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Mr Khan said:

random question which has been happening to me forever but i never brought it up, but what's the deal with trying to enter cities that clearly aren't full, but the game tells you they are and prevents you from doing so? Is it that the gate the city is in is also full?

Short answer, yes. The gates themselves allow more cities to be created than can be filled by the 100 player limit. So you can very well see a city that is sitting at 2/4, but the gate it is on will be at 100/100, not allowing you to enter. That's why whenever I go to the recruiting servers, I tend to enter the city that is at 98 or 99 of 100 before I search for the monsters I want, in effect reserving a spot for me on that gate.