I think it's a good fix. One of the main things I don't agree with is that they try to keep the horde : ally ratio similar. So it doesn't really benefit the weaker side as much as it could.
They should try to go for 50/50 (at least on PvP realms) and then let the migration take over from there.
Imo they should have closed dead realms a long time ago but the QQ about character names prevented it.
For the other problems connected realms does provide a fix. My server was recently merged with two others. Pugs galore, rbg's locally instead of using oqueue, etc, etc. Lots of players available to fill raid slots of slackers.
AH prices have gone up along with more availability of general items which is huge. Plus no one lost their guilds.
- - - Updated - - -
It doesn't really fix anything. Totally destroys any point to the game honestly. How? I've already said that in my first post. AS for the auction house crap that people keep bringing up whoooo. So it fixes your auction house. That's such a big deal in teh game. If you're in a good guild you realy don't need it cause well your guildies are there for support and what not so that's an invalid point. No one has yet given a truly valid point as to how these realm mergers are truly a good thing so i'll continue to believe it's just another cluster fuck by blizzard that we're all forced to deal with or quit. I'm seriously contemplating just quitting cause I don't think they care what players think anymore anyway.
I think it would've been wise for them to only link realms on the same timezones.
I'd have merged all servers into the following 10 "realms", with similar treatment for EU timezones:
The ability to safely assume that anybody you recruit will be moderately likely to play at similar times as you do is now gone for pretty much every low- and mid-pop realm, because they've been merged across 3-4 timezones. And to undo that failure now, might be worse, because people would just login and find out they're no longer even located on the server that they'd just made friends on or invested time in.
Aside from Fyersing making up an unnecessary, nor actually used, timezone mapping. The tech isn't there to consolidate that much.
The reason NOT to close realms is because of subscription flux, identity loss (anyone who is honest with themselves doesn't want to be forced to change their name, guild name, etc), etc.
Also PvP servers are more horde centric and Normal servers are more alliance centric, however you're not gonna merge those rulesets together. And that's why merges will not help with faction balance all that much.
All you care about is faction imbalance - they've stated this is a low priority, as it should be. They are working on bettering the population for the entire realm.
Please try to educate yourself, and let this thread die like it should have.
realm merging is crap. there was no problem with the "if you don't like your realm then pay to leave it" model. now they are just randomly foisting god knows who on you. having recently paid to move my guild and a substantial number of my alts to a low pop server intentionally seeking the advantages of such it will be a real kick in the can when they essentially make it so that I wasted all that money seeking what I enjoy.
The increase in character slots is very nice, although it may promote even more altaholism.