Low populated/ unbalanced servers

85 Gnome Rogue
2125
Danellos

I am not going to keep reposting the quotes because it messes up the thread but here are some answers.

This is a report on the realm closures in 2008 when Russian servers opened, it has been discussed earlier in the thread but I shall repost here for your benefit...

European CM Vaneras made an interesting announcement just the other day: Four EU realms will be closing entirely with Patch 3.0. The EU realms Molten Core, Shadowmoon, Stonemaul, and Warsong will be closing up shop, and free character transfers will be offered to other, currently unannounced EU realms. The destination options will be announced within the next week.

Don't worry, though. These realm closures have nothing to do with any dips in WoW's popularity. It's actually due to the launch of WoW's Russian localization. A vast majority of the players on those particular realms were Russian players, and they migrated to the new Russian servers when they opened up, leaving most everyone else high and dry. The equipment these four servers run off of will likely just be used elsewhere, since Vaneras stated they'll be prepped for Wrath of the Lich King's launch after being taken down. Most likely they'll need to launch a few more realms when Wrath rolls around, but it was just far easier to fold these four into larger communities at this point.


I bolded some important parts.

Blizzard have done it before, they can do it again. As regards naming issues well there are currently sixty one low opulation servers, lets let that sink in for a moment Danellos...

Sixty one low pop servers

This isn't an isolated or small scale problem, it is huge. You could close 30 of those servers and open FCM to the other 30, that really ought to give people a lot of choice to avoid the naming situation.

As regards you being tired of the argument about investors watching realm management etc I agree, they don't pay the slightest attention to internal working like this. However they do pay attention to market analysts, and market analysts pay attention to the media, and the media would be all over the closure of so many realms. So yes, ultimately inverstors would get scared. Put that in the context of Vivendi (Blizzard parent) using Activision Blizzard stocks as securities against loans to support their business expansion and you can soon see why they wouldn't want investors getting twitchy.

You may be disheartened by our scepticism regarding your concerns, but try being disheartened by a low population and degraded gameplay experience since the start of TBC, because that is what many people have faced. Four years Danellos, and the people here that you are sniping at are not whiners, rather they are very loyal customers who have put up with this problem for a very long time and frankly deserve much better repayment for their continued financial support of the game and their loyalty.
90 Human Paladin
7550
Also, what about OPTIONAL FCMs off dead realms to higher population ones?

As I said before, this could be faction only orientated if need be to aid balance on realms that can still be saved (like mine perhaps - Alliance side dying, Horde side ok).

"FCM from Alliance - Sporeggar
to
Alliance - Chamber of Aspects"

"FCM from Horde - Sporeggar
to
Horde - realm with low horde population"


If people don't want to rename their character and stay on 'the 61' they are welcome to do so.

Lots of those realms have completely one sided populations, so no one will notice the difference when the last few people no longer turn up in SW to watch the Horde kill the king etc.

If it turns out everyone accepts, then closing the realm afterwards becomes a non issue. Don't see what the technical problems with such a service would be, especially as it's being offered to small groups of players from the dead realms only.
Edited by Whitebeardo on 16/02/2012 08:25 GMT
85 Gnome Rogue
2125
Let us try and draw some attention to the issue in the media.

This is the report a story link for the BBC Watchdog consumer rights television show.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/watchdog/gotastory/thanks.shtml

Send your story, tell your friends, let us get some momentum going in the media if we can to apply a bit more pressure. Focus on the population issue and the high charges applied to move simply to experience the game in full.
Edited by Sweepp on 16/02/2012 08:24 GMT
85 Tauren Death Knight
8145
Let us try and draw some attention to the issue in the media.

This is the report a story link for the BBC Watchdog consumer rights television show.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/watchdog/gotastory/thanks.shtml

Send your story, tell your friends, let us get some momentum going in the media if we can to apply a bit more pressure. Focus on the population issue and the high charges applied to move simply to experience the game in full.



