This week’s Blog Azeroth shared topic was suggested by me:
If it were possible, would you want Blizzard to put all characters in a single realm/game world by realm type — PvP vs PvE vs RP? Why or why not?
The short answer for me is yes, but. Yes, but if that were to happen a lot of other things would have to change. If Blizzard left the world largely as it is and combined us all onto one realm by rule set, the world would break quickly. Chaos would ensue. Apocalypse! (ooooh, possible expansion title?)
Just imagine your capital city, physically the same as it is now, with 100 times or more people in it. Even at the lowest usage times, this would be unworkable. It would be like the Tokyo subway at rush hour, or worse.
One solution of course would be to leave the zones as they are and make multiple copies of them, sort of instances. I think other games that do this give you ways to switch your automatic assignment to one of these instances in case you need to interact with someone in another instance. This just seems clunky to me, and counter to the whole point of one game world.
If it had been possible to have a single realm design in the beginning of WoW, the whole geography of the game would just be bigger. Like in the real world, there would be more cities, and there would be no single city where you had to be ever. No “single city bottle necks” to capacity. It’s funny that now, Blizzard purposely makes some services only available in capital cities so that they don’t become ghost towns. A single realm design would flip that script. Also like in the real world, expansion of the game world would be required as population grew.
So however much a single realm seems good in theory, it’s not only difficult technically but impractical to do retrospectively. However that doesn’t mean Blizzard could not consider more changes in that general direction. Remember the world before battlegroups, or cross-realm lfd? I think more features like these, including the a possible cross-realm auction house, can and should be considered.