Ideally no one has ever hit the level cap of the last expansion, looked at their dungeon blues, and thought "I win."
avatar by sirmeo.deviantart.com
The "solution" that they did first, cross-realm zones, is terrible. It puts in into zones with people who you will likely never interact with again and can have no deeper cooperation that doing quests together that are now so easy you never need another person. Players from higher population servers farming the resource nodes on low population servers for materials that will never be available to the players on the low population server. On my medium population server Cenarion Circle we have seen a lot of bigotry from a certain high population server with entitled players who expect us to grovel in thanks of being "allowed" to play on "their" server. Not to mention what they have turned Goldshire into. Ewww.
As has been stated, this is far from the easy answer and actually one of the best solutions available - allows people to keep their name and server, and they didn't have to do anything. They also have the ability to merge a high population server together with a lower population one to remove queues - we won't know if they'll do this until after WoD launch, but it is more than possible. It also allows people to have more than 11 characters on their server, which is a bonus for those people that have a large number of alts. Of course, this part only benefits them if they have a realm merged with them, but yes.
How is Connected Realms less temporary of a solution than dropping dead realms, and making them transfer to a new server? Let's say your server becomes dead again - you're going to have to drop your second name and join a new server, and so on and so on. By having it be Connected Realms, they can repeat this process as many times as they want, and you'll never have to change your name.If you want to claim it's more expensive for Blizzard to keep these old servers running, that is also false. Because the realms are virtualized, it allows them to condense them onto less physical servers while keeping the realm, and we, as players, will never know better. With this new technology, it allows them to completely remove downtime (bad things do happen), because they're able to spin up copies of our servers and patch those servers. When they're ready to deploy, disconnect all of us and redirect to new server, especially with these streaming patches.
All in all, possibly the best solution they could have done - save your complaints once you educate yourself.
Another thought just occurred to me. This has effectively doubled my character slots on my server because my server will no longer really be Cenarion Circle, it will be Cenarion Circle-Sisters of Elune. Currently I grabbed every one of my character's names that I could on Sisters of Elune, eight out of eleven including all of my higher level or capped characters, but I could use the slots to make Horde characters, bring back one significant Horde character, and join my Alliance guild's Horde side guild just using my single account when they have been running two or three accounts to do so.
That's what I wanted to say, if they can connect servers to increase the population, they can also do it to split the population of high population servers to remove queues that nobody wants. At that point you'd still play on the same server.
As for the rest, only people complaining are those who were a minority and remains a minority, they still complain about faction balance when that was not at all the point of server connections. You'll have a free 90 soon, time to fix your situations.
Last edited by Spotnick; 2014-02-10 at 07:48 AM.