A solution to dead realms and 1 hour queues

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Blizzard has currently done everything they can, pouring tons of resources and money into making a system that allowed cross realm, guilds and servers.

People are stuck on ether a dead server or a server with a queue of two hour.
How to solve this you ask?
Well here we go, this conclusion will blow your brains out, it took me years of thinking, but I think I finally know how it can be solved!
Are you ready!?

Make paid character transfers free already

But that won't happen, because blizzard is making a ton of $$$ from it.
For this reason they are driving there own game trough the ground.

The resources they put into making cross realm guilds would have been better if put into a creating a automated transfer system.

What do you guys think? would free char transfer solve these issue?
Blizzard has currently done everything they can, pouring tons of resources and money into making a system that allowed cross realm, guilds and servers.

People are stuck on ether a dead server or a server with a queue of two hour.
How to solve this you ask?
Well here we go, this conclusion will blow your brains out, it took me years of thinking, but I think I finally know how it can be solved!
Are you ready!?

Make paid character transfers free already

But that won't happen, because blizzard is making a ton of $$$ from it.
For this reason they are driving there own game trough the ground.

The resources they put into making cross realm guilds would have been better if put into a creating a automated transfer system.

What do you guys think? would free char transfer solve these issue?


Actually, it might make matters worse.

Hypothetical situation: You're on a nicely balanced realm with a healthy population. The next day a large portion of players from your faction decide to move to another realm for whatever reason, maybe to dominate the opposite faction there. With no cost involved, it would be an easy thing to up and move on the spur of the moment. Your realm would now be quieter and you'd be on the minority faction. You'd probably want to move as well after that. Would anyone from your faction ever roll a char or transfer willingly to that server once the faction balance was skewed like that?

Right now, if people could freely move to whatever server they wanted, what do you think would happen? I strongly suspect the busier realms would get busier and the quieter realms would get quieter. The horde-heavy realms would become horde-only and the same with Alliance.

But I'm genuinely interested in your opinion on this, what do you think would happen?
Give it a cooldown of a month.

You can't deny that your "services" are ridiculously overpriced.
If that's the only reason you take money for it, give people more ways to pay

either pay gold, pay money or have a CD on it.

But I'm genuinely interested in your opinion on this, what do you think would happen?


You are right, because there are too many realms for the current amount of players. As long as that continues it's impossible to balance realms. Fairly basic math. If the amount of realms would scale with the player volume, then balance might be achieved.
Simple if you can move whole chars between servers, get rid of all those dead servers and just transfer the guilds/players remaining to 1 realm till its atleast medium.

Saves cost right less server to maintain etc.
No, once per year free migrate would fix this solution
It would solve more problems than it would cause, because low population is a years old matter before Blizzard decided to do something about it, and it's now rotting.
In the worst of case, it would be a realm selection each time you log in instead of once. People would favor highly populated realms and those their friends go to. Since it would be free, you would only be on a dead realm if you decided to be, because you may keep on transfering. Which in my ears sound sweet.

Oh yes what about connected realms ? It was suggestively due for 5.4 but right now it just looks like GMs' little playground, where they seem to pick on a day basis what servers would be fun for them to connect, for example on the French side, Naxxramas and Temple noir who are both deserted, which must be useful...

Of course in this topic I expect to see a bunch of people pull the brake, saying :
-it's technically hard on the servers,
-that the developers don't have time for whatever,
-that players are the worst kind in humanity so they'll use it bad or there will be abuse.
-that Blizz gotta make money, while their overall pricing is already the highest in the whole MMO scene.
Just in order to prevent WoW from ever going ahead for once, even though its age has passed and it changed already a lot, when it could keep evolving and getting better.
I don't think moving realm or faction changes should be free, but the amount being charged currently is Robbery. However, I think something like this could work.

Instead of having a flat fee for a migration and faction changes, charge a higher amount based on the realm population and server balance.

So if someone wants to move to a realm like Draenor which is locked and has 1 to 2 hours wait times charge them more than someone who wants to move to say medium server population where there is a very small horde/alliance pop so the realm can become more balanced and populated.

I think you will find the server queue issue fixes itself in your favor most of the time and people are discouraged from moving an entire guild to an already heaving realm.

Edit: Another thought also, using the realm I play on as an example - we pretty much have no alliance here so maybe balance the faction with cheap faction change for horde to alliance or make it free. Then these poor sods can actually kill a world boss once in a while.
Personally what I think is best is the ability to transfer characters between realms without monitary cost, along with the paid service as it is now.

To allow for better balancing, the free service could have an account-wide cooldown of a month or more, allowing only one character to be moved at a time, and any transferred characters should be locked to their new server for a period of 3-6 months.
This will serve to deter 'server-hopping'.
People with bad conduct/harassment/cheating strikes on their account may be locked out of this service for a period of time, reducing their options of avoiding punishment.