Im not 100% sure that trying to draw media attention to a gamer *perceived* issue would actually add anything worthwhile to the situation as it stands.
It smacks of desperation, which i admit, some players *feel* desperate.
Dont discount me out of the argument, i have 9 characters i want on sporeggar, one of the lowest pop realms, so i DO have a vested interest in this discussion.
PCM for me would, at this moment in time, be financial non-viable, so the only option left to me is play as best i can, and hope that at some point, something opens the way to improve my perception of game play.

but lets take facts as they actually stand....the game in itself is open to me and ALL aspects of it are available...just like the agreement with blizzard states they will be - no breach of service agreement there.

I'm not suggesting that you *dont* do what you stated, that is entirely your choice to do, i just think that you will not be able to put forward a balanced, unbiased story, as you have a vested interest in *forcing* Blizzard to do something (open up FCM, realm merge etc etc)

If you are totally open to criticism, may i suggest that if you *do* decide to send a story to watchdog, you post it here first to let the fan base you will be proposing to represent read it and critique it?

After all, we are all different animals and have different opinions on the way things are said.

regards

85 Tauren Death Knight
8145
Let us try and draw some attention to the issue in the media.

This is the report a story link for the BBC Watchdog consumer rights television show.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/watchdog/gotastory/thanks.shtml

Send your story, tell your friends, let us get some momentum going in the media if we can to apply a bit more pressure. Focus on the population issue and the high charges applied to move simply to experience the game in full.



Im not 100% sure that trying to draw media attention to a gamer *perceived* issue would actually add anything worthwhile to the situation as it stands.
It smacks of desperation, which i admit, some players *feel* desperate.
Dont discount me out of the argument, i have 9 characters i want on sporeggar, one of the lowest pop realms, so i DO have a vested interest in this discussion.
PCM for me would, at this moment in time, be financial non-viable, so the only option left to me is play as best i can, and hope that at some point, something opens the way to improve my perception of game play.

but lets take facts as they actually stand....the game in itself is open to me and ALL aspects of it are available...just like the agreement with blizzard states they will be - no breach of service agreement there.

I'm not suggesting that you *dont* do what you stated, that is entirely your choice to do, i just think that you will not be able to put forward a balanced, unbiased story, as you have a vested interest in *forcing* Blizzard to do something (open up FCM, realm merge etc etc)

If you are totally open to criticism, may i suggest that if you *do* decide to send a story to watchdog, you post it here first to let the fan base you will be proposing to represent read it and critique it?

After all, we are all different animals and have different opinions on the way things are said.

regards



edit: just to add, can we please have this thread stickied and extended?
so many of these threads disappear off pages and new ones are started...a sticky *would* be beneficial
90 Undead Warlock
18325
16/02/2012 06:04Posted by Danellos
It is easy to do such an operation with a realm that is new and fresh, such as what the Russian realms where upon having been released. However, taking two realms and then "merging" them into one is a different matter altogether, and there are technical limitations at the moment that requires overcoming.

By merging they mean to move all chars from the low pop realms to a 3rd mid populated realm and close the 2 others. There is no creation of another realm involved.
16/02/2012 06:04Posted by Danellos
If they close, say, 5 realms and force those people in those 5 realms to migrate to one, that will create quite a number of issues relating to naming conflicts, thus forcing players to rename their cherished character. If they make it optional, it won't work. Why? Because why on earth would players go and migrate to a newly-opened realm when they, as we speak (albeit from high or low pop realms), are already reluctant to move to realms that have players in it already? Logical sense - this has none! The only reason the Russians moved is because they got their own client and a place where they can identify with people from their own country and speak their own language freely.

Again the name excuse. But its no issue when using paid character transfer?! Logical sense - this has none!
16/02/2012 06:04Posted by Danellos
Oh come on, I am so tired of this argument. Blizzard's shareholders are not interested in how they do realm administration or how they develop their game in a technical level. Blizzard's shareholders are interested in the profits that are being yielded from the game. Markets have absolutely nothing to do with anything here.

