanna check them out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Easca View Post
    Yeah... E is just one big Trollshaws. And I'll definitely have to check out Dwarrow now. xD
    Dwarrow is my secondary server. The worst one for me was Imladris. I hope that's changed.

    I don't pay attention to glff on Dwarrow very much; but I'm sure there is a lot of out of character chat there, too. Unfortunately for me, my kin on Dwarrow suffered very much from drop out. I am not active enough to stay in the larger, active kins like Massive Dynamics. I have a personal crafter kin on Dwarrow and on Nimrodel. I can say that each server does indeed have its own character (which is partly why I don't want to see mergers) and I love the lesser populated servers.
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