World of Warcraft has suffered a population issue on quite a few levels recently. If you look towards the Classic servers, you’ll see an issue with overpopulation, primarily due to the lack of layering.
However, moving to the modern Retail servers of World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, one can see the opposite problem manifesting. With so many more realms, dozens are underpopulated, taking the “massive” out of MMORPG.
This has been a problem that the developers have needed to fix for quite some time and one that they’ve been working towards diligently. Despite this, Blizzard has been silent on the issue, leading many to wonder if a fix is coming.
Today on Twitter, game director Ion Hazzikostas made a formal announcement in response to an irate fan.
“After the long history of delays around this, we wanted to be 100% sure we had solved all the technical issues around the project before further raising hopes,” Hazzikostas said in a tweet placed below. “Sincere apologies for the lengthy wait.”
After the long history of delays around this, we wanted to be 100% sure we had solved all the technical issues around the project before further raising hopes. Sincere apologies for the lengthy wait: https://t.co/5r0yKyu0CF
— Ion Hazzikostas (@WatcherDev) July 3, 2020
With this announcement, Blizzard has fully confirmed Realm Connections. Realm Connections are, as the name implies, directed towards fixing underpopulation by combining and merging underpopulated realms.
“We’ve now completed a comprehensive study of realm populations for every realm in the world,” community manager Kaivax announced on the forums. “Over the next 2-3 months, we’re going to connect the low-population realms to other existing realms.”
This process, they state, is set to occur during scheduled maintenance. Rather than connecting all realms at once in a huge maintenance, they’ll be connecting a few each week during the scheduled maintenances until all have been combined.
With that in mind, Blizzard intends to post advanced notice of the connections that will be coming up so nobody is caught off guard. Realm discussion forums will also be merged to match the realm mergers.
“When maintenance is complete, players on affected realms will log into Battle for Azeroth and find that they’re now part of a larger connected-realm community,” Kaivax states. “Please keep an eye out for notifications here as we proceed through this project.”
The advance notice of which realms are targetted to be merged will be arriving through the forums, so keep your eyes out to make sure you’re up to date on whether your realm is going to suddenly become much busier after a maintenance. With this fix, one would hope that underpopulation will no longer be a problem on the retail servers.