Yesterday we did a post entitled New Connected Realms - Population And Auction House Analysis where we analyzed some the statistics and economies of a few of the realms that became Connected Realms today.
In today's follow-up post I wanted to do a bit more analysis on the realm population of not only the Connected Realms but also World of Warcraft realm populations in general.
While analyzing the connected realms I was intrigued by what Blizzard be thinking when deciding to connect realms. Read on for more.
For today's analysis I will be using realm population data gathered from RealmPop.com on October 20, 2013 (the day before the new Connected Realms became connected).
I will be not only analyzing the realm population a a whole but also that the newly connected realms look like before and after the connections compared to other realms.
What A World
This first chart show all 246 US World of Warcraft realms listed by total population.
|US World of Warcraft Realm Population Distribution|
A few quick statistics:
- 36 realms have under 25,000 characters
- 52 realms have under 40,000 characters
- 85 realms have under 50,000 characters
- 129 realms have between 50,000 and 100,000 characters
- 58 realms have over 100,000 characters
- 6 realms have over 200,000 characters
From the statistics above it is easy to see why Blizzard would be looking to solutions like Connected Realms to make low populations realms more active.
Connecting The Dots
So how does Blizzard's announced October 21, 2013 Connected realms factor into this graph?
Below is a chart with the connected realms colored and labeled in their pre-connected state.
|US Connected Realms Before Connections|
From the above chart you can see that in general seems to be connecting low population realms (Balnazzar, Onyxia and Dalvengyr) as well as mid-population realms (Dark Iron, Bourlderfist and Burning Blade).
One interesting thing to note about the Maiev + Bloodscalp/Boulderfist connection is that Bloodscalp and Boulderfist were connected precious to the October 21, 2013 round of connections.
Also interesting is that Bloodscalp and Boulderfist (connected together previous to today's connections) were both decent size realms even before they added Maiev.
This shows Blizzard isn't shy about connecting more than two realms together but perhaps not more than adding one Connected Server at a time.
Where Are They Now
How do the newly connected realms rank post-connection?
This chart show the connected realms in their post-connection state compared to all other realms.
|US Connected Realms Post-Connection|
From the above chart we finally start to get an idea why and how Blizzard is connecting realms up.
In almost all cases this Connected Realms have moved well into the wider mid-section of the population curve.
In the case of Maiev and Bloodscalp/Bouderfist the new connected realm is pushing into high-population territory.
Looking at it this way you can see that Blizzard seems to be taking care to move lower to lower-mid populations into a more "livable" population range.
Before and After
Finally below are some charts showing the move without the labels to make the changed a bit more visually obvious.
Connected realm's position in the full list of realms before the connection on October 21, 2013:
|US Connected Realms Pre-Connection|
Connected realm's position in the full list of realms after the connection on October 21, 2013:
|US Connected Realms Post-Connection|
From our analysis is seems that in general Blizzard is going in a positive direction with Connected Realms.
It should really improve the play experience for those who have been playing on lower to lower-mid population realms.
I expect that as the months roll on Blizzard will continue to fold lower population realms into mid-population realms like they did with the October 21, 2013 connections.
As far as the economic effects of these merges, that is yet to be determined but on the whole I would guess that players will have an overall better gold-making experience with more buyers.
Yes there will be a bit more competition but that unpredictable human element is often what makes gold-making so much fun.
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