Especially the latter triggered some “What does head start mean to me?”-thinking ;)
The first thing that pops up in my mind is: I get a more relaxed start, because there are fewer players around.
This gives me the chance to explore the starting areas without masses of players hopping around. I want to discover the zones, so less population means more fun to me. I have no idea how important this is to get a feel of the zones, but i think that there are still enough players around that PQ’s, RvR, etc.. can be done. It’s only 4 days, enough time to get comfortable with the class, etc..
The second thing that pops up: With three launches (CE,/SE-pre-order and normal), server stability is increased, because of staging of population increase.
Just a bit of theory-crafting..but i think that this might work well. By the time of this 4 (3 for the SE) days the population on the servers slowly builds up and i think that there are not as high peak user number problems as there would be with just one launch.
Furthermore Mythic/GOA have the advantage (? see below for a explanation of this question mark ;)) of having a more enthusiastic crowd on the servers. Those players showed really much confidence in the game by pre-ordering. I think that most of them would be realistic and forgiving enough to accept short server-downtime if something went wrong. Not sure on that point though. It could turn out as bad promotion if the head start is rough or good if it goes smooth. I think that’s coin-flip decision ;)
In terms of advantages to the players this graded head start offers another more subtle pro:
With server population building up so slow, new entering players have a better overview and choice where to join. Some people prefer to play on the overpopulated side, others (like me) prefer the side that’s underpopulated. CE pre-orders have the bonus of having the free choice where to play..sort-of gambling though as they don’t know how the server population evolves and if they get to play on a over-/under populated realm. SE pre-orders have already some rough indication how the realm-pop-balance evolves and can react. The polls show atm a nearly equal distribution of players among realms, which most likely just counts players who are atm more connected to the game (forum/blog-readers). New players, often referenced as more casual players.. tend to play the “good guys”. It’s interesting to see if an overpopulation on the order-side would lead to some of the newer players to switch to Destruction.
One last point on my list about the head starts left..
It’s connected to the first one. The exploring and such. I play games at my own pace and i want to evade those overcrowded areas. I’m not sure if it’s possible to find PQ’s with a reasonable number (i mean not too many) of participants after the head start..actually i plan to play some alts to evade this problem of overcrowded PQ’s. So I’m artificially slowing down my pace even more than normal. There are people out there who think that getting first to rank40 is a race to be made and i think that those people are wrong. WAR seems to be build as an entertaining game right from the start. So i use head start to get some distance to the initial starting area and later then let those high-speed players overtake me, while i explore some stuff.
Ok, i made a last point already, but there’s still something left.. Name allocation! A big plus for head start, though i don’t think that Zizlak will be a too often used name ;)