Everyone knows of the concept, the rich become richer. This seems to be going for the populated realms as well. The populated become more populated (and often unbalanced), while the small realms grow more and more empty.
Over the past few months we all have seen the amount of threads "help my realm is dying", "where is everyone?!", "please fcm to our realm, we need Alliance/ Horde!". This due to the realms growing empty or the balance becoming worse and worse.
In some cases Blizzard/ Dev's listened to us. They were kind enough to open up FCM to those realms that struggle. This mostly from overpopulated realms that are in a position that they are actually having queues to get in to the game. This is all well meant and probably a better solution in the eyes of blizzard, but what does it actually do? People often don't want to transfer from a high populated realm to a low population realm with a horrible AH and most of the time a lack of player pool to recruit from.
Ofcourse the only numbers we, the community have, are the numbers we see on WoWprogress and various other sites. The raiding/ PvP guilds are the ones suffering the most, or the guilds trying to set up raiding or PvPing. There's hardly anyone that wants to transfer voluntarily to an empty realm, no matter how good the guild is. I bet Method might be one of the few exceptions that might get members in, but I think even they might struggle a bit. Simply because, if they fail their trial, there is no option to go to, because there's no other raiding/ pvp guild (a bit of dramatization, but it's the case on a lot of realms with having 1 or 2 good raiding/ pvp guilds).
Sure from a company's point of view it's best to let it plod along, because hey, people will pay if the situation gets too unbearable right. Imagine a guild transferring, all that money. From the communities point of view. Alot of people don't have the money to transfer their toon. Or they transferred in the past and spend a bucket load of money before and they simply just want to go to a realm that doesn't die out. I'm one of those people myself and I know plenty of others who have spend alot of money to transfer, only to see the realm going from active to pretty much a ghostrealm.
Sure FCM can solve the problem, but most of the time those people will transfer back or stop playing altogether.
These are the realms taken from WoWprogress, the English realms. The balance is made up from level 85's who at least killed Magmaw on normal or their guild has. The reason I'm focusing on these numbers is that, just because a server might have a lot of low level alts, it doesn't do anything for the realm. Those people often don't want to raid or PvP or don't get past level 40. See the unbalance on several realms with high and low population. See that if you were to actually put realms together or let realms with a high alliance/ horde population transfer to a realm where there is alot of unbalance going on might actually be a much better way to have people to keep on playing. Give the low populated realms a chance to actually go somewhere that isn't on the edge of dying out. Instead of the high populated realms a transfer to some place that's growing more empty by the day, cause they will not take it.
(Go to Wowprogress -> Realms (drop down EU) -> Click on EN to see the list. I can't link it for whatever reason.)
Like I said from a company's point of view this is no way an interesting something. Sure people can yell "just do a paid character transfer - big deal". In my opinion, if you go to an active realm, that seems to be dying slowly, I think the company should say and step up "now it's time to fix this, because this is unfair to the ones involved".
With the drop in subscription and the people around me quitting, I don't even think it would be that much of a bad idea to open up new realms - don't get me wrong there. Have people from unbalanced realms get a free FCM there from one of the sides. Or however you could actually solve it, realms put together with H 1: 0.2 A with realms who are H 0,4: 1 A stuff like that. Anything to keep things balanced, but yet not too crowded on the realm. I'm sure something like that would be possible. It might look like a bad thing at first from a company's point of view, but I'm positively sure the community might be grateful and that you will see this in the numbers of the people who keep playing. As I know alot on our realm are just quitting and I know from other people their realms are suffering the same.
Just think about it. A small sacrifice might look bad, but could be a flourishing future.
Don't hesitate to drop your opinion about the subject or any ideas, or how your realm is suffering from any of the above problems.
Thanks for reading.