Then how do you explain the lack of free transfers since paid transfer got implented?

Voodun´s post is irrelevant because his version of how the system works... well, it doesnt work that way. We dont have 10mil players using a whole network, we have several hubs. US, EU, RUS and China. Those hubs are not connected to eachother which limits the usage significantly. Inside each hub, players can only interact with different language zones via real id. The rest is devided by battlegroups for battlefields, arenas and dungeons. Also limiting the bandwith usage of the network. Only real id works hub-wide.
Now look at the char transfer system with above picture of how the realms are connected. A char transfer is nothing else than a change in the database from [realmA] to [realmB]. The new realm then copies the information of the old entry (chars, inventory, bank and such) into its own database. The only limit that I see at this point is harddrive space which should not be an issue. Is there a naming issue? No.
Now create a situation that realmA has free char transfers to realmB, realmC and realmD so that in the end realmA can be shut down because there are hardly any players. Is there a naming issue? Surprisingly yes (according to green and blue).
For the network of realms or the software that handles dungeons, battlegrounds and arenas, the players from realmA are just not online if the realm is shut down. Real id system finds the chars because it works differently.

The solution players want is a free char transfer from dead realmA to not dead and not crowded realmB-D. Now I take my own realm with 10.810 ranked chars (from wowprogress) and devide it by 9 (the max number of chars per account), I end up with roughly 1.200 accounts. Thats both factions combined (Horde/Alliance: 0.23/1). That would normaly be 216k € for paid char transfers. Thats alot of money for the "not caring" share holders.

So to solve this low population server issue, there is no technical work involved except to shut down the empty realm. If paid transfers dont have naming issues, then the simple solution of free transfers doesnt have it either.
85 Tauren Druid
6365
16/02/2012 06:04Posted by Danellos
And you didn't read pretty much the whole of this thread it seems. The "merging" that is proposed most often is in the context of server closure and FCM to other realms. It has been done before in TBC when Russian servers opened so it is proven to be possible.


It is easy to do such an operation with a realm that is new and fresh, such as what the Russian realms where upon having been released. However, taking two realms and then "merging" them into one is a different matter altogether, and there are technical limitations at the moment that requires overcoming.

If you are referring to the idea that they make a new realm and then force people to migrate to that one, it could work. However, they are likely to get quite a bit of flak if players are being forced to move to a realm alongside those who are from other realms, and then naming conflicts arise forcing them to rename their cherished characters. Moving to Russian realms was optional, so they dealt with these issues on their own voilition.
.


sorry but for the love of god please do some research before commenting esp as you are someone blizzard has chosen to "promote" good posting.

Back when they did the russian realms on warsong we lost about 1/3-1/2 of our realms players and were forced to migrate and we didnt mind as we expected to be given realms so our playing would not be damaged but nope the realms we were offered did just that for many and damaged the experience as we were now on far less populated realms, the "destination realms" we were given had LESS population than our realm had after all the russians bailed. And we still had far more than some of the current low pop realms.

The recent loss of portugese from many realms has further damaged said realms esp the low pop ones that can't afford all the paid transfers fleeing the realms.

So please as a green you should at least have an iota of confidence in what your saying not horrendously wrong like you have posted in the quote i used.
MVP - WoW, StarCraft II
85 Worgen Druid
7410
Right, there are some misconceptions about what happened with the Russian realms. I will try to explain it to you.

First of all, there was no such thing as a "merge" that happened with the Russian realms as you may call it. Its not the kind of merge that you thought it was, because it wasn't really a merge.

As you know, there were a few English realms that consisted of 98% Russian players. When the non-Russian players transffered away from these marked realms, they were converted to Russian realms under different names using the same equipment. Hence, these realms were not really ever shut down, just moved and converted. Its pretty much like what happened with Magtheridon, Mazrigos and Veknilash realms, which were changed into PVE realms.

