The Pain of Server Splits

I think that all of the Burning Crusade free server transfers are over at this point.  They certainly are on the servers where I have characters.  The results are a bit depressing.  While Blizzard has done many things right, population management isn’t one I’m willing to grant them at the moment.

On the server where I play the most, Eldre’Thalas, I had to make a tough choice.  Two friends from the EQ2 days (one of whom I have been gaming with since the mid-90s) were going to make the move to the new server, Trollbane, to go with their raiding guild.  Most of the other people I knew on the server were planning to stay, including the four people with whom I regularly group for instance night.

So I had to make a choice, and I chose to stay on Eldre’Thalas.

Later, after the choice was made, a few more people in my friends list suddenly disappeared.  I assume they went to Trollbane as well.  You log on and get this message:

Friend removed because the character no longer exists

When character creation opened up on Trollbane I made a character over there, a Dranei hunter.  (Another hunter.  WoW needs some new character classes.)  People I know on Trollbane sent me some bags and a bit of cash to get me started, but I have not really played too much over there.  I really do not have the time for yet another alt on yet another server.

Meanwhile, free character transfers on the other server on which I have played, Hyjal, were also open.  I got a note from a friend of mine on Hyjal that everybody I knew there, all part of one guild, was moving to the new server choice.  I have two level 40 characters on Hyjal and no other reason to stick around there, so I figured I would transfer as well.

Only when got to the transfer page, it turned out that Hyjal had already met its quota and free transfers were closed.  Oops.  I missed the boat!

Of course, I could still transfer for a mere $25 per character.  While that is half of what SOE charges, it is still a bit too steep for me.

The pain of a popular game I suppose, but given that I generally play with a fairly small group of people, losing any of them from a server hurts.

5 thoughts on “The Pain of Server Splits

  1. Kilanna

    Doh – I can only begin to imagine your frustration. I have a couple of friends that I have been playing MMO’s with for ages – one of them since the days of SWG. I would be devastated if we were split onto separate servers now.

    It seems like a long hard slog to start a new alt on a new server where your friends are playing. Is there an equivalent of Mentoring in WoW? That would at least make it more bearable.

    At least the one positive you are still together with your regular weekend instance group:)

    *sigh* Dont you wish there was the same problem with EQ II? Being from Australia there are usually not many people playing at the same time as I am. This means that he opportunities for grouping are quite limited sometimes – that is on my server at least.

    I have seen mention of further server merges in EQ II (sorry I can’t recall where) but I don’t know if there is any solid basis to that commentary.

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  2. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    I just wonder what the solution will be, in the long term, to the whole server seperation issue. WoW always looks so impressive with so many servers, but that just represents so many individual worlds filled with people with whom you will never interact. That has to be a drag of some sort on income, and $25 per character transfers obviously are not the solution.

    No, there is no mentoring in WoW, but there is also no level restrictions on grouping either, so you can make your pals drag you through instances and reap the exp while they slay.

    I heard something about the European EQ2 PvP server being merged in with the US ones because of low population.

    Yes, I do wish that EQ2 was having a problem with too many people, though SOE has that covered somewhat with its zone instancing. Your typical EQ2 server seems capable of handling a lot more players than any given WoW server.

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  3. Amanna

    Hey, I play on Eldre’Thalas too. Small world. If you ever need help just let me know. My main’s name is Amanna – currently lvl 66 Druid. I also have a hunter alt at lvl 29. Unless you’re horde, then I guess I’m supposed to hate you.

    Yea, the whole server issue seems stupid to me. Like, overbooking a plane – there is a finite number of seats (server resources) that people pay good money for. I understand not everyone logs on all the time, but with 8.5 million freakin’ people playing, you would think they’d have some pretty darn good stats on what an acceptable number is.

    Or maybe they do and still just choose to overbook.

    Anyway – don’t hesitate to look me up on Eldre’Thalas.

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  4. Amanna

    oops – old blog URL in wordpress profile. Don’t want to miss out on the shameless self-promotion, so profile has been updated with correct blog address. Click away.

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  5. p@tsh@t

    Would it KILL Blizz to allow interserver mail and auctions (guilds too for that matter)? I suspect that while it would be potentially disruptive (initially) to server economies, I think it would ultimately have a stabilizing effect on the economies as a whole while still serving the goal of spreading the user load. Pan-server supply and pan-server demand for items would normalize prices quickly.

    No opportunity for arbitrage means no advantage to geography.

    At the very minimum, the damned fee should cover a move of all of a player’s characters on a given server if the goal really is to spread the load. I would gladly shift my play time to a low pop server to reduce lag overall (I can only play one character at at time) and might even be willing to pay for it, but why should I have to completely write off my investments in alts?

    Of course, I probably wouldn’t need as many alts (or care where they were created) if a) I could have more than 2 professions and b) I wasn’t siloed off in isolation on another server.

    Heck, put an “international mail” tax on server-to-server mail and you’ve created another gold sink for overheated economies…

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