Thursday, October 20, 2005
The French PvP server, Sargeras, on which I am playing my rogue is listed as "full" on the realm list. So yesterday I ran Census+ to count how many players make a server "full". At 9 pm local time there were just over 1,100 players on the Horde side. Given the typical Alliance to Horde ratios, "full" seems to translate to 3,000 players online simultaneously at prime time.
But the real surprise was in the details. A full 51% of the players were level 60, with the remainder being pretty evenly distributed over all levels. No wonder I can't find a group, when there are on average only 10 Horde players at every level except level 60. Pretty unbalanced.
That also explains my observation that it is very hard to find anything "low-level" on the auction house. I looked for daggers, and the lowest level dagger in the AH was level 33. I trained my rogue in blacksmithing and supplied myself and some guild members with level 18 pearl-handled daggers.
I don't think this top-heavy level distribution is good for the game. And in my opinion Blizzards reaction to it is wrong. They are argueing that as so many people are level 60, they need to add more high-level content. But I think it is the fact that the game is skewed towards high-levels which makes people prefer playing their level 60s instead of lower level alts. Somebody starting WoW now is practically forced to solo up to 60, and then will suddenly be expected to know how to play and behave in a 40-man raid.