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Thread: Dead servers, how to fix them?

  1. #1
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    Dead servers, how to fix them?

    A little background. I've played on Cenarion Circle since TBC, and during wrath I played on Gul'dan. When I came back during cata, I went back to CC and there was a lot of people playing. Now there's one 25 man guild doing ToT, and a handful of 10 man guilds doing prior tiers. My GM just transferred the guild with no notice and left everyone out to dry, and when asked why, he just said CC was dead and if was time to move on. My question is how do we fix this issue?

    My idea is that blizzard could just combine all of the "dead" servers, like 3 dead ones together to make one server etc. I'm curious to hear other people's opinions. I for one, am not able to pay to transfer all four of my characters to say Area 52 or stormrage. Anyone have some ideas of how this issue could be fixed?

  2. #2
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    Well I started at release on Stormrage Horde. It was a dying server by the end of BC and dead as dickens by mid-cataclysm. That said it is the #1 Alliance server by population and if somehow you shoved a pile of other dead horde servers together to it you'd just bring down the server. The other issue is the only people left on dying servers are NOT the proper population to "bring it back to life". Ultimately those people left on Stormrage Horde (or any other completely dead faction/server) are not going to magically organize into a series of stellar raiding guilds that can attract successful players from other realms ... that's just not who they are. Anyone with that kind of ambition found a way long ago to go anywhere else (my entire guild moved off SR-Horde, it sucked but we wanted to survive).

    And therein lies the real problem. The answer is very complicated. If you wanted to revive SR horde (or any server like it) you'd have to merge their population with an already successful population from another server.

    The other issue, however, is that if you make transfers easy you simply get too many people. Stormrage Alliance is actually not fun to be on. Yeah the population is great but stormwind is overcrowded like Shanghai ... it's NOT a good thing. Honestly they need a two-pronged approach here. They need to take dead servers and merge them into already alive ones. Then they need to find a way to cap/limit how many people can exist on a one faction. Honestly you could split Stormrage Alliance into two servers and both would probably still be in the top 20 for population at this point. It should have never been allowed to get there.

    One server is also no solution as you completely erase any possibility for player-society beyond your guild. It works for smaller games but in a game this large you need to restrict the active populations to a consistent population size.

    Ultimately the answer is basically "somewhere in the middle". You want a mid-large population on both factions of a server and you want to employ mechanisms that keep it that way. Their organic/laissez-faire policy has definitely NOT been the correct answer and from all the blue posts I've seen about it over the years I believe they concur at this point.
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  3. #3
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    One massive server merge. Merge everything into 1 server, split up overpopulated zones like SWTOR did. Solves so many problems. Sort of reverse CRZ.
    "If the world is something you accept rather than interpret, then you're susceptible to the influence of charismatic idiots." -Neil deGrasee Tyson

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  4. #4
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    My server is on the dying side too. Not that it affects my guild (well it does affect our more casual second team) since all our applicants are x-realm.

    But for example: We had 3 hardcore guilds at the beggining of the tier, all around the world 100-150. One disbanded cause they were stuck on Horridon HC for too long, the other because they were stuck on Dark Animus HC for too long. Now it's basically my guild there, with 12/13 and the second best guild is 3/13.

    There are a couple of 25 man guilds as well, but they are not very good at all. Also, some servers that are large, seem to be getting an endless flood of guilds transferring there from lower pop servers, making the issue larger. Twisting Nether for example, my old realm, was already one of the most populated realms BEFORE Method transferred there, now recently another huge 25 man guild which is around the top 50 in the world by the name of CATASTROPHE transferred there too.

  5. #5
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    I'm not sure if I was 100% clear on what I meant, so let me rephrase it.
    Server "x" is dead. There are a few active guilds on there that are doing well raiding wise, and many people who are "good/bad/casual" but can't get into a decent guild since there aren't any recruiting.
    Server "y" a group of decent raiders, but once again, not enough recruiting guilds, yada yada yada.
    Server "Z". Decent economy, decent amount of guilds that are progressing through ToT, but there aren't enough people to recruit to fill spots when people get burnt out.

    My solution, take "x" and "y" and merge it with "z" to create one "big" server with enough people to allow better/more progression to occur. I'm not saying that they should take the servers with 2-5k people and merge it with...stormrage for example, but just merge a few "lower active population" servers together to make one server with a decent amount of people so that they won't over crowd other higher pop servers. It makes a lot of sense to me, seeing as how I enjoy theoretical situations like this, and how to problem solve, but it could be too expensive, too difficult, time consuming, etc for blizzard to actually accomplish this without realms being down for X amount of days or weeks. Granted, they could do it in small increments, IE one server merge a week to cut down on downtime, and give players on those realms 2-3 weeks notice so that they're not hit in the face with "hey, you can't play today/this week/etc because we're doing 'X'." Who knows? Maybe Blizzard is actually working on a solution to this issue and we don't know it yet.

