I really should not be getting this worked up about a pre-release MMO topic, but this just hit a nerve for some reason. Keen, and today Tobold, made posts about Mythic’s plans for realm balance, and that ONE tool they will use to achieve that balance is realm queues for logging in.
Well for some reason (nerd rage) some people are getting all doom and gloom with the possibility that they might face a queue when logging into an MMO. Dear god people, queues are nothing new. Remember WoW at launch, the two hour queues only to enter a server that lagged so badly it was unplayable? What about the everyday queue for Arena/BGs? Ever log out in Jita and try to log back on during prime time in EVE? Good luck with that. Queues exist all over the place, as does server downtime and massive patching. Welcome to MMO land, enjoy your stay.
Aside from queues being as common as gaining levels in MMOs, let’s really think hard on this particular issue. First of all, we don’t even know WHICH side is going to have the population issue. Sure fansite polls point to Destruction, but guess who follows an MMO pre-release? The hardcore. Is it really that surprising that the majority of the hardcore would gravitate towards the bad guys, the side with the cool lore and interesting mechanics? The ‘we are sick of cutesy elves’ crowd? Has WoW not shown us that the majority of casuals love to play elves and humans, and be the good guy, just for the sake of playing a role they naturally assume is what they ‘should’ do? Are we forgetting that unless something disastrous happens, WAR will be a huge MMO with millions of subs?
When we talk millions, we are talking large quantities of the ultra casual, the guy who never looks at a message board, never reads a blog, and just logs in for a few hours a week. He does not min/max, raid, or get super involved in guild drama. He just likes to enjoy himself in an online world during a limited amount of downtime in his life. Is that guy really going to bend over backwards to play on a certain server, or is he more concerned about getting in and playing asap? Picking a low pop server, or having to transfer over won’t matter much to that guy, as long as he can avoid a queue that could eat up a good chunk of his game time. My dad is that guy, and trust me, he would switch servers in a heartbeat to avoid a queue. He did it repeatedly in WoW, even midway into leveling a character. While the hardcore players get attached to what we play and with who, the casuals live a different MMO life, one that can be a bit difficult to understand from the outside.
People also seem to be ignoring the fact that while not announced, what’s to stop Mythic from offering free transfers from high pop servers to low pop ones almost immediately? Just because Blizzard waited months/years to do it, does that mean everyone is going to follow? In WoW population imbalance was a minor annoyance, while in WAR it could be game-breaking. Why would Mythic not react quickly to solve a game-breaking issue, one that can easily be remedied by something as simple as a character/guild transfer?
So while silly to state, everyone needs to relax a bit here. This is not Mythic’s first time dealing with the issue of realm balance, and they are planning pre-release on ways to deal with it. It will be addressed day one, and while I’m sure it will still be an issue, I highly doubt it will be a two hour queue issue like it was in WoW, or a constant 45 minute queue like we had in BGs. To not learn anything from those clear examples would be selling Mythic short, a foolish mistake.