State of TBC Servers > NA Alliance

In the WoW Community Council thread that can be found here:

Aggrend stated that

In November (2021), we opened a multitude of Free Character Moves (FCMs) between many realms.
The intent of this was to respond to the feedback that some players wanted to play on realms with a higher population. We aren’t trying to stop smaller servers from becoming even smaller, and we aren’t trying to prevent so-called “megaservers” from forming. We are simply trying to give players who want to move an easy option to do so. It’s not perfect or complete, but it’s a relief valve.

I’ll also be the first to acknowledge that we probably should have done this sooner. This isn’t meant to be an excuse, but the main reason we waited as long as we did (and a big driver to being very slow and methodical when making changes that affect server populations in general) is because in our attempts to “fix” things for specific groups, we could unintentionally damage the experience of other groups, and this is something that always gives us pause. Here’s an example:

Blizzard’s actions in enabling those “FCMs” in November DIRECTLY ‘unintentionally damaged the experience of other groups’.

Aggrend further stated in a reply that

  • “Merging” servers is actually something that WoW has almost never done, and the reason for this is simple; we don’t like the idea of someone losing their unique name on a realm, and this is doubly true for classic where your identity in the community is a major aspect of the game.

I can’t help but find that Aggrend’s argument is a fundamentally flawed argument, as “SERVER IDENTITY” NO LONGER EXISTS DIRECTLY DUE TO BLIZZARD’S ACTIONS.

Now that we’ve seen the fallout from the free server transfers being allowed, can we get a response from Blizzard regarding large server minority factions that their “free server transfers” effectively extinguished? Blizzard has profited from paid transfers that they effectively triggered, ever since implementing that “service”.

Data Time!

I’d like to focus on one of the most dramatic server / faction combos that was affected by this decision; Faerlina Alliance, and the subsequent surge on Benediction Alliance.

Blizzard enabled free transfers for dead realms on 11/17.

Looking at the WarcraftLogs characters logged section For Horde Faerlina, which became a destination server for NA Horde raiders (along with my own server, Whitemane):

11/17 to 11/23 lockout, Faerlina Horde had 11371 raiders logged.
11/24 to 11/30, Faerlina Horde had 10900 raiders logged. (US Thanksgiving week; roughly a 4% decline compared to the ~8* - ~15% decline seen on other servers during this week)
12/1 to 12/7, Faerlina Horde had 11745 raiders logged.
12/8 to 12/14, Faerlina Horde had 11994 raiders logged.
12/15 to 12/22, Faerlina Horde had 12949 raiders logged.

Compare to the same WarcraftLogs characters logged section For Alliance Faerlina:
The Alliance perceived the faction transfer snowball incoming to Horde Faerlina, and chose to literally pay Blizzard to avoid it (same source)

11/17 to 11/23 lockout, Faerlina Alliance had 3402 raiders logged.
11/24 to 11/30, Faerlina Alliance saw 2254 raiders logged. (US Thanksgiving week)
12/1 to 12/7, Faerlina Alliance saw 1044 raiders logged.
12/8 to 12/14, Faerlina Alliance saw 491 raiders logged.
12/15 to 12/22, Faerlina Alliance saw 97 raiders logged.

Compare to the same WarcraftLogs Characters section for Alliance Benediction:

11/17 to 11/23, Benediction Alliance saw 16287 raiders logged.
11/24 to 11/30, Benediction Alliance saw 15703 raiders logged. (US Thanksgiving week)
12/1 to 12/7, Benediction Alliance saw 18565 raiders logged.
12/8 to 12/14, Benediction Alliance saw 19334 raiders logged.
12/15 to 12/22, Benediction Alliance saw 20402 raiders logged.

The numbers drop off the week after that due to the Christmas raiding week, but have since rapidly resumed their trends. The spiral of dying NA Alliance servers has continued; my own faction on my server, Whitemane Alliance, has died. My former guild has transferred to Benediction, and I’ve personally quit raiding because I’m not interested in paying Blizzard to transfer.

Will Blizzard ever refund the PAID CHARACTER TRANSFERS of the players who had their experiences “unintentionally damaged”?

At the end of that thread, Aggrend stated " One thing I will ask you to keep in mind however is that we generally prefer to avoid any solution that would force players to do anything they don’t want to do, or directly damages or diminishes their ability to log in and play the game, so please try and keep that in mind"

Blizzard has ABSOLUTELY FAILED if that is that their goal; the numbers of raiders who have clearly transferred based on raider numbers makes that an almost embarrassing statement to make. I’d hope to see refunds for a very large number of recent server transfers if that is truly a statement that reflects the sentiments of Blizzard.


