Blizzard Announces Free Realm Switches for WoW: Classic Amidst Overcrowded Servers

Blizzard Announces Free Realm Switches for WoW: Classic Amidst Overcrowded Servers
Credit: GameSpot via YouTube

Blizzard has announced that they’ll soon be offering free realm transfers for a limited time to players who wish to transfer their characters to less populated realms.

The news comes to an excited crowd, as the launch of World of Warcraft: Classic saw millions of players returning. It swiftly became the most streamed program on Twitch for a time, passing even Fortnite as it raced to the top with over a million viewers.

Of course, this also translated to massive queue times for players attempting to play the game. Servers can only handle so many players, forcing the rest to wait in a queue to be able to log on and play. There were so many people playing that some realms had queues as long as six hours.

Most people probably don’t have six hours to burn waiting for their chance to play a game, so these queues led to players switching to different realms that weren’t as popular. For example, some realms were overpopulated due to Twitch streamers or being a type of realm that players wanted (there’s a massive difference between normal, PvP, and roleplaying servers). Rather than go for the high-demand servers, many players opted to go to a different server with lower queue times.

Predictably, this has led to many players being on realms they don’t want to be on. Friend groups that planned to play together were separated or hardcore PvPers ended up on roleplaying servers. Everyone gets to play, but not necessarily in the environment they had wanted to play in.

Blizzard foresaw both of these issues, from the queues to hesitant migrations. Because of this, they began swiftly rolling out new servers to compensate. While this fixed the issue for some, others had already invested enough time into a character that they didn’t want to completely recreate it. After all, Classic is much tougher than the current Retail version of WoW, so progress on a character isn’t so easily made.

Offering these free realm transfers – which are normally $25 – is an excellent show of form from Blizzard. It’d be incredibly easy for them to simply discount the service by five or ten dollars and leave players to choose between the fee or staying where they’d rather not.

Many players will be taking advantage of the free service to improve their experiences, joining their friends or a server that they’d prefer. While no one expects Blizzard to make a habit of giving away things for free, taking actions such as this is a wonderful way for the company to earn back some public opinion after alienating a large chunk of their fanbases.