Subs are getting lower, and it's not JUST because of the East. No, there are a myriad of reasons for the sub dip, but one that I know for sure, and has been an ever-growing issue is dead servers. Players don't want to be forced to pay another $25 - $275 ($25 x characters) to transfer their long and hard worked for characters from their dead server to a thriving one. (Myself included should my guild ever crumble)
Something players have wondered is why Blizzard still has this ridiculously high transfer cost. Yes, it USED to be manually done, so it was a huge PITA to do, but now it's all fully automated and they still keep the huge profit margin on it. Why?
What I'm proposing (or WOULD propose if I could post on official...) is something that is logical and might even bring back some of the subs.
- [Edit] Once every four-six months, per account (or character if Blizzard was feeling super generous), a character may be moved to a new server.
--- [Edit] Players may only (freely) move to servers not labeled as "Full" player population. You may move to High, or anything below it. To move to a server with "Full" population, you must pay for it.
- Once a month per account (or again, character), a character may race or faction change. (Name/Appearance change is fully included, just like buying a Race/Faction change)
This opens up a plethora of options that players can try
- Try raiding on a new server/guild without having to pay, or follow your guild without being left behind
- Not feeling like a hordie anymore? Join the blue side, for free!
- Dead servers? Finally, we can shut them down and the players on them will finally get to play a normal realm again
- Picked a race you found fun years ago but suddenly you're playing to min-max? No longer an issue
- Accidentally chose a bad skin color or pair of eyes? Go ahead and change it!
But what will this accomplish?
- Blizzard will lose quick cash from less paid-for transfers, but in the long run, players will be happy, and plenty of dead-server subs will come back
- Players abandoned by their guilds for wanting to thrive can come back and rejoin them
- Generally more positive feedback about feeling appreciated as a customer; something MANY players aren't feeling at the moment
- Encourage players to try a new race, faction, or server if they aren't liking where they are, rather than quitting altogether (Quick $20-30 vs months or years of subscriptions. Which sounds better, Blizzard?)
While it's definitely not going to bring them back to 10m subs right away, I feel like I can speak for almost anyone when I say that we'll feel more appreciated for having something like this. It easily solves the dead server issues, at least more than any other suggestion given, and it lets people know that they're getting a bit more out of their subscriptions (when atm, it doesn't really feel like we're getting our money's worth).
TL;DR? Just read the bolded parts.
Edit: I also forgot to mention that because Lore of Tankspot just got into Blizzard, and players have told me (because I don't follow him) that he is also greatly FOR this, that we may get lucky and see it in the (hopefully nearby) future.
Edit 2: Before you ask "Free Transfers? Why not Zoidb--- Mergers?", read below
Why Mergers are a horrible idea
- It's forced upon you
- You (may) forcibly give up your name; one you may have had for years (one of the biggest reasons Blizzard won't do it)
- Forces you upon a higher pop realm (possibly even too high) from a dead realm
- [Edit] Forcing stuff upon people generally makes them angry, sad, or generally negative
Why Free Transfers are a better idea
- You get to choose if you even want to go
- You get to choose WHEN AND WHERE you want to go
- Lets you check if your name is taken on your destination realm, and if it is, you can lock a name on that realm ahead of time