Server/Realm Rage

Realmshot

I’ve seen a few people talking about connected Realms as of late, in part because they’ve recently become connected to another realm. Stands to reason, of course. I’ve had the distinct pleasure of not suffering that fate just yet on my main server, but it’s a scheduled change on the horizon.

So there’s been a lot of discussion on whether the connections are positive or negative overall and I think your mileage varies on that one. If you’re a PvE realm that is suddenly connected to a PvP realm you are more than within your right to drive to Blizzard headquarters and keyboard slap anyone inside the development department. That one just completely baffles me.  But then, the whole approach to realm management has baffled me and then some. By the end of 2008, Blizzard had 223 realms. Now that’s right after Wrath of the Lich King launched, so you’re looking at a period many consider to be the peak of the game.  As of today there are 226 US realms alone!

There have always been low population servers, due largely to the constant introduction of them.  When you have low population servers, why add more?  There is zero logic to explain that, unless you want the player base to be as divided as possible, or you think it will generate revenue when players subsequently want to transfer.  Of course, the transfer money has to outweigh the money you spent on the servers in the first place, so I don’t see how that’s smart business.

So we had all these servers and what did Blizzard decide to do?  Close some of them down.  No, wait.  That’s not it.  That would’ve been the smart thing to do.  Instead we got Cross Realm Zones.  Oh this was bloody brilliant.  Now you had 2-3 times the node thiefs, mob taggers, and general griefers.  If you were on a low population server that got merged with a higher one for zones, oh lucky you.  I have seen two good things come from CRZ’s and one is indirect.  Cities aside from Stormwind actually show signs of life again, which is great if a new player happens to come along.  It’s nice when more than just Storm/Org look busy.  The other bonus was that you could cross-realm group/raid.  That right there is absolutely awesome, I completely admit it.  But otherwise there are a tonne of headaches from CRZ.

So after that little test, and general populace disappointment, you would think Blizzard would catch on.  Nope, let’s now connect realms together.  Part of me would give them benefit of the doubt if there appeared to be any rhyme or reason at all to the pairings, but there’s next to none.  Not faction population, not PvE, not RP, not even time zones.  I’m genuinely baffled on the basis of these match-ups.

The solution was not a difficult one in the first place.  Step one would have been to stop introducing new servers years ago.  I can’t speak for everyone, but the last time I had a queue of any kind for one of my realms (and a couple were “full” for a long time) was Wrath.  And we’re talking the first month of launch.  I’ve never sat in a queue since.  But, we got more and more and more servers, didn’t we?  At some point, Blizzard should’ve looked and gone “wow, over these 10 servers we have less than 1% of the playerbase combined.”  Then, give the realm(s) 30 days notice that it’s closing and allow free transfers off the server to anywhere except the one(s) closing.  After 30 days, characters not transferred would be moved to a similarly set server.

I’m not saying wipe out all the low population servers, but some could certainly go.  Heck, the ones where one faction controls the capital city of the other one because the player ratio is about 5000-3 could certainly be an option.  You would slowly begin to centralize your population again and save money by not running all these servers.  I could do a completely separate post about questioning where the money goes that Blizzard makes just off of player subscriptions, but that’s not the focus right now.  Regardless of the answer to that, one can’t argue that too many servers is a waste of time and money.

The apparent decision to turn around and link together realms and players who in many cases don’t even want to be linked isn’t the solution to this self-created problem either.  To me, it seems like they looked at the realms situation and instead of admitting continual expansion was an error in judgement, they’re getting out band-aids to heal a missing hand.

12 thoughts on “Server/Realm Rage

  1. tomeoftheancient December 9, 2013 / 4:09 pm

    CRZ is still a pain in the butt especially in lower level zones but since my server was merged things are actually selling on the AH again! Yay! If realmpop is correct they had almost twice our population, we’ve kind of been absorbed, lol.

    • JD Kenada December 9, 2013 / 6:21 pm

      Well, Auction House boons always boost that side of the argument. Still, I’m hard pressed to be sold on it being the right approach.

  2. Tyledres December 9, 2013 / 4:40 pm

    I was really looking forward to the combining of servers and I never really minded cross-realm zones either. I think some of that was because I spent a lot of time on a busy server and the emptyness of Drak sometimes bothered me. I love how close the people are and even now we’re still close. It’s just that there are now others to get to know. I was a bit bothered by the time zone changing but it was more about just realizing that it was different then it was before. I hadn’t realized that they were combining a pve server with a pvp one. That doesn’t make sense to me. I was certain they claimed they weren’t going to do that so it surprises me to hear that. That’s the part that doesn’t make sense to me.

