After I had already loudly demanded more server links in a column a few weeks ago, Blizzard now reacted and announced the same for the coming months. Of course, I'm well aware that they probably didn't do this directly just because of my article. Nevertheless, it shows quite well that the developers do not close their eyes to the problems and address them more or less openly. After the announcement, however, the question now arises as to what these further server links will look like. Because the developers haven't said a word about that yet. They only revealed that the shortcuts won't come all at once, but will be implemented bit by bit. So what can we expect?

At what point are shortcuts necessary?

The first and central question I ask myself is at what player count are shortcuts necessary. Let's take a look at the linkages back then. At that time, even halfway large servers with almost five-digit player numbers had been thrown together. If you were to apply that standard again now, all servers (and current server alliances) would be affected, with the exception of the four largest servers (Blackhand, Blackmoore, Blackrock, and Antonidas). However, I think the limit could be set rather lower today. Due to the softened server borders, it is less relevant than back then that many players are active on one's own server. Servers like Eredar or Thrall should probably have no problem with it, if they stay as they are and are not "merged".
Personally, I would still like to see the developers rather throw together more than necessary and then layering the then possibly too large servers. Fewer separate servers and instead a handful of very large servers would be better for the future in my eyes. Because it is probably more questionable whether the number of players will really increase rapidly in the coming years. WoW: With the server links, extinct cities will hopefully soon be a thing of the past. Source: buffed

How should you link the servers?

And I'm not talking about the technical side, where I trust the developers at Blizzard to know what they're doing. After all, it worked pretty well last time. I'm talking about which servers to throw together into which groups. The developers now theoretically have the possibility to create balanced servers again, where the ratio Horde/Alliance is in balance. Of course, this doesn't work everywhere, because there are simply more Horde players than Alliance players. For some alliances, however, it would make sense. After the abolition of PvP servers and the simultaneous introduction of the war mode, the server balance is no longer particularly relevant for open PvP, but I would still find it much more pleasant if the servers were not so extremely dominated by one faction.

Include progress status?

To improve the balance between factions, there are still umpteen possibilities of which servers and alliances you could pack together. So what other points could be considered? I think the developers should take a look at the progress level of the servers. Instead of creating server alliances that have hundreds of successful progression guilds while others have only a handful of mythic guilds, it would be better to mix it up. Ideally, after the mergers, there will be no "most successful" server, but all alliances will have potential guilds for every player. From the absolute hardcore-progress- to the super-casual-holiday-player. If, on the other hand, one or two servers remain dominant in the progress, then sooner or later many players will be drawn there again, which could bring the balance between the servers back into imbalance. WoW: With the server links, extinct cities will hopefully soon be a thing of the past. Source: buffed Of course, that would be immensely difficult for Blizzard, since the progress states of the servers and guilds change permanently, but they should still have an eye on it, I think. Of course, the same could be done for PvP rankings. But since PvP traditionally has a lower value than PvE, it will probably only be enough for half an eye of a single developer.

Thematically appropriate names?

Of course, one could also make it easy for oneself and pack the server names together appropriately. In some cases this has already happened - for example Ysera and Malorne. Of course, you could take this even further by creating thematically appropriate alliances. Why not put the orcs Thrall and Blackhand together, just as you could throw the mages Antonidas and Aegwynn into one alliance. Admittedly, we are sure that something like this doesn't play a role internally at Blizzard. It could also be quite difficult. After all, there are already many alliances that don't make much sense thematically. Or do you know what Anub'arak has to do with Nazjatar and Frostmourne?

Server XY is stupid, we don't want to play with them!

It will also be exciting to see at the end, when rather unpopular servers are added to others, how the players in question react. After all, there are some servers that, rightly or wrongly, enjoy a bad reputation. We can think of Aegwynn and Frostwolf, for example. Would all players like to be thrown together with such servers? For most players, it would probably be pretty much out of the question. Still, we're pretty sure there will be one or two forum threads where players complain about who they're being lumped in with. This was already the case with the server merges back in the day, and the toxicity towards other players and servers probably hasn't really diminished since then in WoW (buy now €14.99 ).

What's your opinion on the issues I've raised? What do you think should be achieved with the mergers for player numbers per association and what should the developers pay attention to? Or do you think server merges in general are a bad idea on the part of the developers? Tell us in the comments.

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