Some of World of Warcraft's lowest population servers will be merged starting this summer

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

World of Warcraft's lowest population servers are going to be merged with busier ones in a process that will take all summer, Blizzard announced today. This isn't the first time WoW has squished servers together, but this will be a welcome change for players stuck on dead realms who don't want to pay for a costly server transfer.

Blizzard made the announcement on the WoW forums, saying that it realizes that certain cross-realm features, like being able to party up and do dungeons with players from different servers, aren't a complete solution to being stuck on a low population server. "From your history with your guild to your interactions with the economy around you, a realm with a healthy population provides more opportunities, and it’s been several years since we last connected some realms," Blizzard wrote.

Blizzard recently finished a "comprehensive study" of WoW's various servers and has identified several that will be merged with bigger servers. The merge won't happen all at once, though, as Blizzard is going to slowly merge realms each week over the next two to three months.

"As this project unfolds, we will post notices in advance of each week’s connections in the appropriate regions and languages," Blizzard said. "During each maintenance period, everything will be automatically combined for the affected realms. When maintenance is complete, players on affected realms will log into Battle for Azeroth and find that they’re now part of a larger connected-realm community. At the same time, we’ll merge the appropriate realm discussion forums."

Honestly, that's great news—especially with the new Shadowlands expansion coming out later this year. Being on a dead realm is a serious bummer, and server transfers are ridiculously expensive. So if you're not happy with where you character is at, it might be worth it to wait to see if your chosen server is due for a merge before jumping ship.

Steven Messner

With over 7 years of experience with in-depth feature reporting, Steven's mission is to chronicle the fascinating ways that games intersect our lives. Whether it's colossal in-game wars in an MMO, or long-haul truckers who turn to games to protect them from the loneliness of the open road, Steven tries to unearth PC gaming's greatest untold stories. His love of PC gaming started extremely early. Without money to spend, he spent an entire day watching the progress bar on a 25mb download of the Heroes of Might and Magic 2 demo that he then played for at least a hundred hours. It was a good demo.