What Does the Realm Population Mean in World of Warcraft?
To most players, how many people are on one of WoW's servers means very little, but high, full and low server populations do mean something specific to a person creating a new character or starting World of Warcraft for the first time.
When to Consider WoW Realm Populations
WoW realm populations do not mean much to the average player. The only time a person might actually consider what the word under the population means is when he is selecting a new server to play on or creating a new player who creates a character for the first time.
Yet there are things a player should know about WoW realm population to make his play time more enjoyable. High and low server populations have their own advantages, and certain types of servers may have lower populations than others.
WoW Realm Populations -- The Levels
A realm can have the population status of low, medium, high or full. Low population servers usually have the word printed in green next to their name. Servers with low populations are recommended to new players. If a realm's status is listed as full, a player can only log on that server if he or she already has a character. High and Full population servers have similar response times, but the conditions between the Blizzard servers and a player's Internet service provider may add response time.
A low population on a server means a quicker ping time between the server and your computer and less lag, although these statements are only guidelines. A low population server may make it harder to get groups and raids. Before the new looking for group system was put in place, it also made it harder to get groups.
Server Types and WoW Realm Populations
Normal servers have the highest WoW realm population. The number of player versus player servers suggests that these might be more popular, but PvP has failed to be a major selling point for a number of MMORPGS. The chance of getting randomly attacked when questing adds an element of thrill to the game for a relatively small percentage of players. Roleplaying servers do not enjoy high popularity either.
The type of servers that are the most likely to have low populations are the role-playing and role-playing PVP servers, with the latter type being the least likely to attract new players. Many people, unaware of WoW's origin do not see that they are taking on a role and the game itself often requires more button mashing than getting into character. On RP servers, people are encouraged to behave as if their character were a real personality.
Disadvantages and Advantages Tied to WoW Realm Populations
High population servers offer advantages to the more social players who want a wide variety of guilds to join. The WoW Realm politicians do not affect the unfortunate politics that occur in many MMOs, but the nature of the game reduces the backbiting and backstabbing considerably.
A low WoW realm population allows for a slightly more personal interaction. A low-poulution server may still have one or two thousand players online at a single time. The advantage of low WoW relam populations comes from reduced ping times and lower lag. Sometimes the lower populations let a player have more connection to the other players in the realm, or at least as much of a connection as there can be in a virtual and persistent online world.
Getting Exact WoW Realm Population Numbers
Although it seems odd that anyone would program an Add-on to give exact population numbers, faction population numbers, and information as a guild as an add-on it does exist. The information about what gets put on a server is not something the average player will use during the course of game play, but he can call it up noe the less. It is called WoW Realm Census. The website linked to gives the same information. The guild information can also let a person know about raid opportunities.