I’d like to thank Aggrend for his recent blue post addressing queue times on megaservers:
The crux of it is that the only feasible way to solve the issue is for the 10k+ players stuck in queues to migrate to new servers. I agree that this seems to be the only viable solution that exists within the relevant timescales.
Aggrend spends some time elaborating on how there are several realms, with very large and vibrant populations, without huge queue times. This is not controversial information. Everyone (or almost everyone) stuck in a queue on Faerlina acknowledges that, for now, they can have a fine time playing on other populous-not-but-megarealms.
The core problem is that we’ve gone through this before. What happens after phase 1, or whenever it is that populations inevitably decline? Am I going to be stuck on a subpar realm, as I was on Earthfury, before our entire guild decides to bite the bullet and collectively fork over hundreds of dollars to move back to Faerlina?
Blizzard needs to address the opposite side of this problem, and needs to acknowledge that it was handled poorly in TBC. Merges came far too late, many players were stranded on realms with low populations long after realms like Faerlina or Benediction no longer had queues. Paid transfers were available back to these realms, but there was never any free return ticket.
I’ve already made a long post addressing how free and (more or less) unlimited transfers could solve this problem. Others have proposed other solutions like return vouchers. But lets be clear: if Blizzard does not address player concerns about the inevitable population bust that follows the boom, and does not clearly articulate a plan that is decisively more attractive than the too-little too-late merges at the end of TBC classic, people are going to prefer the crappy experience of sitting in queues, over the crappy experience of having to pay $10 for a transfer off a dying realm come Ulduar (or the logistical & financial nightmare of organizing that across an entire guild).
Either way, players are going to be having a crappy time, and it’s going to be almost entirely due to the failure on Blizzard’s part to assuage player concerns over how population declines will be handled weeks or months from now.
If Blizzard wants to get players to take advantage of free transfers, they need to address this issue in future communications–hopefully soon.