The way realm population display currently works once the servers are live is that High, Medium, and Low are determined dynamically, in terms relative to the most crowded realms. So a realm with pretty rough queues (say 4k-5k) might end up showing as Medium because you aren’t Faerlina, Herod, etc.
This is how it’s worked for a long time, but the unprecedented size of the queues on the handful of outlier realms is skewing the algorithm. The team’s first priority is stability and getting new servers online as needed, but beyond that, we’ll look into changing this logic to be more intuitive (i.e. showing “Full” when a server has a queue, for starters). I know, this is technically not #nochanges, but then again neither are 20k people waiting to log into the same realm…
I understand the frustration: Anticipating and planning around jumping back into this world we’ve all missed, only to be stuck in a long queue, is not the experience we want anyone to have.
But from the start of planning for this launch, we’ve tried to prioritize the long-term health of our realm communities, recognizing that if we undershot the mark in terms of launch servers, we could move quickly to add additional realms in the opening hours. But if we went out with too many servers, weeks or months down the line we’d have a much tougher problem to solve. While we have tools like free character transfers available as a long-term solution to underpopulated realms, everything about that process would be tremendously disruptive to realm communities, and so it’s something we want to avoid as much as possible.
Thus, we took the path of launching with few enough realms to still thrive in the event that our most conservative estimates ended up proving accurate, while having enough servers ready to activate at a moment’s notice if needed. And clearly they were, and are, needed.
We’ve released over 20 new realms worldwide so far since launch, and we’ll be up around the clock continuing to do so until everyone who wants to experience Classic is able to. But even still, as we bring new realms online in a given region, we wait for them to fill before opening new ones, because we want to make sure that each and every realm has a healthy population in the long term.