I'll admit to being stumped on how to avoid overcrowding of the start location in my game design.
Players control a bunch of characters, enough to group into armies and parties, and start on an instanced piece of land. No open pvp, player structures are co-op and the only way to destroy them is to build something better overtop (to minimize griefing). All buildings must be occupied to be owned. The idea is that players spread out from a central start location, building fortifications and towns to support being farther away from home as the go. Players who join later will be able to take advantage of these early constructs close to the start to quickly catch up to the long time players.
Anyways, there's going to be a lot of players with a lot of troops building a lot of things, and limited spawn locations just won't handle the influx of players. The only other option I've seen is to have players scattered raondomly throughout the world, but that conflicts with essential game mechanics and storylines.
Maybe some sort of clever instancing, but then it would be hard to keep up the semblance of a persistent world.
Any suggestions or examples of games that handle this problem would be appreciated.