World of Warcraft server shrinkage
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 10 June 2013, 7:42 am
Blizzard sent me a promotional offer where they are offering everybody services like character transfers to other servers for half price. And that got me wondering where this is going. Fact is that World of Warcraft is shrinking. While the news of the death of WoW might be premature, and estimated extrapolation of the speed of shrinking vary wildly, the general overall direction is undisputedly downwards. And if it is downwards overall a long history of other games has shown that there are only two possible things that can happen: Either each individual server is getting less and less population, or the number of servers has to shrink. Usually it is first the former, followed by the latter.

Thus it is not inconceivable to think of a progression where server transfers are first half-price, then they become free, and ultimately when that led to some servers becoming significantly underpopulated, those servers might shut down and there would be some sort of forced migration.

Of course this is not inevitable. Shrinking server populations have consequences mostly for the parts of the game where people interact with each other, be that in collaborative PvE, in PvP, or in the economy. And Blizzard has a history of solving underpopulation problems by doing cross-server zones. Thus it would presumably be possible to organize all multiplayer activities as cross-server, including cross-server guilds, raiding, and the auction house. The only consequence of an underpopulated server would be you rarely meeting anybody while questing, and I know a lot of people who would consider that as a benefit rather than as a problem.

So what do you think? Are server mergers coming to World of Warcraft, of will Blizzard do without?
Tobold's Blog



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