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Posts with tag low-population

Breakfast Topic: Potential Virtual Realm headaches

We're looking forward to Virtual Realms, which will solve low population problems and make it even easier to play with friends. However, it probably won't be all fun and games. With multiple realms acting as a single realm, you can expect more competition to buy and sell on the auction house; more crowds vying for quest drops and rare spawns; and more players trying to get, well, everything World of Warcraft has to offer. So while cooperative efforts, like world bosses, dungeons, and guilds will most certainly get easier because of the expanded pool of players to pull from, solitary tasks like farming are likely to be a bit more challenging because of those same players.

So we ask you, readers: are you looking forward to virtual realms or are you frustrated that they'll crowd your realm? Are you racing to get farming done before patch 5.4 -- and virtual realms -- arrive?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Officers' Quarters: One realm's solution to low population

Low population realm's shrine area
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

Low population realms have been a problem in WoW as far back as 2007 and they continue to be. Blizzard has opted not to merge realms like other aging MMO's have done. For a long time, players asked for these mergers. They've watched their already low-pop realms bleed more players because of the population problem, making the issue worse and worse.

Recently, Blizzard unveiled their solution this ongoing issue: virtual realms. Potentially slated to arrive in patch 5.4, virtual realms could be the answer that we've been waiting for. In the meantime, however, one low-pop realm has taken matters into their own hands by organizing their guilds and creating a better experience. They call it the Kargath Guild Council on Kargath-US.

I had the pleasure of interviewing two of the minds behind the KGC -- Battlevixen, officer of Bloodsworn, and Merciful, guild leader of The Iron Fist -- about why they founded the council and the challenges they've faced along the way.

What was your realm like prior to the formation of the KGC?

Battlevixen: Prior to KGC, Kargath suffered from attendance issues that did not allow a lot of guilds and groups to raid. We had a lot of smaller guilds/groups that could not fill a 10man roster. Very few players were able to even pug because of this. There was also almost no communication between all the various guilds. Each guild kept to themselves for the most part.

Merciful: In addition to people who just stopped playing WoW, we were losing good players to other realms. The notion is that Kargath is a dying realm, and once that takes root in people's minds, they self-select themselves off the realm.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Do we need a cross-realm Auction House?

Do we need a crossrealm Auction House
I live on a dying server. It's not quite dead, but it's slowly withering away. I'm not sure what happened, exactly, but I have an idea of when -- at the beginning of Wrath of the Lich King, Dalaran was packed. By the end of the expansion, there were far fewer people running around. Orgrimmar in Cataclysm was a quiet place to be, and in Mists, the Horde shrine is populated by a few handful of players. As I said, I don't know what happened, but for some reason the masses that were on my server when I rolled there in Burning Crusade have all but evaporated.

On the one hand, it makes Pandaria a pretty quiet, idyllic place to be. There's hardly any competition for rare spawns, and you don't really have to compete with anyone for quest mobs or ore nodes or herbs, either. There's hardly any drama on the server, by and large because there really aren't enough people around to generate it. Sure, there are a few jerks, but it seems like everyone on the realm is generally relaxed and well-behaved -- as long as you stay out of Trade Chat.

On the other hand, it makes trying to buy or sell anything on the auction house an absolute nightmare.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Economy, Mists of Pandaria

A cautionary tale of lockouts and low-pop realms

A cautionary tale of lockouts and lowpop realms ANY
Imagine if you will that you are in a raid guild that has enjoyed some small amount of success. You've quietly managed to successfully raid your way through each tier of content, and you've managed to snag every realm-first kill of an end boss along the way. Now imagine you are working on a realm-first kill of a boss, wiping endlessly and working on individual performance and tightening up the execution of the fight. Suddenly, another guild grabs that realm-first kill before you do. Frustrating? Yes -- but it's all part of progression raiding.

Only this time, it's different. This time, the realm first was taken by a guild that wasn't really a raiding guild at all. The guild that nabbed the golden ring used a method that skipped all progression fights and instead plopped them at the feet of the final boss, the only one whose death counted for that realm first achievement. How would that make you feel? How would that make your guild feel?

This isn't a far-fetched situation at all. It's already happened. And it spells a bleak future for low-pop realms and the raiders that diligently work at content -- only to have a realm first taken away due to the cross-realm raiding feature.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Breakfast Topic: There goes the neighborhood


Whenever I see free character transfers, I always check to see if my realm is on the list. It never is, probably because it's medium population (though apparently it also has to do with queue times). I don't think I would seriously consider transferring, even for free.

At one point I tried rolling on a low population server. I had a good group of friends to play with, but it was hard to PuG anything. I wound up transferring two characters from that server to my main realm. Several friends did the same. Unless it's an entirely new type of server, I think I'll stay where I am.

Some realms like Ghostlands have really taken off, others remain on the recommended and low population lists indefinitely. Hats off to those willing to colonize new and underpopulated realms, I have no idea how you do it.

What would make you change servers?

Filed under: Realm News, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Ever-enlarging WoW realms spell continued success

In a forum post about the ultimate downfall of WoW, Drysc pops in to explain that WoW still has a long lifespan ahead of it. People who say that the lack of new servers proves there are fewer and fewer new players in the game are missing the big picture. Back before The Burning Crusade was launched, Blizzard did a series of server upgrades that left each realm down for a few days. At the time, they said this was to make things ready for the expansion, but little did we know it would be to such an extent.

Apparently these upgrades allowed Blizzard to keep pushing the maximum realm population up all this time, as more and more players joined the game. There are some relatively "low" population realms, of course, but only in comparison to the new much-increased maximum limit. As Drysc says, "aside from literally a handful of realms (I could count them on one hand), every other realm has a population that would have been considered high to overpopulated before the launch of Burning Crusade." Only recently have certain realms become truly crowded enough to merit free transfers to other realms.

People always like to talk about the eventual downfall of the strongest player in any arena, but the steady growth Drysc is talking about continues, it looks like WoW will be the biggest 800-pound gorilla in the MMO jungle for a good long time to come.

Filed under: Realm News, Odds and ends

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