I am about as shocked as a ground type Pokemon.
The Alliance now outnumber the Horde 2:1, making Heartseeker the most heavily imbalanced, Alliance favoured, US PvP Realm. The world in-game feels alive and well as an Alliance player in all aspects, except for World PvP…
The largest reason for me to be playing Classic World of Warcraft, after playing end-game content with friends, is World PvP. Regardless of the environment, my end-game game-play is PvP related; Battlegrounds are not a point of contention, but World PvP is now an unknown variable.
Battlegrounds were announced some months ago to be cross-realm, like the days of OG Battlegroups, and would be significantly reducing wait times. On one side of the topic we have the players who want to be able to queue quickly and get their honor ASAP. On the other side we have players who want to strictly play against familiar names from their own server, and build rivalries locally and play against the same people consistently.
Homing in on where the two sides have common ground: battleground queuing happens in specific locations. Queuing in major cities or the BG portal itself are where you enlist. Pressing your hotkey and queuing from anywhere in the world is not a thing, as it is in retail. To some extent this means players interested in chain running battlegrounds will be sitting in a single area for an extended period of time.
Player versus player content outside of the safety of cities is a whole different story. The majority of players I see out in contested territory do not engage the other faction. From time to time a higher level horde (usually on an epic mount) will sweep over me and take me out quickly, or a pair of similar level horde will end my escort quest attempt. While of course frustrating, it is not entirely unwanted. Heartseeker is a PvP server and I want to able to engage the opposite faction when appropriate.
My concern for World PvP on our server stems from the faction imbalance. Purely based off of numbers, the Horde will be fighting an uphill battle against the Alliance in open world content. The ratio has crested 2:1 in favor of the blue. Horde population has fluctuated only in a few hundred players since we have arrived, but the Alliance has skyrocketed, and then fallen a short margin this past week.
Heartseeker Population as of October 7th, 10 AM
Three Reasons to Worry
Competition, harassment, and lack of engagement.
Contrary to the official forums, Reddit, and Discord, we did not move to this server to enjoy being the faction majority and wash over the Horde as a wave of swift domination. We were looking for a balanced world where swords clash regularly on an even playing field, revenge is sought for cheap thrills and easy kills, and a healthy dose of /1 Call to arms.
As it currently stands Phase 2 is not looking to make for a fun experience for either side. The Horde will be farmed, camped, and abused. Unless every player can manage to 1v2, they will be met with frustration, helplessness, and too much time spent corpse running.
I do not want Horde to be pushed off the server, have a devoid of fun or unfair World PvP experience, or be unable to simply level or quest, because of the Alliance’s dominating population. Shooting fish in a barrel is not what I want to pay $15/month for. Maybe if the fish in the barrel have brains and guns it could make for a more fun experience, but taking away from the fishes circle swimming routine is not worth the expense.
That said, last night I waited for a priest and mage to get an elite quest target in Searing Gorge down to 5% before ambushing the priest, tapping the elite once, killing the mage, and finishing the target. My heart was pounding, I felt like a true rogue, and know that those players will be out for blood…I know I would be if I were in their shoes,
Where do we go from here?
Fortunately, server transfers to Heartseeker have since closed. Server transfers off Heartseeker have opened…to a Brazilian and Spanish realm.
At this point, I do not expect the population to change drastically until Phase 2. Players will slowly let their subscription expire or move to another realm, but I can’t think of a scenario that would cause either side to leave quickly, en masse. The Alliance can expect to still be more the more visible faction and the Horde can hope that we are not all out for blood.
Whichever way the server ends up, I won’t be leaving.
…until paid transfers open.