    • JD Kenada December 9, 2013 / 6:23 pm

      I shouldn’t say I’ve had the chance to confirm the PvP issue, but the way a few friends have talked it sure sounds like that’s happened on their realm(s).

      The merging of servers, so to speak, does have its positives. It’s just, in the grand scheme of things I feel like they’ve taken the most difficult path to solve a problem they created in the first place.

    • repgrind December 10, 2013 / 12:03 pm

      Drak absolutely positively NEEDED this. I do think they went a bit overboard combining five realms however (Drak’Tharon/Firetree/Malorne/Rivendare/Spirestone) . Yes, it’s annoying that I now get ganked, but it *is* a PvP server group, so I have no right to complain really. Before I could go to the Timeless Isle and be one of only 6 people there. Sure that might sound pleasant but it really wasn’t. You can’t kill Huolon like that. And the AH was stone cold dead. Now, I’m making gold again. So … *shrug* … I have complaints, but I do still think the positives outweigh the negatives in the end.

      I still hate CRZ with a passion though.

      And yeah, they are only merging pvp with pvp, and pve with pve, etc.

      • JD Kenada December 10, 2013 / 2:08 pm

        Okay, so it seems those who cursed the PvP/PvE merge were misinformed…or perhaps just didn’t realize they had flagged themselves. Or didn’t realize they were in a BG zone, or actual BG, or…yeah, I got nothing.

  3. Cain December 10, 2013 / 9:20 am

    They specifically said only pve with pve and only pvp with pvp, so I didn’t think that would happen.

    They can’t balance faction because of that as most pvp servers are horde dominant and most pve servers are alliance dominant.

    They basically are merging servers, but they did it in a way that doesn’t require you to change your name. If they’d just gotten rid of servers and offered a free transfer to a couple of other servers you would have had to empty your mailbox and get below gold thresholds and then choose a new name. This way everything stays the same to the user on the front end while merging on the back end. If they had done the other way while you were gone you would have come back and gone, “where is Tum? My server isn’t on the list”

    I think they are doing the best option availble to them. No matter what some people won’t be happy, but I think the biggest thing right now is people are just not used to the change. We’ll see, I’ll probably be the one complaining in a few weeks. 🙂

    • JD Kenada December 10, 2013 / 2:05 pm

      Your counterpoints are sound. The name one I understand, and had the very discussion about with someone last night. If that’s the hinge point, then I don’t necessarily agree. But, the mail and the gold and so forth are valid arguments that I hadn’t considered.

      The core of my argument, though, is that Blizzard caused this in the first place by continually adding servers when it just wasn’t necessary in the first place.

      • Cain December 12, 2013 / 3:00 pm

        I agree. But at least they finally realized there was a problem and are trying to fix it as best they can. I think they were too slow in fixing it, and probably lost a lot of people due to dead realms.

        • JD Kenada December 12, 2013 / 11:32 pm

          Agreed, though when you lose 25% of your player base there is clearly much larger mitigating factors.

  4. Lorelei December 13, 2013 / 10:46 am

    There are PvP and PvE realms connected? Wasn’t that one of the main things they said they wouldn’t do, that they would only connect the same types of servers?

    You have a good point in that they should have stopped making new servers a long time ago. But there are other things leadign to these problems as well. On the EU servers ppl migrate to the heavy pop servers to get more ppl to play with, so there’s a few very popular servers with heavy log in queues.

    Personally I really dislike the CRZ and would be happy if they removed it. It doesn’t add anything for the players imo, but it does seem like the best economical options for Blizz (servers can be expencive, this way you cut costs).

    I do however like the server connections so far. One of my servers, that has been really dead, has been connected to another server that was kinda dead…so now we’re half dead together! And that’s atleast a start. ‘Cus I ain’t paying to transfer 8 toons to another server.

    Also, if you start to remove servers you’ll have players having to change names. For me that’s a big deal, specially for some of my characters. I really do prefer to be grouped up with another server than having to change all my names. But maybe that’s just me.

    • JD Kenada December 13, 2013 / 1:36 pm

      I can appreciate the name argument, I honestly can. But I’m of the belief that most people attached to character names have ones that are more unique and rare (in most cases). If they were to have closed servers my approach would have been to check for a name on a server before I moved there. I’m not saying that’s the ideal solution but in my head it’s what would likely work the best under that scenario.

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