It seems like I’m in the minority here. My server peaks at about 800-900 most nights, but I’m OK with that. I’m low level (47) but I’ve also put a lot of effort into grinding out trade skills, and I am also a part of a mostly 60’s guild, so I see a lot of what’s going on at level cap.
I intentionally chose a med pop server. After reading about the game, I didn’t want to wait in a queue. I didn’t want to fight for resources, but I didn’t want to be playing solo essentially.
On my med pop server, there is PvP, territories are constantly being challenged, and people get enough for OPR regularly during peak hours. It seems pretty vibrant.
At the same time, the grind for furnishing is already painful. The grind for Engineering & weapon smithing is boring AF. The amount of materials I go through is sickening. The price of the items like iron ore and iron bars are unaffordable to me.
I don’t mind grinding the mats too much, but I can’t imagine doing this is there were five or six people grinding mining at every viable farming spot. Already if there’s more than two people I have to go to a new area entirely, because I end up running around for half an hour getting nothing. At least in my case, if I realize there’s a couple other people in the area, I portal to a different territory/area and at least can farm there.
If my server pop was 2k (or more if they increase pop cap) every last one of those areas will have multiple people farming them. Yeah, sure, it’s supposed to respawn faster with more people, but my experience has been it doesn’t respawn fast enough for more than two people to farm the same area (even then that can be touchy).
I have no clue how I would grind out that much on a high pop server. If I got merged into a high pop server and discovered I couldn’t ever get mats for trade skills, I would give up at this point. The grind is almost unbearable, and running in circles for hours to get 100 iron ore would be the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Merge low-pop servers if you must, I can see how having so few players would be detrimental to the player experience. For the love of all that is holy though, PLEASE PLEAES PLEASE do not merge the med pop servers. Some of us are happier in this middle ground between nobody there and “can’t do [poop] because the place is overrun”
Please realize there’s many types of players, and a big change like this can affect our experience causing even more player bleed. The “low hanging fruit” here are the low-pop servers where you are experiencing player bleed. Merging those together (making med pop servers) is a good first step. Like good science, you can make tiny changes, observe, and adjust further if need be.