Aggrend blue post does not address the main player concern

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.

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i like this quote

So put as plainly as possible, we cannot increase capacity any more without inviting additional and likely cascading failures to the service. At present, the best and only way to resolve this issue for the impacted realms, is for people to leave the realm via free transfers. There’s no technology solution to this. There is no hardware solution to this. This situation will not improve when Wrath of the Lich King Classic launches on September 26th, it will only get worse.

So why only three servers, and not any unlocked realms which you can pay for?

question for you:

are population declines the fault or responsibility of Blizzard?

its interesting bc I hear some people say it’s not Blizzard’s job to fix these types of issues, then other people that believe blizzard should intervene for individual decisions largely based on FOMO.

while I definitely wouldn’t want to be stuck on a dead server, I am one of those people on a mega server that accepts that queues are the cost for being on this server. I understand the frustration though.

It sounds a lot like when people argue about whether government should be directly intervening to help people or should leave everyone mostly alone to their own devices.

Whether it’s Blizzard’s “fault” or “responsibility” is a value judgement, as these are really “ought” not “is” statements.

But–as you note–the bottom line is players prefer to deal with queues on megaservers rather than take the risk of a character transfer. The queues that result are bad, and clearly not ideal, but they are what happens when players behave according to their preferences in the current system.

If a system produces unwanted behavior when players behave according to their preferences, one approach is to convince players to change their preferences…but for reasons that have been done to death by now, that seems unlikely unless Blizzard can provide some assurances or plans regarding population decline. The ball is really in their court on that one, if they want players to adjust their preferences.

Apart from that, if you want to adjust the system so it performs more adequately given current player preferences…only Blizzard can do that.

So Blizzard is certainly accountable, regardless of whatever value judgements you want to make. Anyway, I think most people would say that Blizzard has some professional obligation to address the situation–Blizzard themselves certainly would agree.

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They could finally start ignoring all the classic Andy’s worried about “community” and make the game cross realm which lets players play the game to its fullest on any server and solves all these stupid server population rise and falls issues.