Blizzard Testing the Waters
Now, it seems that Blizzard is finally taking the plunge. Yesterday Blizzard updated their Connected Realm forum post with the following update from Nethaera:
In order to implement our first Connected Realms, Boulderfist and Bloodscalp will be taken down for an extended maintenance beginning Wednesday, September 25, at 3:00 a.m. PDT until approximately 11:00 a.m. PDT. During this time these realms will be unavailable for play. Additional realm connections are planned for the near future, and we’ll be posting a full list at WorldofWarcraft.com as soon as we’ve finalized the details.
So finally, Blizzard is testing out Connected realms on live servers! While I'm skeptical about the near future part about the phrase "Additional realm connections are planned for the near future", I'm excited that they've actually taken the plunge to experiment with some live realms. Of course, I'd like to analyze the two realms based on realmpop and AH size data, so let's have a look.
Boulderfist and Bloodscalp
First I want to note that these are both PvP realms. I'm just going to lead into this with some data, the populations are pulled from realmpop, and the Market Value of the Auction Houses are pulled from Wowuction:
|Realm||Total Pop||Alliance Pop||Horde Pop||A/H Ratio||MV Alliance(Million)||MV Horde(Million)|
To me this is a pretty interesting move by Blizzard. I want to start off this segment by saying this could just be something they're doing for testing purposes, and have no impact on how they're going to combine realms in the future, but for right now I'm going to assume it will.
You'll notice that in both these servers the Alliance to Horde ratio is under .5 Alliance for every Horde player, and the connected realm will be no different. They combined two Horde heavy realms, almost unchanging the overall faction makeup of the realm, which is a bold move. Now if they stick with this, it will be very interesting to see how people react. To me, I'd want to play on a balanced server, but the server I play on is 1.015 A/H, and you can't get much closer to balanced than that.
Auction House Implications
Now my realm which I complained about being small and lacking in sales has a market volume of ~1.5 million when I don't post transmog (~2.5 million when I do). Because of this I think I'd be a bit unhappy if I was on the Alliance side of this connected realm. On the other hand, they have about double the population as my faction. With the same AH volume as my current server, they have twice the audience. I'd take it, but it'll be interesting to see how things shake out here, and hopefully we'll hear some results from this initial testing in a week or two, I'm sure there's bound to be posts on the Blizzard forums incoming in massive numbers once it's live at 2pm EDT, 11 am PDT today.
What are your thoughts on the direction they took with these connected realms?
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