Several weeks of extended maintenance was required in order for what happened to be a success. They needed to transfer a lot of the equipment to the new data centres in order for the Russian launch to work. Although a lengthy process, it was successful as the impact of this move was minimal.

Merging realms is not a simple matter of entering a few lines of code and then flicking a few switches. The developers believe that there are more elegant ways of getting this problem solved.

In conclusion, no realm was ever really shut down. They were merely converted.
Edited by Danellos on 16/02/2012 14:58 GMT
85 Tauren Death Knight
8145
16/02/2012 14:28Posted by Zasz
Voodun´s post is irrelevant because his version of how the system works... well, it doesnt work that way.


then enlighten us to how it actually works?

i said that there is a *potential* for every user to log on at once....i didnt say they would.
we are talking about network resiliency here...and *potential* usage.

yes there are eu/us/kr hubs...so work it out and average it....still a few million users per hub that can potentially log on to each hub at once.

load balancing servers are a must in any type of server based system that would take this kind of traffic.
i dont see how you can dismiss my post as irrelevant simply because YOU have a different viewpoint. I always welcome new information, and am happy to be proved wrong, but casting a post as irrelevant is simply egotistical.

I could very well say your post is irrelevant because it *doesnt work that way* but i have refrained (oops) simply because i gave an example of how one type of system *may* *potentially* work, and even then, i only touched on one small part of that network.

Please refrain from trying to make your posts seem more valuable than others by attempting to put down others. It doesnt add anything to the discussion other than to engender and create an atmosphere.

thanks
85 Gnome Rogue
2125
Voodun - I am always open to suggestions.

I have done a bit of research so far and there is some proposed EU legislation regarding online subscriptions and so being considered at the moment.

The fundamental principle of it is that people should not be sold a service which they later have to pay more to take full advantage of due to the provider not taking appropriate action to inform them.

For example, a player rolls on a "recommended realm" which is usually low pop, discovers that there is barely anyone to play with and wants to move to another realm. On doing this they discover the paid character transfer fee. This fee is not detailed in the initial purchase and since the company provided a recommendation then the new legislation will see it as unfair.

There are other national and international discussions taking place about consumer protection on the internet, with some attention on gaming of one kind or another. SO getting our voice heard now may go some way to ensuring that all gamers get more protection in the future.

As regards that specific consumer program, simply tell your own story, and if more people do that then the journalists will be interested and do the necessary investigations.


Oh and Danellos, you are wrong again, go back and actually read the thread instead of knee-jerking at the first post you see to white knight Blizzard.

90 Undead Warlock
18325
@Voodun
In your explaination the whole wow world is being used by 10mil players. But only the hubs are being used by the amount of players per hub which is less than 10mil. Maybe someone has some numbers about the amount of players for each hub. And on top of that the servers should be able to handle 10mil players but there are not 10mil players online because thats the whole amount of total players with a subscribtion worldwide. You asume that they all play simultanusly which they dont. If the server can handle 10mil players online at the same time is not part of any discussion until one hub reachs this amount of subscribers.

But traffic isnt an issue or even related to this topic. If it would, any kind of transfer, be it free or paid, would affect the traffic. One realm less and moving all players from that realm would move the traffic from one end to another, not increase or decrease it. There isnt more traffic inside a server cluster with any solution in this thread. If it causes inbalance inside the servers with such big movements of players/chars, then I can hardly imagine that the servers could not handle it. Especially by looking at some servers with more than 20k players in relation to servers with less than 5k.

16/02/2012 15:01Posted by Voodun
Please refrain from trying to make your posts seem more valuable than others by attempting to put down others. It doesnt add anything to the discussion other than to engender and create an atmosphere.

