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Where Did Everybody Go?

I wonder if there is any truth to the scenario in my head.

Picture, if you will, a Blizzard meeting with network engineers, finance people and a few developers in attendance. The topic of discussion is bringing in more revenue. The conversation goes something like this:

Blizzard Dude 1:  Hey, you know what would be fun? Let’s totally shake up a bunch of guilds, annihilate a few realms, cause all kinds of drama and chaos, and Profit!

Finance Dude 1: Totally! Let’s offer a big fat discount for character services and see how many rats desert their ship! We’ll earn more because the amount of players that will do it may not have otherwise used the service.

Blizzard Dude 2: CHAOS!!! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAH!!!

I’ve lived on Uldaman my entire wow life. Sure I’ve rolled a few random toons here and there. But Uldaman is where it’s at. Back in TBC it was a thriving little community. The population was good. Raid progress was decent. It’s always been kind of a real casual server. It has slowly started to decline, but with the recent discount that Blizzard threw at us, what was a slow decline has become a big fat server killer. It started in Cataclysm, when 10 and 25 man raids shared a lockout. This pretty much killed off most of the 25 man guilds. Uldaman had a few good ones. Immortalis, The Harlequins, Edge of Aggression, The Wrath of Medivh, Nexus… cracking the top 10 on the server was a feat. But the Harlequins after several years together splintered and fell apart. Immortalis, EOE and Nexus all transferred off. Uldaman has had 6 #1 guilds in the past 2 expansions. And we stuck it out.

Then the discount happened. The discount heard ’round the world. Three guilds up and left as a direct result of the discount. Just this year, 8 guilds have transferred off, with a total of roughly 1200 toons. Average about 5 alts per player, that’s still over two hundred players having jumped the Uldaman ship via guild transfers. This isn’t counting those that have left current guilds to greener pastures. At this time last year, the server population was 13,074. The population has currently dwindled to 4,644. Where has everyone gone?

It would appear that the most popular realms have been Thrall and Zul’jin. Why do players and guilds decide to make the transfer? “The server is dead” is not a reason. How does it hurt to be on a lower populated realm? Big guilds should not have the problems that smaller guilds do. The way I see it, the reasons for a transfer would be easier to recruit, and better economy. I’m not a big fan of que times, and I do just fine recruiting right where I am. I like being on a server where other players recognize us. We’re like Cheers. Becoming a household name on a server like Immo was, like Harlequins was… is a good thing. If we moved our merry band over to Zul’Jin for example, we’d be lost in a sea of big guilds. Our server ranking would hover between 60-80. I would think it’s a lot harder to recruit on server when there are so many other “better” guilds around.

(“better” of course is an extremely relative term here)

I think the majority of MT agrees. Nobody wants to spend $250 to transfer 10 toons (or more)  somewhere else. Nobody here cares about pugging raids. The flex option coming in 5.4 plus the ability to raid with battletag friends makes staying put much more attractive.

So those fools can shove off to those big fat bloated servers and good riddance. We’ll get some fresh faces here, and our little community will someday thrive once more.

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