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Posts with tag realm-population

WoW Rookie: How to choose a new realm

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Back in the day, I never would have believed that players would be so willing to up and transfer realms. It's not just the $25-per-character fee -- it's the loss of your alts and all their skills, as well as your friends and social circles. Yet here we are, with players hopping from one realm to the next at the drop of a hat. This apparent willingness to pay to move from realm to realm in search of an optimal play experience has forever altered the solidarity of the realm community experience. Today's players are much more likely to view a fresh start on another realm as merely one more way to chase down the precise playstyle they're after.

In the face of such a massive list of available realms, how on earth can you start whittling down the choices?
  1. Read our basic article explaining the different types of realms.
  2. Join us after the break for more specific tips for realm-hopping players.

Read more →

Filed under: PvP, Raiding, RP, WoW Rookie

Where are you heading once Wrath hits?

In an earlier post I spent some time wondering if it might be a good idea to level a Shaman alongside the new fleet of Death Knights guaranteed to appear once Wrath hits. A lot of commenters were of the opinion (correct, I think) that the desire to avoid hugely crowded areas is probably better served by leveling an alt to 58-60 and sticking it in Outland. The alt can then await the surge of Death Knights who decide to continue leveling, and who should have some experience with its playstyle by then. While I'm still most likely to level my main to 80 once the expansion hits, having an alt in a less crowded area of the game is pretty appealing. For all I know, the Borean Tundra and Howling Fjord will be packed to the scuppers too. I play on a laptop with a wireless connection, so my gameplay tends to suffer badly when the area I'm in resembles Los Angeles during rush hour. Avoiding overcrowded areas is no small thing.

My realm's considered medium population, but we've still got enough people that, if even 10% of the population typically online at server high time decides to roll a Death Knight once Wrath is released, Eastern Plaguelands is going to be in total gridlock for a while. The same thought occurred to a few friends, who wondered if they might be better off spending a week or two on low-level alts in an empty Azeroth while waiting for the furor to die down. With that said, that's not an ideal option if your guild wants to start raiding as early as possible, or if you just don't want to be left behind by guildies leveling to 80.

I'm genuinely curious. Let's say you've bought the expansion, installed it, and you're at the character selection screen on your usual realm with the option to create a Death Knight, hit your main, or head to an alt. Given your own personal circumstances, which do you pick, and where are you going in those first few hours?

What do you plan to do once Wrath hits?
Head to the Eastern Plaguelands and level a Death Knight.2057 (17.7%)
Level my main to 80.8676 (74.8%)
Reroll.278 (2.4%)
Spend some quiet time leveling an alt in Azeroth.593 (5.1%)

Filed under: Shaman, Polls, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Leveling, Alts, Death Knight

Tracking realm population and how Blizzard does it

Once again, I would really love to see all the statistics Blizzard has as to when and where players play. When a player complains that his realm, Agamaggan, is too low population, Drysc replies that actually, Agamaggan isn't even in the bottom 25 realms. Agamaggan is seeing a 55% nightly population (which means 55% of the realm's normal population is logged on at night), and Drysc says Coilfang (which drops all the way down to a 30% nightly population) could use more help.

He also says that about 200 out of the 225 realms aren't even "hitting capacity" (they've had no queues on them for a month or more), and that most of the realms fall into a "middle area" of population size, where there are enough players to keep up raiding and an economy, but not so many that it's overcrowded. It's also interesting that "overcrowded" isn't actually based on any feelings the players have (at least in this estimation-- who knows what other factors Blizzard examines to keep players happy). Instead, it's all based on the number of players each realm can hold, which was increased in the Burning Crusade. So realms that were "high pop" before BC are actually "middle pop" now-- even if you feel your realm is crowded, as long as they're no queues, Blizzard says things are fine.

And Drysc can even look up the Alliance to Horde ratio on Agamaggan-- it's currently about 1.1:1. Warcraft Realms has a pretty good guess-timation at where realms and numbers are at, but the numbers Blizzard is collecting are probably so accurate they'd make grown statisticians weep. We've gotten small peeks at what they're tracking, but like I said, I'd love to see everything they know about us and our behavior.

Filed under: Realm News, Analysis / Opinion, Ranking, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Economy

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