We all know Tw's PoP is at historic lows and this is for a bunch of reasons, many of which are out of our control.
I think the biggest new factor is Pw and its increase in population.
As I've said before a lot of people here are fans of truewow and wotlk. So that people will play what they want and Pw isn't pure 3.3.5a by any means at all ... but the Tw community is present there and for a snowball effect of a reason it can quite easily have leached the Tw pop to near death.
See when you can't find anybody to get rbg's or rhcs/raids going on Tw, even if that's what you want to play, players will go to the next best thing, especially if it's brought to you by a company they already want to support.
as aforementioned, players who want WotLK will play at TrueWoW. Those looking for an abstraction of Vanilla running on a WotLK server, will go for PrimalWoW. And those who want a Vanilla server, would probably be more suited at a Vanilla server.
What I'm trying to say is that if things didn't change so far, they surely won't be changing now. So don't expect an exodus or migration of any sorts. It might make it easier for players to check out either realm but that's rather harmless.
When the active populations of Tw/Pw were more equal it was less noticeable. But Tw's population was on the decline at the time Pw was added to the realmlist. Many players already couldn't find others to get things done and had other games logged on the side.
When Pw was opened it gave many players an opportunity to to level on a new (Tw) server. Now this was great for the low level community of Pw, but at this time Tw needed as many players to stay online as possible.
See when people are online it give others hope that something will come along to do, so that they stay online and it snowballs.. this can also happen is reverse.
This can happen to any server unless they are kept relatively separate or there is a massive population that wont notice the difference.
Even a really shitty instant 80 server linked to Tw realmlist could have been terrible for the population if it had bg's going during tw deadtimes; as the same thing would have happened and deadtimes would have grown.
I'm not sure if the staff care about Tw population anymore or if maybe they even encourage the shift in PoP to Pw as leveling players provide a much better auction house, dungeon and rbg community.
Will Truewow just become Primalwow?
But we're talking about something that's still supposed to be 5+ years into the future. Most of our current players won't even be playing until then but there will (hopefully) be new players who will be playing instead. Population is also an important factor and the majority will basically win when the vote for PvP v PvE comes. TrueWoW currently has more players but that doesn't mean that all of them want PvP or that all PrimalWoW players want PvE. Anyway I really wouldn't worry too much about it at this point in time, that merge doesn't even need to happen, it's just a safeguard to keep long-term population in check.
Either way i'm really sad to see populations getting as low as they have been for Tw.
And I really wish I could be able to afk on Tw to help with w.e is going on.
that's just a bit of a rant from a grumpy stoner.
It's a little reminiscent of my rant last year
the ex truewow player