How do we proceed from here?

Frankly, NA PvP server balance in BCC is completely shot. Continuing to profit off of lopsided servers seems like an almost unfathomable act of greed.

Enable free character transfers ala Classic Era, and be done with this problem. I truly think that letting players sort it out themselves, without profiting off of it, is the correct course of action at this point.


The data you posted is very skewed. If your argument is free xfers killed all the others servers… Just a few points.

#1. Reminder that wcl is number of characters not individual players. 2.5 nerfs allowed a ton of people to raid on 2,3,4+ characters with the fast raid and removal of attunements.

#2. Upcoming phases are a big movement. We saw a ton of movement just before p2, guilds like to get settled in before the new content. My server was fine through all of p2 then p3 was announced and everyone panicked to move.

#3. If people didn’t get free xfers they were more likely to quit all together than pay. If you’re still on a server that went from 6k people to 900, they obviously aren’t going to pay… so would probably quit without the free option.

#4. If you think the tiny realms are the reason faerlina ally and bene horde died… You are lost lol. Those servers were doomed back in August. After the first 5ish servers left for bene it was just a matter of time. Horde saw that the bene consolidation made sense and blizzard wasn’t going to stop it so faerlina became the horde option.

I agree with this part, I hate how there isn’t much server identity anymore, and have said so a lot. Although I blame Blizzard, the player base, and the game itself (the TBCC expansions mostly instanced content) too.

However, I’ll also agree with Deathsbountys comments and also say that although the free transfers did kill off all of the “free transfer” low pop realms and they did not help medium pop realms I don’t think they were the main catalyst for all of this, because the problems started long before November. That’s why I said “Thank you” to Blizzard in that thread because they did something instead of nothing, after months of doing nothing.

What happened to Faerlina alliance does suck (and Whitemane alliance too) but if you look at all of the servers, and what was happening before that, you can see that “PVP server” allies were already dogpiling onto Benediction for months AND Faerlina and Whitemane both had a large number of horde transfers even before the free came into place.

Your numbers for Faerlina didn’t include the increase of horde in September and October. From September - October 4300 horde started raiding and at the same time servers that had been healthy were dying.

So I think the free transfers sped things up but didn’t cause them.

So again I am not happy with any of this, I think things were much more fun and interesting before when servers actually had identities and there were actually both factions to add some excitement to PVP servers, I just don’t think the free transfers caused these problems to begin with.

Now do I think they should offer more free transfers now as to that point as you mentioned in your last statement? That’s probably a good idea.

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You want to fix the problem caused by transfers with more transfers?

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Pretty much this. The only way to truly fix it is to incentivize leaving and turn off the ability to just go back to what we have. Which is two mega pvp servers busting at the sides.

The thing is Blizzard has fixed this once before by just connecting all realms and making PVP/PVE a player driven flag (in retail). Probably need to take it a step further for all versions and remove realm limitations on raiding and guild groups as well.

TBCC speedrunning all of retail’s decade of server strangulation as people gravitated towards Sargeras and Illidan is funny, but as with the OP, I am not interested in paying to fix a problem that I did not cause.

There are some glaring inconsistencies in the CC post as you pointed out (server identity being totally gone due to servers dying and people being basically forced to xfer off a dead server as examples). Looks like the post died on the vine anyways. Figured it was just a publicity stunt when they saw their numbers dropping

There’s certainly something to be said about the fact that BCC realms have speedran Retail’s server consolidations- I think anyone who isn’t realizing that either didn’t go through those, or is willfully being blind while profiting off paid character moves.

For additional context, here’s a link to a gif showing the WCL raiding population of NA PVP paid transfer realms from 11/3.

At the start of the linked gif, we can see that there were stable raiding populations on most of those servers. After 11/17, the consolidation becomes blatantly apparent.

The statement " we could unintentionally damage the experience of other groups" has rather painfully obviously come to fruition.

They should just merge all servers and shard them so you can play and raid with everyone on the server and then add warmode and personal loot.

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Players want mega servers, this much is clear.

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shrug personal loot doesn’t have a whole lot to do with server pop but if some spaghetti code somehow has made the two inextricably linked instead of an exaggerated strawman, and the only other option is being unable to play, sure

If you did connected realms you would need a way for those people to play with each other in all aspects of the game.

