World Of Warcraft: Classic Devs Discuss Possible Fixes To Overpopulation Issues For Select Classic Realms

World Of Warcraft: Classic Devs Discuss Possible Fixes To Overpopulation Issues For Select Classic Realms
Credit: World of Warcraft via YouTube

We’ve discussed the issues surrounding World of Warcraft: Classic‘s overpopulation pretty extensively recently, as it’s a serious issue that’s causing thousands of players to miss out on getting to play the title. Blizzard has done quite a bit to deal with it, going so far as to lock some realms, offer free transfers, and even implement layering again in some cases.

Still, there’s a lot to be done. Thankfully, Blizzard gave us a few insights into possible fixes, how they could be applied, and what their plan is moving forward to make it so that the game is playable by all without having to worry about 2+ hour-long queues to log into your main on certain servers.

In a recent announcement, the development team stated that they would be implementing layering again for a select few realms. Restrictions were also placed on character transfers and new character creations on these realms. While this is only a few things they could be doing to fix the issues, they outlined some other approaches and why they may or may not be focusing on them.

“Nowadays, a World of Warcraft realm isn’t limited by hardware as it would have been in the past,” the developers write, discussing the possibility of simply opening more realms for players. “We could open one or five or ten new realms in each region if we believed that players would move to them from the overpopulated realms. However, the data we have suggest that wouldn’t happen.”

Part of what they feel is stopping such a transfer is simple attachment. Players are already set in one realm, with a social circle there, a guild, and a known community. Switching to a different realm is the WoW equivalent of moving to a new and unfamiliar city.

Another fix they discuss is adjusting the population caps. However, they outline some negative technical and design consequences in doing so, such as drastically affecting player experience, in-game economy, and other issues. While this could technically be done and solve the issue of queue times, overpopulation issues would stem up elsewhere.

The developers also discuss a technology they call “sharding,” which is the act of layering but only in capital cities, where hundreds of players are often focused at a time. This technique is already used in the modern version of the game, but could have negative repercussions with the designs in Classic, such as preventing enemies from crossing zone boundaries.

At the end of the day, it’s an incredibly complicated problem that won’t have an easy fix. Kudos to Blizzard for doing what they can to make improvements and even offering some transparency to the player base at the same time.