How to resolve low populated realms in retail WoW?

Hey everyone,

So I was chatting with a friend tonight that I’ve been friends with for years now. He happens to play on the realm, Garrosh, Which is a really quiet realm. I used to play on this particular realm prior to transferring to Area 52 back in 2018.

Reason I transferred back then was because I wanted a higher populated realm as Garrosh lost a lot of Guilds back then and apparently the realm is really dead now. What is worse is that Garrosh and several other realms that are extremely low populated are not connected to any realms at all either at this time.

So, I was asking him how active Guild’s are on Garrosh and he says Guilds are pretty much dead there. He claims that in peak hours of the day, The main Horde capital city - Orgrimmar has pretty much no one. Same with Oribos.

He would transfer realms himself as he would love to, But cannot afford it at this time. He currently pays for his game-time with WoW Tokens purchased off of the Auction House.

I do understand that in Classic The Burning Crusade - Several realms are going to be shut down indefinitely come the week of August, 9th as per This Post on The Burning Crusade Classic Forums.

Is there any plans to do the same for Retail seeing as I know many players wouldn’t want to do a Free Character Transfer from a High or even Medium populated realm to a dead one. Is there more Realm Connections going to come in the future, Or are Free Character Transfers going to be offered to leave those realms?

If worse comes to worse, Like some Classic TBC realms - Would the really dead realms in Retail be shut down as well and all of those players moved to a higher pop realm?

Any feedback more than welcome regarding this important topic!

Thanks for reading! :smiley:


As a fellow low pop realm dweller that has had like 6 servers added to them making it medium pop I think it would be insane if they started closing realms and forcing people off those servers. If they are going to so anything to save these realms it has to be either more conneted servers or cross server guilds which I know tons of people want.


I don’t agree with shutting the realms down for TBC and certainly not for Retail. I would’ve preferred just having connected realms between the types. They did it when TBC Classic launched and people moved over, I don’t see how connected realms would be an issue. It would preserve communities instead of destroying them and having people scatter. People shouldn’t need to have their guilds and their character’s names all lost because there’s not enough of a population for Blizzard to justify keeping that particular server open.

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We can compare Server Connections vs. Server Merges (Realm Consolidation) and see what advantages they hold over each other:

Server Connections:

  • Duplicate Character and Guild names are not a problem, you are able to keep your old name

  • Server identity remains the same, although you’re now greeted with several other servers

Server Merges:

  • No more clutter in the realm selection screen, with connected servers you’re basically playing on 1/3rd of a realm (depending on how many connections are made), and it’s not very obvious what’s connected to what

  • You don’t have to deal with several different server names you have to use when interacting with people

I’d personally say that server merges are superior, and that the issues raised for it are much more realistic to solve:

  • Probably viewed as a more drastic change (and potentially technologically challenging), but I personally would love to see a last name system in wow, everyone would get their preferred first name, no duplicate name issues, happy days.

  • Server identity issue seems harder to solve, but as long as everyone from one closed server gets transferred off to the same one, it should be mitigated.

In terms of solving server connection issues:

  • To reduce realm selection screen clutter, server clusters could be shown as a singular option, and then you select your server off of your specific cluster. Maybe save selection and let it be changed later on, so it’s not too much of a bother.

I think that server merges are a much better option and I’m glad that Blizzard is exploring that direction. I hope we see a lot more of them in the future (especially if they decide to add more fresh servers into the mix like with wrath).