Things Are Looking Grim

Yeah… I’m not sure about this whole WoW thing anymore. Again.

I have not really bothered logging in since the last time I wrote about it, which means I am less than 10 quests into the expansion on any character. On Tuesday, I had an extra long length of time available to play, so I buckled down for the long-haul. Before heading out of Stormwind again though, I decided to continue feeding Auctionator some additional data and perhaps looking into pimping my 85s a bit with some blue gear. Or, hey! I have alts with professions that need leveled, so why not kill half a dozen birds with some AH stones in the form of buying some crafting mats?

Let’s see here… wait a minute…

Wait, that's TOTAL?

Wait, that’s TOTAL?

I thought Auctionator was bugging out on me when it completed the AH scan in literally two seconds, while also stating there are 52 epic items scanned. “That can’t possibly be correct… can it?” Yes, in fact, it can. A generic search for epic items in all categories reveals a total of 137 auctions (presumably 52 unique items). Now, it is certainly possible that I have missed a major announcement when it comes to scaling back BoE epic items, and Wowhead is telling me there are are only 134 epic non-BoP, non-heroic raid items in this expansion.

But what is being presented to me here is truly ridiculous. Aunchindoun-US was always a low-pop server, but as my early posts under PVsAH demonstrated, there was at least a functioning marketplace where you could be a big fish in a little pond. What I am seeing is not a little pond, it is moist patch of earth. Checking even the expansion staples like Ghost Iron and Green Tea Leaves only confirmed my suspicions. My faction’s AH officially qualifies as a failed state.

This discovery completely killed the mood, and I logged off. It is obviously possible to level up and even raid without a functioning economy, but why would you? I have mentioned before that I want to play games I can invest in, or at least feel the simulation of investment. Knowing the economy is dead, knowing the server is dead, and knowing that Blizzard isn’t ever going to bite the goddamn bullet and put realms like Auchindoun out of its misery means my incentive to push forward is dead. Server transfer, I hear you ask? Literally $250. Otherwise, if I have to abandon all my alts with all their professions (and pay $25 on top of it all) just for opportunity to have fun playing your game on one character… well, I politely decline.

For the past three expansions, Blizzard has been solving all the problem elements of low-pop servers except the one that matters: the server itself. Play BGs with everyone else, run dungeons with everyone else, raid with everyone else, and now even quest with everyone else. Isn’t it about time you let us be with everyone else?

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Posted on December 20, 2012, in WoW and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. “Isn’t it about time you let us be with everyone else?”

    You mean GW2 type global Auction house? I am not a fan of that. My wow server is doing pretty good in terms population and it’s fun to play the AH on it. GW2 type AH will ruin that for me.

    However I agree Blizzard should close low pop servers and give you free server transfers.

    • Nah, I mean server merges/transfers. I am definitely not a fan of the global AH in GW2, and the Vendor+1c economy that evolved. However, if I had to choose between a dead economy and a global one…

  2. Given inevitable drop of subscriptions after expansion start (i think my server had queues for first two or three weeks tops, and that’s high-pop 90% Horde EU-Kazzak, as alive as it gets), situation on small servers isn’t going to get better. Ever.

    They’re trying with crossrealm zones to make it feel better, but as you show that doesn’t work on every level of MMO mechanics…. but server merges are really bad for PR, so they’ll try to hold it off for as long as possible. In fact, CRZ are probably their attempt to provide “life support” for small servers instead of fixing actual problems with them (low population that only goes down).

  3. My honest hope is that the gradual changes introduced by “cross-server-dungeons”, “invite-battlenet-friends-to-group”, “cross-server-zones” are just a prelude to the big grand thing: the DEATH OF THE SERVER (booming voice).
    Just like I think that MMOs should get rid of levels, since they only are a barrier to playing with your friends, I also think that they should get rid of servers, which were a technical requirement of the past, but today are just one more barrier to playing with friends….

    • To me it seems that all these features (most of which I dislike) could have been benched and the issue solved far more cheaply and easily by increasing server sizes over time (and making use of phasing tech to help slower PCs).

      I know that I’m one of those old WoW players who ended up on a backwater server without any desire to give Blizzard £45 in order to play my three – I say three, but I think it might up to five now, so make that £75 – on a server that isn’t shit but who might be willing to pay a rolling sub just to hop back in every now and then to complete a new raid tier.

  4. What’s with the prices? 300 for sha crystal is pretty low, but 1500 for sulfuron ingot is laughably high.

  5. I am a big fan of the GW2/EVE global auction houses. It means when I want to sell something it sells immediately to people who post up buy orders.

    As for low pop WoW servers I assume you can still raid and join 5-mans cross-server. WoW is dead to me now anyway. My last foray was the Cataclysm expansion and after two weeks I permanently cancelled the game. MMO’s have progressed way beyond what WoW offers now.

  6. To be honest, there aren’t a huge amount of epics floating around yet. Crafting (if you have the recipe from a raid drop) requires a BoP item (http://www.wowhead.com/item=76061/spirit-of-harmony). BoE raid drops generally can be used by someone in the guild. If you’re not raiding, you don’t really need them. PvP crafted blues can get you into Heroic Dungeons and 1 day of Heroic Dungeons will get you into raid finder.

    Speaking of guilds, have you joined one for this expansion? I would strongly recommend it for the usual obvious reasons.

