Thursday, January 7, 2010

What Makes A Medium Server Medium?

This seems to be the £628,339.69 question.

Between myself and our friend thehatfield, we've asked just about everyone we could think of. From Starman of World of Warcast to The Turpster of various projects to Adam Holisky of to all of our Twitter followers. And we were either ignored or no one knows.

This information may well be readily available, but certainly not to me. I do not have the constitution at the moment to actually read through sites like Warcraft Realms or troll through endless pages of realm forums to see if someone, somewhere offers an explanation.

But the question is interesting when you consider the state of the economy on the two servers I'm most active on - Anvilmar-US (PVE) and Twisting Nether-US (RPPVP) - both "Medium" servers.

One thing we can actually track through auction scanners is Auction House activity. If there is a large discrepancy in total number of auctions, does that say anything about the server's overall population?

This morning I was startled to notice that there was a discrepancy of 11,236 total auctions between Twisting Nether (26,003) and Anvilmar (14,767) - nearly double the amount for a realm listed as the same size!

We know that we can't completely trust the population numbers or activity ratios of Warcraft Realms. But maybe it gives us a little background info and a range to think about.

June 2006 is listed as the online date for Anvilmar, while Twisting Nether shows as September of 2005 so we don't have a case here where the server with the higher AH activity is new with lots of toons still grinding away and flooding the Auction House with lots of everything from every level.

If you believe it, Warcraft Realms says that Anvilmar actually has more total characters than Twisting Nether, 13,769 to 10,823.

So what does this all mean? What actually is a medium server? Could Twisting Nether really be out-auctioning Anvilmar nearly 2:1 with about 3,000 less toons? How does a discrepancy like that occur?

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