If they wanted to raid together, which you can do in Retail you would need to do personal loot or a way to evenly distribute loot to people not on your server.

Can also connect the realms in a way that people from other servers can join any guild of a connected realm.

Just allow us to group cross server

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I see. Fair. I was envisioning just having the system treat us as all just 1 big mass of players rather than retaining the server breakdown and barriers.

Which, yeah, I know is extreme, but if they dont want to manage server populations its the only way to be sure folks have a uniform chance at a good experience not tied to the luck of choosing the right or wrong realm to start on

There isn’t really chosing the wrong realm unless it’s a player who doesn’t know how to Google server populations.

The mega servers will last all through WOTLK most likely.

It’s pretty sickening isn’t it.

This isn’t difficult to solve.

  1. Open up one time per character free transfers for 1 month, all accounts.

  2. Let god sort it out.

If it’s 3 mega realms standing at the end? So be it.


It will be the mega servers we already have lmfao

Thats exactly my point.

The easiest solution to ‘resolve’ any existing issue, is for Blizzard to cease trying to profit off of the mess, let the players make a choice (limited time offer) and wipe their hands of it.

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hello all, I was wondering if a possible free transfer is in store for the lower pop servers in the near future? I just came back from a long break and my server is completely dead.

What I would like to know is when WOTLK comes out do you think either they will allow free transfers or do you think maybe the low pop servers will pickup again once it hits?
Also when is WOTLk coming?

I am just torn at what to do at this point. I mean do I reroll on a more populated server(doesn’t have to be a mega one} or do I bite the bullet and pay for the transfer?

I have read through many many posts on this forum and reddit and other sources about the server populations and the issues surrounding them.

One thing that I noticed that no one brought up yet , at least I have yet to see it. Is that I don’t understand why blizzard lets all these servers sit there. Aren’t they costing money to keep the lights on and also patch and update or shoot even just general upkeep on all servers = more man power to the company. So to me it seems odd for them to keep these servers running…? I would think that it would cost more money to keep them running and also counting on paid transfers. Maybe it doesn’t cost much to keep them up, but from what I have seen other games do is quite the opposite of what is going on here.

For example Trion Worlds brought back Rift classic or whatever it was called and when the servers died they merged servers instead of keeping the dead ones using up their resources. However, they gave plenty of time for people to plan their destinations.
As far as names went, you were either lucky that one one else had yours or you had to be creative, no big deal. The one thing I think that company did do right though was when ALL players were done with the reborn Rift experience they offered All characters to be able to go to any of the live servers and added free character slots for all accounts. So say you wanted to return to your OG server and your character slots were maxed, they extended so you could do exactly that. Which was pretty cool.

I’m not sure what Bliz plans to do once the classic series is over but, its something they truly should consider and it would benefit them as well to get folks back in retail if players ever wanted to try it or come back.

Another thing that Trion Worlds incorporated in Rift base game that was very cool and solved many problems with low pop servers was the ability to switch servers on a dime.
You simply click your character portrait and you had a change realm option and you just clicked which one you wanted to go to and instantly you were there. Now, you still had your true real home/realm/server that you were dedicated to as far as the AH went and your bank and ya know the main things. But the AH was cross server before they implemented the shard hopping thing, so it didn’t matter much when it came to that. It mattered when it came to guilds, your bank and your in game house but other than that it was a cool feature because , say you couldn’t find a group or mob on one shard but you could on another.
It opened up gameplay in so many ways. I truly think that those developers did an excellent job on some things. Maybe something like that would work well here. It didn’t turn around Rift because , well most people didn’t care for the game so it just wasn’t as popular as WoW. But maybe Blizzard should take note of this from their peers. I still think that Rift had some of the best writers and programmers I’ve ever seen. I was with them for four years and that was towards the end when they were bought out and stuff but its sad when a gaming company goes under. You get to know these devs and what happened to them was just pure crap and I just hope that this company learns and see’s from their peers mistakes.

But ya know as they say, you can leave WOW but you can never fully quit!! haha. :slight_smile: Anyway sorry for the long winded post but, maybe some things might work well here. Just trying to help everyone involved, because lets face it if you are 43 years old like me and still playing games, you want to be a gamer for life, am I right? Lets help solve the problem, offer different solutions, look at other games, I mean it doesn’t hurt that’s for sure. Take care all, in this crazy world.