    • Even guilds might be a problem on Auch. In Cataclysm, we had exactly one heroic raiding guild, for example, and they never completed any of the heroics raids. Things may have been better on Horde-side, but I doubt it.

      According to GuildOx, here is where Auch stands. Zero 25m guilds, but then I expected that with a realm of only 1500ish active level 90s.

      • Given how few guilds are completing T14 normal mode content, I expect participation in T15 normal mode to be even lower. A lot of those guilds are just going to give up (or have done so already) and the players transition over to LFR.

  7. If you dislike your economy take into account the option of rerolling to a guild/realm which suits your needs. You can do this either by starting from level 1 (with or without researching the realm first; I advice the former), or by shelling out the 20 EUR to realm transfer (+ 25 EUR to faction change). Or well, I suppose you pay in USD. If you prefer to play on a realm which has an active AH and flourishing economy then a high pop realm is your only choice. Remember playing on such a realm has additional side effects: a lot of people means active trade chat, you say bye to old people from your realm and must make new acquintances and friends, you need to plan taking your assets (gold etc, maybe friends) with you, there will be more competing on resources (rares, nodes, raiding spots, etc). Also, if you do play on a low pop realm then knowing people and asking in trade can get you more result than looking on AH. Nobody in their right mind is going to put the epic BoE legs from rares on AH every 2 days on a low pop realm. It just isn’t worth the hassle. And if they would put it on, they could ask anything for it due to lack of competition.

    Also, why on earth would you need purples to pimp up your level 85? First of all, you do not need this in order to quest or do a dungeon. If you really lack the gear to do a dungeon you can do the Cata dungeons. Second, if you want to get some good starter gear you need to look for MoP quality items green/blue. There’s some BoA archeology which are OP. There’s some very good BoE “twink” trinkets which are for level 80, 85, or 88. Last but not least there are green and blue BoE. The purple BoE which drop from rare are not that much better and certainly are not required to quest in Jade Forest (none of the mentioned stuff is; on the contrary, it makes you OP). Jade Forest is tuned for people who have an ilvl of 333 (the item level of Twilight Highlands).

    So that leads me to wonder why would you want to outgear the content? It isn’t necessary that is for sure. Sure, the people in epics from Cata raiding have an easier time, but it is marginal, and sortof fair cause they invested time in raiding while you did not. In other words it appears you tried to play WoW the GW2 way and you failed. No surprise there. Even in GW2, you do not need to use the TP/AH at all to play the content.

    As for your comment of putting Auchindoun-US out of misery. There are people who enjoy playing on low pop realm for a variety of reasons. When SWTOR free character migration happened en masse, I lost the nicknames of some of my characters and saw all these new people on the server I didn’t know and didn’t care about. The feeling was lost. It was a perfect time to quit the game altogether. The reason realm/faction changes cost gold is two-fold: it protects the realm economies, second it creates cash for Blizz. You cannot claim it only serves as the latter; that is inaccurate, short sighted, and plain dumb. I do have good news for you though: there’s an experiment running on region-wide economy. It is called battle pets. These are region-wide because they are account-wide and you can put them in a cage and put them on any realm on AH for free on a level 1 character.

    • When I unsubbed, I left with 400,000g (not counting trade goods) and characters with max-level in every profession and then some. I have 10 level 85 alts. That is my starting point.

      Rolling a brand new character somewhere else, leaving 400k in assets and needing to start from scratch in all professions, achievements, mounts, and everything is simply ridiculous to me. The idea is that WoW is supposed to entertain me, not the other way around. I am not at a lack of other things to do, and I refuse to re-do thing I already done years ago. Ergo, server transfers are the minimum here, but I similarly find sinking an additional $25 (per character) ridiculous.

      I was not trying to twink my main with epics, I was trying to twink with either BoE or Blacksmith blues. Why? Because why not? In the process of looking for said blues is when I discovered the dearth of level 90 epics and the unhealthiness of the AH overall. Whatever fun I would have leveling would be diminished by the fact that there seems to be no future on this server. The economy is a big part of the fun I have with MMOs, and a big reason I stuck with WoW for so long (e.g. logging in every day to check for deals, opportunities, and then blogging about them, etc).

      As for people liking low-pop servers, sure, I was exactly like that at the beginning too. Although Auch was a recommended server, I liked the feeling that you could be a big fish in a small pond. But as I mentioned, the realm was never this bad. Nevermind the fact that there are more than enough low-pop servers around that no one would lose anything by Blizzard giving everyone free transfers off Auch to a server of their choice (including another low-pop realm if they pleased).

      I mean, look at this list, specifically the bottom. It’s madness how long they let dead servers linger.

      • I hear you. Your sitation sucks.

        […]

        If you want to move more than 50k you can do two things. One, buy BoEs and sell those on the high pop realm. This takes some research/brain to execute correct but this is likely either difficult or (nearly) impossible on a low pop realm. Your other option is making a guild with a guild bank and then realm transfer the guild. This is how one of my friends moved money around realms due to gold he received from sell runs (mostly the Ragnaros HC mount sales). Of course, you’d still have to detach yourself from having your main and your alts not on the same realm anymore. Maybe if I tell you MoP isn’t alt friendly at all I ease the prospect of realm transfering?

        […]

      • Maybe if I tell you MoP isn’t alt friendly at all I ease the prospect of realm transfering?

        Ha, I’m planning on a post about that very subject soon.

        Ironically, several other former-guildmates have came back this month, out of the blue. We’ll see how things play out.

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