  6. #6
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    What happens if two guilds on the two merging servers have the same name? Same goes for player character names. People get (understandably) attached to their character's name, and being forced to change it could be a trigger for quitting the game. Then the server merge lost Blizzard a customer.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fetzie View Post
    What happens if two guilds on the two merging servers have the same name? Same goes for player character names. People get (understandably) attached to their character's name, and being forced to change it could be a trigger for quitting the game. Then the server merge lost Blizzard a customer.
    You have a point. That is one thing I did not think of. A solution I suppose would be to offer a free name change? I'm not entirely sure on how to effectively solve that issue. I was just typing out loud to be honest while I'm working, so my idea probably has a lot of loopholes.

  8. #8
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    A free name change wouldn't help the player losing the character name they've potentially been using for the last 8 years.

    If I had to change my Paladin's name, and watch somebody else running around with MY name, I'd cancel my subscription.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fetzie View Post
    A free name change wouldn't help the player losing the character name they've potentially been using for the last 8 years.
    Yes, I understand that. It is an option though. There are quite a few things that "could" work, but IMO, one persons subscription isn't worth losing 20 because they can't or don't want to pay the 25 dollars per character to server transfer.


    Another idea would be for blizzard to offer a server transfer for every toon you have on one server for a set price. I know if I transferred all of my toons off just one server, it would be roughly 150 dollars, and I don't have that money to blow, so I am kind of stuck on my server.

    Edit : By set price, I mean "X" amount for lets say 10 characters to a different server. (obviously it wouldn't be 25 bucks for 10 toons...but you get my point.)

  10. #10
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    A mass transfer option would be useful, many players have an army of alts with various professions that they would feel like they needed to transfer too.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fetzie View Post
    A mass transfer option would be useful, many players have an army of alts with various professions that they would feel like they needed to transfer too.
    Exactly. The only issue I see is let's say me for example. I have 6 toons I would transfer. I don't expect the price I would have to pay to be the same as someone who has 2 toons. I believe that it should scale with the amount of characters you're transfering, so instead of 25 per, let's say you only have to pay 5 or 10 dollars per character. At most, you'd be paying 100 dollars, and I think it would benefit a lot of people that have 2 or 3 characters that they play / want to transfer.

    Keeping me on my toes. I like it.

  12. #12
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    Wouldn't a model such as "25 whatever-currency-you-use for the first char, 5 for any extra attached to it" be a better model? Initial cost remains the same for server-hopping douchebags, but alts get to 'tag along' for a whole lot less.

    I also see a future for cheap transfers within a battlegroup. Considering you are already meeting those people while levelling, doing BGs and in LFR, it seems like allowing guilds to recruit cross-server in the same battlegroup for their raid group is the next logical step. It would allow for a bigger recruitment pool and would help those guilds on a dying server(side). I could definitely see a possibility for something like that, although I don't know how the philosophy of Blizzard's paid-transfer model would clash with this.
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  13. #13
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    Dead servers, how to fix them?

    Since I don't feel like trying to quote one thing off your post above....I think the 25 for the first toon, 5 for every other after that model would be a good idea. It would definitely be better than the bs that we have now. Maybe a GM will see this at some point and have a little light bulb go off in their head and do it!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ltranger View Post
    Since I don't feel like trying to quote one thing off your post above....I think the 25 for the first toon, 5 for every other after that model would be a good idea. It would definitely be better than the bs that we have now. Maybe a GM will see this at some point and have a little light bulb go off in their head and do it!
    I don't know, we do have a certain CM-to-be in our midst

  15. #15
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    I think the only way to do a successful server merge would be to keep both servers isolated on paper, but handle it in a way similar to LFR/BG/CRZ. Forcing a name change on a guild or a player is far too invasive.

    Let's look at why people really want to merge lower population servers. It's typically to fix just a handful of problems:

    Recruitment

    Recruiting for a guild is a huge difficulty on a lower population server. There are just not enough quality players to create a competitive and healthy environment for guilds to recruit from. Top-tier PvE raiding guilds require you to sample the top 10% of players on the server, and then take the top 10% of those to push heroic raids. With a small server, you won't find 25 people, or if you do, they are often the main tanks or raid leaders of 10-man guilds.

    Ghost Town

    World and Auction House "ghost-town-ism" is a major negative factor on smaller servers. I'm sure there is a technical limitation on combining auction houses, but I wouldn't be surprised if Blizzard was working on it behind the scenes. Prices will become more competitive, and you'll be able to find the rarer items a little easier.

    Soultion?

    The way I see a server merge being successfully implemented is to keep the old realm names tagged onto the ends of the character names, like in LFR or BG's. Players will all be in one shared space, on just one server, but will still log into their original servers, they kind of just "point" to the shared server.

  16. #16
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    free server transfers ffs. It's not as complicated as it's being made out to be. Server transfers are a revenue stream. blizz doesn't want to give up that revenue stream. Thus, there is no free transfer. Thus, there is no solution. /thread
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