Hot on the heels of the Round 3 Connected Realms going live, we’ve got a new set of connections coming up in Round 4.
Before I get into the data, a bit of business: as more and more servers get connected, it’s going to be progressively more difficult to keep a single running table of all the realms that have been connected. I’m working on getting something together I can use as more definitive resource, but the table you’ll see for the data today will only include the Round 4 realms.
Some off-the-cuff conclusions about these connections:
- Aegwynn/Gurubashi is picking up Hakkar, another dramatically low-pop server that paradoxically has a non-trivial Alliance population. This helps to balance the increase in Horde-bias that happened with the initial Gurubashi connection, from .67 to .72, which is still down from Aegwynn’s original .92.
- Detheroc/Dethecus wins the award for “Realm Names That Make Sense Getting Connected” since they’re both Dreadlords. That said, this is another obvious first stage connection for two realms that are at the bottom of the charts; compared with the other Round 3 realms, Deth/Deth is nowhere near the final size we should expect for a connected realm. The same goes for the other completely new connections in Round 4, and also holds true for Aegwynn/Gurubashi/Hakkar.
- Dunemaul’s addition to the Boulderfist/Bloodscalp/Maiev combination lends credence to the theory that the server is being used as the prototype for big group connections. The addition of Dunemaul’s numbers to the size of BBM exceeds what my original expectations were for a healthy population, though it does bring the raiding population more in line with Black Dragonflight/Skullcrusher. If BDF/SC is more the model for an ideal size and BBM+D is simply continuing to act as the guinea pig for >2-realm connections, we might be getting to definitive sizes here. A raiding population of around 4,000 combined would put the server in the top 50.
Admittedly, I was expecting to see Round 4 actually combine more realms then Round 3, but it’s only one fewer. The only new test going on here is the Dunemaul addition, yielding the first 4-realm connection, but that makes me think there’s something bigger in the works here: it might be that we’re seeing a bunch of these PVP realms positioned to get combined together.
Based on the results from Round 3 and Round 4, I could see the following connections taking place:
- Firetree/Rivendare + Chromaggus/Garithos: This would allow the place to break 2000 raiders and get a .52 A/H ratio. Still not complete, but it brings the average up for Alliance players on the three worse-off servers in the mix.
- Auchindoun/Laughing Skull + Balnazzar/Warsong: Auch/LS comes out pretty well from Round 4, but if it picked up Bal/Song, it would be a huge boon to Alliance players while bolstering the Horde presence.
- Dethecus/Detheroc seems likes it’s primed to get connected to something else down the line, because it’s small enough that it could go just about anywhere. Drop it in with Burning Blade/Onyxia and you’re doubling the Alliance presence there, but it also puts the whole combination in a similar pop range with Boulderscalp Dunemaiev and BDf/SC.
- Finally, I wouldn’t be surprised if Aegwynn/Gurubashi/Hakkar gets Dalvengyr/Dark Iron added into it. If this happens, it’ll make sense not just because the A/H ratios are more similar and closer to 1:1 parity, but also because it would look better to connect the two dead last realms together after you’ve already hooked them to larger communities. It just would have looked silly if Dalvengyr and Gurubashi were linked to each other in Round 3, as that would have led to speculation that Blizzard is just putting dead servers together with dead servers, which doesn’t really improve the situation for anyone.
Given how the timing for this is going, I expect to see Round 4’s connections get completed next Monday (10/28) with Round 5 (perhaps featuring our first 2 + 2 connection) getting announced the next day.
I’m holding out hope that we’ll see more then 5-6 connections happening at once, but as I’ve said before, it’s better for Blizzard to proceed cautiously. The more realms that get connected, the greater the affected number of players, and the greater opportunity for bugs to express themselves, get reported, and for Blizzard to take action on those bugs.
However, I think that the cautious pace might be the reason that we don’t see Blizzard publish a big schedule of “here are all the servers that are going to get connected and when.” Aside from the possibility of gamebreaking bugs throwing the schedule out of whack, the litany of complaints regarding “why is my realm not on the list” or “why is my faction balance not getting fixed” or “that’s a pvp server we’re pve wtf are u doin blizz” would just make the damage more trouble than it’s worth.
Do I expect bigger rounds in the future? Sure.
Like Europe? You guys are going to get whipped into shape like LIGHTNING. But it’s us across the pond in the States that get to be the guinea pigs.
You’re welcome. ^_^