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The key to MMORPG viability is "how many new players are coming to the game?" or "how many players are leveling new characters?" when the starting zones are empty, its over for an MMORPG. Why are starting zone numbers so important to MMORPG viability? Because without new players it is very difficult for guilds to recruit and form new guilds or replace losses due to attrition in existing guilds. New blood is the key to guild and MMORPG viability.
Lets compare The number of players in WoW's Alliance starting zones on the Maelstrom RP-PvP server to the number of players in the Republic starting zones on the Ven Zallow RP-PvP server from levels 1-20 today, Sunday March 3/25/2012 at 11:00 AM CST. Both servers are medium population. Here are the numbers;
The numbers speak for themselves. SWTOR is clearly growing twice as fast as wow by sufficient numbers more than replace any losses due to attrition while WoW is in maintenance mode at best or is slowly losing players. Neither game is dying but SWTOR is clearly more healthy than WoW. You will likely find similar results on most servers in WoW and SWTOR.
Objectively, which is a better recruiting pool for guild leaders, 28 characters scattered across 15 zones or 88 characters in 3 zones?
I recruited 20 new players in one 10-16 zone, Courscant yesterday. Only about 1/4 of them were alts. Today in Westfall there were only 3 characters from 10-15. Yesterday on Courscant there were 20-35 all day.
Feel free to post your results from your server(s).