Blizzard has issued a warning to World of Warcraft Classic fans that one realm could see login queues in excess of 10,000 players.
Recently, Blizzard let prospective WoW Classic players reserve their character names, and as part of that signal their intention to play on a particular realm. Nostalgia-fuelled WoW-fans thundered towards their intended targets, hoping to put a flag in virtual space circa 2006.
It turns out, so many people put 20p down on the Herod realm that it's going to be massively populated. Actually, scratch that. It's going to be almost impossible to get into.
In a post on Battle.net, community manager Kaivax issued a plea to players who intend to play on Herod to change server. Or what? Or this:
"If all existing players on this server remain there, login queues in excess of 10,000 players are a certainty, and possibly much higher than that."
Now, I remember server queues for World of Warcraft back when it launched in Europe, and I'd often have time to make a cup of tea and sometimes even shove a tin of beans down my gob as I waited to get in on the MMO action. So a server queue here or there for WoW Classic would probably just fuel the novelty of my trip down memory lane.
But I do not fancy being 10,000 in a queue to play WoW Classic. I am not a 20-something any more. Unfortunately.
"We recently opened up the Stalagg realm, and we urge players on Herod to consider moving there," Kaivax said, presumably with all their fingers and toes crossed.
"There are a lot of players currently on Herod and we want Stalagg to fill up before we open any new PvP realms. This is so that player population is spread as evenly as possible before launch, in order to provide the best play experience."
So, why not just raise the server cap to accommodate the influx of players?
"While we are able to fit several times more players on a single realm in 2019 than was the case in 2006, we are not going to raise that cap any further, even though we have the technical capacity to do so," Kaivax explained.
"Raising realm caps would simply forestall the problem, letting more players in at launch but creating an unsustainable situation down the line, with severe queues when we turn off layering permanently before Phase 2 of our content unlock plan."
It's worth noting Blizzard's realm population estimates of Low, Medium, High and Full are based on this increased capacity. So, a Medium realm today already has more characters on it than even the most crowded realms did back in 2006. Interesting!
Will players listen? I've seen posts from some saying they're sticking with Herod, others saying they're happy to move. But why is Herod so popular anyway?
In a Battle.net thread started five days ago titled HEROD! HEROD! HEROD!, Human Paladin Blom spelled it out:
"Herod is the #1 Classic PvP realm NA.
"A plethora of players interested in PvP the way it was meant to be.
"We will not fade, we will not falter, Herod will stand above all."
Goblin Warlock Nonilix has a different theory:
"Let's be honest, it's really just the realm with the best name."
It appears Herod has become a sort of call to arms for lapsed World of Warcraft players. The question is, will it buckle under the pressure of its popularity come launch day?
Not long to find out!
UPDATE: As Eurogamer reader mikeskylos points out in the comments, it's a similar situation with the Shazzrah realm in Europe. Here, Blizzard suggests moving over to the Gehennas realm.