Server imbalances

I know this has been a topic of conversation for some time now, and many possible resolutions have been presented.

Compared to many people who play, I am relatively new to the game, but I wonder how a multibillion dollar company was not able to figure out how to control this issue in the 1st place?!?! I am unsure how it would be corrected now, as it stands, so it would be up to the company to reach a resolution with the proper outcome.

That being said… IMO, the best action would be to cap the amount of horde/alliance allowed on each server. So, as new people begin to sub, they should have to pick a faction 1st and then be given a list of realms that are not “faction capped” already.

Also, I don’t understand why when people unsub, they have the luxury of keeping the character name locked to that realm. My guild transferred servers, because of faction imbalance, and many of us had to change/alter our names because the name we had was taken, although none of those names are that of actual raiding characters on the realm. Even after months on the new server, there has been no sign of the toons with given names in question.

Obviously, the biggest issue here is server imbalance, but the fact that many of us have been forced off our servers because of this issue, and in a way lost our in-game identity, is just a trickling effect of the original issue.

I don’t have the answer to correcting the problem blizzard created by not taking action initially, but if a resolution is reached, my suggestion is a way to stabilize the issue in the long run. I understand some possible solutions could be a small revenue loss for blizzard, but it will be significantly worse if this continues and people continue to unsub because of it. People are fed up with the issue; I see it all over the place (we all do), and something needs to be done to fix it and soon.


the issue can be controlled - but players would hate being told where to play.

Sounds easy enough, but I think there are some issues with this approach as well.

For example, how do you define a cap? Let’s say it’s 10,000 unique player accounts. What does that mean? Active accounts, concurrently logged in accounts, or total accounts? Do you add level restrictions, are there minimum time login requirements, etc.?

And really, what problem does this solve? People seem to suggest that faction balance or server population size are issues, but to what extent does it matter? That is, if there is a solution to a problem are we able to measure its effectiveness? For example, by doing this, would we see an increase in subscriptions over time?

The data we have access to seem to suggest that there is a pretty healthy and stable Classic population, with some peaks and valleys around content releases that could be said to be relatively predictable.

Would making changes make a positive difference?


Yes, you have some valid points, and I never said my approach was flawless. It was just a suggestion, and as far as any kinks in it, isn’t it up to the computer geniuses working for blizzard to figure out those kinks (after all, that is what they are paid to do).

I am also aware they offered free transfers, but why limit which servers you can transfer off of?? Maybe offer those who have already paid a crap ton to transfer off a dead server, at least, ONE free transfer of remaining (most likely lower level) toons? Like buy 2 or 3, get one free… idk. I mean, we figured our guild alone paid blizzard over 3k to transfer from fairbanks. We honestly tried to stay there, but getting ganked constantly was the least of our problems… there is literally no one left, chat is dead, there is no one outside of guildies to run dungeons with, the list goes on and on…

I’m just trying to add to the massive feedback players have been providing because there has to be a satisfactory answer in there somewhere

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I think at the very least allowing people to join instanced content cross realm might alleviate a lot of issues on the smaller servers where finding groups for dungeons is a hassle. I think they should try this first before forcing mergers. The absolute DEAD servers should probably be merged though IMO if it is literally unplayable there for some.

Definitely a complicated thing.

I think at the very least they could allow transfers off of servers that only became so lopsided after they … allowed transfers onto those servers. Lol!

Allowing Server transfers without meaningfully trying to manage server populations is what screwed a lot of this up. They don’t want to manage servers to maintain a healthy balance, probably because their data are showing them that most players actually want to be on the majority side all the time.

There are a number of reasons why this is a terrible solution, but I’ll highlight the most important one. New players aren’t really signing up to play the game anymore and don’t make it to max level. Yes, there are some new players now and then, but not nearly enough to replace the people that are leaving.

The people who were interested in the game all ready tested the waters. Server imbalance issues are primarily being caused by a rapid decline in the population without new players replacing them.

Some people will try to tell you it’s other reasons, but they’re wrong.

While I don’t know if this is true, even if it is, that’s really not a problem you can fix.

This is and old game. It’s going to attract a certain type of player. Unfortunately for the game, the type of player it attracts is older and, in many cases, doesn’t have the time to really get into the game like they did back in the day. You can’t change that without making significant changes to the game that would alienate current players.

Yeah for sure. I suppose the real questions that remain though are around how much of a problem population balance actually is. It may feel like it’s an issue, but it may not really matter (maybe it does, and maybe there are other factors to consider when looking at population data, like natural drop off from WoW Classic and people who came back just for TBC Classic, etc.).

Additionally, if changes cost resources to design, develop, implement and maintain, do not add a predictable increase in revenue, do decrease revenue (transfer fees), and may lead to a decrease in the playerbase (maybe not/maybe an increase — it isn’t clear to me that making changes will increase subscriptions), who would sign off on that?

This may be true, but if it’s basically giving low pop servers access to high pop tanks, then wouldn’t this negatively impact the higher population servers?

The more you think through them, the more complicated they seem to be, and there’s almost always guaranteed to be unanticipated side-effects to even small changes.

A couple of ideas that I’ve had around server populations have been to remove character-server locks, so you could log into any server with any of your characters (provided they are within the region that government tax regulations require Blizzard to be reporting taxable revenue for your subscription). You could then have servers spin up/down depending on population, and if you’d like to add faction balance or other things, you could do so on a server by server basis.

Some things like guilds, and looking for group could coordinate over BattleNet maybe more like a lobby. Perhaps there could be AH access in that lobby as well.

Another idea was to add a Battleground type of wPVP with badges and honor rewards. You queue for it, and get grouped into raids of 40, and are zoned as a raid onto a PVP server with disparate faction balance, such as Alliance raids zoning into Faerlina with objectives like wiping a major city and boss (or zone) within a timeframe.

This could add some wPVP risk/fun to faction disparate servers, while giving an additional way to farm honor, and potentially have some fun.

Anyway, I don’t really expect these things to change in the Classic series, but you never know! Hopefully people are able to enjoy playing the game the way they want.

Blizzard, I admire and respect you. Please update the Free Transfer List from November to reflect the newly dead and low-pop servers. Big win for you, much good PR.

I give this advice freely but wouldn’t refuse some monetary rewards for helping.

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