'Free' transfers could use the older models of the current paid transfer system in terms of the ability to bring only a small amount of money, to avoid economical disasters. Players would be restricted to bringing items and rely on the new server's economy to get their wealth back.

Once a realm reaches high/full status, it is locked from the service.

And here is my little idea for a way to deal with 'dead' servers:
Make them into another type of server. Call it either 'inactive' or 'casual'. Allow people only free transfers out of it, and only paid transfers into it. Put inactive accounts into them automatically after a period of 3 months, same time as it takes for a guild to get a new leader after inactivity. These will be a sort of 'retirement' servers marketed to those who want a peaceful, low-population experience. To avoid them becoming high population, they cannot be transferred into for free.
If people placed in from inactivity don't want to be there, they can transfer out, free of charge. Battletag will tell them where their friends are, after all.


Let me know what you think of my ideas. Hope this helps in some way.
28/10/2013 18:01Posted by Sunday
Oh yes what about connected realms ? It was suggestively due for 5.4 but right now it just looks like GMs' little playground, where they seem to pick on a day basis what servers would be fun for them to connect, for example on the French side, Naxxramas and Temple noir who are both deserted, which must be useful...


Connected Realms were designed specifically to tackle the issue of low population realms. We've begun with the process as mentioned here, and there are many more realms yet to be connected. It has been a long and careful process, selecting which realms to connect, and we're pushing forward with it carefully but purposefully. Realms will continue to be connected with other realms until they have a healthy population, so please don't assume that we're done with the realms that have been involved so far if their population isn't yet ideal.

As I said earlier, the ability to move for free, even with a cooldown, could potentially cause overnight faction/population fluctuations which the current costs somewhat prevent. However, we are always looking for ways to help with faction imbalance/population issues, so please continue with your feedback :)
As I understand it however, characters are server-specific, unlike some of the other battlenet data. At the moment transferring a character involves copying across data, then deleting it at the original end.
This isn't why the cost is to high, (from a blue post a few years ago, I vaguely recall them pointing out that they were aware that they would make more money from the transfer service if they lowered the price) but it does make it impossible to swap realms quite so casually as a choice when you log in. I'm sure that in their next MMO, Blizzard may bear that option in mind if they put less emphasis on server communities, but in WoW, that is the code and system that they are stuck with.

The prices are deliberately high, since they were trying to foster the server as a community and they were aware that players will tend to move to unbalance server and faction populations. What I think caught them out was the range of incomes and motivations among the playerbase, which means that many more people than they thought were willing to use the transfer a lot, even while others were complaining that the cost was prohibitive.

Even now, people complain that it is too expensive, despite the evidence that too many people have been willing to transfer servers and factions.

They are still being rather conservative with implementing connected realms in case problems crop up. This is of course not going to go down well with many of the players who want a fix before the next time that they log in.

Doesn't it make sense to start on the lowest pop servers first though? Not only are less people affected if something goes wrong, but those are the realms in most need of bringing into a group.

They seem to be trying to avoid actual mergers and deletions, which does fit in with their policy of not forcing changes on player's characters if possible.
28/10/2013 18:42Posted by Duskhoof
The prices are deliberately high, since they were trying to foster the server as a community and they were aware that players will tend to move to unbalance server and faction populations. What I think caught them out was the range of incomes and motivations among the playerbase, which means that many more people than they thought were willing to use the transfer a lot, even while others were complaining that the cost was prohibitive.


This is a very good point. To some people, the cost is negligible - not worth thinking about. To others, it's an impossible wall. So cost as a restraining mechanism has this limitation, and a bit unfair.

Perhaps a relatively cheap transfer, but with a serious account-wide cooldown on it - at least 6 months - combined with a very expensive paid transfer at any time. But I'm sure they've worked that out and simulated what would be likely to happen.

At any rate, this is the worst time to make a change in the transfer services. When Connected Realms settles down, and we see the new pop figures, it might be worth revisiting then.
And here is my little idea for a way to deal with 'dead' servers:
Make them into another type of server. Call it either 'inactive' or 'casual'. Allow people only free transfers out of it, and only paid transfers into it. Put inactive accounts into them automatically after a period of 3 months, same time as it takes for a guild to get a new leader after inactivity. These will be a sort of 'retirement' servers marketed to those who want a peaceful, low-population experience. To avoid them becoming high population, they cannot be transferred into for free.
If people placed in from inactivity don't want to be there, they can transfer out, free of charge. Battletag will tell them where their friends are, after all.


Let me know what you think of my ideas. Hope this helps in some way.

I can see the main issue there being that you would actively be splitting people up from their known communities, which is something Blizzard seem set against. Remember that there are large numbers of friends who aren't connected by battletag.
What if a group of people start playing again and rejoin their friends, but the server where their guild is located is in a locked server?

You can easily see one group complaining that they have been moved away from their friends and that Blizzard are trying to make the rest of the guild pay to move to joining them because blizzard only cares about money.

