Discussion on server merges has been fairly quiet, which makes sense since all the details and destinations haven’t been announced yet and it may end up clearing up most of what I’m bringing up. However, there are still things I’d like to bring up and discuss, as well as some things that I feel are missing from the post that I think should be addressed.
Overall I feel that these server merges are well needed. The servers in question are pretty much completely dead and do not really serve any purpose anymore and just clutter up server lists. In my opinion this should have been done way sooner, and could have been useful to keep realms from dying and forcing people towards megaservers.
There is of course still some opportunity to use this system to keep more servers from dying going forward.
Note: I am assuming that these merges will be keeping to these rules wherever possible:
- Same region
- Same language
- Same realm type (PvP->PvP etc.)
I am also assuming that it is desirable to merge these servers into servers that are not completely dead.
With all that out of the way, here are my loosely organized thoughts.
There are a few servers that are not included in the realm consolidation, but in my opinion probably should be. Mainly Razorgore(EU), Earthfury(US East), and Old Blanchy(US West). Arguably extends to (slightly) bigger servers like Ashbringer(EU) and Azuresong(US West).
These servers are low enough in population that they will likely be in the same position
as the other servers on the list in not too long without any help.
In my opinion they should likely be included in FCMs and these realm consolidations.
I also don’t believe that making these servers the destinations for the merge will really do much to help, since the servers being merged are pretty much completely dead.
The lack of balanced realms leaves little to no destinations with a playable population on both factions. For most realms there is no similar realm (same region, language, and type) with a reasonable player base on both factions. This means that regardless of destination some characters will still be on a dead faction, even if the server is not.
I would suggest looking into merging the factions separately in cases where a server which works for both can not be found.
I also want to ask about the possibility of Free Character Migrations on one faction only in the cases where it is more or less completely dead, even if the other faction isn’t.
It seems at this point that there are plenty of players and characters stuck on dead factions, considering how many servers have trended toward a single faction.
SoM realistically only has a couple of active servers left, and could definitely use some merges as well.
For Classic Era merges probably make less sense, since they are already connected instead. I suppose there could still be some benefits to merging these servers over just keeping the connections.
Possibly they’re waiting to see how the merges go first, but this could be well used elsewhere. Especially in SoM.
For SoM & Classic Era specifically I think cross-region or international servers could be interesting. The overall populations are low enough that, at least in my opinion, the benefits start outweighing the issues.
It is possible that this would be useful in Retail as well, but I personally don’t have a good enough grasp on how the servers are set up there, especially in regards to realm connections.
Overall merging and connecting servers are fairly similar solutions to mostly the same problems. The main difference to me seems to be how names are handled. Either adding “-Server” to the name and allowing duplicates, or forcing duplicate names to be changed. Server merges also remove servers entirely, removing clutter and ending up with fewer realms. Connecting the realms leaves the realms “intact”, though practically the connected realms are the same.
I personally prefer merges to keep names unique and -Server out of names as well as ending up with only one server, but these ultimately end up doing very similar things.
This doesn’t affect many people on these dead servers, but could be an obstacle or issue if merging more active servers. Preferably this would be significantly lower to be more reasonably useful on servers that aren’t dead.
Allowing players to transfer manually in advance is somewhat of a workaround, but it is awkward and requires the players to find out about the merge in advance.
These are just some things I’ve wondered about, or seen asked on the forums.
Most are more in the vein of a “I hope you have thought of this” type thing.
- Will Guilds (& Guild Banks) transfer?
- Who gets to keep duplicate names?
- Same for Guild Names
- What happens to Characters & Names on the Forums?
- UI/Character settings? (Currently saved to the server, and has to be copied over when transferring)
I am very curious to see what peoples thoughts are. Especially regarding using Realm Consolidations on more than just already dead servers.