Thats not my intention. Sorry about the harsh selection of my words towards your post.
85 Tauren Druid
6365
Right, there are some misconceptions about what happened with the Russian realms. I will try to explain it to you.

First of all, there was no such thing as a "merge" that happened with the Russian realms as you may call it. Its not the kind of merge that you thought it was, because it wasn't really a merge.

As you know, there were a few English realms that consisted of 98% Russian players. When the non-Russian players transffered away from these marked realms, they were converted to Russian realms under different names using the same equipment. Hence, these realms were not really ever shut down, just moved and converted. Its pretty much like what happened with Magtheridon, Mazrigos and Veknilash realms, which were changed into PVE realms.

Several weeks of extended maintenance was required in order for what happened to be a success. They needed to transfer a lot of the equipment to the new data centres in order for the Russian launch to work. Although a lengthy process, it was successful as the impact of this move was minimal.

Merging realms is not a simple matter of entering a few lines of code and then flicking a few switches. The developers believe that there are more elegant ways of getting this problem solved.

In conclusion, no realm was ever really shut down. They were merely converted.


I was on the Warsong realm , read back i was the first to post the details in this thread.

What happened was:

1: Russian realms were created much akin to how the portugese realms were recently and free migrations given to those realms

2: after all the ruskies migrated we had some formerly high pop realms reduced to low/mid pop ( and more lively than many current low pops)

3: After some complaints blizzard opted to SHUT four realms and give all on the "closed realms" a set of destinations for fcm's from the closed realms.

So the precedence is there that realms were CLOSED and mass Fcm's off the 4 closed realms made mandatory not MERGED as you keep trying to switch it to. If anyones not getting what happened its the likes of yourself , A lot of the communitys of those realms were forcibly migrated and in some cases to realms that had lower populations than the closed realms.

So again please for the love of god read whats being said. and stop trying to bait and switch closed with all given FCM of the realm with "Merged" which is the company excuse for allowing realms who can at peak times have as few as 20 people on one or the other faction to remain active.
Edited by Dannin on 16/02/2012 16:38 GMT
Community
16/02/2012 15:01Posted by Voodun
Please refrain from trying to make your posts seem more valuable than others by attempting to put down others. It doesnt add anything to the discussion other than to engender and create an atmosphere.


Quoted for emphasis!

The discussion has become rather heated, which of course is understandable since this is a topic that is very important to quite a few people. I know that it is easy to get carried away when you are discussing a topic that you feel very strongly about, but please try to voice your opinions and provide your feedback in a calm and constructive manner.

Now, to get back on topic. I'm afraid there is little new information that we can share with you at this moment in time, but I feel it important to repeat what was posted by my colleague Zarhym over on the US forums to make sure that everyone here on the EU forums get a chance to read it as well:

Yesterday we discussed low-population and faction-imbalanced realms with our developers. They have some pretty bold and spectacular plans for addressing this in anticipation of implementing some of the features we plan to in Mists. I just don't have a lot of information to share with you at this stage of programming and development.

I realize that this is not what some of you want to hear, that you want something a little more immediate and tangible, but unfortunately there is not much I can say right now to address that. Hopefully you are aware that we are not just ignoring the issue, and that it is a matter that we take quite seriously.
86 Human Hunter
12380
So, we're left to our deserted servers until the launch of MoP?

Well, hope things will be finally fixed then. I aint going to be around to see if something finally changed..
90 Undead Warlock
18325
16/02/2012 16:45Posted by Vaneras
Yesterday we discussed low-population and faction-imbalanced realms with our developers. They have some pretty bold and spectacular plans for addressing this in anticipation of implementing some of the features we plan to in Mists. I just don't have a lot of information to share with you at this stage of programming and development.

There are plans but we are not supposed to know what they are...
Hopefully you are aware that we are not just ignoring the issue, and that it is a matter that we take quite seriously.