Even while another group is complaining that they should not be allowed to transfer to their server because that would increase the population.

What happens when you get an issue like in 5.4 when many existing players came back to the game and started playing more? Transfer restrictions wouldn't stop busy realms turning into login queue realms and the complaints start all over again.
Most people have more than one character they log in to regularly, so one transfer a month would not prevent the forum rage.
I actually think some of you are dismissing the idea too fast.

Sure, if it was free then a lot of people from low populated realms would want to transfer to those high populated realms.
But if you look at the current high populated realms, then you might notice that a lot of those servers are literally locked and got queues upon logging in.
So it would be legit to assume that players from high populated realms, also would want to transfer, just to be able to play with their desired characters.
- And why shouldn't they transfer? When they can always just transfer back for free!

Making the system free would actually make it a lot easier in many ways:
- Want to be on a high populated realm (to have more people around you). Go transfer to one!
- Want to be on a low populated realm (away from lag, queues etc). Go transfer to one!
- Want to avoid PvP (because you want to quest etc). Go transfer to one!

Sure, the option of transferring is also available today, just at a cost (of 20 bucks per nose). And this cost is what is holding a lot of people back.
If there was no cost (and no delay for the process to happen), then it would all just be a matter of choosing a realm which fits for the next few hours, and play!

It's like imagining everything as one big server.
Are there negatives about that? Sure, although I do believe that there are fewer than some of you think.
One negative which I can think of is:
The realm's own identity will sort of disappear. This includes:
- The realm's own economy. The realm economies will all begin to look more alike.
- Finding a rare-spawn will just be a matter of finding a realm with that rare-spawn available (this also includes items on BMAH).
- The names of the players around you. One day that player might be Bob, the next he will be Rob.
- The balance between Horde and Alliance players. (This is probably a big one). Do you think the balance is bad now on X realm? Well, if transferring was free, then this would likely only get worse.

But perhaps, with the technically of connecting realms in place; you could perhaps focus on connecting realms based on balancing the Horde/Ally ratio, rather than focusing on connecting low populated realms with each other.

As mentioned, the realm's identity would likely be ruined. But for the sake of convenience, I actually think this would be progress.
Currently, we can run Battlegrounds, dungeons, LFR/Flex, quest out in the world, -cross-realm, but it all has restrictions.
Allow the transfer to be free and you can do everything with anyone (as long as they are from your faction), with no restrictions.
Having a cd or lower price would not be so bad at all. The horde side on this realm is like a ghost town none is really on... none... Or that's what it feels like. If this virtual can fix it sure be my guest, but at least lower price or even the cd ide would not be bad.
you know tak why not just offer a bulk discount for PCT now this is an example transfering 1-3 toons normal price anything over tht you could offer them 35-40% discout

this is just an example btw its up to blizz of they go thrrough wiht it where the cut off is and how bg the discount will be
I think no-one should be allowed to transfer to a full realm ... the fact that this doesn't seem to be blocked is incomprehensible to me. Back when transfers were first introduced this happened but it seems to have been lost somewhere along the way.

With that proviso, I think this could come into play:
28/10/2013 18:26Posted by Pherian
Instead of having a flat fee for a migration and faction changes, charge a higher amount based on the realm population and server balance.

However I don't know if it would be feasible technically as realm pops/balances do fluctuate from week to week.

The only other suggestion I can make but, again, it may be problematical to implement, is that your first realm change in a 12 month period is free, your second costs a small amount, your third costs more with a sliding scale up to an astronomical cost if you're doing it monthly.

However there is a specifically EU problem which I think affects NA less if at all. Our region is made up of a mass of different countries with hugely different income levels. An amount of money which, to me, is peanuts may be a much larger percentage of someone's income in another country. This is unfair and ends up with people from some countries being stuck and unable to move. I did rather like the idea someone made of have alternative methods of payment such as gold ... but then that might bring in goldseller problems.

The whole thing is tricky and fraught with difficulties whichever way you go. Personally I think, firstly, any transfers to full realms should be blocked and, secondly, we should give the connected realms a while to get successfully joined and populations rise. Hopefully faction balance will be included when deciding which realms to connect so we'll end up with reasonably balanced well populated servers. It's going to take time to get it right and some people seem to see this as inaction rather than anything else. I would prefer it was done right and nothing was messed up in the process. Be patient and see what happens.
Ah, finally someone with ideas! Something like this might work out, though migrating into bigger servers should be disallowed. Encourage people to transfer from full to dying realms, disable transfers to full ones entirely until it's better.

Also, as nobody wants to play on low servers, bring on the damn realm connections already.
28/10/2013 18:37Posted by Takralus
Connected Realms were designed specifically to tackle the issue of low population realms.


Many "medium" populated realms have also experienced a drop of half of their players, what about those? The low pop realms are practically dead and theres maybe 2-3 people in stormwind, but medium servers are still dropping, doubleing the population on some of the medium servers wouldnt hurt

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