I dont buy that after 5 years of no actions.
90 Night Elf Priest
9520
Hate to say it, but wasn't the "we'll see how the balance lies after the expansion" line dropped for both Wrath and Cataclysm - because it's working spectacularly this far isn't it!
1 Human Warrior
0


Yesterday we discussed low-population and faction-imbalanced realms with our developers. They have some pretty bold and spectacular plans for addressing this in anticipation of implementing some of the features we plan to in Mists. I just don't have a lot of information to share with you at this stage of programming and development.

I realize that this is not what some of you want to hear, that you want something a little more immediate and tangible, but unfortunately there is not much I can say right now to address that. Hopefully you are aware that we are not just ignoring the issue, and that it is a matter that we take quite seriously.


Oh Vaneras- When does it come in realm of ignoring the issue?How much time is needed to pass?When the issues has been with us for years and every time you(not you personally ,but some Blizzard CM) post that you are working on it and there are solutions coming in future ,but you never can give us any details what are we supposed to think?That you are doing everything you can to fix it? I dont think so.
Edited by Cenman on 16/02/2012 17:01 GMT
85 Tauren Druid
6365
16/02/2012 16:45Posted by Vaneras
Please refrain from trying to make your posts seem more valuable than others by attempting to put down others. It doesnt add anything to the discussion other than to engender and create an atmosphere.


Quoted for emphasis!

The discussion has become rather heated, which of course is understandable since this is a topic that is very important to quite a few people. I know that it is easy to get carried away when you are discussing a topic that you feel very strongly about, but please try to voice your opinions and provide your feedback in a calm and constructive manner.

Now, to get back on topic. I'm afraid there is little new information that we can share with you at this moment in time, but I feel it important to repeat what was posted by my colleague Zarhym over on the US forums to make sure that everyone here on the EU forums get a chance to read it as well:

Yesterday we discussed low-population and faction-imbalanced realms with our developers. They have some pretty bold and spectacular plans for addressing this in anticipation of implementing some of the features we plan to in Mists. I just don't have a lot of information to share with you at this stage of programming and development.

I realize that this is not what some of you want to hear, that you want something a little more immediate and tangible, but unfortunately there is not much I can say right now to address that. Hopefully you are aware that we are not just ignoring the issue, and that it is a matter that we take quite seriously.



One of the main reason its heated is because many of us were told

Sunwell update will fix the population issues as players are just bored .....nope
Wotlk will fix the population issues....... Didn't happen
Cata will fix the population issues ......... Nothing Happened

And now we are all being told to sit and wait until MoP which based on the last 2 expansions wont be out till around Xmas time.

This is why many are getting heated as the recent loss of the portugese with fcms to a portugese only realm has done such damage to the low pop realms that its unlikely some will recover with a struggle to get raids together on some factions all we are left with is the raid finder or pay for an fcm or re-roll from scratch as "account bound"items are actually realm bound.
85 Gnome Rogue
2125
Vaneras, can you answer some questions that might help us to understand why this seems to be such a difficult issue for Blizzard to address?

Why has no effective solution been offered in the 4 years that the problem existed despite repeated promises that it would be fixed?

Why are more and more realms opened for localisation with no recognition of the fact that without closing some realms (as done with Warsong etc in 2008) you simply create more ghost servers?

Why is there no recognition of the fact that FCM from full realms does not solve the low pop realms problems?

Why is there no discussion with the commuity over potential solutions?

Why should the populations of the sixty one low pop realms and the numerous populations of unbalanced servers believe that anything will be done to solve this problem ever?

Sixty one servers vaneras, and we can see that the German, French and Spanish realms are facing the same problems and have raised these concerns with no answer too.

You are a community manager, we are the community, and although we are low pop realms and unbalanced realms we are still a significant number of customers paying subs and trying to enjoy a game we have been loyal to for years. I think we deserve better than "we hear you, wait till MoP".
Edited by Sweepp on 16/02/2012 17:26 GMT
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